Alfred Capper Pass and Family
The Family in 1937. From Left to Right: Philippa, Mrs Olive Pass, Joan, Colonel Douglas Pass, Honor Matilda, Katherine.
The Tenant Farmers and Household staff presentation of a Silver Bowl on Alfred Douglas Pass becoming the new Lord of the Manor in 1906 when he was just 21. The Long List of tenants included R. Morgan who was renting Charmouth Stores and F.Coles the Bakers from him
Memorials to Alfred Capper and Douglas Pass in Wootton Fitzpaine Church.
After the long ownership of the Manor by J.J. Coulton, the next potential buyer was unable to complete its purchase due to his untimely death. It was to be to his son that the title Lord of the Manor of Charmouth was to be given in 1908 when he paid £1,400 for the Cement Mill with the surrounding 63 acres.
Albert Capper Pass was born in Bristol in 1837, where his father worked as a metal refiner and dealer. They later moved to Bedminster into much larger premises and prospered by processing gold and silver as well as lead and copper. In 1870 his father died and he took the business over and it went from strength to strength under his guidance. The factory went over to making solder and doubled in size from 1875 to 1882. As well as an industrialist, he was very well educated and had many interests, especially archaeology. Up until 1894 when it became a limited company he was the sole owner. In the following year profits are shown as almost £12000, most of which goes to Alfred. Towards the end of his life he seeks to become a country gentleman and endeavours to create an estate based on Wootton Fitzpaine Manor. In 1895 he purchases this house with 1776 acres at auction. He later buys land in Fishponds, Hawkchurch, Monkton Wylde and Abbots Wootton He adds parts of Charmouth and a number of other properties until on his death the Estate totals nearly 5000 acres. The farming had previously been in a sorry state and he endeavoured to turn into a sporting and hunting estate employing many people from the villages. But sadly he does not live long enough to enjoy it and dies on October 4th 1905, aged 68.
His son Alfred Douglas Pass inherits a thriving metal refining and solder works. He follows in his father's footsteps by enlarging the buildings and finding new markets for its products. He is to appoint a University friend, Paul Gueterbock as the Managing Director who proves to be outstanding. He also receives his fathers extensive Estate and over £60,000 in stocks when he reaches 21 the following year. In 1912 he marries Katherine Heycock and they were to have five daughters.
During the First World War, Alfred was listed missing believed dead, for some months after the Gallipoli campaign. He turned out to be a prisoner in distant Anatolia.
During the Second World War, Colonel Pass became army welfare officer for the area. At the same time he continued to run the family tin smelting works in Bristol. Douglas Pass had long been on the Dorset County Council and a Bridport magistrate. He was also a scout commissioner. He loved Wootton and for many years it was run at a loss as he regarded it as a special place to be cared for jointly with his tenant farmers.
Having originally owned Charmouth foreshore, he sold it to the Parish Council. He also sold them their playing fields, and land for the tennis courts in Lower Sea Lane for nominal amounts. Much was given to Enter­prise Neptune, helping to buy the farms that now provide the wonderful walk from Golden Cap to Charmouth along the cliffs. He also gave them Lamberts Castle and much of Fishpond and his wife gave Coney's Castle to the National Trust. Most of the estate was disposed of after his death though there are still links in Wootton with the family today.
On a personal note it was Alfred who sold an acre plot to Grace Icombe in 1922 for £130 on which she was to build Thallata where Neil lives today.
Alfred Pass (1908 - 1970)
Alfred Capper Pass bought the nearby Wootton Fitzpaine Estate in 1895 and went on to buy the Monkton Wyld and Abbotts Wootton Estates and subsequently added the Manor of Charmouth in 1908 for £1400. By then it consisted of the old Cement Works building and 63 acres of land mainly along the coast with the potential to be built on.
Alfred was born in St Philip's Marsh, Bristol where his father worked as a metal refiner and dealer. When he was a small boy the company moved to Mill Lane in Bedminster—much larger premises near to the local coal mines. The family lived in Windmill Hill. Throughout the 1840s the firm prospered, processing gold and silver as well as lead and copper ores and the family moved to Redland. In 1870 Alfred's father died, and he took over the business where he was well regarded by his workers. Wages were paid at higher rates than the local iron foundry—they were even higher than at Fry's cocoa works, and they were noted as generous employers. He helped a fledgling Bristol University get on its feet and remained a major benefactor until his death. There is still a Alfred Capper Seat of Chemistry to this day. The factory went over to making tin alloy and from 1875 to 1882 the size of the Bedminster works doubled. In 1905 Alfred died and the firm, which had now become a public company, was managed by non-family businessmen. His son Alfred Douglas Pass continued to live at Wootton Fitzpaine Manor and the remainder of the estate was sold off piecemeal until his death in 1970. The present Lord of the Manor of Charmouth is a mystery and it may still be with the Pass family.

Douglas did not like his father, an elderly man by then, ambitious for his son but unable to share his interests. Possibly his father's archaeological interests were shared. Alfred Capper Pass's collection of Paleolithic stone tools from the River Axe and other Dorset sites are to be found in the Bristol, Dorchester and Devizes museums; his work on Silbury Hill was way ahead of his time - instead of digging holes in it looking for treasure, he examined the moat and its surrounds. By the time Douglas got to Cambridge his father had died and he was free to choose the subjects that interested him and would help him to run the Bedminster, Bristol, tin-smelting works (4). This did not deal in pure tin but in the extraction of tin from residues of all kinds. He studied chemistry and metallurgy, his tutor being the metallurgist whose speciality was alloys - Charles Heycock. Inheriting considerable wealth, he kept a horse in Cambridge, roamed the countryside and had a good social life, finishing with a First to the surprise of his relatives. Douglas bought his first car - a de Dion Buton with hard tyre and it was Olive's proud moment to be seen arriving to watch the Bumps at Fen Ditton in it. They were married in King's Chapel, the first marriage there for 50 years and an important Cambridge event.
Grandmother Pass, wanting her son to take over the Wootton Manor when he got married, built herself a dower house, Thistlegate, close to the Tunnel, and moved there, leaving the Manor with all her furniture, pictures and decoration. It included her servants, which must have been very intimidating for a young woman from a small Cambridge home. Olive Pass soon got rid of the fierce-looking housekeeper (to be seen in the family album) and thereafter ran the house in a more personal manner, with a head housemaid instead - but it was many years before she could redecorate the house in her own way. During the First World War of course there was no question of doing so.

Douglas Pass, keen territorial soldier from university days, soon left home as a captain in the Dorset Yeomanry. Katharine remembers seeing them embark at Weymouth, bands playing, colours flying.
Olive Pass, who now had two small girls, took over the running of the house, the gardens, the estate and life in Wootton village. She also kept an eye on Douglas's business affairs, and the Bedminster works. Known to her sister Bertha as the "nettle-grasper", Olive, the able manager, emerged.


Captain Douglas Pass, with the Dorset Yeomanry, was posted at first to Egypt. From there they set sail for Gallipoli. With poor management and indifferent generals in charge, this disastrous campaign saw thousands of British and Australian troops slaughtered on the beaches and Captain Douglas Pass was one of the "missing, presumed dead". There was little hope because the Turks took no prisoners. Granny Pass and Olive supported each other in their grief, and both, deeply religious, prayed for a miracle, holding on to that little ray of hope that the word "missing" still allowed. It was many weeks before their prayers were indeed miraculously answered. Douglas had been captured by the Turks and was a prisoner-of-war. A small sample of officers had been taken to Ankara to be shown to the Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal, and then imprisoned in central Turkey, at Afion Kara Hissar.
Another prisoner-of-war joined them there - George Dacre (1) a dashing young airman, who was the first person, as it turned out unwisely, to try dropping a torpedo from his plane, a light biplane. It appears that the torpedo was too heavy for it and it ditched in the Sea of Marmora, where, single-handed, he had flown to attack the Turkish fleet.
The prisoners were able to make contact through the Red Cross, and it was through the Red Cross that, later, parcels were able to get through, including books. Certainly Douglas read the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire there, a truly massive tome. Letters, both from home and from Turkey, had to be strictly limited in length, the Turkish censors being few in number and their English limited.
Olive set about finding and contacting the wives and families of the prisoners-of-war and took charge of communications. She ran a newsletter containing all the families' letters to make the best of the limited number of lines allowed, and sent round any letters that got through from Turkey. Our mother had a secretary with an old typewriter to help her with her work. Miss Senior operated in the study and later taught me lessons for a short time daily -just reading and writing'. With the help of a primitive duplicating machine the newsletters were published. Any news about the progress of the war would, of course, be censored but a little could be got through from a "wife" whose address was "Codin House, Thislet Terrace". As well as the newsletter, through the Red Cross, increasing numbers of parcels were sent to Afion Kara Hissar. K says: 'Food parcels sent by Fortnum and Mason were so defective that no food was ever bought from them again for the rest of my parents' lives! Daddy learnt Norwegian while a prisoner and gardened. He did not play cards.'
Olive maintained these services for the three remaining years of the war to the immense gratitude of those concerned. A magnificent but massive silver tray, engraved with their signatures, stood on the dining room sideboard for many years, till, after the Second World War, when there was no one to polish it, Mummy decided to get rid of much of the silver, offering it

Daddy's and Mummy's close friends were the Wingfield Digbys of Sherborne Castle and the Mintern Digbys. They knew each other well, and Mummy was encouraged to see her daughters groomed to rise in society. Daddy ran the estate in a beneficent way, but always with the intention of making it pay its way. He brought in many farm improvements: field drainage (there were many marshy fields in the Marshwood Vale), installation of milking parlours, the repair and upkeep of farm and cottage buildings. Most of the work was accomplished from the Estate Yard using a workforce expected to be jacks-of-all-trades when needed. There was a painter and deco­rator, a carpenter, a plumber, a tractor-driver and two or three foresters.

Our parents were the most generous of people. One of Daddy's precepts which I have valued is "Never lend money, either give it or refuse it". I suspect he usually gave it. Of the estate, Wootton receive much and in many ways, including the village hall. Having originally owned Charmouth foreshore, Daddy gave it to Charmouth Parish Council. He also gave them their playing fields, and land for the tennis courts in Lower Sea Lane. (The tennis club was run for a great many years by the three Miss Whittingtons, who kept a small dame school in Charmouth. They dictatorially said "No-one from trade" could join the tennis club.) He supported many many causes, including the Fairbridge Society in Australia which in the end turned out to be not so noble as it made itself out to be. Much was given to Enter­prise Neptune, helping to buy the farms which allow us all to enjoy that wonderful walk from Golden Cap to Charmouth along the cliffs. He also gave them Lamberts Castle and much of Fishpond. Mummy also gave Coneys Castle to the National Trust. I cannot list their generosity - it was continuous and largely unknown to us.

When his father died in 1905, Daddy inherited Capper Pass and Son, a thriving metal-refining and tin-smelting works in Bristol. Alfred Capper Pass's enterprise and intelligence had moved non-ferrous metal refining from empirical guesswork to scientific skill. He started to make his fortune out of ancient lead and tin slag heaps in the Mendips and Cornwall, using his technological skills to extract and refine copper, lead and tin from slag heaps, residues and low quality ore, soon becoming a major supplier of solder. A.D.P followed in his footsteps, enlarging the building and finding new markets for high-quality tin and tin alloys, in an increasingly competitive world. In our childhood they were importing quantities of low-grade ore from Bolivia. A.D.P appointed a university friend as his managing director. Paul Gueterbock, of German extraction, can be seen in the Cambridge University Shooting Eight along with A.D.P. and A.V. Hill. Paul fought through the First World War and survived, refusing to change his much-reviled name. He proved outstanding, both as a chemist and managing director. Later appointments of brilliant and innovative chemists kept Capper Pass and Son ahead of competitors for many years. Daddy, driven by Wakeley, travelled from Wootton to Bristol for meetings. The route included the old Fosse Way across Somerset - long, straight but dangerous in those early days when priority markings on crossroads had yet to arrive! The full story of Capper Pass and Son is told in a privately published book by Bryan Little called "Capper Pass. The First Hundred and Fifty Years".

Colonel A. D. Pass, O.B.E., D.L., who retired from the Chairmanship in 1960, and is still a member of the Board, is the great-grandson of 'Capper Pass F, Founder of the firm, and there is amongst employees generally a number of second and third-generation men. At the Annual General Meeting, held in Bristol in October 1962, in my Chairman's Statement I paid a tribute to the 'famous and hospitable City of Bristol' where Capper Pass virtually started his little backyard business and where we maintained our head office for around one hundred and fifty years.

I also said that the emergence of a new type of smelter, and the economies of inte­gration at that date, were leading to the transfer of smelting and our other major activi­ties from Bristol to Melton, on the north bank of the Humber, where thirty years ago we had begun to establish a new, modern plant which has now grown so big and versatile that it can effectively undertake most of our work.

The 1830`s were also important for the history of the Pass family. In August of 1836 the second Capper Pass married Hannah Coole, born in Bristol but then of Long Ashton just outside it on the Somerset side. In July of 1837 Alfred Capper Pass, the controller of the firm's fortunes for over thirty years from 1870, was born. His birth­place is given as Avon Street, S

Notes

Alfred Capper Pass
Alfred Capper Pass
The Bristol works based in Bedminster from the air in 1924
Workers at the Bedminster Works in 1887
Alfred Douglas Pass (1886-1970)
Olive Pass (1890- 1973)
Alfred Douglas Pass (1908-1970)
Alfred Douglas Pass and his Family
Wootton Fitzpaine Manor in 1864
Wootton Fitzpaine Manor
Abstract of the Title of A.D.Pass Esq. to property in the Parish of Charmouth,Dorset 1909
INDENTURE of this date between George Gordon Coulton of No. 40 Mill Road Eastbourne in the Coy. of Sussex Esq.M.A. Edmund Lees Coulton of Pentney in the Coy. of Norfolk Esq. Sarah Priscilla Elizabeth Coulton of Kings Lynn in the c oy. of Norfolk Spinster & Beatrice Octavia Coulton of Pentney afsd Spinster (hereinafter called "the Vendors") of the one part & Alfred Douglas Pass of Wootton Pitzpaine .Charmouth in the Co. of Dorset Esq. (hereinafter called "the Purchaser") of the other part
RECITING- John. James Coulton late of Kings Lynn in the Coy. of Norfolk Solicitor being at the date of his death thrnar recited seized in. fee simple in possession free from incumbs of the lands heredits & premes thrnar described and intended to be thereby conveyed made & executed his Will bearing date the 7th day of Sept. 1905 and thereof appointed his Son Richard Calthrop Coulton (subject to certain conditions) & his Sons George Gordon Coulton & Edmund Lees Coulton Executors and Trustees And Testator also appointed the sd S. P. E. Coulton. and B. O. Coulton and his Grandson Fred James Fitzmaurice Barrington, in succession and the persons from time to time appointed & acting he called his Trust ees And Testator devised gave appointed & bequeathed to his Trustees all his Real Estate of Freehold or Leasehold tenure In trust for sale And Testator directed his Trustees at each time or times as they bequeathed to his Trustees all his Real Estate of Freehold or Leasehold tenure In trust for sale And Testator directed his Trustees at euoh tlmo or times as they should think fit to sell his Real Estate whether Freehold Leasehold or Copyhold or of any other tenure.
AND RECITING the said J. J. Coulton made and executed a Codicil to his sd Will dated 6th Deo. 1905 but which did not affect the appointment of his Exors or Trustees
AND RECITING Testator made & executed a 2nd Codicil to his Will bearing date 31st July 1907 whereby he revoked the appointment of his grandson the sd F, J. F. Harrington as Exor and Trustee of his Will
AND RECITING the Testator made and executed a 3rd Codicil to his Will bearing date 6th April 1908 whereby he appointed his sd Daughters S. P. E. Coulton and B. 0. Coulton. Executrixes and Trustees of his Will & Codicils jointly with the Executors and Trustees appointed by his sd Will as altered by his sd Codicils
AND RECITING the Testator did not by his sd recited Codicils alter or amend the devise of his Real Estate as contained in his sd recited Will.
AND RECITING the sd J. J. Coulton died on 8th April 1908 at Pentney in the Coy. of Norfolk without having further altered his sd Will & Codicils
AND RECITING the sd Will & Codicils of the sd J. J. Coulton deceased were duly proved in the Norwich District Probate Registry on 17th June 1908 by the Vendors four of the Exors appointed by the sd Will & Codicils.
AND RECITING the sd R. C. Goulton the other Exor named in the sd Will renounced the Probate and execution of the sd Will and Codicils & had not in any manner or form whatsoever intermeddled with the sd Estate or taken, upon himself any Trusted-ship in relation thereto
AND RECITING the Vendors as Trustees & Legal Personal Representatives of the sd J. J. Coulton. deceased had contracted & agreed with the sd A. D. Pass for the absolute sale to him of the heredits & prernes thrnar described at the price or sum of £1400 IT WAS WITNESSED that in pursuance of such agreement & in conson of the sum of £1400 to the Vendors on or before the execution of abstg presents paid by the Purchaser (rect &c.) The Vendors as such Trustees & Legal Personal Representatives of the sd J. J. Coulton deced thrby conveyed unto the Purchaser
ALL THAT the Manor or Lordship or reputed Manor or Lordship of Charmouth in the Coy. of Dorset and All & singular the Cement Mill & the pieces or parcels of land site lying & being in the Parish of Charmouth in the Coy. of Dorset & contg 63.166 acres "be the same more or loss which sd Cement Mill pieces or parcels of land were more parlarly mentd & set out in the Schedule thereunder written. & were more parlarly delineated & defined in the plan annexed thereto & thron coloured Green And also one half of the width of the proposed Roadway shewn upon the sd plan. annexed thereto between the points marked A. & B. & the points parcel.3 of land were more parlarly mentd & set out in the Schedule thereunder written & were more parlarly delineated & defined in the plan annexed thereto & thron coloured Green And also one half of the width of the proposed Roadway shewn upon ths sd plan annexed thereto between the points marked A. & B. & the points marked C. & D, on the sd plan Together with the Foreshore of the sd Manor of Charmouth extending from high to low water mark & from the boundary of the Parish of Lyme Regis to the boundary of the Parish of Stanton St.Gabriel & which Foreshore is delineated & shown on the sd plan, annexed thrto & thrin coloured Buff And together also with the full & free right & liberty for the Purchr his heirs & assigns & all persons authorised by him or them in common with all other persons having a like right & liberty at all times in the day or night to pass & repass either on foot or otherwise & with or without horses cattle or vehicles of any description over & along the sd proposed roadways' & the back lanes shewn upon the sd plan annexed thrto & also the right of surface & under drainage & passage of water & soil in all respects as if the sd roadway & back lanes were public highways
TO HOLD the same unto & to the use of the Purchaser in fee simple PROVISO that no compensation shld be paid or received by the Vendors or Purchaser for or inrespect of any error which might be found in. the plan annexed thereto which sd plan was believed to be correct
The Schedule. 133 1.587 Acres,
executed by G.G.Coulton, E.L.Coulton, S.P.E.Coulton & B.O. Coulton & attested.

