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This is a request I received via email.


I am an old Wellington House student apprentice(1958-1961)hoping to visit in 2008.Would like to contact any House people of that era, particurlaly Laurence Doyle. Can you help?

I presume this is Leyland Motors
Yes, Martin. Wellington House was where the out of town apprentices lived before Stokes Hall was built. I think both of them have been demolished, but not sure.

I remember labouring up Church Road past Wellington House on my bike to Balshaw's.. there were calves in the meadow just before the House, and wild crocuses in Spring. so I was sad when the whole lot was replaced by the new Stokes Hall plus parking- has it gone? Didn't last long, then!
Thank you for that, David, very interesting!
Wellington House provided accomodation for what were called "Premium Apprentices" whose parents actually paid an annual fee for them to attend Leyland Motors as the chosen few. The majority were the sons of Manufacturers who supplied goods and services to the Company, and it was a kind of perk that they were given a position akin to that of an Indentured Apprentice without having to go through the selection process.

Whereas we took a seven year term as an apprentice, they came direct from residential fee paying schools and took a five year apprenticeship. I worked for a time with the son of Sir William Rootes who had been "placed" at Leylands, this was typical of the type of "young gentleman" who joined the Company.

Many will remember that the pilot of the plane which bombed the Farington Factory was found to have been a Premium Apprentice before the War and was familiar with landmarks around Leyland.

They were all well educated young people, and their stay at Wellington House was a preliminary to entering the upper echelons of industry or obtaining University Entrance for career enhancement.
I remember the "Premiums" used to havesome rather hectic nights in Leyland and the authorities called it high spirits if it was the rank and file it was a sackable offence
Ron, these were the "sons of gentlemen", so I suppose letting them off the leashe as it were, gave way to how they acted, like vaulting over the wall into Church Road instead of using the proper way out.

Hey! They were alright, budding leaders of the community.[Big Grin]
Wellington House is a replacement of the old Masonic Hall that used to be by the Old Public Hall
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