Born of local wood merchants in 1888, Charles Henry Weaver joined the card department at Dickinson’s Paper mills Apsley in 1899. He worked under Mr Darker “whose lovable nature” has influenced his whole life. The factory was the largest employer around and at its height employed some 5000 people.
In 1904 he started his interest in First Aid. This may have taken him and his camera to the great fire at Gaddeston Place in 1905. The photographs he took were not known to the Moir family who have restored the country house.
Mr Weaver started in samples, and passed though factory sections, took charge of pasting and finishing shops. Just before the war he was in charge of The Manufacture of “weaving loom Jacguards”, and was also working in the wages department.
He does not mention, or say anything of his four years war service “overseas” nor do I know as yet what he did to be mentioned in dispatches. His clerical skills and first aid experience allowed him to serve through RAMC and The British Red Cross.
After the war he setup first aid training at Dickinsons, and for 21 years was Superintendent of the Central London St John’s Ambulance Brigade.
He worked for 25 years in the Card Department before moving on the envelopes, in charge of advertising and sampling.
He was warden to St Mary’s Church Apsley
1924 took over the management of The House of Dickinson Band, which gained trophies and became a broadcasting band in 1936
The 1926 great strike caused the formation of The Union of The House of Dickinson. Although a union, this was still part of the paternal care that Dickinson’s created with pension schemes, medical facilities, sporting events, and the local band. The Union was of Christian in ideals with many features of a Masonic lodge. He became the Secretary of the Apsley Mills Section.
During the Second World War he was in The Home Guard. He died in 1956, not long after The Suez Crisis. Two years later there was no British influence in Iraq and Mesopotamia.