Part 1: Our childhood at Wootton—Philippa Hill
Joan read the "Wodetone" book and suggested I wrote about our childhood, particularly life on the top floor. I have tried to do this but I have not been able to give a real picture of my dearly loved sister Joan, her warmth, her love and care for other people, her unselfishness, the skill she gave to the things she did, never spiteful, mean or prone to anger. She never complained or grumbled when I meanly landed her with those unwanted jobs. With only a year between us, Joan and I were brought up like twins. We were very close and happy with each other's company; we did everything together and were not always help­ful when our mother invited other children to come and play with us. Joan was the "good" twin and I was the "naughty" one, shown up at Christmas time when at the bottom of my Christmas stocking I would find a lump of coal, and Joan's had that desirable orange.I was also labelled clumsy, which I turned to good use when it came to carrying things up and down the many flights of stairs or carrying cups of tea. Joan would always be asked to do it, the "willing horse" as ever. Their only success was with my handwriting -i am left-handed but I was taught to write with my right hand (however I draw with my left). Having said we were not always keen on children being invited to play with us. Our cousins were different - we eagerly looked forward to their coming to stay: Charlie and Teddy Heycock, Jean Fraser and Ken Dacre.
We also, on several occasions, joined the Heycock family's summer holiday on Lough Derg in Ireland. They lived in Dublin at that time, Uncle Morris being chief brewer at Guiness. Charlie and Teddy were beloved friends (Bobby was too young to join in) but we looked up to Charlie especially: his broad grin, his love of wild life - birds above all - his skills as a fisherman, which included tickling fish, his taxidermy and Wol. Wol, his pet owl, went round with him everywhere on his shoulder. Wol had fallen out of a tree, and, too young to get back up again, had been rescued by Charlie. Life on Lough Derg, messing about in boats, fishing, rioting and pillow fighting upstairs at night, was all quite a change from our rather more staid life at home, and greatly enjoyed by us both.
Charlie went up to King's, the year before the war (at the same time as Maurice). He kept his landlady well supplied with ducks, which he netted silently and skilfully along the Backs at night. His death in the Western Desert during the war was a terrible loss to both of us. Ken Dacre became a fighter pilot, flying Mosquitoes, and was also killed in the war to our great sadness.
Our parents loved each other deeply and Wootton remains an idyllic memory of a happy home where the sun always shone. This was not chance. Mummy spent much of her life making it so. It became part of her creative skill, her work of art: the most hospitable, gracious and beautiful home, renowned for its parties and dances, always filled with visiting relatives and friends, added to which were Rhodes Scholars who needed a vacation home, and, during the war, stressed-out airmen and soldiers on leave - many from Canada.
For us, those imaginative children's parties gave delight as it did to all who took part in them. At Sylvia's wedding reception in Sherborne Castle, Eddie Digby came up to remind me of their magic - the cellar turned into fairyland, with a pool lit by tiny floating nutshell lights, filled with candle wax, fairy money to buy moccasins (made by Mummy for all!) and above in the passage a real gingerbread house which had been made at Harcombe, the local domestic science school, with a frightening real witch (Katharine) inside.
As for the dances, we were not allowed to join in, because girls were not allowed to "come out" until they were 18; however, we watched, enchanted by the little glass candle lights that lit up the path outside, and the glade hung with many-coloured Japanese lanterns.
Mummy's fairy play took months of preparation. We all had parts. Joan, I remember, ar­rived dressed as a gnome, inside a large red snail shell pulled by Padda, the Dalmatian. Her words as she climbed out were "I'm tired of this wearisome carriage". We all loved taking part.
Many other events took place at which we both wanted to be flies on the wall. One such was the annual rook shoot, organised by Daddy for the tenant farmers - an all-male event, fol­lowed by a splendid supper in the big drawing room. Joan and I leant out of our top window as far as we dared, craning to hear speeches that caused uproarious laughter - we failed in this but no doubt they would have been entirely unsuitable for our ears. These were fol­lowed by Farmer Miller from Bowshot singing old country songs and the others joining in the choruses.
Although there was a big gap in age between Katharine and Diana, the pre-war children, Joan and myself, born in 1919 and 1920, and Honor, born six years later, we were a united family if rather too noisy - Mummy had a bell she rang when the decibel level rose too high at table.
Joan and I spent much time and devotion on horses, ponies and dogs. Added to those at home, each year, to our joy, a pair of hound puppies arrived, sent out "to walk" by the Cattistock Hunt. It became one of Kersy's jobs to look after the dogs, walking, feeding and car­ing for them - it had been one of her duties at Sherborne Castle where they bred Dutch Barge Dogs.
Kersy was our dearly loved governess - how fortunate we were. She came to Wootton late in life and taught us and then Honor. Kersy stayed on until she died, beloved by us all. Apart from looking after the dogs, during the war she did many jobs she saw needed doing round the house, including darning old and worn-out sheets, towels etc., and looking after Maureen, a little 3-year old evacuee child whose mother had returned to London. She also did washing, ironing and mending for a family with seven children at Partway Cottage.
Kersy came from the west of Ireland, the daughter of a Protestant minister. Her brothers, who emigrated to New Zealand, kept in touch all her life but as far as I know they were her only living relatives. Kersy had taught the Phelips family who had owned Montacute for generations, but when times grew hard and there was no male heir to inherit, the Phelips family had to move out and sell Montacute. Kersy moved to the Wingfield Digbys at Sherborne Castle, where she taught Joanna and Lydia. By our good fortune, our parents, close friends of the Wingfield Digbys, were able to offer her the post of our governess. We had not particularly liked our previous French governess, but Kersy was all we could ever have wanted. She had a gift for love of her pupils and though it would have been quite out of or­der for her to kiss and cuddle us, we returned the love. Somehow we understood the British public school tradition of not showing our feelings in public, and being told when small, not to be "cry-babies". It left us both, I think, not good at sharing times of trouble with each other, and later with our own families.
Kersy had quiet authority and I can never remember wanting to play her up or disobey her. We were taught by the system called "The Parents' National Educational Union", PNEU for short. Syllabus and books came each term, and exam papers set to be marked by them at the end of term. At the time, not only were wealthy girls in England not sent to boarding school like the boys, but there were huge numbers of children in remote parts of the Empire and on distant farms in Canada, Australia and New Zealand whose mothers taught them at home because there were not schools to send them to. The PNEU was invaluable to many. Mental arithmetic and learning by heart featured large. We learnt a poem, a chapter of the Bible and a psalm every term.
I will try to describe our day, but of course this changed as we got older.
We started before breakfast in our parents' bathroom where we sat clutching our bibles. Daddy was mostly dressed and shaving himself with his cut-throat razor whilst Mummy had already got out of the palatial bath and was dressing discreetly behind a very large bath towel. Daddy chose what we were to read from our bibles aloud to them. It was usually a good story from the Old Testament, which he then expounded to us. Largely I believe to make sure we did not believe in the word truth of the Bible. (His mother's family were Plymouth Brethren.)
Early days: Breakfast and lunch were eaten at a small table in the dining room with whoever was in charge of us at the time. When we were old enough we joined the grown-up dining table. Tea was served upstairs in the schoolroom, and at supper time the nurse maid brought up one of Lillian's delicious soups in the little brown pots with lids, and we sat by the school­room fire and listened to the radio, usually popular music on records or occasionally some famous comedian like Harry Lauder.
Our greatest treat came when we had an hour with our Mother after tea. Sometimes we played with (and destroyed!) the treasures in her treasure cabinet, but mostly we curled up on either side of her on the sofa and Mummy read to us, sharing her own childhood delight: stories full of fairies, witches and ogres, and magical delights, often in beautifully illustrated books by Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. There were also books like Alice in Wonderland and those by E. Nesbit. Mummy herself had had to hide under the piano to read when she was a child to escape from her mother who considered it a shocking waste of time for girls to read.
Daddy's role was different. He did things with us that he enjoyed himself. Katharine pointed out that Daddy had brought us all up as boys: hunting and fishing - even occasionally shooting. We went stalking in Scotland once - Joan shot a stag but I failed to do so. Famously, in answer to a reproof that he was encouraging his daughters to be too dashing when they went hunting, he replied "I would rather have four brave daughters than five white rats". Hunting was always a dangerous sport - there were disasters to both horses and their riders; falls from horses were frequent, and being temporarily knocked out by a head injury quite common. But the ethos amongst sporting parents was interesting - they felt ashamed if their little boys did not "go" as well as the little girls!
Daddy bought our ponies and horses, and bought the best, his maxim being "what you want is worth paying for, what you don't want is dear at any price". Our most beloved, Spider, a blue roan pony, taught us all to ride and loved hunting days. Faster than most of the hunt horses, Spider kept up in the front of the field, and would not hesitate if pointed at a five-bar gate - but equally Spider knew how to deal with the banks, so common in Cotley territory. I have my suspicions about William the groom's statement that "there ain't no favourites in this 'ere stable".
I think Daddy had a special love for Joan, who looked the most like his mother, but again it would not have been a kissing and cuddling sort of love. He hunted with us, taught us how to fish, involved us with wild life, knowing about birds, sharing his passion for beautiful Dorset and its protection, service to the community, and his great ideal of working for the Empire, to give people justice, education and eventually self government. He was excruciatingly honest. During the war, as Army Welfare Officer, Justice of the Peace, County Councillor and Captain of the local Home Guard, he applied for his petrol ration exactly the right amount, which was always cut by a third because everyone applied for more than they needed, and it was expected that they would. Daddy never changed, but grumbled about it when it was cut! At one stage, as a land girl, I milked our five cows, carried the milk down from the cowshed on a yoke with two buckets, brought it to the dairy, skimmed the milk and made the butter in our churn. Daddy would only allow us our ration of 1oz a week, the rest had to be sold! Mummy and I not so honourable, got around this, in part, by making very creamy soft cheeses, which were accepted. We also salted and "cured" our own pig in the outhouse - nothing was said about sharing that with the public.
From his mother, who had been Miss Fraser, daughter of a linen draper from Ipswich, Daddy valued his Scottish ancestry - added to which the house was constantly full of clan relatives, particularly those from South Africa, successful sons of the Ipswich Frasers, their children and grandchildren. We also felt we were Scottish and took great delight in the long summer holidays when Daddy took a large shooting and fishing lodge, usually in Scotland, some­times in Ireland, but always in romantic scenery. Coulin, near Torridon was the most memorable, but Stornoway Castle, taken cheap during the slump, provided great entertainment. Built by Lord Leverhulme the soap king, it was enormous with a ballroom swathed in dustsheets and a large picture of the Rape of the Sabine women presiding over the dining room. We proposed that Larcombe our butler should have roller skates to get from the servants' quarters to the front door - it took so long to walk. One evening, Joan and I heard screams of laughter coming from the servants' hall and rushed to see what it was about. It was Larcombe clad in a sheet, dressed as the ghost of Stornoway Castle (1) - they were enjoying it too! Larcombe, a local Dorset man, who had risen at Wootton from boot boy, took his position as head of the servants' hall seriously. He pronounced he did not like venison and would not eat it. Lilian the cook therefore, when in Scotland, carved a bit of venison off outside the room, and he was always presented with his own plate of "mutton".
The saga of moving the whole household up to Scotland each time needs telling, and it fell to Mummy. First a huge list of food items was sent to the Army and Navy Stores to arrive by rail in hampers. All the food, bar porridge oats, which were bought in Scotland, came this way. The two stately family cars, driven by the two chauffeurs, set off by road with Mummy. Daddy, Katharine and Diana. The rest of the party - Joan and I and the household of Larcombe, Lilian the cook, kitchen maid and housemaids with much luggage - got on the Southern Railway train at Axminster, transferring everything onto taxis at Waterloo to get across to King's Cross. Bliss for us was the night sleeper journey to Inverness and breakfast in the Grand Hotel there.
In retrospect I realise how Mummy must have hated it. The lodges were filled with sporting relatives and their wives and sporting friends and their wives. The wives had nothing whatever to do and nowhere to go. Mummy had to entertain them and, though picnics were popular, it often rained. We loved every minute - we sea-fished, fished, walked and went to beautiful beaches to swim. We both had our Bentham & Hooker books to paint in new wild flowers. Joan was in her element, finding unexpected rarities up mountains and by streams -I relied upon being shown them so I could paint them in too.
Mummy was able to get out of Daddy's last two fishing and shooting holidays. Joan and I and Lord Roche, a rather philistine law lord Fraser relative, set sail for Iceland in 1938, home to some of the best salmon fishing. Transport was by boat or Icelandic pony and fish were plentiful, but war threatened - Chamberlain's "Peace in our Time" - and we cut the holiday short.
The second adventure, for which Daddy booked Tongue, in the very far north of Scotland, was given to Maurice and me to run. By 1959 we no longer needed those hampers of food or transport for the Pass household. The Tongue cook was talked into doing some of the cooking and there was a vegetable garden.
Born and bred in unspoilt and beautiful countryside, with a father who inspired us with love for it and its natural history, the whole family were hooked lifelong. We followed the country pursuits available where we lived, fighting not only for the countryside but also for our particular love, be it birds, beasts or flowers. Joan's love of wild flowers was with her all her life. Our education held much that is no longer available to most children. We had a book called "Life in pond and stream" which we followed up by happy outings with small fish-nets to catch sticklebacks, millers thumbs, tadpoles to be raise into frogs, dragonfly lar­vae, water beetles and the like. We brought back flower specimens to identify them, and were taught how to identify different sorts of trees and bushes, drawing the leaves into sketchbooks.
Joan soon roamed the countryside on her own, searching for wild flowers, already aware so many were in rapid decline. The wild daffodils, which had filled the fields on both sides of the stream down to Charmouth, were already retreating to fields upstream where pickers had not destroyed them. I remember her excitement at finding what was probably the last plant of one that had once been common, the narcissus biflorus. She treasured the rare patch of vernal snowflakes that grew in the goyle between Conygar and the Parks, already under threat from Charmouth pickers. She transplanted a small patch to a suitable spot in the woods below Westover, but never told us where. I have looked for it but never found it.
Mummy's Guide and Brownie packs formed the high spot of the week for the children of the village and for us. As well as earning badges and "good deeds for the day", there were variations - like Halloween parties with ghost stories and bobbing for apples, and Kersy teaching some to swim, in our rock garden swimming pool, walking round the edge with the would-be swimmer in a canvas harness strung from a pole.
Daddy had been to the first training camp for future scoutmasters run by Baden Powell after the First World War. There was much emphasis on camping, putting up tents, collecting sticks suitable for lighting outdoor fires and lighting them with one match. By the 30's Daddy no longer ran his own troupe and had become County Commissioner for Dorset and Inspector of Camps, numerous in the summer on his own fields and all round the area.
Our parents treated the household, both indoors and those outside, grooms and chauffeurs (I am not sure when they became "drivers" instead) with trust and affection. The saying "he was a hero to his valet" well fitted our father, and our mother's care and consideration led to no feeling of "upstairs and downstairs" about our home. Grandfather Pass's art and craft rebuild of the kitchen area gave the house a large bright kitchen and servants' hall on the ground floor. The kitchen hatch, close to the large state-of-the-art kitchen range made for a very short walk for Larcombe the butler to carry dishes into the dining room. We ran in and out of the kitchen visiting Lilian the cook or getting the dog food, but our particularly favourite place was the butler's pantry where Mr Moore, the under-butler, could be found. He smoked (not, of course, in our house) and saved his cigarette cards for us which we stuck into books. I considered them exceptionally beautiful, and at one time could name at least 20 Derby winners. He also, from his newspaper, cut out and saved for us that first great serial for children, Rupert Bear.
Mr Moore lived in the West Lodge with his family. His wife also helped in the house as sewing woman. An intelligent man, he had been trained in one of the great houses, but became fed up with the demeaning job of ironing the newspapers each day.
I have wanted to write about our mother, a wonderful, gifted person, who gave so much love, not only to us but to so many people as well, but it has been difficult, so perhaps I will start by describing her background. She has been my role model all my life and she was Joan's too. She was not a saint, but saints are difficult to live with. She never preached but found strength in religious beliefs which included mystics of all faiths, including Buddhism. For some years she belonged to the World Council of Faiths. Sadly this inevitably became political and I think petered out.
The Heycock family status was not very high in the snobbish Cambridge of the 1880's. Grandfather Heycock, a brilliant chemist, metallurgist and lecturer, had a small shed laboratory behind Sidney Sussex (2). With the "rush to the altar" when, belatedly, the fellows of colleges were allowed to get married in the 1880's, Grandfather Heycock looked for a wife; he fell in love with a girl he met skating in an elegant dress trimmed with swansdown - Carrie Sadler, daughter of the squire of Purton.
Charles Thomas Heycock came from a family often children, five boys and five girls, of whom he was the youngest but also the only clever and studious one. The family came from Braunston Manor in Rutland, and Charles was brought up there.
Bobby Heycock believes that Charles's oldest sister Emily, and his brother-in-law William Morris Fawcett a Cambridge doctor, brought him up and paid for his education.
In those days you could only get married by asking the permission of the father of the bride. It was only granted if the suitor had enough money or success in a profession to "keep the bride in the state to which she was accustomed". The other Heycock brothers, uneducated and without professions, failed to get married, so Charles was the only one to marry and have a family. I discovered many year later from my mother-in-law that snobbish Cambridge had another cause to give Carrie Heycock low status. The squire of Purton had married his housekeeper - in Cambridge terms Carrie was the daughter of a cook. This dreadful stigma had been kept from the children, who fortunately belonged to the new young world of Cambridge's "Period Piece". I brought this story to our mother. Her response was typical of her. At first she declared it was totally untrue and then hesitated, and went to look at old family letters, finding references she had not taken in before, particularly concerning her mother's brother who had died young. He had been sent to a public school "so no-one could throw stones". Mummy, realising it explained much about their upbringing repeated it to her sister Bertha. Bertha, beloved "Aunt B", had come to live at Wootton during the war. Also characteristically, Aunt B was most upset and said "If our mother did not want us to know, I do not want to know" and that was that. From my sister Katharine I gather that Grandmother Heycock had an important role amongst the new "rush to the altar" wives with families to clothe and not much money. Apparently she was the only one who knew how to use a new­fangled invention, the sewing machine. She gave lessons to the young wives who wanted to learn how to use it. Mummy had her own beloved sewing machine, which she used all her life, a Wilcox & Gibbs chain-stitch one. Wilcox & Gibbs lost out - their chain-stitch ma­chines are now museum pieces - and the market was taken over by Singer.
In fact, both our mother and Aunt B gained much from their mother's practical teaching. Mummy's lifelong love of embroidery sprang from home, her artistic flair poured into our party dresses (not always appreciated by us - "did your clever mother make that?") into smocking and eventually her "Dorset Feather Stitchery". This she demonstrated to a great many Women's Institutes in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, as well as sending parcels out to South Africa, Canada and New Zealand, which included her book, instructions, materials and transfers. These brought considerable income to the Dorchester H.Q. of the Women's Institutes, which sent out the orders. She even had a stall at the Festival of Britain. Taught by her mother how to make bead bags, beads were another of her skills. She passed on to us how to make bead daisy-chain necklaces, and at one stage made moccasins with bead decorations.
Bertha and Olive, with Grandmother Heycock's instructions, made their own dresses, poring over the latest fashion magazines from France for their ball-gown designs. Grandmothers own skill came to the fore in making theatrical garments for many plays she and others put on for their children to perform. When we were children, various beautifully made period costumes still graced our well-filled acting box in the top floor passage.
Bertha and Olive learnt some cooking at home (3). Grandmother's recipe made the best chocolate fudge I have ever tasted. Mummy taught us how to make it, and made it in great quantities, sending elegant little boxes of it off instead of Christmas cards. They also made other sweets - for example brandy snaps, filled with whipped cream, which, meanly, they served at undergraduate teas, enjoying their collapse when clutched too tightly by nervous undergraduates. Mummy took cooking lessons during the First World War; these came in handy later, when she not only used her skills to teach her guides camp cookery, but acted as cook, on occasion, for Daddy's scout camps. An avid reader, Olive Heycock - with an original, independent and highly intelligent mind -had little formal education. She hated school (the Perse School for Girls, newly created for the daughters of academics who wanted a good education for them). She was taken out of it - instead her parents encouraged her musical talent. She was a gifted violinist and was sent to Germany to study under Joachim. Her most prized possession was an Amati violin. With Olive's Cambridge background came an interest in good conversation, culture, love of the theatre and, later, a passion for Russian ballet. She also attended open lectures given, as they still are, by the University.
The Heycock homes were relatively small, but well placed. (Grandmother Heycock said "No-one who is anyone lives over Hills Road bridge".) Fitzwilliam Street and St. Peter's Terrace were both terraced houses. The Fitzwilliam Street one extended over Peck's the Chemist's shop. If they were naughty or made too much noise they were threatened with Mr Peck. The children were much in awe of him with his skullcap, long white beard and his window full of mysterious bottles of different coloured liquids. The shop was close to Addenbrooke's Hospital which faced Trumpington Street just to the south of it. The next Heycock move was to St. Peter's Terrace at the top of Trumpington Street. It had a good garden and was much more up-market. We stayed there at times when we were small, and I can remember feeding the ducks on Hobson's Brook.
Douglas Pass found classics at Harrow boring and had not done well there, much to his father's disappointment comparing his to the greater successes of his Fry cousins. Douglas did not like his father, an elderly man by then, ambitious for his son but unable to share his interests. Possibly his father's archaeological interests were shared. Alfred Capper Pass's collection of Paleolithic stone tools from the River Axe and other Dorset sites are to be found in the Bristol, Dorchester and Devizes museums; his work on Silbury Hill was way ahead of his time - instead of digging holes in it looking for treasure, he examined the moat and its surrounds. By the time Douglas got to Cambridge his father had died and he was free to choose the subjects that interested him and would help him to run the Bedminster, Bristol, tin-smelting works (4). This did not deal in pure tin but in the extraction of tin from residues of all kinds. He studied chemistry and metallurgy, his tutor being the metallurgist whose speciality was alloys - Charles Heycock. Inheriting considerable wealth, he kept a horse in Cambridge, roamed the countryside and had a good social life, finishing with a First to the surprise of his relatives. Douglas bought his first car - a de Dion Buton with hard tyre and it was Olive's proud moment to be seen arriving to watch the Bumps at Fen Ditton in it. They were married in King's Chapel, the first marriage there for 50 years and an important Cambridge event.
Grandmother Pass, wanting her son to take over the Wootton Manor when he got married, built herself a dower house, Thistlegate, close to the Tunnel, and moved there, leaving the Manor with all her furniture, pictures and decoration. It included her servants, which must have been very intimidating for a young woman from a small Cambridge home. Olive Pass soon got rid of the fierce-looking housekeeper (to be seen in the family album) and thereafter ran the house in a more personal manner, with a head housemaid instead - but it was many years before she could redecorate the house in her own way. During the First World War of course there was no question of doing so.
For one member of the family, five years younger than me and the youngest, memories of her childhood are far from idyllic. Now called Hannah by her choice, Honor Matilda (Matilda after a great aunt) was left out of much that we did. She tells of watching out of the nursery window, longing to join in and be part of the goings-on of her older sisters down below, and not being allowed to join in. She even remembers watching the funeral of the ham from up above!
The person she looked to for support, the person who would help and do things with her— her ally in the family—was Joan. Joan understood her loneliness and her longing to join in, Joan was the person she would seek out from her room in the nursery, to be found in ours, the schoolroom next door, the person to help her when she needed it. To Honor's misery and frustration she was frequently laid low with, and confined to her bed by, sickness—with a complaint which at that time was called acidosis, supposed to be caused by too much animal fat. This added to the grown-ups' feeling she should not join family expeditions, with Joan trying to get her into them. On one occasion an expedition was planned for an evening visit to Long Lane to see glow worms. Honor had had a bad night and told Joan about it; she remembers Joan warning her not to tell the grown-ups, knowing that they would stop her joining if she did. Honor saw the glow worms!
Later, when we were older and we all went to Scotland for the summer, it was Joan who took Honor out in a boat and taught her to fish.
Youth hostelling became very popular in the years before the World War 2; youth hostels were set at suitable intervals for walkers and you brought your own food and cooked it there. Having herself been taken by Katharine to some Scottish hostels, Joan took Honor and Honor felt very privileged. (Katharine remembers Joan on their youth hostel trip. They had a couple of hours to wait for a ferry. An old lady was cutting and stocking her corn, so they joined in and helped her. She invited them both back to her cottage, and by way of thanks gave them tea with scones and jam, telling them her two sons were at work but would be back later.. When they had eaten their scones, the old lady offered them some more. Katharine would have accepted, but Joan said there would be none left for the sons to eat when they got home, so they refused.)
Joan's integrity, her unselfishness and quiet consideration for others shine through in all our memories.

Part 2: Horses—Katharine Fortescue

During the First World War there was only one horse in the Manor stalls - the driving cob "Tommy". He was an active bay with a docked tail who did all the necessary journeys (for the car was laid up since there was nobody to drive it). Wakely had been called up though I do not know in what guise as he returned safely. His engineering skills, rare at the time, must have been used somewhere.
Tommy also mowed the lawn, wearing leather galoshes to stop his shoes marking the grass, though later in the War the lawn was used for hay and grazing sheep. Occasionally in those years we were driven to Lyme. In those days we used the "Old Lyme Road" across the face of the cliffs below the golf course. This long ago fell into the sea and even the footpath is now used with difficulty. Outside we had Jane the donkey, who was really an assistant nanny, very patient and gentle with us and Victory, my mother's hunter, who had a foal.
After the War, when Wakely and William Evett (my father's batman) returned to the village, the car was used again and the stables contained three hunters. These were formally inspected by us and fed on carrots every Sunday after church. They were never worked on Sundays. This inspection of the horses was described in "Les Malheurs de Sophie" in Poland before the War and was evidently an ancient custom. It was later abandoned to give the men here time off.
I learnt to ride on Jane, the donkey, and always adored it. As soon as he returned from captivity my father bought Spider, a roan Exmoor pony, for us, on the recommendation of a Roche uncle whose children had ridden her on a farm in Devon. A bit much for us at first, she was a remarkable pony, taught D and me to ride and jump and would keep up all day with the big horses out hunting and jump most of what they did. She lived till after the Sec­ond World War and gave pleasure to innumerable children and adults. William Evett taught us to ride, army fashion, with the reins in the left hand (of course where he had learnt the right hand was needed for sword or lance!). We wore soft felt hats, and gaiters on our legs and though we fell off, of course, we never broke anything or hurt ourselves in any way.
We used to ride Spider in the local shows - she won endless prizes. That was before the day of horse boxes so they were truly local events. She would not have a chance in a show to­day. She loved being shown and really put on a great act. However she loathed artificial jumps so show jumping was not on. She was always tricky to catch and only William could do it.
As time went on the number of horses increased and then a horse box was added so that my parents could more readily hunt with the Cattistock and not just the local Cotley and Seav-ington. William had two underlings, a capable man and a lad. He was never a great or bold rider himself but could handle and get tack onto anything, however wild or unbroken.
The stables consisted initially of two loose boxes and three stalls. This was later rebuilt to four boxes and one small pony stall and box in the middle, and the "coach house" outside was turned into two more boxes. There was also a "donkey house" outside by the game lar­der. The ponies were out at grass most of the time and must have been a job to get in and clean for riding - especially Seagull who was a gray. Next to the stables was the harness room where a tortoise stove kept the place warm and dry and heated a small kettle for making linseed mash, compresses etc. and no doubt also cups of tea.
The Manor horses were always beautifully turned out, and because of his skill in this respect William became barber for most of the village, sixpence a time!
The loft was a glorious playground for children though a fairly dangerous one with a lethal chaff cutter and other horrors. We used to make housed in the hay and catch spiders for our green tree frogs to eat when there were no flies about. Diana fell down the hay chute, which we did not know existed. A little voice came up from eight feet down saying she had fallen on hay and was quite alright. On inspection I discovered a cupboard below in the stables and let her out. She was always the daring one -1 was more cautious!
When the Second World War came all the horses were put down or given away. It broke William Evett's heart, he had given his life to them. Only two ponies were kept, one for use in a trap and old Spider for children to ride. The horse box was given to the army.
PH 'Joan and I spent many hours playing in that hayloft, always warm from the horses be­low and smelling deliciously of hay. Katharine's passion for and knowledge of horses made her our expert. She taught us much about horses and riding and we greatly admired our elder sister. Joan rode well and loved the horses as we all did, but I do not think she was ever horse mad.'
PH 'Mummy sometimes hunted with us, looking most elegant in her side-saddle outfit, com­plete with top hat, kept on with a veil. However, accidents from riding side-saddle were frequently more serious than from riding astride, and after a bad fall with concussion, she gave up. She did not like blood sports in any case and had only ridden to please Daddy (1). We were taught to ride astride, and had strong bowler hats for hunting.'
Daddy had only one form of sartorial vanity, and, one might add, extravagance - hunting clothes. Whenever possible he avoided trips to London, Cobbett's "Great Wen" to him, but he went up with us for this outfitting. We always stayed at Brown's Hotel, and set forth with him to Saville Row, heading for the best breeches and bootmakers; there we were measured and tailor-made quality breeches ordered, jodhpurs being added at a later date. Mummy went shopping. She got her beautiful evening dresses made up by named dress-making houses in London, always her own choice of artist-designed materials in the subtle colours available at the time. We loved trips to London. They started with catching the early train, Southern Railway, at Axminster. Then a magnificent breakfast in the dining car - white tablecloths, uniformed waiters and piping hot food from the kitchen. The dining car echoed with the loud voices of the upper class first-class passengers also going up to London -many for the day - often County people known to our parents. Daddy's other London extravagance took him to Jermyn Street, where the best cheeses in Britain could be bought along with Yorkshire hams.

Part 3: Family life at Wootton—Philippa Hill

This part is more concerned, not only with our mother's life, but also the family's life at Wootton and how we grew up. With the advent of the First World War and the terrible losses of men, patronising pretences about "the pretty little woman who must not bother her head about such things" rapidly disappeared. Women took over the men's work and did it just as well. Douglas Pass, keen territorial soldier from university days, soon left home as a captain in the Dorset Yeomanry. Katharine remembers seeing them embark at Weymouth, bands playing, colours flying.
Olive Pass, who now had two small girls, took over the running of the house, the gardens, the estate and life in Wootton village. She also kept an eye on Douglas's business affairs, and the Bedminster works. Known to her sister Bertha as the "nettle-grasper", Olive, the able manager, emerged.
Captain Douglas Pass, with the Dorset Yeomanry, was posted at first to Egypt. From there they set sail for Gallipoli. With poor management and indifferent generals in charge, this disastrous campaign saw thousands of British and Australian troops slaughtered on the beaches and Captain Douglas Pass was one of the "missing, presumed dead". There was lit­tle hope because the Turks took no prisoners. Granny Pass and Olive supported each other in their grief, and both, deeply religious, prayed for a miracle, holding on to that little ray of hope that the word "missing" still allowed. It was many weeks before their prayers were in­deed miraculously answered. Douglas had been captured by the Turks and was a prisoner-of-war. A small sample of officers had been taken to Ankara to be shown to the Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal, and then imprisoned in central Turkey, at Afion Kara Hissar.
Another prisoner-of-war joined them there - George Dacre (1) a dashing young airman, who was the first person, as it turned out unwisely, to try dropping a torpedo from his plane, a light biplane. It appears that the torpedo was too heavy for it and it ditched in the Sea of Marmora, where, single-handed, he had flown to attack the Turkish fleet.
The prisoners were able to make contact through the Red Cross, and it was through the Red Cross that, later, parcels were able to get through, including books. Certainly Douglas read the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire there, a truly massive tome. Letters, both from home and from Turkey, had to be strictly limited in length, the Turkish censors being few in number and their English limited.
Olive set about finding and contacting the wives and families of the prisoners-of-war and took charge of communications. She ran a newsletter containing all the families' letters to make the best of the limited number of lines allowed, and sent round any letters that got through from Turkey. KEF says: 6 Our mother had a secretary with an old typewriter to help her with her work. Miss Senior operated in the study and later taught me lessons for a short time daily -just reading and writing'. With the help of a primitive duplicating machine the newsletters were published. Any news about the progress of the war would, of course, be censored but a little could be got through from a "wife" whose address was "Codin House, Thislet Terrace". As well as the newsletter, through the Red Cross, increasing numbers of parcels were sent to Afion Kara Hissar. K says: 'Food parcels sent by Fortnum and Mason were so defective that no food was ever bought from them again for the rest of my parents' lives! Daddy learnt Norwegian while a prisoner and gardened. He did not play cards.'
Olive maintained these services for the three remaining years of the war to the immense gratitude of those concerned. A magnificent but massive silver tray, engraved with their sig­natures, stood on the dining room sideboard for many years, till, after the Second World War, when there was no one to polish it, Mummy decided to get rid of much of the silver, offering it
to us all first. I think Joan took that massive silver tray, but there was little competition for it!
Further wartime memories from KEF: 'No electricity because Taylor, a rare trained electrician, was called up. Wakely too, as a trained driver, so no car. One old cob, Tommy, did all journeys and work, managed by old Bowditch. "Nanny" kept an eye on us but did a lot of housework. We had a much-loved Belgian refugee Serafina as nursery maid. My mother had some responsibility for the Belgian refugees; billeting? Some worked on the estate planting young trees. There were two women gardeners, Miss Belshaw and Miss Woodcock, who grew fruit and vegetables in the walled garden. This must have been unheard of before the war. (Was White (Ada's father) head gardener?) I do not remember that we were short of food.'
At the end of the war, with unbounded joy, the prisoners-of-war were set free, tempered a little as far as Mummy was concerned by the news that Daddy was bringing his pet wolf back with him. Fortunately it got no further than their first stop in Egypt - not welcome in hotels there was nowhere to keep it. Reluctantly, Daddy left it in a zoo there.
Mummy's rejoicing at Daddy's return knew no bounds, but she told me once that one of the hardest things she had to do in life was handing over the reins again, after running all Daddy's affairs for so long. It was achieved by agreeing spheres in which the other took an interest but no part. They lived in much love and harmony this way, and, although some­times disagreeing, I never heard them quarrel.
Katharine and Diana had been given love, interests and a great deal of freedom, but I suspect without a father around they had got rather out of hand. Indeed, both parents started putting this to rights and set about stopping their children from quarrelling. Discipline returned. Katharine had a fierce temper and used to lash out at her sweet, innocent, little sister Diana; she was severely punished for it, until her parents noted that little Diana was watching her sister's punishment with something akin to glee. Paying attention to this they realised that their dear little innocent was deliberately goading her sister to fury in order to see her pun­ished. After that they both got punished on such occasions, to excellent effect.
At last Mummy was given the opportunity she had longed for, to begin redecorating the house with her own artistic taste and flair. Daddy gave permission to do up one room a year, with unrestricted funds. She set to on the Little Drawing Room (see the front cover)- already the most interesting room in the house, with Georgian features, its plastered ceiling, dark Cuban mahogany door and beautiful Adams-style marble fireplace. She bricked up the east window to provide an alcove for the magnificent flower arrangements she did each week, based on Dutch flower paintings, and arranged in one of a pair of "dubbed" famille-vert Chinese vases. They were filled with water by her under the stable tap in the yard and then arranged in the flower pantry. After many years, an insurance man came round, and pronounced the vases to be very valuable, and Mummy reluctantly stuck the two vases away on a high shelf in the Morning Room.
The wallpaper, Mummy's Queen Anne walnut desk and the Knowle sofa (backed with a piece of genuine Italian velvet renaissance embroidery) were all reproduction, but ordered by her, and of such high quality that they became works of art. Chinese wallpaper, popular in great 18 th century houses, would always have been an expensive luxury. Mummy found this one, of flowering trees and birds, in the Victoria and Albert Museum. She got Slade students to reproduce it on panels made to fit the room, and loved her wallpaper so much that it topped the list in the back passage of what to save in case of fire!
Over the mantelpiece hung the Orpen portrait of Mummy with her flame red hair, and in the fireplace below sat the first black and white Wemyss Ware pig (2), alongside the log box. Over time, its ears had received considerable damage, but disaster struck one evening when Betty Dacre (who was a great friend of the Bowyer family) leaning against the mantlepiece, put her foot through it, and declared she had only just touched it. This caused Paget Bowyer to laugh so much he nearly choked. The replacement pig, plus piglet, was not quite so beautiful.
Our parents wanted their family to be well educated, and to this end, sent us to boarding schools at 13, their preferred school, Downe House, near Newbury, a happy choice. Run by Miss Willis, it did not aim to train girls in traditional fashion solely for marriage, encouraging instead further education, careers, music, fitness, even sport. We led a spartan existence, starting with the school being perched on a windy hilltop above Newbury, its windows open all the time, nullifying the odd radiator scattered here and there. Sponges froze in the washbasins, and in winter the staff got the whole school outside to do warming-up exercises before breakfast. Miss Willis, advocate of fresh air, caused many passengers on the New­bury to London train much discomfort by throwing the train windows wide open whenever she travelled. No one, so far as I know, was ever the worse for the cold.
The three of us who were sent there, Katharine, Diana (after starting at Abbot's Hill) and myself, enjoyed the school's stimulating and academic atmosphere, its eccentricity and the variety of after-school clubs and events available; these were run by those dedicated and brilliant teachers who lived in the school, because, like so many, they were unmarried, having lost their fiances in the First World War. We made lifelong friends there. Downe attracted the children of Oxbridge academics, diplomats, MPs, doctors and teachers, the world Mummy had been brought up in, and which, probably without her realising it, coloured the upbringing of her daughters. Unfortunately, Mummy, without considering her material had ambitions of another kind for her daughters, ambitions she had not sought for herself.
Daddy's and Mummy's close friends were the Wingfield Digbys of Sherborne Castle and the Mintern Digbys. They knew each other well, and Mummy was encouraged to see her daughters groomed to rise in society.
Joan was sent to Abbots Hill, a more ladylike school than Downe. Diana had been sent there first and had not liked it so followed K to Downe. Joan, a more biddable Pass daughter, was unhappy there but would not have dreamt of complaining. She made no permanent friends there, and it did nothing for her self-confidence. Her real friend was nearer home, Joanna Lepage from Wootton Rectory. Joanna, a delightful person with a broad grin, and strong religious principles, joined up as a nurse at the beginning of the war. She tragically contracted meningitis and died - a devastating blow for Joan, who never again had such a close friend. Honor, fortunately, went to Sherborne, a much happier choice.
With Digby encouragement, Mummy decided her daughters should be presented at court and do some of the London Season. Katharine and Diana flatly refused, but Joan and I, less strong-minded, learnt how to do court curtseys, and had elegant gowns specially made for us, with ostrich feather fans and long white gloves. Presentation at court was already on the verge of collapse because of the huge numbers who wanted to be presented. The Queen had to sit there for three days whilst the giggling mass was brought up one by one, being presented to her by someone suitable who herself had been presented at court. It had become a lucrative affair for impecunious titled dowagers who were paid large sums to introduce rich American girls wishing to enter British "Society", involving them in the expensive London Season. We were duly presented at Court and went to one or two balls, but we clearly did not fit in; Mummy, who had little support from Daddy in her efforts, gave up, and we returned happily and with no regrets to our more earth-bound Dorset existence.
The gathering storm clouds of war destroyed this archaic way of life. They also destroyed the idealistic dream, widely held by the young, that a League of Nations could end wars forever. Daddy raged at their blindness when we could all see Hitler was rearming Germany and setting about the destruction of the German Jews. It was Hitler's treatment of the Jews that swung the Peace Movement - indeed many of those young people set about getting Jews out of Germany, especially the children. The Government, with the recent depression in mind and with their head in the sand, only allowed those Jews with jobs on offer to come to Britain (3). As the situation worsened, many dedicated people organised trainloads of children out of Germany, many of whom never saw their parents again. With the help of British Jewry homes were found for these children. Katharine, married to Dick Fortescue, and by then with her own small family, took in Thea, then aged 14 - a most happy, rewarding and life-long relationship for both of them. Thea eventually married Wally Woodford, Paget Bowyer's friend.
After Dunkirk there seemed no chance for Britain's survival - we had no defences left. This led to the family's wish that one member of the family should be free - in the event, a sad decision for Honor, but it seemed the right thing at the time. A Canadian school in Toronto sent Sherborne School an offer to join them. With only a few days notice for a decision, Sherborne School asked parents if they wanted to take up this chance. With no time to spare, Diana Reader-Harris, later headmistress of Sherborne, set sail across the dangerous submarine-infested Atlantic Ocean with a small party of girls including Honor. Our parents had kept in touch with one of our old Rhodes Scholar visitors from the past, Larry Bonnycastle. Now married and living in Toronto, the Bonnycastles willingly offered Honor a home. In spite of much kindness, it was a sad time for Honor. She felt deprived of her family, cut-off form sharing their deprivations and useless to help in the war effort. Fortunately when she was 17 her heart's desire was answered - she was officially allowed to return and spent the last year of the war working at Bletchley.
This started with life on the top floor of Wootton House with Joan, but has turned into a contribution in praise of our parents - so I will end this page on that note. After the war, Arthur Powell came back from the war to continue as our parent's driver. Unfortunately he developed a serious heart condition and was forbidden to drive. Daddy could be seen setting off for his fishing on the Frome at East Burton with Arthur as passenger!

3. A.V. Hill, my future father-in-law, began a desperate rescue of Jewish scientists, many well known to him, and sought jobs for them not only in Britain, but in universities and establishments in America, Canada and Australia—anywhere he had contacts. As Royal Society Secretary and Nobel Prize winner he was well placed to do so.
Most of our favourite places to play, apart from the three magical lime trees beyond the tennis court, were round the ponds. Described in the old sale catalogue as "two stretches of ornamental water" the ponds were already silting up, but for many years there was still a boat on the upper one. I remember giving a ceremonious funeral to one of our home-cured hams which had gone bad. K, D, Joan and I solemnly took it over to the island in the boat, and hung it up there.
In the 19 th century, the previous owner of Wootton House, Miss Luttrell, had driven round the ponds every day in her donkey cart, to feed the swans.
That donkey cart became the "pram" in which we all, as small children, were taken out, pulled with care by Jane the donkey. Our mother had a most unsuitable pet, Buffles, a bull­dog from a line of original fighting bulldogs. Buffles was not popular because he was known to bite people. However he went too far one day, when he decided to attack the underside of Jane the donkey, who was pulling the donkey cart with Joan and me in it round the drive. Not surprisingly poor Jane took off in terror, with us behind in the cart. After that Buffles was put down.The donkey cart survived our ravages, and can be seen in photographs still being pulled round the drive with our children in it. I became its owner when the house was sold, and gave it to an appropriate museum in Tiverton. The ponds must have been created at the same time as the beautiful stand of beech trees were planted at their top end. These, always smelly underneath because of the noisy rookery above, started to die in the 1940s and 50s. Beeches have a relatively short life, likely not to be more than 200 years.
At the far side of the lower pond a large spring bubbled up through - the wishing well. Many people including those from the village, came there - as we did - to wish, dropping in bent pins or pennies. You were not supposed to tell your wish to anyone or it would not come true. I can remember the moment when I realised that the wishing well only had a chance of working for you if you wished for something that was likely to happen - it was a waste of time wishing for things like a pet penguin which I had previously set my wishful heart on.
Katharine tells me that old ladies from the village told her they used the wishing-well water to combat eye troubles. She says belief in the curative powers of wishing-well water for eye troubles is common to many springs and wishing wells.This well, a large spring, took on a new life in the 1950s, becoming the house and village water supply. Our parents asked Maurice to join them, as a trustee of the estate, which often meant meetings with the then agent Theo White and themselves, an involvement he greatly enjoyed. The Manor water supply came from a shallow spring on Stonydown. It ran through the gardens and under the road to the stables and house. In wet weather the tap water turned a murky brown. Daddy had long realised that the wishing-well spring would be a far better supply, but samples he had sent for testing failed, due to E Coli and other impurities. Maurice, being a scientist by trade, realised that the very cold water could only have come from a deep spring, and the impurities were getting into it from the nearby farm. They therefore waited for a good dry spell when no pollutants were coming across the way, and then submitted samples. The results were all that they could wish, the samples passed as excellent. A brick structure was installed to hold the pump, sadly destroying the wishing well, but at last providing a plentiful supply of water for the Manor, the nearby farms and the village. The old Stonydown supply, given a large new underground storage tank, was piped under Long Lane to give running water to the Abbotts Wootton farms which had previously relied on well water.
A battle ensued between the old and the new guard, with our mother delighted to have an ally for modernisation in Maurice. On previous occasions when she had wanted improvements to make a better life for the wives of Wootton Fitzpaine, the two men had ruled out her suggestions as too expensive, pointing out that anyway country women had managed alright before and would not expect anything more. Now she wanted the installation of run­ning water, and inside loos and baths, not only on the farms but in all the cottages in the village. As this, by now, involved the creation of cess pits as well, Daddy and Theo White came up with their usual response of its being too expensive, and what was wrong with the present arrangements of village pumps, wells and standpipes against yard walls? In the end, Mummy and Maurice won the day, in part because new regulations on dairy farming required clean drinking water for cows.
Daddy ran the estate in a beneficent way, but always with the intention of making it pay its way. He brought in many farm improvements: field drainage (there were many marshy fields in the Marshwood Vale), installation of milking parlours, the repair and upkeep of farm and cottage buildings. Most of the work was accomplished from the Estate Yard using a workforce expected to be jacks-of-all-trades when needed. There was a painter and deco­rator, a carpenter, a plumber, a tractor-driver and two or three foresters.
Trees were Daddy's life-long passion, and he planted woodlands around the estate, including an oak wood, Bowshot, which was felled to improve cash handouts when, after his death, the estate was broken up. He planted very special trees near the house and in the field, and in old age walked round frequently to visit them. When Schedule B came in, a land tax on all land whether in use or not, Daddy was faced with a problem, because he had large tracts of unfarmed land, as befitted a sporting estate, the largest being the Wyld Warren, a beautiful place, home to many rare plants. There were also both old and newly planted woodlands, largely on the north-west part of the estate. He solved it by letting large areas to the Forestry Commission on a 999-year lease. After the war, rents were fixed and for many years could not be put up unless improvements like new plumbing or major building repairs were made. The Blackmores at the Old Forge below Tempest proudly showed me their well (I think in the 1980s) which they said had never run dry and was their only water supply.
Another man, to the disgust of his wife, let his house in Fishpond run down so badly that the stairs had fallen in, the roof leaked and there was not bath or loo. All left because he was determined to keep his rent at the half-a-crown a week he had started at many years before!
One curmudgeonly old farmer, who shall be nameless, was fed up with his old wife who had become severely arthritic and so no use. He would willingly have sent her to the knackers if he had been allowed to. He refused to pay for the installation of running water and plumb­ing in the farm house; every washing day the poor old lady had to carry buckets of water from the stand pipe in the yard to the far corner of the kitchen where stood the large metal cauldron (originally typical in all the farm houses) and light the fire under it.
In this well-watered landscape dowsers were used for the siting of new wells. They had much knowledge, of an empirical sort, of the underlying geology. There is nothing magic about those little bits of stick - some people can do it and others can not. After all, elephants have the ability to know where to dig for underground water, a vital survival skill as far as they are concerned. Theo White's clerk to the works, Mr Milton, came with him often when sites needed viewing. He had the ability to dowse, and I have watched him using his stick to trace where drains lay. It took him far less time than poking about.

Endpiece
Our parents were the most generous of people. One of Daddy's precepts which I have valued is "Never lend money, either give it or refuse it". I suspect he usually gave it. Of the estate, Wootton receive much and in many ways, including the village hall. Having originally owned Charmouth foreshore, Daddy gave it to Charmouth Parish Council. He also gave them their playing fields, and land for the tennis courts in Lower Sea Lane. (The tennis club was run for a great many years by the three Miss Whittingtons, who kept a small dame school in Charmouth. They dictatorially said "No-one from trade" could join the tennis club.) He supported many many causes, including the Fairbridge Society in Australia which in the end turned out to be not so noble as it made itself out to be. Much was given to Enterprise Neptune, helping to buy the farms which allow us all to enjoy that wonderful walk from Golden Cap to Charmouth along the cliffs. He also gave them Lamberts Castle and much of Fishpond. Mummy also gave Coneys Castle to the National Trust. I cannot list their generosity - it was continuous and largely unknown to us.
The grandparents were central to all my visits to Wootton. Grandfather I remember at the start of the day taking the dog/dogs for a walk and talking to the estate agent/manager, the early morning smells were those distinctive cowy damp smells of the area and in later years the smell of silage also wafted in. The sounds were the noisy chatter of rooks. We seldom looked in on Grandfather in his study/gun-room with a big cat (leopard?) skin over the back of the sofa(?) and the smell of pipe smoke. That was his special area and really out of bounds for children. We saw him mainly at mealtimes when he recited numerous stories to keep us all amused. As one who never remembers a story, it is a source of astonishment to me that some people can come up with as many stories as our grandfather did. Meals at Wootton were quite something with a variety of dishes for breakfast (Grandfather always had salt on his porridge!) and rather a lot of home produced cream and butter. I think that I always held a special place amongst the grandchildren as my hair was much the same colour as our grandmother's was when she was young and I was always referred to as 'Copper Knob' - this saved a confusion with having too many Philippas in the family.
Grandmother was around doing things with us grandchildren much more. I think that we all did a bit of feather stitchery with her, but there was also the cooking - fudge, toffee and brandy-snaps. Oddly enough, I recall wandering in and out of the grandparents' bedroom, perhaps in later years when Grandmother was having an afternoon nap, though I remember it as in the early mornings. I certainly remember Grandmother's little books with sayings from various religions or philosophies for life, which she read quietly to herself up in their bed­room. In the Little Drawing Room, there was also the Treasure cabinet with a variety of clockwork toys that would cause a great deal of excitement on the Antiques Roadshow nowadays. Fans, beads to thread and curious artifacts long forgotten by me, but perhaps remembered by some of the other grandchildren. And, of course, there was the TV and Wootton had one long before the Fortescue family. I would watch it for hours, particularly show jumping.
Away from Wootton, there were the expeditions to plays and the ballet in London and most important, shopping expeditions. Clothes we bought in London did not always meet with my mother's approval, I may say!
Another special person much loved at Wootton, was Aunt B. Visits to her home at Dolphin House were very exciting with so many stairs going up and up and the cuckoo clock with its long pendulum hanging so far down. I stayed there once along with Aunt B's granddaughter Caroline and I don't remember much except picking plums, which I think we reached climbing up the wall, so they may well have been in the neighbour's garden! I think that that was also the holiday that we used the old lookout hut as our changing hut at the beach and it is of course still there.
Kersy was another vital part of the Wootton scene. I did lessons with her at one stage and it was certainly great fun. I got very good at my times-tables, which are now partially forgot­ten and I find this quite curious when I once knew them so well. I can remember doing squiggly patterns with a pair of compasses and I also learnt a Psalm by heart. I remember it quite well to this day, but best of all, I remember a rubbish rhyme. It went something like this, though I have no idea about the spelling :-Koy manero, Kilto Karo, Koy manero Koyme. Pirn strim stramadiddle , laribone a rigme rigme a bullina dimma Koyme. May be it was something in gaelic, My computer is very upset by it! Amongst her many jobs, Kersy seemed to end up in charge of feeding the dogs. The food was cooked up in one of the back pantries and it smelt disgusting. The other back pantry had the cream separator in it which was a fascinating thing to us children.
Wootton House was very special and parts of it were almost unknown. We used to venture up to the attics to find the dressing up clothes. They smelt very musty and I rather wonder whether they were also moth-bally. I never went out on to the roof, though I think that my brothers did. Down below there were the Wootton baths, which were also a source of interest with their extraordinary plugs and water that often came out brown. Many generations must have weighed and measured themselves on the scales that was in the main bathroom and subsequently went to Sylvia at Wrackleford. A room not so often used was the Big Drawing Room with its array of trophy heads. I never did sort out all the animals, though I once found a curvy horn in a desert in Africa and thought that it was sort of familiar, like one of the Wootton heads. The grand piano was in the Big Drawing Room and I remember playing chop-sticks on it on many occasions. Later on, when I was learning to play properly, I would sit in that room playing for quite long spells.
Outside, there was the garden and really all the surrounding countryside. I went exploring with my brothers and even before the great 'Hill clean-up' we would go all around the ponds and visit the stepping stones and wishing well. We had strict instructions to keep away from the silted up ponds. The same applied to the old swimming pool in the Rock Garden. My brothers caught newts in the swimming pool and more recently, young from the farm have rescued frogs. I have photographs of Tom and me with umbrellas of what appears to be gi­ant hogweed, but I have no recollection of being blistered by it, so perhaps it was one of the other giant gunnera. Beyond the Rock Garden was Conegar and there we found various shelters underground that were perhaps something to do with the home guard. Nearer the house, there was the old summer house to play in and we made our own houses in the bamboo and under the Lime trees. Across the road were the Walled Garden and the Spring Garden with the most wonderful smell of Wallflowers in the spring. I keep dark red scented Wallflowers going here at Lyme, but I collected the seeds from next to the walled garden at Wootton, so I feel that they are the 'real thing'. One of the joys of going to the Walled Garden was visiting the glass houses and sniffing the amazing smell of fresh, growing tomatoes and eating them straight off the plants tasting like they smelt.

THE LEGACY

It is now more than 130 years since Alfred Capper Pass came to Wootton Fitzpaine. His granddaughter Katharine still lives in Wootton village as does one great-grandson Tom. The Hill family come to visit regularly at Rushay and Stable Cottage, and the Kennedys still have a holiday cottage near Tempest. Greenlands, at Monkton Wyld, is the home of a great-great-granddaughter Sophy and her family, and her brother Richard and his family are just over the hill in Axminster. With me also nearby at Lyme (when in New Zealand I always said that if I were ever to return to the UK, the only place where I would live would be West Dorset) there are a large number of the family still connected with the area. The family interest in the Natural History of the area is very strong to this day, Mark having done serious botanical surveys and I some less serious ones, but some comprehensive otter surveys. Sophy's daughter Anna is already involved with the junior section of the Dorset Wildlife Trust and Sophy herself has appeared in a book on Dorset Women. What would great­grandfather ACP feel about a member of the family described as a 'cider maker'? I must also mention my sister-in-law Elizabeth(Twig), because she of all the family has fought for our corner of West Dorset by working first as the Parish Clerk and then more recently as Chair­person of the Parish Council. Without the likes of her, I dread to think what indiscriminate development might have taken place in our special corner at Wootton.
There are none of us at the Manor, but that is also in good hands. The house is much loved and has been up-dated to fit modern requirements with a large family kitchen and family din­ing area leading out to a nice enclosed garden area. The Park trees are kept going where possible, but there has been a tremendous amount of new planting and various areas have been completely redeveloped and landscaped. There is even talk of tackling the Ponds. The 'young' bring all their friends down from London for weekends and holidays and hopefully in the near future there will also be the next generation of grandchildren around to love the place as we did and as the Bradburys do. My only sadness is that the stables have not been filled with horses again!

 

Notes

1. KEF suggests an alternative: 'Mahatma Ghandi, who was much in the news at the time'.

2. When we got back to Cambridge in 1945 (Maurice returning to get his degree), I once sat at dinner beside an elderly and rather undistinguished fellow of King's who pronounced "I knew your grandfather, a very nice man although he was only a chemist".

3. In contrast to this, Maurice's grandmother, Florence Keynes (nee Brown), lived all her long life without even learning how to boil an egg; the Manse at the Bunyan Chapel would have had a cook, and Mrs Brown ran a small school in order to help their family finances.

4. When his father died in 1905, Daddy inherited Capper Pass and Son, a thriving metal-refining and tin-smelting works in Bristol. Alfred Capper Pass's enterprise and intelligence had moved non-ferrous metal refining from empirical guesswork to scientific skill. He started to make his fortune out of ancient lead and tin slag heaps in the Mendips and Cornwall, using his technological skills to extract and refine copper, lead and tin from slag heaps, residues and low quality ore, soon becoming a major supplier of solder. A.D.P followed in his footsteps, enlarging the building and finding new markets for high-quality tin and tin alloys, in an increasingly competitive world. In our childhood they were importing quantities of low-grade ore from Bolivia. A.D.P appointed a university friend as his managing director. Paul Gueterbock, of German extraction, can be seen in the Cambridge University Shooting Eight along with A.D.P. and A.V. Hill. Paul fought through the First World War and survived, refusing to change his much-reviled name. He proved outstanding, both as a chemist and managing director. Later appointments of brilliant and innovative chemists kept Capper Pass and Son ahead of competitors for many years. Daddy, driven by Wakeley, travelled from Wootton to Bristol for meetings. The route included the old Fosse Way across Somerset - long, straight but dangerous in those early days when priority markings on crossroads had yet to arrive! The full story of Capper Pass and Son is told in a privately published book by Bryan Little called "Capper Pass. The First Hundred and Fifty Years".

Notes

1. KEF says: 'I think you have ascribed latter-day thoughts on hunting to our mother. She may have had such thoughts in later life but certainly not in early days. She loved riding and made many friends. She went out twice a week with Catistock or Cotley throughout my youth.

Notes

1. George Dacre married our father's cousin Betty Fraser after WW1

2. The Wootton Wemyss Ware pig lives on, being the inspiration for Griselda's choice of career. Griselda made a Wemyss Ware cat for us to give to Betty Dacre on her nineti­eth birthday—it took pride of place in her retirement home. Sylvia Wingfield Digby was delighted with her wedding present of a cabbage rose cat.

 

Capper Pass. The First Hundred and Fifty Years

Preface

This story covers one hundred and fifty years from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. It is the story of a remarkable family and of a remarkable firm and is typical of many similar family businesses which have contrib­uted greatly to the financial strength and prestige of Britain.

Colonel A. D. Pass, O.B.E., D.L., who retired from the Chairmanship in 1960, and is still a member of the Board, is the great-grandson of 'Capper Pass F, Founder of the firm, and there is amongst employees generally a number of second and third-generation men.

Although Capper Pass & Son Ltd has grown greatly since its early beginnings— about £3 ½ million is now employed in the business—it has never lost the character of a family business in which a friendly, personal relationship is maintained between employ­ees and management and there has been no industrial trouble, worth the name, during a century and a half.

Practically no names are mentioned in this story, although there has been a succes­sion of extremely able metallurgists, chemists, engineers and foremen, who have pro­vided the imagination, the scientific knowledge, and the leadership to build up and maintain this successful enterprise.

Relatively unknown in wider financial and commercial circles, the name of Capper Pass is nevertheless respected by non-ferrous metal men throughout the world and im­mediately conjures up a picture of ingenious, viable processes, continuous research and technical development, and the production of the purest metals from the most complex ores and residues.

At the Annual General Meeting, held in Bristol in October 1962, in my Chairman's Statement I paid a tribute to the 'famous and hospitable City of Bristol' where Capper Pass virtually started his little backyard business and where we maintained our head office for around one hundred and fifty years.

I also said that the emergence of a new type of smelter, and the economies of inte­gration at that date, were leading to the transfer of smelting and our other major activi­ties from Bristol to Melton, on the north bank of the Humber, where thirty years ago we had begun to establish a new, modern plant which has now grown so big and versatile that it can effectively undertake most of our work.

This, then, seems a good time in which to publish a brief history of a firm and a family of which we are very proud, as a record for our suppliers, our customers, our employees and posterity.

FRASER OF LONSDALE

Chairman

 

Black Country Background

The roots of the Pass family do not lie in Bristol, where they built up the metal-smelting concern which bears their name. Their background, and the origins of their business activity, must be sought in Staffordshire. More precisely they lie in Walsall, perched high on its hill overlooking the Black Country.

South Staffordshire early became famous as a pioneering industrial district. Its main energies have always lain in the production of such light metal goods as nails, locks, tools, and miscellaneous ironmongery. The work was done, from an early period, in many small forges and backyard workshops. Places of manufacture were scattered, and com­munities grew up haphazardly, less in clearly defined towns and villages than in small settlements built all over a sprawling area of primitive, unplanned industry.

The town of Walsall was soon prominent in the Black Country's industrial life. Being a borough, and a close-knit town with a market, a large mediaeval church, and an old grammar school, it had a certain lead over the other industrial communities of the region; it was, for many years, a larger and more important place than Birmingham. It early developed a special interest and expertise in the manufacture of saddler's iron­mongery and of the buckles used in the eighteenth century on knee breeches and shoes. The buckles, in view of the Pass family's activities, are of special interest. For they were apt to be of tin, brightly polished or else plated with silver. In an age of horse transport, and at a time when people secured their footwear not by strings or laces but by buckles, Walsall's prosperity seemed firmly based, and the town attained a population of over ten thousand in the first census of 1801. By that time, however, there were the beginnings of uncertainty and decline. Though nailmaking and Sadler's ironmongery were still reason­ably prosperous, the trade in locks and buckles was described as 'indifferent'. The local historians show that there were two main causes of the trouble. One of these, the high prices of copper, brass and tin, was due to the Napoleonic war. The other, more perman­ently devastating factor lay in the realm of fashion. For shoelaces had now taken the place of buckles, long trousers had become fashionable instead of breeches buckled just below the knee, and Wellington boots, with neither laces nor buckles, became more and more popular as the new century progressed. The army had abandoned shoe buckles, with disastrous results for Walsall. An effort was, indeed, made to stem the tide of taste, for we hear how in 1792 the playwright Sheridan (as MP for Stafford) presented a petition to that arbiter of taste, his close friend the Prince of Wales, expressing Walsall's consternation at the new patronage of 'shoestrings and slippers'. The obliging Prinny bade his court cronies to go back to buckles. But the collapse of the buckle trade soon continued, and many workers in Walsall were driven into dire distress or forced to learn new trades. Such was the position in 1801, the year when we first hear in Walsall of a man named Capper Pass.

The Pass family may have been of Huguenot origin; what is more certain is that the branch with whom we are concerned was settled in Staffordshire about the middle of the eighteenth century. It was there, probably between 1770 and 1780, but at a place and on a date that cannot now be certainly established, that William Pass married Mary Capper. The Cappers, some of whom are said to have been Quakers, were living by 1700 near Rugely. It may have been there that the Pass-Capper wedding took place. What also seems certain is that the Pass family were Nonconformists, and that their religious allegiance determined the choice of name for the son who was born, before 1782 when his mother died in Walsall, to William and Mary Pass. For it was, from fairly early times, a common practice among Nonconformists (particularly among Quakers) not to give their children a first name of any obviously religious type, but merely to give them as a first name the surname of the mother. Capper Pass is such a name, and it must be this Capper Pass, the only man of his surname or Christian name in Walsall, who appears in the detailed Census Schedule of 1801. His address is given as Woods Yard, an alleyway or passage which led off New Street (first called Fieldgate) not far south of the church and in the highest, most central part of old Walsall. His occupation is given as Victualler'; in other words a purveyor of drink who may also have had more solid provisions in his stock in trade.

This first Capper Pass was perhaps one of those who had been obliged, by depression in the bucklemaking industry, to change his trade, returning to work on metals as soon as he could set up in a place more durably promising than Walsall. Victualling might thus have been a temporary standby. At all events, any man who lived at Walsall had metal-working (particularly in tin and the plating of tin) in his blood. Almost all Capper Pass's neighbours in Woods Yard pursued the callings normal in the town There were several bucklemakers, a chapemaker, a whitesmith, a plater, a snaffler, a snaffle filer, and a hook

filer—to say nothing of a butcher and a brushmaker. Woods Yard was typical of many other side streets in this busy town of backyard workshops. But economic conditions were still precarious. Thomas Pearce, who was one of Walsall's census enumerators in 1801, and who wrote the town's history in 1813, speaks then of bad days for the buckle trade. If a man could see better chances elsewhere he was well advised to go, and it seems that Capper Pass lost little time in seeking his fortune outside Walsall. His marriage, to Ann Perkins, is said to have occurred in 1802. In November 1803 his eldest daughter Harriet was baptised in St Philip's Church (now the cathedral) in Bir­mingham. This town was for some years the place where Capper Pass I worked. Another daughter named Jane was born there in 1803 and the second Capper Pass in 1806. The baptisms of these two are not entered in the St Philip's register, but it seems likely that the family continued for a time to live in that part of Birmingham. But in the Levy Book (i.e. for the Poor Rate) for Birmingham in 1807 to 1809 the name of Pass appears against a property in Lancaster Street in St Mary's Quarter. The property, with a rate­able value of £24 a year, was among the higher valued premises in the Street, though rated less than those which included furnaces and other larger items of industrial plant. There are indications, in the precise way in which Pass's name is entered in the rate book against a property previously owned by one Joseph Walton, that he was at this time just coming into occupation. The Triennial Directory of 1808 makes it clear that the prem­ises concerned were No 22 Lancaster Street, and Capper Pass is given as a 'refiner of metals and brass caster in general'. The Levy Book ofi8iotoi8i3 still shows him as the occupant of the same premises, no doubt with his workshop in the backyard, and the Directory of 1812 gives him as 'refiner and dealer in metals'. But in 1815 his name no longer appears in the Birmingham directories and by 1820 he had certainly moved again, to the city where his family's fortune was to be made. For in that year he appears, in the church rate books, as the occupant of two small properties in the industrial parish of St Philip's, Bristol.

Early Days in Bristol

Sixty years before the first Bristol reference to Capper Pass the city itself had been the second largest in the country, a prosperous port, commercial centre, and manufacturing town. By 1820 it had been overhauled by Birmingham, and by several other towns in the Midlands and North, and for various reasons it experienced a depression and a posi­tion of relatively less importance. Yet it remained a commercial and industrial centre of note and it was easily the largest town in the West of England. We do not know the exact date of the first Capper Pass's migration from Birmingham to Bristol, though some time about 1815 seems likely. Nor are his precise reasons known, but he presum­ably felt that for him at all events Bristol offered a wider range of trade and brighter hopes. His beginnings in Bristol were, however, minute, the scene of his activity being no more than the tiny backyard, with its workshops, of the type already familiar to him in the Walsall-Birmingham area.

The church rate books of St Philip's parish in Bristol make no reference to Capper Pass in 1815. But in 1820 the next ones show that William Perkins (perhaps a relative of Mrs Pass) and Capper Pass jointly occupied a property in 'The Marsh' which belonged to Perkins. Capper Pass was also the sole occupant of a property owned by one S. Litson. The two properties, being among the humblest in that part of Bristol, had a rateable value of £5. The district itself, lying along the Avon (by that time converted into the non-tidal floating harbour), and extending along the Feeder Canal, had long main­tained an industrial character. It had easy access, by river or land carriage, to fuel sup­plies from the Kingswood coalpits just east of Bristol. The gasworks, whence supplies of coke could be obtained, had been established in the St Philip's area in 1819. The district contained a mixture of potteries, glass furnaces and foundries; of the last named some were of considerable size. But Capper Pass's little establishment was not among these larger industrial concerns. In 1826 his name appears again in the church rate books as the tenant of property (probably the same as before, but under new ownership) be­longing to a man named Skidmore. In 1837 the Bristol Poll Books list him, against the Marsh Buildings address, and as a voter for Berkeley, the Liberal candidate, and for the banker John Philip Miles. Then in 1839, just before the move to Bedminster and the present site, the Borough Rating Assessments give important details of Capper Pass as the tenant of a property in Marsh Buildings. These buildings are shown, towards the bottom of Avon Street and at right angles to it, in Ashmead's great Bristol map of 1828. They were a poor row of cottages with backyards. They have long been demolished; their site is in 1963 covered by some large mid-Victorian industrial buildings. The houses, in 1839, were rated low. One only, and that the property occupied by Capper Pass, is valued higher (£16 gross and £14 net) than the others. The reason for these better figures was clearly that it was classified as a 'dwelling house and manufactory*. It was here, no doubt, in a backyard workshop, that Capper Pass, described in the Bristol directories from 1836 onwards as a 'metal refiner and dealer, near gas works, Avon Street', carried on his small-scale business. His furnace and methods were, perhaps, no more sophisticated than the apparatus later shown in Mr Alfred Pass's bookplate. That bookplate is in itself of no small charm, with its contrasting vignettes of the humble smelter, at his tiny furnace, and the dream castle of his imagination and ambition. It throws a pleasing human light on the aspirations and attitudes of mind of a man who did, in fact, see much of his ambition fulfilled.

The 1830`s were also important for the history of the Pass family. In August of 1836 the second Capper Pass married Hannah Coole, born in Bristol but then of Long Ashton just outside it on the Somerset side. In July of 1837 Alfred Capper Pass, the controller of the firm's fortunes for over thirty years from 1870, was born. His birth­place is given as Avon Street, St Philip's, and the occupation of his father (Capper Pass II) is given as 'metal refiner'. It may have been about now that the first Capper Pass either died or handed over the business to his son, but unfortunately the date of his death remains unknown. The St Philip's church registers do not mention the point, and if, as seems likely, he was a Nonconformist, he may have been buried at one of the numerous chapels of the area. It was certainly his son, Capper Pass II, who made the important move from Marsh Buildings to the Bedminster site.

3 The Bedminster Move

If Capper Pass II wished to expand his little business his move, in 1840, to Bedminster can easily be understood. That district of southern Bristol, its northern portion only taken into the city in 1835, was beginning by now to become more industrialised and to expand. But the process had not yet gone far, and Bedminster, with its pastures and stream valleys, contained more empty ground than the riverside stretch of St Philip's parish. The Bristol and Exeter Railway, though now projected, had not yet cut its way through the semi-rural meadowlands between Windmill Hill and the New Cut. Along with a good choice of sites there were ample coal supplies available, with no more than a short cartage haul, from the mines in Bedminster itself. Capper Pass does not seem to have foreseen how soon most of the district would become a densely populated, closely built area, or how his chosen site, despite expansion from time to time, would duly be­come too cramped for the activities built up by him and later by his son. Immediately speaking a move to Bedminster was tactically promising.

So in 1840 Capper Pass II bought a plot of ground not far from Paul Street in Bed­minster. This street was a continuation of Mill Lane whose name came from the water mill down by the Malago brook, at this point subdivided into several small channels. The site itself lay a little north of Paul Street, being bounded on one side by a branch of the stream (whose water would be useful for cooling) and on another by the narrow, newly built Coronation Street. Ashmead's map of 1828 shows the site as void ground amid open fields, but it was soon to be hemmed in by streets of houses and other buildings. It measured only 103 feet by 81 feet. But it was clearly more spacious than the backyard

at Marsh Buildings. A narrow strip of ground along the stream was at once added to make a haulage way for carts coming to and from the main road.

By the terms of his new purchase Capper Pass II was to build 'at least one good and substantial messuage or dwelling house'. This house, in the late Regency style still normal in Bristol in the 1840*85 survives as part of the firm's offices. At first, however, it was Capper Pass II's own home and two of his daughters were born there. Later, when he had moved from industrial Bedminster (not, in mid-Victorian times, a very savoury area and devoid of metalled roads, street cleaning, and public lighting) to the residential respectability of various Redland addresses, the house was long occupied by George Tapp the resident foreman. By August 1841 the house had been built. The Census Schedule and the Poll Book of that year show that in the meantime Capper Pass (described in the Poll Book as a chemist) lived not in St Philip's but close to his new place of business in the newly built Richmond Terrace. This row of houses was well sited a little way up the slope of Windmill Hill, commanding what was then a pleasant view across open country­side, towards the Gorge and the fine terraces of Clifton. It was away from the coalpits and was said to be 'the cleanest rank of houses in Bedminster'. The Poll Books also show that then and in later elections Capper Pass II cast his vote for the Liberals.

His house apart, Capper Pass also built what the deeds mention as 'a lofty chimney with furnaces and workshops'. More ground was also taken in, at the same time, to the south of the ground first bought. Early smelting was thus carried on upon the site so acquired in the first Bedminster year. We shall see that these operations, most probably, lay largely in the recovery, from such goods as Sheffield plate and gold-plated objects, of silver and gold; lead, copper, and other metals came later as the site and the plant in­creased.

We get a glimpse of these early Bedminster days from the reminiscences of Mr Tom Cable, an employee of the firm for many years from 1887 and still alive in 1963. His father was works watchman, and his mother-in-law worked as a maidservant for Capper Pass II, most probably early in the 1850*3 when he still lived in the works. Joe Stroud, an older colleague of Mr Cable, started work as far back as 1853. Only six employees were there at the time, and as Stroud was entered as the seventh he was given a ticket, marked 'No. 7', which he carried in his pocket. The time of Stroud's entry seems to have been one of great expansion both in the scale and range of Capper Pass's activities. For by a purchase of extra ground in 1852 the site was more than doubled in a northward direction. It now filled most of the long, narrow strip of land between Coronation Street and the eastern channel of the Malago. On its northern side the site was, and is, hemmed in by the Malago itself where that brook bends at right-angles and flows directly towards East Street. It was on part of the land bought in 1852 that the first blast furnace was built; the largest smelting operation now envisaged would have called for the em­ployment of more men, of whom Stroud was one. The number employed certainly re­mained higher after 1853. The name of Pass's Yard gave way, so we find from the Bristol Directories of 1855 onwards, to the grander sounding title of metal works, while from about 1866 onwards the firm's designation became Capper Pass and Son. For by this time an important phase in the technical and business history of the concern had taken place: Alfred Pass had become much more closely associated with the firm's management. As we have seen, he had been born in 1837, and we know from a family letter that in 1845 was at a private boarding school at the village of Norton St Philip near Bath. No certain particulars are known about the rest of his education. He is said, in the 1850*85 to have learned chemistry from some teacher in Bristol, but it is not fully clear where or how he obtained his technical instruction. But as he approached thirty he was ready to take over more of the work. His father had now moved from the works to the newly built Aberdeen Terrace just off Whiteladies Road; he was there, and at two other Redland addresses, in the last years of his life. He was, by now, the prosperous, bewhiskered mid-Victorian businessman of his surviving photograph: he had clearly come far since the backyard days in St Philip's. He died on I4th September 1870. The newspaper notice of his death says that he had long been ill, and it seems likely that he had for some time left much of the firm's day-to-day management to his son.

Tradition has it that Alfred Pass once told his father that 'we must know what we are doing', and that his learning scientific chemistry was in pursuit of that aim. His increased prominence in the firm's activities certainly made for a technical proficiency greater than had been in evidence during the earliest years at Bedminster: even so, there was still a good deal about the work that was haphazard and based on inadequate knowledge. But to an increasing degree Alfred Pass saw to it that raw materials were assayed. Initially, and certainly from as far back as 1864, this work was done (with very variable results) by outside firms, but in a few more years, from about 1870 and a little before the time when Alfred Pass gained complete control of the firm on his father's death, an assayer named Read was actually employed in the works. The earliest assay books still in the firm's possession date from 1867 and from then onwards were kept regularly. The first of these books is in Alfred Pass's hand, except for a spell of a few days at the time of his father's death and funeral. From them, and from still older records in a notebook called the Business Experiments Book, as well as from some oral traditions stretching back as far as 1845, we can gather something of the technical operations of Capper Pass's in these early Bedminster years.

About 1845, very soon after the move from St Philip's, the work done seems largely to have lain in the desilvering of unwanted or damaged Sheffield plate, the silver so obtained thus being recovered for sale. The scaling of gilt buttons, and the melting down of such small, utilitarian gold objects as keys and seals was also undertaken. It may well be that similar work had been done in the St Philip's backyard; these recovery operations were thus, perhaps, a link with the elder Capper Pass's activities in Birming­ham, and included the stripping of plated iron and brass as well as copper. In 1857, how­ever, the firm's operations on its enlarged site lay mainly in the treatment of lead ores and residues, and of copper ores and secondaries. The metal so recovered was sold, not always at a profit and often for small gains. The picture is that of a business only marginally The

profitable, with no assured source of revenue and with technical knowledge of a some­what primitive and haphazard kind.

From 1857 onwards is the period covered by the Business Experiments Book. There seems, by now, to have been no more work on the recovery of gold and silver, but scrap brass and scrap zinc came fairly prominently into the varied list of metals that were treated. The main search, for about ten years, was for some operation which would yield steadily profitable results. It was in 1866, with the refining of solder and the production, in commercial quantities, of what was later called tin alloy, that the time of probing and experiment ended in success.

Work had, however, been done by 1866 on several other metals. Various coppery materials, of low content and troublesome to work because of their high lead admixture, were smelted in 1857 and during the 186o's. A hampering factor, in all these operations, lay in the variable results given by the various outside assaying firms to whom Capper Pass's sent samples. The theoretical basis of the firm's operations (as with many other British industrial concerns at that time) seems to have been sketchy and backward, a process of trial, and of frequent error, being almost inevitable rather than work based on theoretical calculation or scientific research. Copper slags from other smelters were im­portant among these materials. Some of the ores and residues smelted at this time were heated in a reverbatory furnace, but they were mostly fed into the blast furnace which in those days only worked twelve hours a day, the nights being available for emergency repairs. In 1870, as we find from two working lists, the furnace was tended by an engine-man (at 4^ a day), a boilerman and a tapping man (at 3^ 6d each), a furnaceman (the feeder) who got $s, and two slag men at 35. During meals the materials were pushed up in wheelbarrows and dumped near the furnaces for subsequent feeding in by hand. The feeding process was continuous, some men not normally on furnace work being brought up while the furnacemen were eating. Fuel, available from the Bedminster collieries or else, in the case of coke, from the Ashton Vale Iron Company not far away, was cheap, and the short distances involved made its transport inexpensive.

Coal ranged, between 1865 and 1870, from 6s to 6s 6d ton, being cheaper still in the i88o's when the larger scale of Capper Pass's operations made it possible to buy it in greater bulk. Coke never cost more, at this period, than the 15^ paid per ton in 1870. But in the 188o's the prices, from various local sources of supply, were lower still. With the blast furnace established as the chief means for initial smelting, the reverbatory was only used for the final production of metallic copper from the resulting matter. But it seems, from the somewhat scattered evidence available in Business Notes, that the quality of the ingot copper eventually produced was far from consistent or adequately pure, and that copper smelting was never a really profitable activity.

The treatment of lead ores and lead residues seems also to have been decidedly 'mar­ginal', with unreliable financial results. At first, in the 1850*8 various Cornish lead ores were bought for smelting. But their quality varied greatly. For this reason, and because lead mining in Cornwall was by this time in decline. Capper Pass soon turned to such secondary materials as lead ashes, lead sulphate, scrap lead, leaded paper from tea chests, and zinc slag. Here too, the reverbatory was used at first, but as a larger output was re­quired, and could readily be sold, the blast furnace took over. The smelting of lead, by various processes and with different sources for the raw material, continued for some years after Alfred Pass took over from his father, and we shall see how he made use of waste material from the ancient Mendip workings. The de-silvering of lead was also being undertaken both before and after 1870. But the amounts extracted were very small (only 3| ounces per ton of lead in 1873) an d the operation could have yielded little if any profit. Cobalt and nickel were also extracted in this early period, in small amounts, but for high prices when these were compared to those fetched by copper and lead.

More significant for the firm's future prosperity were the early experiments with tin. From as far back as 1858 consignments of solder ashes were bought from a meat-preserv­ing firm in Ireland, and work was later done on mixed tin and silver material, and on hard head (a compound of tin, arsenic and iron) from Cornwall. But in these early days Capper Pass's had no real idea on how such tin-bearing materials should be treated, and results were far below what they could have been. Another material seen as a possible source of tin was the pan scum which came from softening tinny lead in the lead-refining furnace. Once it appeared that the tin so obtained was suited to solder making the amount so treated increased. This increase came after the important discovery of 1866.

The first production of clean, satisfactory tin alloy, or solder, seems to have occurred in September 1866. The initial process was the smelting of pewter and solder ashes in the lead reverbatory. This was done so as to avoid volatilising and the loss of nearly half the residue's metal content; it seems likely that this good result was largely due to the use, as flux, of a little soda ash. The actual refining is best described in the words of the Business Experiments Book: 'The metal produced from the above was drained as usual in the furnace and then treated as follows: melted in a pot containing about five tons, until a rim had solidified all round the pot. By watching until the right time arrived, and repeatedly pouring sample bars into a mould, It ultimately came to a certain definite quality of metal, very fluid and clean at a very low temperature and uniformly the same. When this quality was reached, it was rapidly ladled out into pigs, and a quantity of thick stuff of very in­ferior quality remained at the bottom and side of the pot.' The earliest assays of the firm's tinning metal or fine solder are dated 1868 and 1869, and were both by outside assayers. The tin content was given, for the two years, as 60.9 per cent and 59.78 per cent, the antimony content of the finished metal being only one per cent. It was, however, made clear, for instance in correspondence of 1877, that Capper Pass and Son did not guaran­tee a tin content as high as 60 per cent in the solder they now regularly produced.

With the first refining of tin alloy, and its establishment as the firm's main product for sale, the early Bristol period may fitly be closed. It is very clear, both from technical and personal events in Capper Pass and Son's history, that the years from 1866 to 1870 were of crucial importance. For they saw the discovery of the product which would, for the rest of the century and beyond it, be the firm's commercial mainstay. The change of the firm's title came in that same year, 1866. In the next four years came the long last illness and death of Capper Pass II, and the rise to partial and then complete control of his son Alfred, who would guide the concern's fortunes through a long spell of gather­ing and then consistent well-being.
Steady Prosperity

The years from 1870 to 1905 were those when control of the firm rested in the competent hands of Alfred Capper Pass. They ended with his retirement and last illness, and with his death in the early autumn of 1905.

The firm's commercial mainstay throughout this perid of over thirty years was the production, from residues bought cheaply, of tin alloy or solder, and the sale of the finished product at varying but favourable prices. Some work, however, was done on other metals, and the first few years after 1870 saw a continuance of somewhat experi­mental work on copper, lead, and nickel and also the trial of various mixtures which could possibly yield a satisfactory brand of solder. The same years were marked by an im­portant increase in the area of the works, and from now onwards one gets fuller, and more humanly interesting, information both on the principals of Capper Pass and Son and on conditions within their works and in the Bedminster neighbourhood in which those works lay.

The Business Experiments Book shows that copper slags and regulus, of varying content, were still being assayed between 18 70 and 18 73, while ingot copper was assayed at various dates in 1874. Lead, however, was a metal of more lasting concern in Alfred Pass's time. The materials treated are of interest as well as the not very profitable end product. Hard ashes were still smelted: so too, from about 1871 onwards, were type ashes which also contained tin and antimony as well as lead. This material, which was only one of those now exploited for tin—antimony—lead residues, was known as 'Ger­man Arsenal Stuff', being surplus war material, either German or captured French, which came onto the scrap market in large quantities after the end of the Franco-Prussian war. As both shrapnel and rifle bullets were in those days made of antimonial lead, the melting of this material would produce antimonial lead ash, while the artillery shells of the period were coated with lead alloy which contained good quantities of tin. From about the same time Alfred Pass, who seems to have had a keen Interest in the history of metallurgy and in truly ancient precedents, started to use considerable loads of raw material from the dumps lying near the Mendip lead workings. Some of these, as is well-known, go back to Roman or even to pre-Roman times, and Alfred Pass, with his interest in such matters, had a large collection of Roman mining relics from the Mendips. He would stock up during the winter, at a time when the Somerset farmers had little other work for their men and cart horses. He mainly bought his material In the form of slimes, a relatively concentrated material, with a lead content up to 60 per cent, which had already been produced on the spot, by mineral dressings with water, from various slags and tailings lying near the workings. Work on these materials went on at Bed-minster for over ten years, and did not stop till well on in the 188o's. In 1871 lead ashes were being smelted in the blast furnace, and this process now became increasingly profit­able, though smaller in scale than the processes necessary for the production of solder. In 1875, f° r instance, lead ashes, lead slimes from the Mendips, and lead cupels were smelted along with Cornish tin slags, a small amount of copper slag, and calcined irony material, irony lumps, and tin lumps. The Cornish tin slags still contained appreciable amounts of tin, whose recovery was found profitable. Lead sulphate, from the alkali works, semi-liquid and acid, was also among the materials still smelted in Capper Pass's works for the extraction of lead.

Before 1872 it had been treated in the reverbatory, but from then onwards the blast furnace, having a larger throughput, took over the work. There was also, in this same decade, a little desilverising of lead, but not, apparently after 1873; the profit, with only 3 J ounces of silver per ton, must have been hardly worth the trouble taken.

It was, however, the production of solder that became more and more dominant In the Capper Pass works after the discovery of 1866, and after Alfred Pass had taken over the business. In the first few years of his regime there were still some experiments to find the most suitable furnace charge. In 1871, for instance, a mixture is given as follows:

2 barrows of pewter ashes agglomerated with soda ash 2 barrows of pewter ashes crude 2 barrows of lead pan scum 2 barrows of pewter slags 2 barrows of hard head

The quantity of coke used in the smelting was determined at the discretion of the furnaceman. Solder ashes would also be used in some other charges, and in others again :he proportion of hard head would be higher. From about 1874, as production of solder apidly rising, tin ashes were also used, and it seems to have been about this time that the blast furnace (except at weekends) was worked twenty-four hours a day instead of twelve. Rough tin slag from Cornwall was used in the next year, and about the same time we first hear of the use in the mixture of slap from the local tanneries, one of which was, and is, a next-door neighbour to the works. This slap was a residue which came from the use of lime to remove hair and animal fat. It consisted of slaked lime mixed up with the hairs and fat. Not unnaturally the stench was appalling, but its unpleasantness was well counterbalanced by its usefulness in sealing furnace doors and blocking up the cracks in flues. In such cases it was slapped on, and in actual smelting it was found that it would usefully bind fine residues together. Its use, for many years from these pioneering days of the 18703, well shows how apt were the Passes in making use of materials which could be had cheaply (or for nothing) from near at hand and for low costs in cartage.

By about 1878 the solder charge had become firmly settled, and for solder making at all events the period of trial and experiment was over. Tin ashes and solder were melted with Cornish tin slag and hard head, the tin slag providing a flux for carrying off iron and lime oxide, and the hard head yielding arsenic to make speiss with reduced iron. Scrap tin-plate cuttings would be used as a reducing agent, and to combine with sulphur. The furnaces themselves, and the methods of making solder, changed little for another fifty years.

As the scale of the firm's operations increased it clearly became necessary to enlarge the works. An important extension was in 1875, when the site was nearly doubled by the purchase of most of the ground between Coronation Road and the branch of the Malago which still served the mill. Coronation Street, which would otherwise have cut into the works, was taken in at the same time, but its breadth at the bottom, where it joined Paul Street, is still represented by the main entrance to the present works. The ancient St Catherine's Mill, which still ground corn by water power, was demolished in a few more years, and that particular branch of the Malago was filled in. Another expansion of the works was made possible when in 1882 a plot of land was bought between this western branch of the Malago and East Street: it was the first of Alfred Pass's important exten­sions which took the works much closer to the main thoroughfare of Bedminster. The plot in question had been used as a skinner's yard, but was known as the piggery. Its name, and various details which come from Mr Cable's memoirs and from other sources, well show how rustic, and partly agricultural, were large tracts of Bedminster in these last years before the coming of the tobacco factories. Just beyond the skinner's yard, at the bottom of a humble street known as Margaret Place, some ramshackle old stables were the chosen sleeping place of a motley group of hawkers with their ponies and don­keys, while in East Street there was still little traffic but coal carts and farmers' waggons drawn by oxen. Till 1875 t ' ie northern end of the ground between the works and the Malago was still an open field, known as the farm, and daily used for the assembly and milking of cows from neighbouring pastures. This ground was used, once bought by Alfred Pass, for the storage of lead ashes whose weight for a time depressed the soil so hat the ashes stood isolated in a great pool of water. The stockpiling of increasing quantities of ores and residues also caused the buying, in 1883, of over three acres of gro und in the Malago Field which lay between the Malago, Albert Road (now Shene Road) and a road and some gardens to the north. The strip of ground then bought had been a brick and tile yard and was about 500 feet long; though it was separate from the works it was convenient for its purpose and an easy carting distance from the main scene of operation. Apart from the technical details of the raw materials used, and of the smelt­ing methods employed, one begins, from now onwards, to get a clearer picture of in­dustrial life within the Capper Pass works. It seems, in many ways, a very different world from that of today.

The employees, in these late Victorian years, seem to have been more numerous than they are now. Their basic rate of pay, though very low by modern standards, was higher than that paid in the brickyards, by the local iron foundry, or by J. S. Fry's. More labour­ing and mechanical operations were then done by hand, and Mr Bowden, another retired employee still living in 1963, was told by his father that in the years about 1900 there j e 'more people about' than in more recent years. Great physical strength was clearly needed for many of the jobs that were done; tradition has it that Mr Alfred Pass only required, in his employees, that they should 'fear God and lift a hundredweight'. There was no canteen in those days; meals were eaten on the job and cans of tea were warmed up on the pots of molten metal. Many of the men must have lived, in those days of no bicycles or motor-buses, in Bedminster itself. But one hears of one country-loving em­ployee, Billy Parsons by name, who continued to make his home at Chew Magna, walking in every day across the windy heights of Dundry and always punctual, by rising at 3.30 am and leaving home at four, for the six o'clock start. Another man walked in, a somewhat shorter distance but a long climb home, from Dundry itself.

Another thing that comes clearer in these last two Victorian decades is the person-

jr, shrewd, efficient, paternal and benevolent, of Alfred Capper Pass. He was promi­nent, among the local industrialists of his time, for his intellectual stature. This intellec­tual eminence, in a man whose formal education seems not to have been very extensive, appeared both in his metallurgical ability and in his wide range of cultural pursuits, biology, archaeology, and history all being among his interests. He was specially keen on the history of pre-Roman man in Britain, and conducted the first excavations at Sil- bury Hill in Wiltshire. Till 1894 the firm was entirely his own, and although one hears more of others of importance in its running, it was very much a 'one man business' even after, in 1894, it became a limited company.

We have seen how from 1878 or thereabouts the pattern of the firm's activities be­came fixed, in main essentials, for the best part of forty years. But in the obtaining of pos­sibly fruitful materials Mr Pass is still seen to have made use both of his innate intellec­tual curiosity and of his shrewd realisation that something could be got from seemingly unpromising sources. From about 1878 material known as 'Greek Fume' or 'Greek matte' was smelted, with considerable difficulty but apparently with success for the production of nickel (whose price rose about this time) as well as lead. It also, perhaps, yielded good quantities of silver. The story runs that the material was bought cheap from a Greek merchant, and that when results were unexpectedly good Alfred Pass sent his supplier a handsome, and presumably an unexpected, Christmas present. But the wily Greek, after making his deductions, shipped no more of the material. The fume itself may possibly have come from the ancient slag dumps of the silver-lead workings in the Laurium peninsula in Attica, the mines being those whose silver had financed the Athe­nian navy and the great days of Imperial Athens. Another, more certain reference to an ancient source of supply comes about the same time. For Alfred Pass heard of the great slag dumps round the worked-out Cyprus copper mines whose ore, in Ptolemaic times, had been important for the Hellenistic world. So he had samples sent. But he found, from assays and from written sources, that the copper content of these residues was low, the original ore having been many times smelted by cheap slave labour at a time when Cyprus, before the fuller development of Spanish sources under the Roman Empire almost monopolised the copper supplies of antiquity.

Nearer home was the black slag, still containing a worthwhile amount of tin but reckoned worthless in South Wales and used as ballast by an old bargemaster who came over to ship iron sheets and plates made in the Ashton rolling mills. As ballast it cost him nothing, but Alfred Pass thought it well worth his while to pay a shilling a ton for the supposedly useless slag, sending down his horses and carts to clear the barge quickly as it lay in Bathurst Basin awaiting its iron loading. How great a profit arose from those shillings per ton is not disclosed!

Throughout the last twenty years of the century Alfred Pass remained firmly in day-to-day control of activities at Bedminster. Other men, however, appear by now in positions of considerable importance; their recruitment, in some cases, was due to some degree of family relationship with the Passes. The first of these was Alfred Trapnell, a man whose earlier career had been one of adventure in various parts of the world, and who returned to Bristol and there married Miss Lydia Pass, a sister of Alfred. He became the second man, after Alfred Pass himself, in the management of the firm, and ranked as a co-partner when it became a limited company in 1894. His nephew H. C. Trapnell, was the company's solicitor by 1883 and signed documents in that capacity. H. C. TrapnelFs wife had been a Miss Badock, of a family well known in Bristol social and educational circles, and her youngest brother Stanley (later Sir Stanley Badock) joined Capper Pass and Son about 1885 as a young man straight from Clifton College. It appears, from the early calendars of the university college, that he attended evening classes there (presumably in chemistry) during the session of 1884-1885. Mr Badock was entered for work on the technical side and is said, by Mr Cable, to have been more inter­ested in fumes, gases, and acids than in actual metals.

Like the Passes and Trapnells he always lived in the Redland-Clifton area, and Mr Cable also recalls that about the turn of the century he rode 'the highest penny-farthing in Bristol'. Another late nineteenth century recruit, for work on the commercial and office side, was Mr Crosby Warren, first encountered by Alfred Pass when both of them were in Egypt on a holiday trip.

The firm's own records throw little light on this period of Alfred Pass's direction of its affairs. The Business Experiments Book stops at 1880, and it is said that Alfred Pass destroyed many records and papers when he left Bristol to live as a country gentleman in Dorset. But something can be gleaned from various other sources, among them the Bristol directories of the time, and Mr Cable's memoirs. The directories show how in the i Syo's Alfred Pass moved from a house in Redland Park, just off Whiteladies Road and opposite the terrace house where his father had died, to a large individual house. This, perhaps specially built for its new and now prosperous occupant, was in Upper Belgrave Road, whose houses, in a situation still much prized, directly overlook Bristol's noble open expanse of the Downs. We find, by the same time, that the Alfred Trapnells were living near at hand in Belgrave Terrace, and the Passes and Trapnells for some time remained near in residence as in relationship, for at the opening of the 1890*8 they were actually next-door neighbours. But by 1892 Alfred Pass, at the height of his prosperity, had moved to his final Bristol address, across the Downs to 'The Holmes' in the select residential suburb of Stoke Bishop. By 1895 he was one of the Bristol magistrates, a prominent and respected citizen. In some eighty years, and in a manner common among energetic, self-reliant Victorian industrialists, the family had certainly moved far since its arrival in Bristol.

It is interesting to look briefly at some of Alfred Pass's activities, not of a strictly business character though linked to his business and to the life of the part of Bristol in which he operated.

We find, for instance, that he was a benefactor to the Bristol General Hospital, this being the one of the two hospitals in the city, which served the Bedminster area. In 1886, when the new church of St Michael was being built on the slopes of Windmill Hill just above the works, Alfred Pass gave the ground on which the church was to be erected. The area, on the slopes of Windmill Hill, was one in which he had considerable property interests, for he had, in 1878 and immediately afterwards, been responsible for the de­velopment of Algiers Street, Gwilliam Street, Vivian Street, and Fraser Street whose name derived from Mrs Pass's maiden name. In 1901, when its permanent nave was consecrated and when the furnishing of the church was completed, he gave a set of choir stalls in memory of his father and mother; when the church was accidentally gutted in 1926 they were replaced by his son, Mr Douglas Pass.

Of special interest, and logically connected with the nature of his business, is the record of what Alfred Pass did for Bristol's University College in its earliest days. He was by no means the only Bristol industrialist who aided the College in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, but what he did contribute put him well in the front of its early benefactors. The fact that in those days the College was a small and desperately struggling institution made the interest of Alfred Pass and other friends of all the more value.

The University College was founded in 1876. It is in 1883, not long after the firm of Capper Pass and Son had entered on its long period of steady prosperity, that we find Alfred Pass a member of the short-lived University College Club which was started to create for the little College an organised body of local supporters. From 1886 till his death Alfred Pass appears as an annual subscriber to the Sustentation Fund which was a mainstay of the College's finances. In 1886-1887 he was actually a day student of the College; in what subject he studied the list does not say. More notable than his annual subscriptions were his large occasional donations. In 1887 he gave £100 to a special fund, and in 1890 another £100 for the building of a new medical wing. Those sums may seem small now, but they were of much more value than the same sums would be today, and on each occasion the donations which equalled or exceeded those of Alfred Pass were a mere handful. The same was true when in 1896 he gave £250 to a special fund. By now, for seven years from 1895, till in 1902 he resigned for reasons of declining health, Alfred Pass was on the College Council, and during these years he established in the College a Capper Pass Scholarship in Metallurgical Research. On his death he left the College a substantial legacy. It was therefore very fitting that when in 1909 the College advanced to the status of a fully chartered University Mr Douglas Pass asked that his own large benefaction to the University should be used for the endowment of the chair of chemistry which is still known as the Alfred Capper Pass Professorship.

From Mr Cable's memoirs we get some intimate glimpses of Alfred Pass, the patern­ally benevolent employer. He was, it appears, a temperance advocate, so he handed round, to every man, copies of The British Workman^ a paper whose columns inveighed against strong drink. At Christmas his generosity to his employees was on a lavish scale. A new shirt was given to each employee of a year's standing or more, the shirts concerned being of an excellent lasting quality as some were still being worn over twenty years after Alfred Pass's death. Presents were handed out, by Mrs Pass and Mrs Trapnell, to the workmen's wives and children of school age. Old women living near the works, whether or not their menfolk had worked for Capper Pass's, would get two woollen garments. A charming touch lies in what we hear of some Christmas proceedings at Alfred Pass's own home. The Bedminster Salvation Army Band would come up to the house, sing a few carols, partake of a hearty lunch, and then play and sing again in the hall before they went home, the richer in their collecting box by a good donation. Another feature of winter life in Bedminster was the frequency of Malago floods, with ground floors awash In the humble little houses near the works. On such occasions, in 1883, for instance, and 1889, each house In Paul Street would get two sacks of coal from Mr Pass to help in the task of drying out. It was all a far cry from the wider attentions of the modern welfare state. Till 1894 the business of Capper Pass and Son was the property of Alfred Pass, with Alfred Trapnell described as a limited partner. In practice Alfred Pass was dominant and almost solely responsible for what occurred. His business methods, along with the paternal benevolence we have already noted, seem to have been very much those of the somewhat high-handed, individualistic Victorian industrialist, brooking no interference from outside and least of all from the State or municipal bureaucracy. His dealings with the tax-gatherers throw brusquely amusing light on this aspect of his business life. For in September 1895, a year after the firm had become a limited company, but at a time when Alfred Pass's personal control was still little affected, he sent an income tax return to the local Surveyor of Taxes. The figures required are set out in the simplest form. The profits for the year 1895-1896, allowing for £167 11s 4d spent on charities and £398 13 1d paid out in income tax, amounted in all to £11,875 5s 9d The net profits for 1893 had been £5,899 8s 5d andfor 1892 (a moiety of the two years 1891 and 1892)£16,032 8s 1d. Very much to the point is the brief accompanying letter. For the Surveyor was told that 'No accounts are published, and we do not care to issue copies of them', but that overleaf he would find the statement of figures which showed how much the amount due (at the low taxation rate of those days) was arrived at. Almost exactly similar expressions are used in the five following years, the letter being handwritten by Mr Crosby Warren and signed by him or by Alfred Pass himself. The net profits, in these years of the 1890*8, ranged from £5,899 8s5d (an unusually low figure) in 1893 to £25, 954 18s 5d in 1897. In the last two years, the status of the concern having changed by now, Alfred Pass is described as sole director.

Alfred Pass expressed the opinion, towards the end of his working career, that the concern he had inherited and developed would collapse at his death. For this reason, along with the steadily good results which came from producing solder, not much was done in his later years by way of experiments or the pioneering of new processes. But in 1894, not many years before Alfred Pass retired to live as a country gentleman in the lovely countryside of west Dorset, the firm's structure was changed so that it became a limited company. The papers show that the share capital, ordinary, preference, and debenture combined, amounted to £ 120,000. Of this the great bulk was held by Alfred Pass himself; it was laid down that he was to carry on the business as manager, either solely or jointly with persons of his own choice. Alfred Trapnell was the only other really considerable shareholder, with smaller holdings in the hands of Messrs Crosby Warren, Stanley Badcock, and a few others. The price paid by the new company for the purchase of the business and all its assets was £150,320. From now onwards, though at first in a very sketchy form, the company's minute books are available to give rather more evidence for its story than is at hand for the years of Alfred Pass's absolute ownership. The period, as one can tell from the profit figures accepted without demur by the tax gatherers, was a prosperous one, with good profits and high dividends. In 1896 the ordinary shares yielded 25 per cent. In the next two years, with profits for those two years of over £87,000 and a large sum added to general reserves, the dividend was doubled.

With the business expanding, the 1890's saw important site extensions and enlarge­ments of plant. Margaret Place, at all times a humble and unimpressive little street but with its houses bearing such pleasantly floral names as Camellia, Dahlia and Hyacinth Cottages, was gradually absorbed into the company's main site. These plots of ground, along with the site of Margaret Gardens, were cleared and became the main part of the acquisitions which brought the company's territory close to the houses along the south­ern side of East Street; a few properties were later bought in East Street itself. The last rural relics in the close neighbourhood of the works had by now been swept away, and the site, by 1900, was very nearly as large as it is today. The ground so added to the older factory was used for the erection of the third blast furnace operated in the Bed-minster works. There was, however, no space remaining for further plant or buildings; we shall see how in a few more years the directors' thoughts began to turn to expansion, or complete rebuilding, away from Bedminster,

The next great event in the history of Capper Pass was the death of Alfred Pass. He had gone to live at Wootton Fitzpaine about 1900. Soon after that, as one gathers from his resignation from the University College Council in 1902, his health began to fail. He was an invalid for some time before he died in October 1905. From what has been said of him it is clear that his services to his firm had been decisively important. He was also well known and much respected in Bristol as a religious man and, to quote Mr Cable, *a gentleman in every sense of the word'. From what the Lord Mayor said of him just after his death he seems, in performing his duties as a magistrate, to have been generous as well as merciful. For he was said to be 'a liberal contributor to the poor box', and the Lord Mayor added, in his public tribute to Alfred Pass, that 'the whole city had lost a very good friend'. The Bristol Times and Mirror in its obituary notice, summed up its own estimate of Alfred Pass by saying that he was 'a friend and citizen whose memory will be kept green for many years to come'.

5 The War

For some years before Alfred Pass's death the day-to-day management at Bedminster had been in other hands. Mr Pass remained sole director till the middle of 1905, coming up to Bristol from Wootton Fitzpaine to attend annual general meetings whose minutes he still signed. But his increasingly poor health in the end made these journeys im­possible, and in May of 1905 Mr Stanley Badock presided at that year's annual meeting on Alfred Pass's behalf. Next month, an extra-ordinary general meeting was held, and at this a board of management was set up to carry on the work of the firm. Mr Badock, who had for some time had in his hands the practical management of the works, was appointed, by the terms of Alfred Pass's will, the first president of that board. Its first meeting was held a few days after Alfred Pass's death; at the second, among other items, it was decided to give £100 to the City of Bristol Unemployment Fund. The commercial department, or business side of the firm, was now managed by Mr Crosby Warren.

For the first few years after Alfred Pass's death things continued in much the same way as in the last years of the previous century. The steady and assured market for solder still brought good profits to the business, and the ups and downs in the values of metals do not seem to have had much effect on its prosperity. The danger lay in the tendency to believe that a business like that of Capper Pass could be static, that no competitors elsewhere might in time draw ahead, and that no new technical developments or researches would come to upset or supersede the steady, well-established pattern of its activities.

The years between Alfred Pass's death and the first world war, like those of the later nineteenth century, were thus a time when not much was done by way of an experiments or new lines of production. Solder remained the chief, though not the only product, with Bolivian tin concentrates coming in as raw material at the very end of the nineteenth century. Casting copper, soft lead, and antimonial lead were also produced. A new product of this period was copper sulphate, its raw materials being a coppery tin alloy known in England as metalline. Mr Alfred Pass had himself invented the process, and experimental production was started in his time. But an output of some ten tons a week was not attained till shortly after his death. The man behind this particular aspect of the firm's work was Mr Morris Fowler who had been taken on about 1900 as a tech­nical assistant. He was, for the purposes of this small but quite profitable sideline, left largely on his own and designed and built the tank shed in which it was produced. For a number of reasons the new directors of the firm were little interested in new lines of production. Among these the fact stood out that the works, even on a site much enlarged since the 1840`s, were so cramped and so full of various plant that no room was left for additional apparatus or new processes.

These problems of congestion, and of possible expansion in Bedminster itself or elsewhere, must have been well in the director's minds very soon after they had taken over from Alfred Pass. But for the first three years their minutes contain nothing about possible moves; some more changes were still, however, made on the site of over sixty years' standing. By 1908, for example, electrical equipment had been partially installed and there had been considerable additions to the buildings and the plant which the yard contained. The offices, designed by Mr (later Sir George) Oatley were ready for use that year on the site of some houses which had once stood on the corner of Paul and Coronation Streets.

Commercial prosperity had also continued. The year's working in 1906 was more favourable than ever before. The profits (£20,000 of them accounted for by apprecia­tion in metal values) were over £16,000, and the firm's reserves stood at £90,000. It was from these reserves that the new work of 1907-1908 was financed. An 11 per cent bonus for 1906 was paid to the workmen and salaried staff, and in 1907 the solder sales, at nearly 4,000 tons, were the highest in Capper Pass's history.

The year 1908 was one of considerable importance in our story. Apart from the changes inside the Mill Lane works the question of a new site away from Bedminster was seriously considered. It was found that the lack of space in the old works was now proving uneconomic, and as no extra land seemed available in Bedminster the directors spent much time, that autumn, in visiting possible sites elsewhere. Keeping for the moment to the Bristol area they investigated sites at Avonmouth, Keynsham, Brislington and in St Philip's Marsh not far away from where the first Capper Pass originally installed himself in the district. Nothing came of these visits, but then in the spring of 1909 the chance came to buy two plots of ground, in all amounting to over eight acres, not far away in Bedminster. One of these, forming part of the Ashton Court estate of the Smyth family, lay just to the west of Shene (formerly Albert) Road. The other, adjacent to it, was the site of the defunct Malago Vale Brickworks and had formerly been a colliery. The two sites together, along with some smaller purchases in their immediate neighbourhood, made up a larger area than that of the Mill Lane works. They were duly bought in 1909, and the brickworks site was at once used for the storage of coal and of residues awaiting treatment.

Another event of 1908, of great importance for the future well being of Capper Pass's, was the engagement, on the technical side, of Mr (later Sir Paul) Gueterbock. Mr Douglas Pass well realised that if the firm was to survive and progress it would be necessary to increase the technical ability available from within its own staff. He and Mr Gueterbock had become friends at Cambridge, where they were colleagues in the University Shooting VIII. Mr Gueterbock, who was an excellent scientific chemist, had done well at Cambridge, and when he came down he was brought to the directors' notice by Mr Pass, and was eventually taken onto the staff. He proved most able both on the business side and in finding out and elaborating the chemical theories behind the somewhat haphazardly made discoveries of Alfred Pass's time.

The last few years before the first world war continued, commercially speaking, to be prosperous, and the board minutes contain no suggestion that really bad times lay so close ahead. The sale of tin in increasing quantities (173 tons in 1909) kept company with solder sales as a revenue producer. The sales of solder reached a new high level, staying steadily over 4,000 tons a year from 1910 till 1914. Mr Morris Fowler's works diary gives some details, from 1912 onwards, of what was happening in the works them­selves. In 1912, for instance, a new blacksmith's shop and a new, two-storeyed mill shed were built, and corrugated iron roofing replaced primitive timber roofs which were badly liable to catch fire. Labour problems come also into Mr Fowler's record of events. In June of 1913 the Gas Workers' Union held a meeting of Capper Pass's employees, of whom some sixty to seventy joined. Later that year an employees' meeting voted for the setting up of a board of workmen to negotiate with the management; the voting figures show that the firm's manual workers then numbered 189.

In the meantime the search for new ground for expansion was taken up again. In the summer of 1912 the board gave Mr Badock, its chairman, authority to negotiate with the firm's neighbours, the Western Tanning Company, for the purchase of their prop­erty, but nothing came of the idea. Next year Mr Badock was asked to make contact with Mr Napier Miles over a possible works site in the Bristol district, and later in that same year the directors paid a visit to the site of the old Ashton Vale iron works. No option on this site was, however, secured, and nothing more along these lines was done before the outbreak of war. In the meantime, late in 1913, Mr Humphrey Prideaux (an accountant) was engaged as a junior manager, another staff member who would be im­portant in years to come.

The outbreak of war in 1914 at once brought a sharp check to Capper Pass's output. The employees had been strongly encouraged to join the Territorial and Reserve forces, with the result that about sixty were at once called up. From among the management Mr Gueterbock and Mr Prideaux were also away on military service. It was only found possible to run two out of the three blast furnaces. But the war itself, and its heavy

munitions requirements, caused a steady demand for the firm's products, so that a few years more of good profits and a guaranteed market gave protection against efficient competition from other companies at home and in foreign countries. Labour shortage, and the withdrawal of men so that they could join the Forces, continued to cause diffi­culties. But early in 1917 the Ministry of Munitions gave support to the firm's claim against the enlistment of its men of military age, and though twenty men in the highest medical grades had to join up the remainder were declared temporarily exempt.

In the meantime there were the more ordinary problems of management, and the long-standing need for a more spacious works site had still to be kept in mind. In 1915 a wage claim for a general rise was met by the more limited concessions of an extra two shillings a shift for some of the men who worked a night shift. Potmen were given an extra ninepence a week, and there were rises for some individuals. Mr Badock addressed the whole body of employees to give them the firm's reasons for refusing a general in­crease. There followed some discussions on the problems of union recognition. The Gas Workers' Union, after its success in recruiting members from among Capper Pass em­ployees, was the one recognised by the management, the claim of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers being turned down. A less pleasant aspect of things at this time was when five men were dismissed for using undue pressure and intimidation on their fellow workers. In 1918 there was an unofficial strike, of a few days' duration, when attempts were made to force non-union men to join the union and to compel others who had left it to resume their membership.

In addition, the search for a new and more spacious site continued despite the preoccupations of war. Directors would go out in pairs to look for suitable places. The requirements were varied, and included nearness to a good coalfield, space for stacking and dumping waste slag, good water supplies and facilities for the discharge of effluent, an adjacent railway line, and ample space for any future development. Early in 1916 the Liverpool Silver and Copper Company's works at Widnes in Lancashire were in­spected, but the time had not yet come for a move so far away from Bristol. Later that year a large plot of ground was actually bought in the St Anne's district of Bristol, close down by the river and in all over fifty acres in area. It was used for the dumping of slag and residues, but nothing could be done immediately to build a new smelting works in this part of the city. This was as well, for the site (with no adjacent railway) was in many ways unsuitable for its purpose. In about ten years much of it was sold to the Bristol Corporation for the building of new council houses, and the present Wootton Road, with its reference to Wootton Fitzpaine, is a reminder of its Capper Pass ownership. The rest of the site, being the part of it lying closest to the Avon, was later sold, for the building of their existing works, to the St Anne's Board Mills.

The end of the war was soon followed by a time of considerable crisis and confusion. The large sales of solder which war requirements had caused gave way, in the early months of 1919, to a period when the demand fell drastically. Yet 1919 as a whole, with • sharp rise in metal values, was a year of high profits; really serious financial straits were for a while postponed. But troubles and difficulties soon became apparent at a time --vhen Mr Badock, who had been Sheriff of Bristol in 1908 and was increasingly caught up in public affairs and in his work for the University of Bristol, was tending to give less of his time to the management of Capper Pass. As research and modernisation had for some years been neglected or kept at a low level the Bedminster firm fell more and more behind its rivals in the same field. Its advertising and publicity were very defective, and as its chief product was sold direct to metal dealers, who then passed it on to the actual users of the solder, the name of Capper Pass was hardly known in the metal industry as a whole. Nor, as was seen in the strike of 1921, were labour relations very satisfactory,

1 there was a strike of the firm's carters in 1920. More promising factors were, how­ever, at work in the year 1920, the centenary year of what we now know to be the first certain record of the Pass family in Bristol.

Some debts due from German firms, unpaid during the war, had by now been re-

ered. More important still was a technical innovation of great significance. This was the introduction of tin refining by an electrolytic process. The process was one which had already been operated in the United States, and involved the smelting of higher srrade Bolivian ores and residues so as to produce high-quality tin. The plant for this process at Capper Pass's was put on the site which had once been that of the Malago brick works. It was actually on Armistice day, nth November, 1918, that the necessary i.terations were started. Work continued well into 1919, and tin refining by the new process started late that year.

By the end of 1920, despite the generally difficult trading conditions of that year, and despite the inadequacy of the Bedminster sites as the sole scene of the firm's activity, the rate of operations tended to increase and the blast furnaces had by now started to work over the weekends. A very troubled and difficult few years lay ahead, but the men were

I available who would in time guide Capper Pass through lean years and equip the firm for a more expansive and prosperous future. Mr Douglas Pass, Mr Humphrey

ieaux, and Mr Paul Gueterbock had all returned safely from their war service, and these, along with Mr Morris Fowler till his death 'in harness' as works manager, were those who would, in the main, be responsible for the move towards better things. Mr Gueterbock's combination of technical ability, foresight, and business capacity was to be of particular value in Capper Pass's progress from the St Philip's backyard of late Georgian times to the large concern, with its works both in Bristol and on the Humber, which one knows today.

6 The Last Forty Years

The time immediately after 1918 was one of sharply fluctuating fortunes for Capper Pass. The firm's deepest problem lay in the need to adapt itself to the greatly changed trading conditions of the post-war years.

At the end of the war, and for a few years more, solder was still the chief product oi the Bedminster works. Sales varied considerably, and in 1921 fell heavily, for this was the year of the one strike in the firm's history, apart from the General Strike of 1926. Ii was over a wage dispute and lasted from April to June. But though solder sales improvec in 1922 and 1923 they never approached the tonnages of the pre-war and wartime years Competition from continental and domestic smelters was becoming severe. Demand moreover, was now for the faster working, antimony-free solders, whereas Capper Pas only produced their traditional tin alloy. There was also a change in the type of ra\ materials available. In Bolivia, development of the tin-mining industry was progressing and substantial tonnages of low grade and complex tin ores were on offer. In addition the breaking down of surplus war munitions produced big tonnages of scrap metals an< secondaries, many of these being high in antimony.

These new materials could not be treated economically by the old-establishe methods, so that new processes had to be developed and new markets exploited. Th directors realised that there would always be a ready market for metals in element; form and of a high degree of purity, and much research to this end was carried out und( the direction of Mr Gueterbock. His work led to the separation by electrolysis of an e: tremely pure tin, justly claimed to be the world's purest tin at 99.99 per cent ti content and marketed under the brand name 'Chempur' (chemically pure) for the first time in 1923.

While the production of antimonial solder, antimonial and soft lead and copper sulphate continued as important items in the firm's output, the increasing demand from the motor, electrical and can-making trades for faster flowing solders was met by the production of antimony-free solders, the antimony being removed with aluminium.

In an endeavour to increase their profitable outlet for antimony the company now en­tered business as suppliers of type metal to the printing trade, and for some years the sale of type metal grew steadily. They also sold small amounts of anti-friction and bear­ing metals to shipbuilding and engineering concerns. But the cycling load of used type that printers and newspapers returned in exchange for new metal was such that the out­let for antimony was very limited, and in 1934 the goodwill of Pass Printing Metals was sold to the London firm of H. J. Enthoven & Sons.

Meanwhile, Mr Gueterbock was directing further development work to find a means of electrolysing a very much more impure anode. This led to the T' process, and in 1933 to the production and initial sales of Tass No i tin'. As the original Mill Lane works at Bedminster were too small for these new operations the work was done on the site owned by the company higher up the Malago valley and named the Malago works.

These favourable technical developments also compelled the directors to make a final decision about a new and more spacious site. During the war the question had lain dormant, but in the summer of 1926 the matter was taken up again. The board decided :o collect information on the requirements for a really large and spacious works. Many possible sites were visited, Mr Badock and Mr Gueterbock being particularly active in the search. The site already owned at Brislington was seen to be unsuitable, and was therefore sold. In 1927 and 1928 over twenty acres were bought at Keynsham, but this site also was never used. Some sites, like one at Newport and one at Sharpness, which the Earl of Berkeley refused to sell, were in the Bristol Channel area. One was at Peri vale in Middlesex, and another at Goole at the head of the Humber estuary. By the early months of 1928 the search was narrowing down to the district within easy reach of the Humber and its port of Hull. It was pointed out that congestion at Bedminster made the matter urgent, and that a failure to expand would severely endanger the com­pany's future. The search for a site was now concentrated on Melton, at North Ferriby on the northern side of the Humber a few miles above Hull. The board agreed that this was the only one to meet future requirements, so on 2yth July 1928 they decided to exercise an option. Thus they committed the firm to its most historic territorial move since the first Capper Pass moved from Birmingham to Bristol.

The Melton site was spacious and level. It had a main line railway immediately behind it, and water for cooling and for the discharge of effluents was available in the Humber nearby. Old clay pits were close at hand for dumping slag. Coal supplies from :he west Yorkshire coalfields were close, and ample labour existed in the district. The port of Hull offered shipping facilities both for distant sources of raw material and for continental markets, particularly in Germany. By and large the site seemed, and has proved, almost ideal for Capper Pass's subsequent period of expansion and more varied production.

Though the Melton site was bought (for less than £12,000) in 1928 the slump which soon started delayed work. Above-ground building did not begin till 1936. The tin refinery started working in about a year. The first blast furnace started operations in September 1937 and two more were finished by the outbreak of war. The Melton works started with seventy-five employees of all grades. These included a number of key men who moved with their families from Bristol. The total number initially employed at Melton was not quite a third of the number still working at Bedminster.

Both at Melton and Bristol many men left early in the second world war to serve in the armed forces. Some, however, came back to their civilian work, as the firm had some cover for its workers under the arrangements for men in reserved occupations. Morale among the workers was high in both works throughout the war. The story is told of a man at Bristol who, when he heard that his house was actually ablaze in an air raid, only asked to go home when the raid was over. Despite heavy destruction in the Bedminster area, the Bristol works had only slight damage and at Melton there was virtually none. A worse problem was the loss of the firm's chief source of raw materials.

Bolivian ore supplies were cut off owing to shipping difficulties. As a strategic move, and to avoid the shipment of precious Bolivian ores through the dangers of the open Atlantic, the United States Government set up a plant to refine them in Texas. Capper Pass had thus to find other raw materials so as to maintain its production of metals which were vital to Britain's war effort. The whole country was scoured for suitable tin slags, large quantities being obtained from disused workings in Cornwall. Technical development continued, however, throughout the war years. With increasing available supplies of secondaries which contained tin and copper, the outlet for copper as copper sulphate was unsatisfactory, and a change was made to recover copper as copper cathode. The electro refining of lead became necessary to recover increasing amounts of bismuth and silver, and equipment was installed to divide the slimes into a high bismuth-lead alloy and crude silver for marketing. After the firm's withdrawal from the type metal business surplus antimony was concentrated into fume, but no satisfactory market for this could be found and a plant for the production of antimony metal was designed and built.

The post-war story of Capper Pass is largely one of great changes in the relative importance of Melton and Bristol, with Melton becoming the more important of the two, and the centre of the firm's main activities. During the war two other solder-making firms were taken over by Capper Pass. One of these, Victor G. Stevens Limited, of Felling-on-Tyne, approached the directors in this connection, and seemed a worthwhile acquisi­tion both because it had good stocks of scarce raw material and because of its good contacts with the retail trade in solder. The other firm, Messrs George Pizey of London, special- sed in the production of highly fabricated forms of solder. It was taken over towards the end of the war and its plant was moved to Felling. Then in 1959 the entire plant of the Tyne solder works was transported to Bristol, where Capper Pass's production of fabricated solder has since been concentrated.

At Melton expansion and development have been continuous ever since 1945. The numbers employed there give a good indication of the changed balance between the firm's two centres of production. For the Melton numbers gradually increased from the time when the works were opened, rising, in 1952, to about 400 at which level they have remained steady, whereas at Bristol numbers gradually fell. In 1946, when Melton had 228 men and Bristol 191, they overtook the Bristol figures. The Melton numbers then increased, and since 1952 they have remained about 400 or a little more. At Bristol, however, the employees were gradually reduced; the figure for 1960 was about 150. Staflf numbers have shown the same trend, particularly after the firm's head office, with its commercial, secretarial, and costing departments, was moved to Melton in 1955. Early in the 1950*8 a research laboratory was built at Melton, research being carried out both there and in the works.

The tin smelter set up in the United States continued, uneconomically, for some years after the war, the United States Government finally withdrawing from tin smelting in about 1956. Supplies of tin ore from Bolivia in time became available again for British smelters, new complications being caused by political upheavals in Bolivia itself. But Capper Pass have been able to obtain ample Bolivian supplies, personal contacts with the Bolivian authorities being maintained as some of the firm's directors and executives have paid visits to Bolivia. The company has also contributed to the international loans made to the Bolivian Government for the re-equipment of its mines.

By the beginning of the I96o's, the firm of Capper Pass and Son Limited had got fully into its post-war stride. The Melton works, on their spacious site with ample room for new activities, and with housing provided close at hand for several of the workers, were amply fulfilling the plans made for them some thirty years beforehand, but par­tially interrupted by the war. Tin and cathode copper at Melton, and solder at Bristol were the three financial mainstays of the firm. The move to Melton had shown how necessary is ample space for the progress of such a firm. This had, in fact, been the story long before, when the Capper Pass of an earlier generation had moved from his back­yard in St Philip's Marsh to what were then the wider pastures of Bedminster.

Preface

This story covers one hundred and fifty years from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. It is the story of a remarkable family and of a remarkable firm and is typical of many similar family businesses which have contrib­uted greatly to the financial strength and prestige of Britain.

Colonel A. D. Pass, O.B.E., D.L., who retired from the Chairmanship in 1960, and is still a member of the Board, is the great-grandson of 'Capper Pass F, Founder of the firm, and there is amongst employees generally a number of second and third-generation men.

Although Capper Pass & Son Ltd has grown greatly since its early beginnings— about £3 ½ million is now employed in the business—it has never lost the character of a family business in which a friendly, personal relationship is maintained between employ­ees and management and there has been no industrial trouble, worth the name, during a century and a half.

Practically no names are mentioned in this story, although there has been a succes­sion of extremely able metallurgists, chemists, engineers and foremen, who have pro­vided the imagination, the scientific knowledge, and the leadership to build up and maintain this successful enterprise.

Relatively unknown in wider financial and commercial circles, the name of Capper Pass is nevertheless respected by non-ferrous metal men throughout the world and im­mediately conjures up a picture of ingenious, viable processes, continuous research and technical development, and the production of the purest metals from the most complex ores and residues.

At the Annual General Meeting, held in Bristol in October 1962, in my Chairman's Statement I paid a tribute to the 'famous and hospitable City of Bristol' where Capper Pass virtually started his little backyard business and where we maintained our head office for around one hundred and fifty years.

I also said that the emergence of a new type of smelter, and the economies of inte­gration at that date, were leading to the transfer of smelting and our other major activi­ties from Bristol to Melton, on the north bank of the Humber, where thirty years ago we had begun to establish a new, modern plant which has now grown so big and versatile that it can effectively undertake most of our work.

This, then, seems a good time in which to publish a brief history of a firm and a family of which we are very proud, as a record for our suppliers, our customers, our employees and posterity.

FRASER OF LONSDALE

Chairman

 

Black Country Background

The roots of the Pass family do not lie in Bristol, where they built up the metal-smelting concern which bears their name. Their background, and the origins of their business activity, must be sought in Staffordshire. More precisely they lie in Walsall, perched high on its hill overlooking the Black Country.

South Staffordshire early became famous as a pioneering industrial district. Its main energies have always lain in the production of such light metal goods as nails, locks, tools, and miscellaneous ironmongery. The work was done, from an early period, in many small forges and backyard workshops. Places of manufacture were scattered, and com­munities grew up haphazardly, less in clearly defined towns and villages than in small settlements built all over a sprawling area of primitive, unplanned industry.

The town of Walsall was soon prominent in the Black Country's industrial life. Being a borough, and a close-knit town with a market, a large mediaeval church, and an old grammar school, it had a certain lead over the other industrial communities of the region; it was, for many years, a larger and more important place than Birmingham. It early developed a special interest and expertise in the manufacture of saddler's iron­mongery and of the buckles used in the eighteenth century on knee breeches and shoes. The buckles, in view of the Pass family's activities, are of special interest. For they were apt to be of tin, brightly polished or else plated with silver. In an age of horse transport, and at a time when people secured their footwear not by strings or laces but by buckles, Walsall's prosperity seemed firmly based, and the town attained a population of over ten thousand in the first census of 1801. By that time, however, there were the beginnings of uncertainty and decline. Though nailmaking and Sadler's ironmongery were still reason­ably prosperous, the trade in locks and buckles was described as 'indifferent'. The local historians show that there were two main causes of the trouble. One of these, the high prices of copper, brass and tin, was due to the Napoleonic war. The other, more perman­ently devastating factor lay in the realm of fashion. For shoelaces had now taken the place of buckles, long trousers had become fashionable instead of breeches buckled just below the knee, and Wellington boots, with neither laces nor buckles, became more and more popular as the new century progressed. The army had abandoned shoe buckles, with disastrous results for Walsall. An effort was, indeed, made to stem the tide of taste, for we hear how in 1792 the playwright Sheridan (as MP for Stafford) presented a petition to that arbiter of taste, his close friend the Prince of Wales, expressing Walsall's consternation at the new patronage of 'shoestrings and slippers'. The obliging Prinny bade his court cronies to go back to buckles. But the collapse of the buckle trade soon continued, and many workers in Walsall were driven into dire distress or forced to learn new trades. Such was the position in 1801, the year when we first hear in Walsall of a man named Capper Pass.

The Pass family may have been of Huguenot origin; what is more certain is that the branch with whom we are concerned was settled in Staffordshire about the middle of the eighteenth century. It was there, probably between 1770 and 1780, but at a place and on a date that cannot now be certainly established, that William Pass married Mary Capper. The Cappers, some of whom are said to have been Quakers, were living by 1700 near Rugely. It may have been there that the Pass-Capper wedding took place. What also seems certain is that the Pass family were Nonconformists, and that their religious allegiance determined the choice of name for the son who was born, before 1782 when his mother died in Walsall, to William and Mary Pass. For it was, from fairly early times, a common practice among Nonconformists (particularly among Quakers) not to give their children a first name of any obviously religious type, but merely to give them as a first name the surname of the mother. Capper Pass is such a name, and it must be this Capper Pass, the only man of his surname or Christian name in Walsall, who appears in the detailed Census Schedule of 1801. His address is given as Woods Yard, an alleyway or passage which led off New Street (first called Fieldgate) not far south of the church and in the highest, most central part of old Walsall. His occupation is given as Victualler'; in other words a purveyor of drink who may also have had more solid provisions in his stock in trade.

This first Capper Pass was perhaps one of those who had been obliged, by depression in the bucklemaking industry, to change his trade, returning to work on metals as soon as he could set up in a place more durably promising than Walsall. Victualling might thus have been a temporary standby. At all events, any man who lived at Walsall had metal-working (particularly in tin and the plating of tin) in his blood. Almost all Capper Pass's neighbours in Woods Yard pursued the callings normal in the town There were several bucklemakers, a chapemaker, a whitesmith, a plater, a snaffler, a snaffle filer, and a hook

filer—to say nothing of a butcher and a brushmaker. Woods Yard was typical of many other side streets in this busy town of backyard workshops. But economic conditions were still precarious. Thomas Pearce, who was one of Walsall's census enumerators in 1801, and who wrote the town's history in 1813, speaks then of bad days for the buckle trade. If a man could see better chances elsewhere he was well advised to go, and it seems that Capper Pass lost little time in seeking his fortune outside Walsall. His marriage, to Ann Perkins, is said to have occurred in 1802. In November 1803 his eldest daughter Harriet was baptised in St Philip's Church (now the cathedral) in Bir­mingham. This town was for some years the place where Capper Pass I worked. Another daughter named Jane was born there in 1803 and the second Capper Pass in 1806. The baptisms of these two are not entered in the St Philip's register, but it seems likely that the family continued for a time to live in that part of Birmingham. But in the Levy Book (i.e. for the Poor Rate) for Birmingham in 1807 to 1809 the name of Pass appears against a property in Lancaster Street in St Mary's Quarter. The property, with a rate­able value of £24 a year, was among the higher valued premises in the Street, though rated less than those which included furnaces and other larger items of industrial plant. There are indications, in the precise way in which Pass's name is entered in the rate book against a property previously owned by one Joseph Walton, that he was at this time just coming into occupation. The Triennial Directory of 1808 makes it clear that the prem­ises concerned were No 22 Lancaster Street, and Capper Pass is given as a 'refiner of metals and brass caster in general'. The Levy Book ofi8iotoi8i3 still shows him as the occupant of the same premises, no doubt with his workshop in the backyard, and the Directory of 1812 gives him as 'refiner and dealer in metals'. But in 1815 his name no longer appears in the Birmingham directories and by 1820 he had certainly moved again, to the city where his family's fortune was to be made. For in that year he appears, in the church rate books, as the occupant of two small properties in the industrial parish of St Philip's, Bristol.

Early Days in Bristol

Sixty years before the first Bristol reference to Capper Pass the city itself had been the second largest in the country, a prosperous port, commercial centre, and manufacturing town. By 1820 it had been overhauled by Birmingham, and by several other towns in the Midlands and North, and for various reasons it experienced a depression and a posi­tion of relatively less importance. Yet it remained a commercial and industrial centre of note and it was easily the largest town in the West of England. We do not know the exact date of the first Capper Pass's migration from Birmingham to Bristol, though some time about 1815 seems likely. Nor are his precise reasons known, but he presum­ably felt that for him at all events Bristol offered a wider range of trade and brighter hopes. His beginnings in Bristol were, however, minute, the scene of his activity being no more than the tiny backyard, with its workshops, of the type already familiar to him in the Walsall-Birmingham area.

The church rate books of St Philip's parish in Bristol make no reference to Capper Pass in 1815. But in 1820 the next ones show that William Perkins (perhaps a relative of Mrs Pass) and Capper Pass jointly occupied a property in 'The Marsh' which belonged to Perkins. Capper Pass was also the sole occupant of a property owned by one S. Litson. The two properties, being among the humblest in that part of Bristol, had a rateable value of £5. The district itself, lying along the Avon (by that time converted into the non-tidal floating harbour), and extending along the Feeder Canal, had long main­tained an industrial character. It had easy access, by river or land carriage, to fuel sup­plies from the Kingswood coalpits just east of Bristol. The gasworks, whence supplies of coke could be obtained, had been established in the St Philip's area in 1819. The district contained a mixture of potteries, glass furnaces and foundries; of the last named some were of considerable size. But Capper Pass's little establishment was not among these larger industrial concerns. In 1826 his name appears again in the church rate books as the tenant of property (probably the same as before, but under new ownership) be­longing to a man named Skidmore. In 1837 the Bristol Poll Books list him, against the Marsh Buildings address, and as a voter for Berkeley, the Liberal candidate, and for the banker John Philip Miles. Then in 1839, just before the move to Bedminster and the present site, the Borough Rating Assessments give important details of Capper Pass as the tenant of a property in Marsh Buildings. These buildings are shown, towards the bottom of Avon Street and at right angles to it, in Ashmead's great Bristol map of 1828. They were a poor row of cottages with backyards. They have long been demolished; their site is in 1963 covered by some large mid-Victorian industrial buildings. The houses, in 1839, were rated low. One only, and that the property occupied by Capper Pass, is valued higher (£16 gross and £14 net) than the others. The reason for these better figures was clearly that it was classified as a 'dwelling house and manufactory*. It was here, no doubt, in a backyard workshop, that Capper Pass, described in the Bristol directories from 1836 onwards as a 'metal refiner and dealer, near gas works, Avon Street', carried on his small-scale business. His furnace and methods were, perhaps, no more sophisticated than the apparatus later shown in Mr Alfred Pass's bookplate. That bookplate is in itself of no small charm, with its contrasting vignettes of the humble smelter, at his tiny furnace, and the dream castle of his imagination and ambition. It throws a pleasing human light on the aspirations and attitudes of mind of a man who did, in fact, see much of his ambition fulfilled.

The 1830`s were also important for the history of the Pass family. In August of 1836 the second Capper Pass married Hannah Coole, born in Bristol but then of Long Ashton just outside it on the Somerset side. In July of 1837 Alfred Capper Pass, the controller of the firm's fortunes for over thirty years from 1870, was born. His birth­place is given as Avon Street, St Philip's, and the occupation of his father (Capper Pass II) is given as 'metal refiner'. It may have been about now that the first Capper Pass either died or handed over the business to his son, but unfortunately the date of his death remains unknown. The St Philip's church registers do not mention the point, and if, as seems likely, he was a Nonconformist, he may have been buried at one of the numerous chapels of the area. It was certainly his son, Capper Pass II, who made the important move from Marsh Buildings to the Bedminster site.

3 The Bedminster Move

If Capper Pass II wished to expand his little business his move, in 1840, to Bedminster can easily be understood. That district of southern Bristol, its northern portion only taken into the city in 1835, was beginning by now to become more industrialised and to expand. But the process had not yet gone far, and Bedminster, with its pastures and stream valleys, contained more empty ground than the riverside stretch of St Philip's parish. The Bristol and Exeter Railway, though now projected, had not yet cut its way through the semi-rural meadowlands between Windmill Hill and the New Cut. Along with a good choice of sites there were ample coal supplies available, with no more than a short cartage haul, from the mines in Bedminster itself. Capper Pass does not seem to have foreseen how soon most of the district would become a densely populated, closely built area, or how his chosen site, despite expansion from time to time, would duly be­come too cramped for the activities built up by him and later by his son. Immediately speaking a move to Bedminster was tactically promising.

So in 1840 Capper Pass II bought a plot of ground not far from Paul Street in Bed­minster. This street was a continuation of Mill Lane whose name came from the water mill down by the Malago brook, at this point subdivided into several small channels. The site itself lay a little north of Paul Street, being bounded on one side by a branch of the stream (whose water would be useful for cooling) and on another by the narrow, newly built Coronation Street. Ashmead's map of 1828 shows the site as void ground amid open fields, but it was soon to be hemmed in by streets of houses and other buildings. It measured only 103 feet by 81 feet. But it was clearly more spacious than the backyard

at Marsh Buildings. A narrow strip of ground along the stream was at once added to make a haulage way for carts coming to and from the main road.

By the terms of his new purchase Capper Pass II was to build 'at least one good and substantial messuage or dwelling house'. This house, in the late Regency style still normal in Bristol in the 1840*85 survives as part of the firm's offices. At first, however, it was Capper Pass II's own home and two of his daughters were born there. Later, when he had moved from industrial Bedminster (not, in mid-Victorian times, a very savoury area and devoid of metalled roads, street cleaning, and public lighting) to the residential respectability of various Redland addresses, the house was long occupied by George Tapp the resident foreman. By August 1841 the house had been built. The Census Schedule and the Poll Book of that year show that in the meantime Capper Pass (described in the Poll Book as a chemist) lived not in St Philip's but close to his new place of business in the newly built Richmond Terrace. This row of houses was well sited a little way up the slope of Windmill Hill, commanding what was then a pleasant view across open country­side, towards the Gorge and the fine terraces of Clifton. It was away from the coalpits and was said to be 'the cleanest rank of houses in Bedminster'. The Poll Books also show that then and in later elections Capper Pass II cast his vote for the Liberals.

His house apart, Capper Pass also built what the deeds mention as 'a lofty chimney with furnaces and workshops'. More ground was also taken in, at the same time, to the south of the ground first bought. Early smelting was thus carried on upon the site so acquired in the first Bedminster year. We shall see that these operations, most probably, lay largely in the recovery, from such goods as Sheffield plate and gold-plated objects, of silver and gold; lead, copper, and other metals came later as the site and the plant in­creased.

We get a glimpse of these early Bedminster days from the reminiscences of Mr Tom Cable, an employee of the firm for many years from 1887 and still alive in 1963. His father was works watchman, and his mother-in-law worked as a maidservant for Capper Pass II, most probably early in the 1850*3 when he still lived in the works. Joe Stroud, an older colleague of Mr Cable, started work as far back as 1853. Only six employees were there at the time, and as Stroud was entered as the seventh he was given a ticket, marked 'No. 7', which he carried in his pocket. The time of Stroud's entry seems to have been one of great expansion both in the scale and range of Capper Pass's activities. For by a purchase of extra ground in 1852 the site was more than doubled in a northward direction. It now filled most of the long, narrow strip of land between Coronation Street and the eastern channel of the Malago. On its northern side the site was, and is, hemmed in by the Malago itself where that brook bends at right-angles and flows directly towards East Street. It was on part of the land bought in 1852 that the first blast furnace was built; the largest smelting operation now envisaged would have called for the em­ployment of more men, of whom Stroud was one. The number employed certainly re­mained higher after 1853. The name of Pass's Yard gave way, so we find from the Bristol Directories of 1855 onwards, to the grander sounding title of metal works, while from about 1866 onwards the firm's designation became Capper Pass and Son. For by this time an important phase in the technical and business history of the concern had taken place: Alfred Pass had become much more closely associated with the firm's management. As we have seen, he had been born in 1837, and we know from a family letter that in 1845 was at a private boarding school at the village of Norton St Philip near Bath. No certain particulars are known about the rest of his education. He is said, in the 1850*85 to have learned chemistry from some teacher in Bristol, but it is not fully clear where or how he obtained his technical instruction. But as he approached thirty he was ready to take over more of the work. His father had now moved from the works to the newly built Aberdeen Terrace just off Whiteladies Road; he was there, and at two other Redland addresses, in the last years of his life. He was, by now, the prosperous, bewhiskered mid-Victorian businessman of his surviving photograph: he had clearly come far since the backyard days in St Philip's. He died on I4th September 1870. The newspaper notice of his death says that he had long been ill, and it seems likely that he had for some time left much of the firm's day-to-day management to his son.

Tradition has it that Alfred Pass once told his father that 'we must know what we are doing', and that his learning scientific chemistry was in pursuit of that aim. His increased prominence in the firm's activities certainly made for a technical proficiency greater than had been in evidence during the earliest years at Bedminster: even so, there was still a good deal about the work that was haphazard and based on inadequate knowledge. But to an increasing degree Alfred Pass saw to it that raw materials were assayed. Initially, and certainly from as far back as 1864, this work was done (with very variable results) by outside firms, but in a few more years, from about 1870 and a little before the time when Alfred Pass gained complete control of the firm on his father's death, an assayer named Read was actually employed in the works. The earliest assay books still in the firm's possession date from 1867 and from then onwards were kept regularly. The first of these books is in Alfred Pass's hand, except for a spell of a few days at the time of his father's death and funeral. From them, and from still older records in a notebook called the Business Experiments Book, as well as from some oral traditions stretching back as far as 1845, we can gather something of the technical operations of Capper Pass's in these early Bedminster years.

About 1845, very soon after the move from St Philip's, the work done seems largely to have lain in the desilvering of unwanted or damaged Sheffield plate, the silver so obtained thus being recovered for sale. The scaling of gilt buttons, and the melting down of such small, utilitarian gold objects as keys and seals was also undertaken. It may well be that similar work had been done in the St Philip's backyard; these recovery operations were thus, perhaps, a link with the elder Capper Pass's activities in Birming­ham, and included the stripping of plated iron and brass as well as copper. In 1857, how­ever, the firm's operations on its enlarged site lay mainly in the treatment of lead ores and residues, and of copper ores and secondaries. The metal so recovered was sold, not always at a profit and often for small gains. The picture is that of a business only marginally The

profitable, with no assured source of revenue and with technical knowledge of a some­what primitive and haphazard kind.

From 1857 onwards is the period covered by the Business Experiments Book. There seems, by now, to have been no more work on the recovery of gold and silver, but scrap brass and scrap zinc came fairly prominently into the varied list of metals that were treated. The main search, for about ten years, was for some operation which would yield steadily profitable results. It was in 1866, with the refining of solder and the production, in commercial quantities, of what was later called tin alloy, that the time of probing and experiment ended in success.

Work had, however, been done by 1866 on several other metals. Various coppery materials, of low content and troublesome to work because of their high lead admixture, were smelted in 1857 and during the 186o's. A hampering factor, in all these operations, lay in the variable results given by the various outside assaying firms to whom Capper Pass's sent samples. The theoretical basis of the firm's operations (as with many other British industrial concerns at that time) seems to have been sketchy and backward, a process of trial, and of frequent error, being almost inevitable rather than work based on theoretical calculation or scientific research. Copper slags from other smelters were im­portant among these materials. Some of the ores and residues smelted at this time were heated in a reverbatory furnace, but they were mostly fed into the blast furnace which in those days only worked twelve hours a day, the nights being available for emergency repairs. In 1870, as we find from two working lists, the furnace was tended by an engine-man (at 4^ a day), a boilerman and a tapping man (at 3^ 6d each), a furnaceman (the feeder) who got $s, and two slag men at 35. During meals the materials were pushed up in wheelbarrows and dumped near the furnaces for subsequent feeding in by hand. The feeding process was continuous, some men not normally on furnace work being brought up while the furnacemen were eating. Fuel, available from the Bedminster collieries or else, in the case of coke, from the Ashton Vale Iron Company not far away, was cheap, and the short distances involved made its transport inexpensive.

Coal ranged, between 1865 and 1870, from 6s to 6s 6d ton, being cheaper still in the i88o's when the larger scale of Capper Pass's operations made it possible to buy it in greater bulk. Coke never cost more, at this period, than the 15^ paid per ton in 1870. But in the 188o's the prices, from various local sources of supply, were lower still. With the blast furnace established as the chief means for initial smelting, the reverbatory was only used for the final production of metallic copper from the resulting matter. But it seems, from the somewhat scattered evidence available in Business Notes, that the quality of the ingot copper eventually produced was far from consistent or adequately pure, and that copper smelting was never a really profitable activity.

The treatment of lead ores and lead residues seems also to have been decidedly 'mar­ginal', with unreliable financial results. At first, in the 1850*8 various Cornish lead ores were bought for smelting. But their quality varied greatly. For this reason, and because lead mining in Cornwall was by this time in decline. Capper Pass soon turned to such secondary materials as lead ashes, lead sulphate, scrap lead, leaded paper from tea chests, and zinc slag. Here too, the reverbatory was used at first, but as a larger output was re­quired, and could readily be sold, the blast furnace took over. The smelting of lead, by various processes and with different sources for the raw material, continued for some years after Alfred Pass took over from his father, and we shall see how he made use of waste material from the ancient Mendip workings. The de-silvering of lead was also being undertaken both before and after 1870. But the amounts extracted were very small (only 3| ounces per ton of lead in 1873) an d the operation could have yielded little if any profit. Cobalt and nickel were also extracted in this early period, in small amounts, but for high prices when these were compared to those fetched by copper and lead.

More significant for the firm's future prosperity were the early experiments with tin. From as far back as 1858 consignments of solder ashes were bought from a meat-preserv­ing firm in Ireland, and work was later done on mixed tin and silver material, and on hard head (a compound of tin, arsenic and iron) from Cornwall. But in these early days Capper Pass's had no real idea on how such tin-bearing materials should be treated, and results were far below what they could have been. Another material seen as a possible source of tin was the pan scum which came from softening tinny lead in the lead-refining furnace. Once it appeared that the tin so obtained was suited to solder making the amount so treated increased. This increase came after the important discovery of 1866.

The first production of clean, satisfactory tin alloy, or solder, seems to have occurred in September 1866. The initial process was the smelting of pewter and solder ashes in the lead reverbatory. This was done so as to avoid volatilising and the loss of nearly half the residue's metal content; it seems likely that this good result was largely due to the use, as flux, of a little soda ash. The actual refining is best described in the words of the Business Experiments Book: 'The metal produced from the above was drained as usual in the furnace and then treated as follows: melted in a pot containing about five tons, until a rim had solidified all round the pot. By watching until the right time arrived, and repeatedly pouring sample bars into a mould, It ultimately came to a certain definite quality of metal, very fluid and clean at a very low temperature and uniformly the same. When this quality was reached, it was rapidly ladled out into pigs, and a quantity of thick stuff of very in­ferior quality remained at the bottom and side of the pot.' The earliest assays of the firm's tinning metal or fine solder are dated 1868 and 1869, and were both by outside assayers. The tin content was given, for the two years, as 60.9 per cent and 59.78 per cent, the antimony content of the finished metal being only one per cent. It was, however, made clear, for instance in correspondence of 1877, that Capper Pass and Son did not guaran­tee a tin content as high as 60 per cent in the solder they now regularly produced.

With the first refining of tin alloy, and its establishment as the firm's main product for sale, the early Bristol period may fitly be closed. It is very clear, both from technical and personal events in Capper Pass and Son's history, that the years from 1866 to 1870 were of crucial importance. For they saw the discovery of the product which would, for the rest of the century and beyond it, be the firm's commercial mainstay. The change of the firm's title came in that same year, 1866. In the next four years came the long last illness and death of Capper Pass II, and the rise to partial and then complete control of his son Alfred, who would guide the concern's fortunes through a long spell of gather­ing and then consistent well-being.
Steady Prosperity

The years from 1870 to 1905 were those when control of the firm rested in the competent hands of Alfred Capper Pass. They ended with his retirement and last illness, and with his death in the early autumn of 1905.

The firm's commercial mainstay throughout this perid of over thirty years was the production, from residues bought cheaply, of tin alloy or solder, and the sale of the finished product at varying but favourable prices. Some work, however, was done on other metals, and the first few years after 1870 saw a continuance of somewhat experi­mental work on copper, lead, and nickel and also the trial of various mixtures which could possibly yield a satisfactory brand of solder. The same years were marked by an im­portant increase in the area of the works, and from now onwards one gets fuller, and more humanly interesting, information both on the principals of Capper Pass and Son and on conditions within their works and in the Bedminster neighbourhood in which those works lay.

The Business Experiments Book shows that copper slags and regulus, of varying content, were still being assayed between 18 70 and 18 73, while ingot copper was assayed at various dates in 1874. Lead, however, was a metal of more lasting concern in Alfred Pass's time. The materials treated are of interest as well as the not very profitable end product. Hard ashes were still smelted: so too, from about 1871 onwards, were type ashes which also contained tin and antimony as well as lead. This material, which was only one of those now exploited for tin—antimony—lead residues, was known as 'Ger­man Arsenal Stuff', being surplus war material, either German or captured French, which came onto the scrap market in large quantities after the end of the Franco-Prussian war. As both shrapnel and rifle bullets were in those days made of antimonial lead, the melting of this material would produce antimonial lead ash, while the artillery shells of the period were coated with lead alloy which contained good quantities of tin. From about the same time Alfred Pass, who seems to have had a keen Interest in the history of metallurgy and in truly ancient precedents, started to use considerable loads of raw material from the dumps lying near the Mendip lead workings. Some of these, as is well-known, go back to Roman or even to pre-Roman times, and Alfred Pass, with his interest in such matters, had a large collection of Roman mining relics from the Mendips. He would stock up during the winter, at a time when the Somerset farmers had little other work for their men and cart horses. He mainly bought his material In the form of slimes, a relatively concentrated material, with a lead content up to 60 per cent, which had already been produced on the spot, by mineral dressings with water, from various slags and tailings lying near the workings. Work on these materials went on at Bed-minster for over ten years, and did not stop till well on in the 188o's. In 1871 lead ashes were being smelted in the blast furnace, and this process now became increasingly profit­able, though smaller in scale than the processes necessary for the production of solder. In 1875, f° r instance, lead ashes, lead slimes from the Mendips, and lead cupels were smelted along with Cornish tin slags, a small amount of copper slag, and calcined irony material, irony lumps, and tin lumps. The Cornish tin slags still contained appreciable amounts of tin, whose recovery was found profitable. Lead sulphate, from the alkali works, semi-liquid and acid, was also among the materials still smelted in Capper Pass's works for the extraction of lead.

Before 1872 it had been treated in the reverbatory, but from then onwards the blast furnace, having a larger throughput, took over the work. There was also, in this same decade, a little desilverising of lead, but not, apparently after 1873; the profit, with only 3 J ounces of silver per ton, must have been hardly worth the trouble taken.

It was, however, the production of solder that became more and more dominant In the Capper Pass works after the discovery of 1866, and after Alfred Pass had taken over the business. In the first few years of his regime there were still some experiments to find the most suitable furnace charge. In 1871, for instance, a mixture is given as follows:

2 barrows of pewter ashes agglomerated with soda ash 2 barrows of pewter ashes crude 2 barrows of lead pan scum 2 barrows of pewter slags 2 barrows of hard head

The quantity of coke used in the smelting was determined at the discretion of the furnaceman. Solder ashes would also be used in some other charges, and in others again :he proportion of hard head would be higher. From about 1874, as production of solder apidly rising, tin ashes were also used, and it seems to have been about this time that the blast furnace (except at weekends) was worked twenty-four hours a day instead of twelve. Rough tin slag from Cornwall was used in the next year, and about the same time we first hear of the use in the mixture of slap from the local tanneries, one of which was, and is, a next-door neighbour to the works. This slap was a residue which came from the use of lime to remove hair and animal fat. It consisted of slaked lime mixed up with the hairs and fat. Not unnaturally the stench was appalling, but its unpleasantness was well counterbalanced by its usefulness in sealing furnace doors and blocking up the cracks in flues. In such cases it was slapped on, and in actual smelting it was found that it would usefully bind fine residues together. Its use, for many years from these pioneering days of the 18703, well shows how apt were the Passes in making use of materials which could be had cheaply (or for nothing) from near at hand and for low costs in cartage.

By about 1878 the solder charge had become firmly settled, and for solder making at all events the period of trial and experiment was over. Tin ashes and solder were melted with Cornish tin slag and hard head, the tin slag providing a flux for carrying off iron and lime oxide, and the hard head yielding arsenic to make speiss with reduced iron. Scrap tin-plate cuttings would be used as a reducing agent, and to combine with sulphur. The furnaces themselves, and the methods of making solder, changed little for another fifty years.

As the scale of the firm's operations increased it clearly became necessary to enlarge the works. An important extension was in 1875, when the site was nearly doubled by the purchase of most of the ground between Coronation Road and the branch of the Malago which still served the mill. Coronation Street, which would otherwise have cut into the works, was taken in at the same time, but its breadth at the bottom, where it joined Paul Street, is still represented by the main entrance to the present works. The ancient St Catherine's Mill, which still ground corn by water power, was demolished in a few more years, and that particular branch of the Malago was filled in. Another expansion of the works was made possible when in 1882 a plot of land was bought between this western branch of the Malago and East Street: it was the first of Alfred Pass's important exten­sions which took the works much closer to the main thoroughfare of Bedminster. The plot in question had been used as a skinner's yard, but was known as the piggery. Its name, and various details which come from Mr Cable's memoirs and from other sources, well show how rustic, and partly agricultural, were large tracts of Bedminster in these last years before the coming of the tobacco factories. Just beyond the skinner's yard, at the bottom of a humble street known as Margaret Place, some ramshackle old stables were the chosen sleeping place of a motley group of hawkers with their ponies and don­keys, while in East Street there was still little traffic but coal carts and farmers' waggons drawn by oxen. Till 1875 t ' ie northern end of the ground between the works and the Malago was still an open field, known as the farm, and daily used for the assembly and milking of cows from neighbouring pastures. This ground was used, once bought by Alfred Pass, for the storage of lead ashes whose weight for a time depressed the soil so hat the ashes stood isolated in a great pool of water. The stockpiling of increasing quantities of ores and residues also caused the buying, in 1883, of over three acres of gro und in the Malago Field which lay between the Malago, Albert Road (now Shene Road) and a road and some gardens to the north. The strip of ground then bought had been a brick and tile yard and was about 500 feet long; though it was separate from the works it was convenient for its purpose and an easy carting distance from the main scene of operation. Apart from the technical details of the raw materials used, and of the smelt­ing methods employed, one begins, from now onwards, to get a clearer picture of in­dustrial life within the Capper Pass works. It seems, in many ways, a very different world from that of today.

The employees, in these late Victorian years, seem to have been more numerous than they are now. Their basic rate of pay, though very low by modern standards, was higher than that paid in the brickyards, by the local iron foundry, or by J. S. Fry's. More labour­ing and mechanical operations were then done by hand, and Mr Bowden, another retired employee still living in 1963, was told by his father that in the years about 1900 there j e 'more people about' than in more recent years. Great physical strength was clearly needed for many of the jobs that were done; tradition has it that Mr Alfred Pass only required, in his employees, that they should 'fear God and lift a hundredweight'. There was no canteen in those days; meals were eaten on the job and cans of tea were warmed up on the pots of molten metal. Many of the men must have lived, in those days of no bicycles or motor-buses, in Bedminster itself. But one hears of one country-loving em­ployee, Billy Parsons by name, who continued to make his home at Chew Magna, walking in every day across the windy heights of Dundry and always punctual, by rising at 3.30 am and leaving home at four, for the six o'clock start. Another man walked in, a somewhat shorter distance but a long climb home, from Dundry itself.

Another thing that comes clearer in these last two Victorian decades is the person-

jr, shrewd, efficient, paternal and benevolent, of Alfred Capper Pass. He was promi­nent, among the local industrialists of his time, for his intellectual stature. This intellec­tual eminence, in a man whose formal education seems not to have been very extensive, appeared both in his metallurgical ability and in his wide range of cultural pursuits, biology, archaeology, and history all being among his interests. He was specially keen on the history of pre-Roman man in Britain, and conducted the first excavations at Sil- bury Hill in Wiltshire. Till 1894 the firm was entirely his own, and although one hears more of others of importance in its running, it was very much a 'one man business' even after, in 1894, it became a limited company.

We have seen how from 1878 or thereabouts the pattern of the firm's activities be­came fixed, in main essentials, for the best part of forty years. But in the obtaining of pos­sibly fruitful materials Mr Pass is still seen to have made use both of his innate intellec­tual curiosity and of his shrewd realisation that something could be got from seemingly unpromising sources. From about 1878 material known as 'Greek Fume' or 'Greek matte' was smelted, with considerable difficulty but apparently with success for the production of nickel (whose price rose about this time) as well as lead. It also, perhaps, yielded good quantities of silver. The story runs that the material was bought cheap from a Greek merchant, and that when results were unexpectedly good Alfred Pass sent his supplier a handsome, and presumably an unexpected, Christmas present. But the wily Greek, after making his deductions, shipped no more of the material. The fume itself may possibly have come from the ancient slag dumps of the silver-lead workings in the Laurium peninsula in Attica, the mines being those whose silver had financed the Athe­nian navy and the great days of Imperial Athens. Another, more certain reference to an ancient source of supply comes about the same time. For Alfred Pass heard of the great slag dumps round the worked-out Cyprus copper mines whose ore, in Ptolemaic times, had been important for the Hellenistic world. So he had samples sent. But he found, from assays and from written sources, that the copper content of these residues was low, the original ore having been many times smelted by cheap slave labour at a time when Cyprus, before the fuller development of Spanish sources under the Roman Empire almost monopolised the copper supplies of antiquity.

Nearer home was the black slag, still containing a worthwhile amount of tin but reckoned worthless in South Wales and used as ballast by an old bargemaster who came over to ship iron sheets and plates made in the Ashton rolling mills. As ballast it cost him nothing, but Alfred Pass thought it well worth his while to pay a shilling a ton for the supposedly useless slag, sending down his horses and carts to clear the barge quickly as it lay in Bathurst Basin awaiting its iron loading. How great a profit arose from those shillings per ton is not disclosed!

Throughout the last twenty years of the century Alfred Pass remained firmly in day-to-day control of activities at Bedminster. Other men, however, appear by now in positions of considerable importance; their recruitment, in some cases, was due to some degree of family relationship with the Passes. The first of these was Alfred Trapnell, a man whose earlier career had been one of adventure in various parts of the world, and who returned to Bristol and there married Miss Lydia Pass, a sister of Alfred. He became the second man, after Alfred Pass himself, in the management of the firm, and ranked as a co-partner when it became a limited company in 1894. His nephew H. C. Trapnell, was the company's solicitor by 1883 and signed documents in that capacity. H. C. TrapnelFs wife had been a Miss Badock, of a family well known in Bristol social and educational circles, and her youngest brother Stanley (later Sir Stanley Badock) joined Capper Pass and Son about 1885 as a young man straight from Clifton College. It appears, from the early calendars of the university college, that he attended evening classes there (presumably in chemistry) during the session of 1884-1885. Mr Badock was entered for work on the technical side and is said, by Mr Cable, to have been more inter­ested in fumes, gases, and acids than in actual metals.

Like the Passes and Trapnells he always lived in the Redland-Clifton area, and Mr Cable also recalls that about the turn of the century he rode 'the highest penny-farthing in Bristol'. Another late nineteenth century recruit, for work on the commercial and office side, was Mr Crosby Warren, first encountered by Alfred Pass when both of them were in Egypt on a holiday trip.

The firm's own records throw little light on this period of Alfred Pass's direction of its affairs. The Business Experiments Book stops at 1880, and it is said that Alfred Pass destroyed many records and papers when he left Bristol to live as a country gentleman in Dorset. But something can be gleaned from various other sources, among them the Bristol directories of the time, and Mr Cable's memoirs. The directories show how in the i Syo's Alfred Pass moved from a house in Redland Park, just off Whiteladies Road and opposite the terrace house where his father had died, to a large individual house. This, perhaps specially built for its new and now prosperous occupant, was in Upper Belgrave Road, whose houses, in a situation still much prized, directly overlook Bristol's noble open expanse of the Downs. We find, by the same time, that the Alfred Trapnells were living near at hand in Belgrave Terrace, and the Passes and Trapnells for some time remained near in residence as in relationship, for at the opening of the 1890*8 they were actually next-door neighbours. But by 1892 Alfred Pass, at the height of his prosperity, had moved to his final Bristol address, across the Downs to 'The Holmes' in the select residential suburb of Stoke Bishop. By 1895 he was one of the Bristol magistrates, a prominent and respected citizen. In some eighty years, and in a manner common among energetic, self-reliant Victorian industrialists, the family had certainly moved far since its arrival in Bristol.

It is interesting to look briefly at some of Alfred Pass's activities, not of a strictly business character though linked to his business and to the life of the part of Bristol in which he operated.

We find, for instance, that he was a benefactor to the Bristol General Hospital, this being the one of the two hospitals in the city, which served the Bedminster area. In 1886, when the new church of St Michael was being built on the slopes of Windmill Hill just above the works, Alfred Pass gave the ground on which the church was to be erected. The area, on the slopes of Windmill Hill, was one in which he had considerable property interests, for he had, in 1878 and immediately afterwards, been responsible for the de­velopment of Algiers Street, Gwilliam Street, Vivian Street, and Fraser Street whose name derived from Mrs Pass's maiden name. In 1901, when its permanent nave was consecrated and when the furnishing of the church was completed, he gave a set of choir stalls in memory of his father and mother; when the church was accidentally gutted in 1926 they were replaced by his son, Mr Douglas Pass.

Of special interest, and logically connected with the nature of his business, is the record of what Alfred Pass did for Bristol's University College in its earliest days. He was by no means the only Bristol industrialist who aided the College in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, but what he did contribute put him well in the front of its early benefactors. The fact that in those days the College was a small and desperately struggling institution made the interest of Alfred Pass and other friends of all the more value.

The University College was founded in 1876. It is in 1883, not long after the firm of Capper Pass and Son had entered on its long period of steady prosperity, that we find Alfred Pass a member of the short-lived University College Club which was started to create for the little College an organised body of local supporters. From 1886 till his death Alfred Pass appears as an annual subscriber to the Sustentation Fund which was a mainstay of the College's finances. In 1886-1887 he was actually a day student of the College; in what subject he studied the list does not say. More notable than his annual subscriptions were his large occasional donations. In 1887 he gave £100 to a special fund, and in 1890 another £100 for the building of a new medical wing. Those sums may seem small now, but they were of much more value than the same sums would be today, and on each occasion the donations which equalled or exceeded those of Alfred Pass were a mere handful. The same was true when in 1896 he gave £250 to a special fund. By now, for seven years from 1895, till in 1902 he resigned for reasons of declining health, Alfred Pass was on the College Council, and during these years he established in the College a Capper Pass Scholarship in Metallurgical Research. On his death he left the College a substantial legacy. It was therefore very fitting that when in 1909 the College advanced to the status of a fully chartered University Mr Douglas Pass asked that his own large benefaction to the University should be used for the endowment of the chair of chemistry which is still known as the Alfred Capper Pass Professorship.

From Mr Cable's memoirs we get some intimate glimpses of Alfred Pass, the patern­ally benevolent employer. He was, it appears, a temperance advocate, so he handed round, to every man, copies of The British Workman^ a paper whose columns inveighed against strong drink. At Christmas his generosity to his employees was on a lavish scale. A new shirt was given to each employee of a year's standing or more, the shirts concerned being of an excellent lasting quality as some were still being worn over twenty years after Alfred Pass's death. Presents were handed out, by Mrs Pass and Mrs Trapnell, to the workmen's wives and children of school age. Old women living near the works, whether or not their menfolk had worked for Capper Pass's, would get two woollen garments. A charming touch lies in what we hear of some Christmas proceedings at Alfred Pass's own home. The Bedminster Salvation Army Band would come up to the house, sing a few carols, partake of a hearty lunch, and then play and sing again in the hall before they went home, the richer in their collecting box by a good donation. Another feature of winter life in Bedminster was the frequency of Malago floods, with ground floors awash In the humble little houses near the works. On such occasions, in 1883, for instance, and 1889, each house In Paul Street would get two sacks of coal from Mr Pass to help in the task of drying out. It was all a far cry from the wider attentions of the modern welfare state. Till 1894 the business of Capper Pass and Son was the property of Alfred Pass, with Alfred Trapnell described as a limited partner. In practice Alfred Pass was dominant and almost solely responsible for what occurred. His business methods, along with the paternal benevolence we have already noted, seem to have been very much those of the somewhat high-handed, individualistic Victorian industrialist, brooking no interference from outside and least of all from the State or municipal bureaucracy. His dealings with the tax-gatherers throw brusquely amusing light on this aspect of his business life. For in September 1895, a year after the firm had become a limited company, but at a time when Alfred Pass's personal control was still little affected, he sent an income tax return to the local Surveyor of Taxes. The figures required are set out in the simplest form. The profits for the year 1895-1896, allowing for £167 11s 4d spent on charities and £398 13 1d paid out in income tax, amounted in all to £11,875 5s 9d The net profits for 1893 had been £5,899 8s 5d andfor 1892 (a moiety of the two years 1891 and 1892)£16,032 8s 1d. Very much to the point is the brief accompanying letter. For the Surveyor was told that 'No accounts are published, and we do not care to issue copies of them', but that overleaf he would find the statement of figures which showed how much the amount due (at the low taxation rate of those days) was arrived at. Almost exactly similar expressions are used in the five following years, the letter being handwritten by Mr Crosby Warren and signed by him or by Alfred Pass himself. The net profits, in these years of the 1890*8, ranged from £5,899 8s5d (an unusually low figure) in 1893 to £25, 954 18s 5d in 1897. In the last two years, the status of the concern having changed by now, Alfred Pass is described as sole director.

Alfred Pass expressed the opinion, towards the end of his working career, that the concern he had inherited and developed would collapse at his death. For this reason, along with the steadily good results which came from producing solder, not much was done in his later years by way of experiments or the pioneering of new processes. But in 1894, not many years before Alfred Pass retired to live as a country gentleman in the lovely countryside of west Dorset, the firm's structure was changed so that it became a limited company. The papers show that the share capital, ordinary, preference, and debenture combined, amounted to £ 120,000. Of this the great bulk was held by Alfred Pass himself; it was laid down that he was to carry on the business as manager, either solely or jointly with persons of his own choice. Alfred Trapnell was the only other really considerable shareholder, with smaller holdings in the hands of Messrs Crosby Warren, Stanley Badcock, and a few others. The price paid by the new company for the purchase of the business and all its assets was £150,320. From now onwards, though at first in a very sketchy form, the company's minute books are available to give rather more evidence for its story than is at hand for the years of Alfred Pass's absolute ownership. The period, as one can tell from the profit figures accepted without demur by the tax gatherers, was a prosperous one, with good profits and high dividends. In 1896 the ordinary shares yielded 25 per cent. In the next two years, with profits for those two years of over £87,000 and a large sum added to general reserves, the dividend was doubled.

With the business expanding, the 1890's saw important site extensions and enlarge­ments of plant. Margaret Place, at all times a humble and unimpressive little street but with its houses bearing such pleasantly floral names as Camellia, Dahlia and Hyacinth Cottages, was gradually absorbed into the company's main site. These plots of ground, along with the site of Margaret Gardens, were cleared and became the main part of the acquisitions which brought the company's territory close to the houses along the south­ern side of East Street; a few properties were later bought in East Street itself. The last rural relics in the close neighbourhood of the works had by now been swept away, and the site, by 1900, was very nearly as large as it is today. The ground so added to the older factory was used for the erection of the third blast furnace operated in the Bed-minster works. There was, however, no space remaining for further plant or buildings; we shall see how in a few more years the directors' thoughts began to turn to expansion, or complete rebuilding, away from Bedminster,

The next great event in the history of Capper Pass was the death of Alfred Pass. He had gone to live at Wootton Fitzpaine about 1900. Soon after that, as one gathers from his resignation from the University College Council in 1902, his health began to fail. He was an invalid for some time before he died in October 1905. From what has been said of him it is clear that his services to his firm had been decisively important. He was also well known and much respected in Bristol as a religious man and, to quote Mr Cable, *a gentleman in every sense of the word'. From what the Lord Mayor said of him just after his death he seems, in performing his duties as a magistrate, to have been generous as well as merciful. For he was said to be 'a liberal contributor to the poor box', and the Lord Mayor added, in his public tribute to Alfred Pass, that 'the whole city had lost a very good friend'. The Bristol Times and Mirror in its obituary notice, summed up its own estimate of Alfred Pass by saying that he was 'a friend and citizen whose memory will be kept green for many years to come'.

5 The War

For some years before Alfred Pass's death the day-to-day management at Bedminster had been in other hands. Mr Pass remained sole director till the middle of 1905, coming up to Bristol from Wootton Fitzpaine to attend annual general meetings whose minutes he still signed. But his increasingly poor health in the end made these journeys im­possible, and in May of 1905 Mr Stanley Badock presided at that year's annual meeting on Alfred Pass's behalf. Next month, an extra-ordinary general meeting was held, and at this a board of management was set up to carry on the work of the firm. Mr Badock, who had for some time had in his hands the practical management of the works, was appointed, by the terms of Alfred Pass's will, the first president of that board. Its first meeting was held a few days after Alfred Pass's death; at the second, among other items, it was decided to give £100 to the City of Bristol Unemployment Fund. The commercial department, or business side of the firm, was now managed by Mr Crosby Warren.

For the first few years after Alfred Pass's death things continued in much the same way as in the last years of the previous century. The steady and assured market for solder still brought good profits to the business, and the ups and downs in the values of metals do not seem to have had much effect on its prosperity. The danger lay in the tendency to believe that a business like that of Capper Pass could be static, that no competitors elsewhere might in time draw ahead, and that no new technical developments or researches would come to upset or supersede the steady, well-established pattern of its activities.

The years between Alfred Pass's death and the first world war, like those of the later nineteenth century, were thus a time when not much was done by way of an experiments or new lines of production. Solder remained the chief, though not the only product, with Bolivian tin concentrates coming in as raw material at the very end of the nineteenth century. Casting copper, soft lead, and antimonial lead were also produced. A new product of this period was copper sulphate, its raw materials being a coppery tin alloy known in England as metalline. Mr Alfred Pass had himself invented the process, and experimental production was started in his time. But an output of some ten tons a week was not attained till shortly after his death. The man behind this particular aspect of the firm's work was Mr Morris Fowler who had been taken on about 1900 as a tech­nical assistant. He was, for the purposes of this small but quite profitable sideline, left largely on his own and designed and built the tank shed in which it was produced. For a number of reasons the new directors of the firm were little interested in new lines of production. Among these the fact stood out that the works, even on a site much enlarged since the 1840`s, were so cramped and so full of various plant that no room was left for additional apparatus or new processes.

These problems of congestion, and of possible expansion in Bedminster itself or elsewhere, must have been well in the director's minds very soon after they had taken over from Alfred Pass. But for the first three years their minutes contain nothing about possible moves; some more changes were still, however, made on the site of over sixty years' standing. By 1908, for example, electrical equipment had been partially installed and there had been considerable additions to the buildings and the plant which the yard contained. The offices, designed by Mr (later Sir George) Oatley were ready for use that year on the site of some houses which had once stood on the corner of Paul and Coronation Streets.

Commercial prosperity had also continued. The year's working in 1906 was more favourable than ever before. The profits (£20,000 of them accounted for by apprecia­tion in metal values) were over £16,000, and the firm's reserves stood at £90,000. It was from these reserves that the new work of 1907-1908 was financed. An 11 per cent bonus for 1906 was paid to the workmen and salaried staff, and in 1907 the solder sales, at nearly 4,000 tons, were the highest in Capper Pass's history.

The year 1908 was one of considerable importance in our story. Apart from the changes inside the Mill Lane works the question of a new site away from Bedminster was seriously considered. It was found that the lack of space in the old works was now proving uneconomic, and as no extra land seemed available in Bedminster the directors spent much time, that autumn, in visiting possible sites elsewhere. Keeping for the moment to the Bristol area they investigated sites at Avonmouth, Keynsham, Brislington and in St Philip's Marsh not far away from where the first Capper Pass originally installed himself in the district. Nothing came of these visits, but then in the spring of 1909 the chance came to buy two plots of ground, in all amounting to over eight acres, not far away in Bedminster. One of these, forming part of the Ashton Court estate of the Smyth family, lay just to the west of Shene (formerly Albert) Road. The other, adjacent to it, was the site of the defunct Malago Vale Brickworks and had formerly been a colliery. The two sites together, along with some smaller purchases in their immediate neighbourhood, made up a larger area than that of the Mill Lane works. They were duly bought in 1909, and the brickworks site was at once used for the storage of coal and of residues awaiting treatment.

Another event of 1908, of great importance for the future well being of Capper Pass's, was the engagement, on the technical side, of Mr (later Sir Paul) Gueterbock. Mr Douglas Pass well realised that if the firm was to survive and progress it would be necessary to increase the technical ability available from within its own staff. He and Mr Gueterbock had become friends at Cambridge, where they were colleagues in the University Shooting VIII. Mr Gueterbock, who was an excellent scientific chemist, had done well at Cambridge, and when he came down he was brought to the directors' notice by Mr Pass, and was eventually taken onto the staff. He proved most able both on the business side and in finding out and elaborating the chemical theories behind the somewhat haphazardly made discoveries of Alfred Pass's time.

The last few years before the first world war continued, commercially speaking, to be prosperous, and the board minutes contain no suggestion that really bad times lay so close ahead. The sale of tin in increasing quantities (173 tons in 1909) kept company with solder sales as a revenue producer. The sales of solder reached a new high level, staying steadily over 4,000 tons a year from 1910 till 1914. Mr Morris Fowler's works diary gives some details, from 1912 onwards, of what was happening in the works them­selves. In 1912, for instance, a new blacksmith's shop and a new, two-storeyed mill shed were built, and corrugated iron roofing replaced primitive timber roofs which were badly liable to catch fire. Labour problems come also into Mr Fowler's record of events. In June of 1913 the Gas Workers' Union held a meeting of Capper Pass's employees, of whom some sixty to seventy joined. Later that year an employees' meeting voted for the setting up of a board of workmen to negotiate with the management; the voting figures show that the firm's manual workers then numbered 189.

In the meantime the search for new ground for expansion was taken up again. In the summer of 1912 the board gave Mr Badock, its chairman, authority to negotiate with the firm's neighbours, the Western Tanning Company, for the purchase of their prop­erty, but nothing came of the idea. Next year Mr Badock was asked to make contact with Mr Napier Miles over a possible works site in the Bristol district, and later in that same year the directors paid a visit to the site of the old Ashton Vale iron works. No option on this site was, however, secured, and nothing more along these lines was done before the outbreak of war. In the meantime, late in 1913, Mr Humphrey Prideaux (an accountant) was engaged as a junior manager, another staff member who would be im­portant in years to come.

The outbreak of war in 1914 at once brought a sharp check to Capper Pass's output. The employees had been strongly encouraged to join the Territorial and Reserve forces, with the result that about sixty were at once called up. From among the management Mr Gueterbock and Mr Prideaux were also away on military service. It was only found possible to run two out of the three blast furnaces. But the war itself, and its heavy

munitions requirements, caused a steady demand for the firm's products, so that a few years more of good profits and a guaranteed market gave protection against efficient competition from other companies at home and in foreign countries. Labour shortage, and the withdrawal of men so that they could join the Forces, continued to cause diffi­culties. But early in 1917 the Ministry of Munitions gave support to the firm's claim against the enlistment of its men of military age, and though twenty men in the highest medical grades had to join up the remainder were declared temporarily exempt.

In the meantime there were the more ordinary problems of management, and the long-standing need for a more spacious works site had still to be kept in mind. In 1915 a wage claim for a general rise was met by the more limited concessions of an extra two shillings a shift for some of the men who worked a night shift. Potmen were given an extra ninepence a week, and there were rises for some individuals. Mr Badock addressed the whole body of employees to give them the firm's reasons for refusing a general in­crease. There followed some discussions on the problems of union recognition. The Gas Workers' Union, after its success in recruiting members from among Capper Pass em­ployees, was the one recognised by the management, the claim of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers being turned down. A less pleasant aspect of things at this time was when five men were dismissed for using undue pressure and intimidation on their fellow workers. In 1918 there was an unofficial strike, of a few days' duration, when attempts were made to force non-union men to join the union and to compel others who had left it to resume their membership.

In addition, the search for a new and more spacious site continued despite the preoccupations of war. Directors would go out in pairs to look for suitable places. The requirements were varied, and included nearness to a good coalfield, space for stacking and dumping waste slag, good water supplies and facilities for the discharge of effluent, an adjacent railway line, and ample space for any future development. Early in 1916 the Liverpool Silver and Copper Company's works at Widnes in Lancashire were in­spected, but the time had not yet come for a move so far away from Bristol. Later that year a large plot of ground was actually bought in the St Anne's district of Bristol, close down by the river and in all over fifty acres in area. It was used for the dumping of slag and residues, but nothing could be done immediately to build a new smelting works in this part of the city. This was as well, for the site (with no adjacent railway) was in many ways unsuitable for its purpose. In about ten years much of it was sold to the Bristol Corporation for the building of new council houses, and the present Wootton Road, with its reference to Wootton Fitzpaine, is a reminder of its Capper Pass ownership. The rest of the site, being the part of it lying closest to the Avon, was later sold, for the building of their existing works, to the St Anne's Board Mills.

The end of the war was soon followed by a time of considerable crisis and confusion. The large sales of solder which war requirements had caused gave way, in the early months of 1919, to a period when the demand fell drastically. Yet 1919 as a whole, with • sharp rise in metal values, was a year of high profits; really serious financial straits were for a while postponed. But troubles and difficulties soon became apparent at a time --vhen Mr Badock, who had been Sheriff of Bristol in 1908 and was increasingly caught up in public affairs and in his work for the University of Bristol, was tending to give less of his time to the management of Capper Pass. As research and modernisation had for some years been neglected or kept at a low level the Bedminster firm fell more and more behind its rivals in the same field. Its advertising and publicity were very defective, and as its chief product was sold direct to metal dealers, who then passed it on to the actual users of the solder, the name of Capper Pass was hardly known in the metal industry as a whole. Nor, as was seen in the strike of 1921, were labour relations very satisfactory,

1 there was a strike of the firm's carters in 1920. More promising factors were, how­ever, at work in the year 1920, the centenary year of what we now know to be the first certain record of the Pass family in Bristol.

Some debts due from German firms, unpaid during the war, had by now been re-

ered. More important still was a technical innovation of great significance. This was the introduction of tin refining by an electrolytic process. The process was one which had already been operated in the United States, and involved the smelting of higher srrade Bolivian ores and residues so as to produce high-quality tin. The plant for this process at Capper Pass's was put on the site which had once been that of the Malago brick works. It was actually on Armistice day, nth November, 1918, that the necessary i.terations were started. Work continued well into 1919, and tin refining by the new process started late that year.

By the end of 1920, despite the generally difficult trading conditions of that year, and despite the inadequacy of the Bedminster sites as the sole scene of the firm's activity, the rate of operations tended to increase and the blast furnaces had by now started to work over the weekends. A very troubled and difficult few years lay ahead, but the men were

I available who would in time guide Capper Pass through lean years and equip the firm for a more expansive and prosperous future. Mr Douglas Pass, Mr Humphrey

ieaux, and Mr Paul Gueterbock had all returned safely from their war service, and these, along with Mr Morris Fowler till his death 'in harness' as works manager, were those who would, in the main, be responsible for the move towards better things. Mr Gueterbock's combination of technical ability, foresight, and business capacity was to be of particular value in Capper Pass's progress from the St Philip's backyard of late Georgian times to the large concern, with its works both in Bristol and on the Humber, which one knows today.

6 The Last Forty Years

The time immediately after 1918 was one of sharply fluctuating fortunes for Capper Pass. The firm's deepest problem lay in the need to adapt itself to the greatly changed trading conditions of the post-war years.

At the end of the war, and for a few years more, solder was still the chief product oi the Bedminster works. Sales varied considerably, and in 1921 fell heavily, for this was the year of the one strike in the firm's history, apart from the General Strike of 1926. Ii was over a wage dispute and lasted from April to June. But though solder sales improvec in 1922 and 1923 they never approached the tonnages of the pre-war and wartime years Competition from continental and domestic smelters was becoming severe. Demand moreover, was now for the faster working, antimony-free solders, whereas Capper Pas only produced their traditional tin alloy. There was also a change in the type of ra\ materials available. In Bolivia, development of the tin-mining industry was progressing and substantial tonnages of low grade and complex tin ores were on offer. In addition the breaking down of surplus war munitions produced big tonnages of scrap metals an< secondaries, many of these being high in antimony.

These new materials could not be treated economically by the old-establishe methods, so that new processes had to be developed and new markets exploited. Th directors realised that there would always be a ready market for metals in element; form and of a high degree of purity, and much research to this end was carried out und( the direction of Mr Gueterbock. His work led to the separation by electrolysis of an e: tremely pure tin, justly claimed to be the world's purest tin at 99.99 per cent ti content and marketed under the brand name 'Chempur' (chemically pure) for the first time in 1923.

While the production of antimonial solder, antimonial and soft lead and copper sulphate continued as important items in the firm's output, the increasing demand from the motor, electrical and can-making trades for faster flowing solders was met by the production of antimony-free solders, the antimony being removed with aluminium.

In an endeavour to increase their profitable outlet for antimony the company now en­tered business as suppliers of type metal to the printing trade, and for some years the sale of type metal grew steadily. They also sold small amounts of anti-friction and bear­ing metals to shipbuilding and engineering concerns. But the cycling load of used type that printers and newspapers returned in exchange for new metal was such that the out­let for antimony was very limited, and in 1934 the goodwill of Pass Printing Metals was sold to the London firm of H. J. Enthoven & Sons.

Meanwhile, Mr Gueterbock was directing further development work to find a means of electrolysing a very much more impure anode. This led to the T' process, and in 1933 to the production and initial sales of Tass No i tin'. As the original Mill Lane works at Bedminster were too small for these new operations the work was done on the site owned by the company higher up the Malago valley and named the Malago works.

These favourable technical developments also compelled the directors to make a final decision about a new and more spacious site. During the war the question had lain dormant, but in the summer of 1926 the matter was taken up again. The board decided :o collect information on the requirements for a really large and spacious works. Many possible sites were visited, Mr Badock and Mr Gueterbock being particularly active in the search. The site already owned at Brislington was seen to be unsuitable, and was therefore sold. In 1927 and 1928 over twenty acres were bought at Keynsham, but this site also was never used. Some sites, like one at Newport and one at Sharpness, which the Earl of Berkeley refused to sell, were in the Bristol Channel area. One was at Peri vale in Middlesex, and another at Goole at the head of the Humber estuary. By the early months of 1928 the search was narrowing down to the district within easy reach of the Humber and its port of Hull. It was pointed out that congestion at Bedminster made the matter urgent, and that a failure to expand would severely endanger the com­pany's future. The search for a site was now concentrated on Melton, at North Ferriby on the northern side of the Humber a few miles above Hull. The board agreed that this was the only one to meet future requirements, so on 2yth July 1928 they decided to exercise an option. Thus they committed the firm to its most historic territorial move since the first Capper Pass moved from Birmingham to Bristol.

The Melton site was spacious and level. It had a main line railway immediately behind it, and water for cooling and for the discharge of effluents was available in the Humber nearby. Old clay pits were close at hand for dumping slag. Coal supplies from :he west Yorkshire coalfields were close, and ample labour existed in the district. The port of Hull offered shipping facilities both for distant sources of raw material and for continental markets, particularly in Germany. By and large the site seemed, and has proved, almost ideal for Capper Pass's subsequent period of expansion and more varied production.

Though the Melton site was bought (for less than £12,000) in 1928 the slump which soon started delayed work. Above-ground building did not begin till 1936. The tin refinery started working in about a year. The first blast furnace started operations in September 1937 and two more were finished by the outbreak of war. The Melton works started with seventy-five employees of all grades. These included a number of key men who moved with their families from Bristol. The total number initially employed at Melton was not quite a third of the number still working at Bedminster.

Both at Melton and Bristol many men left early in the second world war to serve in the armed forces. Some, however, came back to their civilian work, as the firm had some cover for its workers under the arrangements for men in reserved occupations. Morale among the workers was high in both works throughout the war. The story is told of a man at Bristol who, when he heard that his house was actually ablaze in an air raid, only asked to go home when the raid was over. Despite heavy destruction in the Bedminster area, the Bristol works had only slight damage and at Melton there was virtually none. A worse problem was the loss of the firm's chief source of raw materials.

Bolivian ore supplies were cut off owing to shipping difficulties. As a strategic move, and to avoid the shipment of precious Bolivian ores through the dangers of the open Atlantic, the United States Government set up a plant to refine them in Texas. Capper Pass had thus to find other raw materials so as to maintain its production of metals which were vital to Britain's war effort. The whole country was scoured for suitable tin slags, large quantities being obtained from disused workings in Cornwall. Technical development continued, however, throughout the war years. With increasing available supplies of secondaries which contained tin and copper, the outlet for copper as copper sulphate was unsatisfactory, and a change was made to recover copper as copper cathode. The electro refining of lead became necessary to recover increasing amounts of bismuth and silver, and equipment was installed to divide the slimes into a high bismuth-lead alloy and crude silver for marketing. After the firm's withdrawal from the type metal business surplus antimony was concentrated into fume, but no satisfactory market for this could be found and a plant for the production of antimony metal was designed and built.

The post-war story of Capper Pass is largely one of great changes in the relative importance of Melton and Bristol, with Melton becoming the more important of the two, and the centre of the firm's main activities. During the war two other solder-making firms were taken over by Capper Pass. One of these, Victor G. Stevens Limited, of Felling-on-Tyne, approached the directors in this connection, and seemed a worthwhile acquisi­tion both because it had good stocks of scarce raw material and because of its good contacts with the retail trade in solder. The other firm, Messrs George Pizey of London, special- sed in the production of highly fabricated forms of solder. It was taken over towards the end of the war and its plant was moved to Felling. Then in 1959 the entire plant of the Tyne solder works was transported to Bristol, where Capper Pass's production of fabricated solder has since been concentrated.

At Melton expansion and development have been continuous ever since 1945. The numbers employed there give a good indication of the changed balance between the firm's two centres of production. For the Melton numbers gradually increased from the time when the works were opened, rising, in 1952, to about 400 at which level they have remained steady, whereas at Bristol numbers gradually fell. In 1946, when Melton had 228 men and Bristol 191, they overtook the Bristol figures. The Melton numbers then increased, and since 1952 they have remained about 400 or a little more. At Bristol, however, the employees were gradually reduced; the figure for 1960 was about 150. Staflf numbers have shown the same trend, particularly after the firm's head office, with its commercial, secretarial, and costing departments, was moved to Melton in 1955. Early in the 1950*8 a research laboratory was built at Melton, research being carried out both there and in the works.

The tin smelter set up in the United States continued, uneconomically, for some years after the war, the United States Government finally withdrawing from tin smelting in about 1956. Supplies of tin ore from Bolivia in time became available again for British smelters, new complications being caused by political upheavals in Bolivia itself. But Capper Pass have been able to obtain ample Bolivian supplies, personal contacts with the Bolivian authorities being maintained as some of the firm's directors and executives have paid visits to Bolivia. The company has also contributed to the international loans made to the Bolivian Government for the re-equipment of its mines.

By the beginning of the I96o's, the firm of Capper Pass and Son Limited had got fully into its post-war stride. The Melton works, on their spacious site with ample room for new activities, and with housing provided close at hand for several of the workers, were amply fulfilling the plans made for them some thirty years beforehand, but par­tially interrupted by the war. Tin and cathode copper at Melton, and solder at Bristol were the three financial mainstays of the firm. The move to Melton had shown how necessary is ample space for the progress of such a firm. This had, in fact, been the story long before, when the Capper Pass of an earlier generation had moved from his back­yard in St Philip's Marsh to what were then the wider pastures of Bedminster.

Preface

This story covers one hundred and fifty years from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. It is the story of a remarkable family and of a remarkable firm and is typical of many similar family businesses which have contrib­uted greatly to the financial strength and prestige of Britain.

Colonel A. D. Pass, O.B.E., D.L., who retired from the Chairmanship in 1960, and is still a member of the Board, is the great-grandson of 'Capper Pass F, Founder of the firm, and there is amongst employees generally a number of second and third-generation men.

Although Capper Pass & Son Ltd has grown greatly since its early beginnings— about £3 ½ million is now employed in the business—it has never lost the character of a family business in which a friendly, personal relationship is maintained between employ­ees and management and there has been no industrial trouble, worth the name, during a century and a half.

Practically no names are mentioned in this story, although there has been a succes­sion of extremely able metallurgists, chemists, engineers and foremen, who have pro­vided the imagination, the scientific knowledge, and the leadership to build up and maintain this successful enterprise.

Relatively unknown in wider financial and commercial circles, the name of Capper Pass is nevertheless respected by non-ferrous metal men throughout the world and im­mediately conjures up a picture of ingenious, viable processes, continuous research and technical development, and the production of the purest metals from the most complex ores and residues.

At the Annual General Meeting, held in Bristol in October 1962, in my Chairman's Statement I paid a tribute to the 'famous and hospitable City of Bristol' where Capper Pass virtually started his little backyard business and where we maintained our head office for around one hundred and fifty years.

I also said that the emergence of a new type of smelter, and the economies of inte­gration at that date, were leading to the transfer of smelting and our other major activi­ties from Bristol to Melton, on the north bank of the Humber, where thirty years ago we had begun to establish a new, modern plant which has now grown so big and versatile that it can effectively undertake most of our work.

This, then, seems a good time in which to publish a brief history of a firm and a family of which we are very proud, as a record for our suppliers, our customers, our employees and posterity.

FRASER OF LONSDALE

Chairman

 

Black Country Background

The roots of the Pass family do not lie in Bristol, where they built up the metal-smelting concern which bears their name. Their background, and the origins of their business activity, must be sought in Staffordshire. More precisely they lie in Walsall, perched high on its hill overlooking the Black Country.

South Staffordshire early became famous as a pioneering industrial district. Its main energies have always lain in the production of such light metal goods as nails, locks, tools, and miscellaneous ironmongery. The work was done, from an early period, in many small forges and backyard workshops. Places of manufacture were scattered, and com­munities grew up haphazardly, less in clearly defined towns and villages than in small settlements built all over a sprawling area of primitive, unplanned industry.

The town of Walsall was soon prominent in the Black Country's industrial life. Being a borough, and a close-knit town with a market, a large mediaeval church, and an old grammar school, it had a certain lead over the other industrial communities of the region; it was, for many years, a larger and more important place than Birmingham. It early developed a special interest and expertise in the manufacture of saddler's iron­mongery and of the buckles used in the eighteenth century on knee breeches and shoes. The buckles, in view of the Pass family's activities, are of special interest. For they were apt to be of tin, brightly polished or else plated with silver. In an age of horse transport, and at a time when people secured their footwear not by strings or laces but by buckles, Walsall's prosperity seemed firmly based, and the town attained a population of over ten thousand in the first census of 1801. By that time, however, there were the beginnings of uncertainty and decline. Though nailmaking and Sadler's ironmongery were still reason­ably prosperous, the trade in locks and buckles was described as 'indifferent'. The local historians show that there were two main causes of the trouble. One of these, the high prices of copper, brass and tin, was due to the Napoleonic war. The other, more perman­ently devastating factor lay in the realm of fashion. For shoelaces had now taken the place of buckles, long trousers had become fashionable instead of breeches buckled just below the knee, and Wellington boots, with neither laces nor buckles, became more and more popular as the new century progressed. The army had abandoned shoe buckles, with disastrous results for Walsall. An effort was, indeed, made to stem the tide of taste, for we hear how in 1792 the playwright Sheridan (as MP for Stafford) presented a petition to that arbiter of taste, his close friend the Prince of Wales, expressing Walsall's consternation at the new patronage of 'shoestrings and slippers'. The obliging Prinny bade his court cronies to go back to buckles. But the collapse of the buckle trade soon continued, and many workers in Walsall were driven into dire distress or forced to learn new trades. Such was the position in 1801, the year when we first hear in Walsall of a man named Capper Pass.

The Pass family may have been of Huguenot origin; what is more certain is that the branch with whom we are concerned was settled in Staffordshire about the middle of the eighteenth century. It was there, probably between 1770 and 1780, but at a place and on a date that cannot now be certainly established, that William Pass married Mary Capper. The Cappers, some of whom are said to have been Quakers, were living by 1700 near Rugely. It may have been there that the Pass-Capper wedding took place. What also seems certain is that the Pass family were Nonconformists, and that their religious allegiance determined the choice of name for the son who was born, before 1782 when his mother died in Walsall, to William and Mary Pass. For it was, from fairly early times, a common practice among Nonconformists (particularly among Quakers) not to give their children a first name of any obviously religious type, but merely to give them as a first name the surname of the mother. Capper Pass is such a name, and it must be this Capper Pass, the only man of his surname or Christian name in Walsall, who appears in the detailed Census Schedule of 1801. His address is given as Woods Yard, an alleyway or passage which led off New Street (first called Fieldgate) not far south of the church and in the highest, most central part of old Walsall. His occupation is given as Victualler'; in other words a purveyor of drink who may also have had more solid provisions in his stock in trade.

This first Capper Pass was perhaps one of those who had been obliged, by depression in the bucklemaking industry, to change his trade, returning to work on metals as soon as he could set up in a place more durably promising than Walsall. Victualling might thus have been a temporary standby. At all events, any man who lived at Walsall had metal-working (particularly in tin and the plating of tin) in his blood. Almost all Capper Pass's neighbours in Woods Yard pursued the callings normal in the town There were several bucklemakers, a chapemaker, a whitesmith, a plater, a snaffler, a snaffle filer, and a hook

filer—to say nothing of a butcher and a brushmaker. Woods Yard was typical of many other side streets in this busy town of backyard workshops. But economic conditions were still precarious. Thomas Pearce, who was one of Walsall's census enumerators in 1801, and who wrote the town's history in 1813, speaks then of bad days for the buckle trade. If a man could see better chances elsewhere he was well advised to go, and it seems that Capper Pass lost little time in seeking his fortune outside Walsall. His marriage, to Ann Perkins, is said to have occurred in 1802. In November 1803 his eldest daughter Harriet was baptised in St Philip's Church (now the cathedral) in Bir­mingham. This town was for some years the place where Capper Pass I worked. Another daughter named Jane was born there in 1803 and the second Capper Pass in 1806. The baptisms of these two are not entered in the St Philip's register, but it seems likely that the family continued for a time to live in that part of Birmingham. But in the Levy Book (i.e. for the Poor Rate) for Birmingham in 1807 to 1809 the name of Pass appears against a property in Lancaster Street in St Mary's Quarter. The property, with a rate­able value of £24 a year, was among the higher valued premises in the Street, though rated less than those which included furnaces and other larger items of industrial plant. There are indications, in the precise way in which Pass's name is entered in the rate book against a property previously owned by one Joseph Walton, that he was at this time just coming into occupation. The Triennial Directory of 1808 makes it clear that the prem­ises concerned were No 22 Lancaster Street, and Capper Pass is given as a 'refiner of metals and brass caster in general'. The Levy Book ofi8iotoi8i3 still shows him as the occupant of the same premises, no doubt with his workshop in the backyard, and the Directory of 1812 gives him as 'refiner and dealer in metals'. But in 1815 his name no longer appears in the Birmingham directories and by 1820 he had certainly moved again, to the city where his family's fortune was to be made. For in that year he appears, in the church rate books, as the occupant of two small properties in the industrial parish of St Philip's, Bristol.

Early Days in Bristol

Sixty years before the first Bristol reference to Capper Pass the city itself had been the second largest in the country, a prosperous port, commercial centre, and manufacturing town. By 1820 it had been overhauled by Birmingham, and by several other towns in the Midlands and North, and for various reasons it experienced a depression and a posi­tion of relatively less importance. Yet it remained a commercial and industrial centre of note and it was easily the largest town in the West of England. We do not know the exact date of the first Capper Pass's migration from Birmingham to Bristol, though some time about 1815 seems likely. Nor are his precise reasons known, but he presum­ably felt that for him at all events Bristol offered a wider range of trade and brighter hopes. His beginnings in Bristol were, however, minute, the scene of his activity being no more than the tiny backyard, with its workshops, of the type already familiar to him in the Walsall-Birmingham area.

The church rate books of St Philip's parish in Bristol make no reference to Capper Pass in 1815. But in 1820 the next ones show that William Perkins (perhaps a relative of Mrs Pass) and Capper Pass jointly occupied a property in 'The Marsh' which belonged to Perkins. Capper Pass was also the sole occupant of a property owned by one S. Litson. The two properties, being among the humblest in that part of Bristol, had a rateable value of £5. The district itself, lying along the Avon (by that time converted into the non-tidal floating harbour), and extending along the Feeder Canal, had long main­tained an industrial character. It had easy access, by river or land carriage, to fuel sup­plies from the Kingswood coalpits just east of Bristol. The gasworks, whence supplies of coke could be obtained, had been established in the St Philip's area in 1819. The district contained a mixture of potteries, glass furnaces and foundries; of the last named some were of considerable size. But Capper Pass's little establishment was not among these larger industrial concerns. In 1826 his name appears again in the church rate books as the tenant of property (probably the same as before, but under new ownership) be­longing to a man named Skidmore. In 1837 the Bristol Poll Books list him, against the Marsh Buildings address, and as a voter for Berkeley, the Liberal candidate, and for the banker John Philip Miles. Then in 1839, just before the move to Bedminster and the present site, the Borough Rating Assessments give important details of Capper Pass as the tenant of a property in Marsh Buildings. These buildings are shown, towards the bottom of Avon Street and at right angles to it, in Ashmead's great Bristol map of 1828. They were a poor row of cottages with backyards. They have long been demolished; their site is in 1963 covered by some large mid-Victorian industrial buildings. The houses, in 1839, were rated low. One only, and that the property occupied by Capper Pass, is valued higher (£16 gross and £14 net) than the others. The reason for these better figures was clearly that it was classified as a 'dwelling house and manufactory*. It was here, no doubt, in a backyard workshop, that Capper Pass, described in the Bristol directories from 1836 onwards as a 'metal refiner and dealer, near gas works, Avon Street', carried on his small-scale business. His furnace and methods were, perhaps, no more sophisticated than the apparatus later shown in Mr Alfred Pass's bookplate. That bookplate is in itself of no small charm, with its contrasting vignettes of the humble smelter, at his tiny furnace, and the dream castle of his imagination and ambition. It throws a pleasing human light on the aspirations and attitudes of mind of a man who did, in fact, see much of his ambition fulfilled.

The 1830`s were also important for the history of the Pass family. In August of 1836 the second Capper Pass married Hannah Coole, born in Bristol but then of Long Ashton just outside it on the Somerset side. In July of 1837 Alfred Capper Pass, the controller of the firm's fortunes for over thirty years from 1870, was born. His birth­place is given as Avon Street, St Philip's, and the occupation of his father (Capper Pass II) is given as 'metal refiner'. It may have been about now that the first Capper Pass either died or handed over the business to his son, but unfortunately the date of his death remains unknown. The St Philip's church registers do not mention the point, and if, as seems likely, he was a Nonconformist, he may have been buried at one of the numerous chapels of the area. It was certainly his son, Capper Pass II, who made the important move from Marsh Buildings to the Bedminster site.

3 The Bedminster Move

If Capper Pass II wished to expand his little business his move, in 1840, to Bedminster can easily be understood. That district of southern Bristol, its northern portion only taken into the city in 1835, was beginning by now to become more industrialised and to expand. But the process had not yet gone far, and Bedminster, with its pastures and stream valleys, contained more empty ground than the riverside stretch of St Philip's parish. The Bristol and Exeter Railway, though now projected, had not yet cut its way through the semi-rural meadowlands between Windmill Hill and the New Cut. Along with a good choice of sites there were ample coal supplies available, with no more than a short cartage haul, from the mines in Bedminster itself. Capper Pass does not seem to have foreseen how soon most of the district would become a densely populated, closely built area, or how his chosen site, despite expansion from time to time, would duly be­come too cramped for the activities built up by him and later by his son. Immediately speaking a move to Bedminster was tactically promising.

So in 1840 Capper Pass II bought a plot of ground not far from Paul Street in Bed­minster. This street was a continuation of Mill Lane whose name came from the water mill down by the Malago brook, at this point subdivided into several small channels. The site itself lay a little north of Paul Street, being bounded on one side by a branch of the stream (whose water would be useful for cooling) and on another by the narrow, newly built Coronation Street. Ashmead's map of 1828 shows the site as void ground amid open fields, but it was soon to be hemmed in by streets of houses and other buildings. It measured only 103 feet by 81 feet. But it was clearly more spacious than the backyard

at Marsh Buildings. A narrow strip of ground along the stream was at once added to make a haulage way for carts coming to and from the main road.

By the terms of his new purchase Capper Pass II was to build 'at least one good and substantial messuage or dwelling house'. This house, in the late Regency style still normal in Bristol in the 1840*85 survives as part of the firm's offices. At first, however, it was Capper Pass II's own home and two of his daughters were born there. Later, when he had moved from industrial Bedminster (not, in mid-Victorian times, a very savoury area and devoid of metalled roads, street cleaning, and public lighting) to the residential respectability of various Redland addresses, the house was long occupied by George Tapp the resident foreman. By August 1841 the house had been built. The Census Schedule and the Poll Book of that year show that in the meantime Capper Pass (described in the Poll Book as a chemist) lived not in St Philip's but close to his new place of business in the newly built Richmond Terrace. This row of houses was well sited a little way up the slope of Windmill Hill, commanding what was then a pleasant view across open country­side, towards the Gorge and the fine terraces of Clifton. It was away from the coalpits and was said to be 'the cleanest rank of houses in Bedminster'. The Poll Books also show that then and in later elections Capper Pass II cast his vote for the Liberals.

His house apart, Capper Pass also built what the deeds mention as 'a lofty chimney with furnaces and workshops'. More ground was also taken in, at the same time, to the south of the ground first bought. Early smelting was thus carried on upon the site so acquired in the first Bedminster year. We shall see that these operations, most probably, lay largely in the recovery, from such goods as Sheffield plate and gold-plated objects, of silver and gold; lead, copper, and other metals came later as the site and the plant in­creased.

We get a glimpse of these early Bedminster days from the reminiscences of Mr Tom Cable, an employee of the firm for many years from 1887 and still alive in 1963. His father was works watchman, and his mother-in-law worked as a maidservant for Capper Pass II, most probably early in the 1850*3 when he still lived in the works. Joe Stroud, an older colleague of Mr Cable, started work as far back as 1853. Only six employees were there at the time, and as Stroud was entered as the seventh he was given a ticket, marked 'No. 7', which he carried in his pocket. The time of Stroud's entry seems to have been one of great expansion both in the scale and range of Capper Pass's activities. For by a purchase of extra ground in 1852 the site was more than doubled in a northward direction. It now filled most of the long, narrow strip of land between Coronation Street and the eastern channel of the Malago. On its northern side the site was, and is, hemmed in by the Malago itself where that brook bends at right-angles and flows directly towards East Street. It was on part of the land bought in 1852 that the first blast furnace was built; the largest smelting operation now envisaged would have called for the em­ployment of more men, of whom Stroud was one. The number employed certainly re­mained higher after 1853. The name of Pass's Yard gave way, so we find from the Bristol Directories of 1855 onwards, to the grander sounding title of metal works, while from about 1866 onwards the firm's designation became Capper Pass and Son. For by this time an important phase in the technical and business history of the concern had taken place: Alfred Pass had become much more closely associated with the firm's management. As we have seen, he had been born in 1837, and we know from a family letter that in 1845 was at a private boarding school at the village of Norton St Philip near Bath. No certain particulars are known about the rest of his education. He is said, in the 1850*85 to have learned chemistry from some teacher in Bristol, but it is not fully clear where or how he obtained his technical instruction. But as he approached thirty he was ready to take over more of the work. His father had now moved from the works to the newly built Aberdeen Terrace just off Whiteladies Road; he was there, and at two other Redland addresses, in the last years of his life. He was, by now, the prosperous, bewhiskered mid-Victorian businessman of his surviving photograph: he had clearly come far since the backyard days in St Philip's. He died on I4th September 1870. The newspaper notice of his death says that he had long been ill, and it seems likely that he had for some time left much of the firm's day-to-day management to his son.

Tradition has it that Alfred Pass once told his father that 'we must know what we are doing', and that his learning scientific chemistry was in pursuit of that aim. His increased prominence in the firm's activities certainly made for a technical proficiency greater than had been in evidence during the earliest years at Bedminster: even so, there was still a good deal about the work that was haphazard and based on inadequate knowledge. But to an increasing degree Alfred Pass saw to it that raw materials were assayed. Initially, and certainly from as far back as 1864, this work was done (with very variable results) by outside firms, but in a few more years, from about 1870 and a little before the time when Alfred Pass gained complete control of the firm on his father's death, an assayer named Read was actually employed in the works. The earliest assay books still in the firm's possession date from 1867 and from then onwards were kept regularly. The first of these books is in Alfred Pass's hand, except for a spell of a few days at the time of his father's death and funeral. From them, and from still older records in a notebook called the Business Experiments Book, as well as from some oral traditions stretching back as far as 1845, we can gather something of the technical operations of Capper Pass's in these early Bedminster years.

About 1845, very soon after the move from St Philip's, the work done seems largely to have lain in the desilvering of unwanted or damaged Sheffield plate, the silver so obtained thus being recovered for sale. The scaling of gilt buttons, and the melting down of such small, utilitarian gold objects as keys and seals was also undertaken. It may well be that similar work had been done in the St Philip's backyard; these recovery operations were thus, perhaps, a link with the elder Capper Pass's activities in Birming­ham, and included the stripping of plated iron and brass as well as copper. In 1857, how­ever, the firm's operations on its enlarged site lay mainly in the treatment of lead ores and residues, and of copper ores and secondaries. The metal so recovered was sold, not always at a profit and often for small gains. The picture is that of a business only marginally The

profitable, with no assured source of revenue and with technical knowledge of a some­what primitive and haphazard kind.

From 1857 onwards is the period covered by the Business Experiments Book. There seems, by now, to have been no more work on the recovery of gold and silver, but scrap brass and scrap zinc came fairly prominently into the varied list of metals that were treated. The main search, for about ten years, was for some operation which would yield steadily profitable results. It was in 1866, with the refining of solder and the production, in commercial quantities, of what was later called tin alloy, that the time of probing and experiment ended in success.

Work had, however, been done by 1866 on several other metals. Various coppery materials, of low content and troublesome to work because of their high lead admixture, were smelted in 1857 and during the 186o's. A hampering factor, in all these operations, lay in the variable results given by the various outside assaying firms to whom Capper Pass's sent samples. The theoretical basis of the firm's operations (as with many other British industrial concerns at that time) seems to have been sketchy and backward, a process of trial, and of frequent error, being almost inevitable rather than work based on theoretical calculation or scientific research. Copper slags from other smelters were im­portant among these materials. Some of the ores and residues smelted at this time were heated in a reverbatory furnace, but they were mostly fed into the blast furnace which in those days only worked twelve hours a day, the nights being available for emergency repairs. In 1870, as we find from two working lists, the furnace was tended by an engine-man (at 4^ a day), a boilerman and a tapping man (at 3^ 6d each), a furnaceman (the feeder) who got $s, and two slag men at 35. During meals the materials were pushed up in wheelbarrows and dumped near the furnaces for subsequent feeding in by hand. The feeding process was continuous, some men not normally on furnace work being brought up while the furnacemen were eating. Fuel, available from the Bedminster collieries or else, in the case of coke, from the Ashton Vale Iron Company not far away, was cheap, and the short distances involved made its transport inexpensive.

Coal ranged, between 1865 and 1870, from 6s to 6s 6d ton, being cheaper still in the i88o's when the larger scale of Capper Pass's operations made it possible to buy it in greater bulk. Coke never cost more, at this period, than the 15^ paid per ton in 1870. But in the 188o's the prices, from various local sources of supply, were lower still. With the blast furnace established as the chief means for initial smelting, the reverbatory was only used for the final production of metallic copper from the resulting matter. But it seems, from the somewhat scattered evidence available in Business Notes, that the quality of the ingot copper eventually produced was far from consistent or adequately pure, and that copper smelting was never a really profitable activity.

The treatment of lead ores and lead residues seems also to have been decidedly 'mar­ginal', with unreliable financial results. At first, in the 1850*8 various Cornish lead ores were bought for smelting. But their quality varied greatly. For this reason, and because lead mining in Cornwall was by this time in decline. Capper Pass soon turned to such secondary materials as lead ashes, lead sulphate, scrap lead, leaded paper from tea chests, and zinc slag. Here too, the reverbatory was used at first, but as a larger output was re­quired, and could readily be sold, the blast furnace took over. The smelting of lead, by various processes and with different sources for the raw material, continued for some years after Alfred Pass took over from his father, and we shall see how he made use of waste material from the ancient Mendip workings. The de-silvering of lead was also being undertaken both before and after 1870. But the amounts extracted were very small (only 3| ounces per ton of lead in 1873) an d the operation could have yielded little if any profit. Cobalt and nickel were also extracted in this early period, in small amounts, but for high prices when these were compared to those fetched by copper and lead.

More significant for the firm's future prosperity were the early experiments with tin. From as far back as 1858 consignments of solder ashes were bought from a meat-preserv­ing firm in Ireland, and work was later done on mixed tin and silver material, and on hard head (a compound of tin, arsenic and iron) from Cornwall. But in these early days Capper Pass's had no real idea on how such tin-bearing materials should be treated, and results were far below what they could have been. Another material seen as a possible source of tin was the pan scum which came from softening tinny lead in the lead-refining furnace. Once it appeared that the tin so obtained was suited to solder making the amount so treated increased. This increase came after the important discovery of 1866.

The first production of clean, satisfactory tin alloy, or solder, seems to have occurred in September 1866. The initial process was the smelting of pewter and solder ashes in the lead reverbatory. This was done so as to avoid volatilising and the loss of nearly half the residue's metal content; it seems likely that this good result was largely due to the use, as flux, of a little soda ash. The actual refining is best described in the words of the Business Experiments Book: 'The metal produced from the above was drained as usual in the furnace and then treated as follows: melted in a pot containing about five tons, until a rim had solidified all round the pot. By watching until the right time arrived, and repeatedly pouring sample bars into a mould, It ultimately came to a certain definite quality of metal, very fluid and clean at a very low temperature and uniformly the same. When this quality was reached, it was rapidly ladled out into pigs, and a quantity of thick stuff of very in­ferior quality remained at the bottom and side of the pot.' The earliest assays of the firm's tinning metal or fine solder are dated 1868 and 1869, and were both by outside assayers. The tin content was given, for the two years, as 60.9 per cent and 59.78 per cent, the antimony content of the finished metal being only one per cent. It was, however, made clear, for instance in correspondence of 1877, that Capper Pass and Son did not guaran­tee a tin content as high as 60 per cent in the solder they now regularly produced.

With the first refining of tin alloy, and its establishment as the firm's main product for sale, the early Bristol period may fitly be closed. It is very clear, both from technical and personal events in Capper Pass and Son's history, that the years from 1866 to 1870 were of crucial importance. For they saw the discovery of the product which would, for the rest of the century and beyond it, be the firm's commercial mainstay. The change of the firm's title came in that same year, 1866. In the next four years came the long last illness and death of Capper Pass II, and the rise to partial and then complete control of his son Alfred, who would guide the concern's fortunes through a long spell of gather­ing and then consistent well-being.
Steady Prosperity

The years from 1870 to 1905 were those when control of the firm rested in the competent hands of Alfred Capper Pass. They ended with his retirement and last illness, and with his death in the early autumn of 1905.

The firm's commercial mainstay throughout this perid of over thirty years was the production, from residues bought cheaply, of tin alloy or solder, and the sale of the finished product at varying but favourable prices. Some work, however, was done on other metals, and the first few years after 1870 saw a continuance of somewhat experi­mental work on copper, lead, and nickel and also the trial of various mixtures which could possibly yield a satisfactory brand of solder. The same years were marked by an im­portant increase in the area of the works, and from now onwards one gets fuller, and more humanly interesting, information both on the principals of Capper Pass and Son and on conditions within their works and in the Bedminster neighbourhood in which those works lay.

The Business Experiments Book shows that copper slags and regulus, of varying content, were still being assayed between 18 70 and 18 73, while ingot copper was assayed at various dates in 1874. Lead, however, was a metal of more lasting concern in Alfred Pass's time. The materials treated are of interest as well as the not very profitable end product. Hard ashes were still smelted: so too, from about 1871 onwards, were type ashes which also contained tin and antimony as well as lead. This material, which was only one of those now exploited for tin—antimony—lead residues, was known as 'Ger­man Arsenal Stuff', being surplus war material, either German or captured French, which came onto the scrap market in large quantities after the end of the Franco-Prussian war. As both shrapnel and rifle bullets were in those days made of antimonial lead, the melting of this material would produce antimonial lead ash, while the artillery shells of the period were coated with lead alloy which contained good quantities of tin. From about the same time Alfred Pass, who seems to have had a keen Interest in the history of metallurgy and in truly ancient precedents, started to use considerable loads of raw material from the dumps lying near the Mendip lead workings. Some of these, as is well-known, go back to Roman or even to pre-Roman times, and Alfred Pass, with his interest in such matters, had a large collection of Roman mining relics from the Mendips. He would stock up during the winter, at a time when the Somerset farmers had little other work for their men and cart horses. He mainly bought his material In the form of slimes, a relatively concentrated material, with a lead content up to 60 per cent, which had already been produced on the spot, by mineral dressings with water, from various slags and tailings lying near the workings. Work on these materials went on at Bed-minster for over ten years, and did not stop till well on in the 188o's. In 1871 lead ashes were being smelted in the blast furnace, and this process now became increasingly profit­able, though smaller in scale than the processes necessary for the production of solder. In 1875, f° r instance, lead ashes, lead slimes from the Mendips, and lead cupels were smelted along with Cornish tin slags, a small amount of copper slag, and calcined irony material, irony lumps, and tin lumps. The Cornish tin slags still contained appreciable amounts of tin, whose recovery was found profitable. Lead sulphate, from the alkali works, semi-liquid and acid, was also among the materials still smelted in Capper Pass's works for the extraction of lead.

Before 1872 it had been treated in the reverbatory, but from then onwards the blast furnace, having a larger throughput, took over the work. There was also, in this same decade, a little desilverising of lead, but not, apparently after 1873; the profit, with only 3 J ounces of silver per ton, must have been hardly worth the trouble taken.

It was, however, the production of solder that became more and more dominant In the Capper Pass works after the discovery of 1866, and after Alfred Pass had taken over the business. In the first few years of his regime there were still some experiments to find the most suitable furnace charge. In 1871, for instance, a mixture is given as follows:

2 barrows of pewter ashes agglomerated with soda ash 2 barrows of pewter ashes crude 2 barrows of lead pan scum 2 barrows of pewter slags 2 barrows of hard head

The quantity of coke used in the smelting was determined at the discretion of the furnaceman. Solder ashes would also be used in some other charges, and in others again :he proportion of hard head would be higher. From about 1874, as production of solder apidly rising, tin ashes were also used, and it seems to have been about this time that the blast furnace (except at weekends) was worked twenty-four hours a day instead of twelve. Rough tin slag from Cornwall was used in the next year, and about the same time we first hear of the use in the mixture of slap from the local tanneries, one of which was, and is, a next-door neighbour to the works. This slap was a residue which came from the use of lime to remove hair and animal fat. It consisted of slaked lime mixed up with the hairs and fat. Not unnaturally the stench was appalling, but its unpleasantness was well counterbalanced by its usefulness in sealing furnace doors and blocking up the cracks in flues. In such cases it was slapped on, and in actual smelting it was found that it would usefully bind fine residues together. Its use, for many years from these pioneering days of the 18703, well shows how apt were the Passes in making use of materials which could be had cheaply (or for nothing) from near at hand and for low costs in cartage.

By about 1878 the solder charge had become firmly settled, and for solder making at all events the period of trial and experiment was over. Tin ashes and solder were melted with Cornish tin slag and hard head, the tin slag providing a flux for carrying off iron and lime oxide, and the hard head yielding arsenic to make speiss with reduced iron. Scrap tin-plate cuttings would be used as a reducing agent, and to combine with sulphur. The furnaces themselves, and the methods of making solder, changed little for another fifty years.

As the scale of the firm's operations increased it clearly became necessary to enlarge the works. An important extension was in 1875, when the site was nearly doubled by the purchase of most of the ground between Coronation Road and the branch of the Malago which still served the mill. Coronation Street, which would otherwise have cut into the works, was taken in at the same time, but its breadth at the bottom, where it joined Paul Street, is still represented by the main entrance to the present works. The ancient St Catherine's Mill, which still ground corn by water power, was demolished in a few more years, and that particular branch of the Malago was filled in. Another expansion of the works was made possible when in 1882 a plot of land was bought between this western branch of the Malago and East Street: it was the first of Alfred Pass's important exten­sions which took the works much closer to the main thoroughfare of Bedminster. The plot in question had been used as a skinner's yard, but was known as the piggery. Its name, and various details which come from Mr Cable's memoirs and from other sources, well show how rustic, and partly agricultural, were large tracts of Bedminster in these last years before the coming of the tobacco factories. Just beyond the skinner's yard, at the bottom of a humble street known as Margaret Place, some ramshackle old stables were the chosen sleeping place of a motley group of hawkers with their ponies and don­keys, while in East Street there was still little traffic but coal carts and farmers' waggons drawn by oxen. Till 1875 t ' ie northern end of the ground between the works and the Malago was still an open field, known as the farm, and daily used for the assembly and milking of cows from neighbouring pastures. This ground was used, once bought by Alfred Pass, for the storage of lead ashes whose weight for a time depressed the soil so hat the ashes stood isolated in a great pool of water. The stockpiling of increasing quantities of ores and residues also caused the buying, in 1883, of over three acres of gro und in the Malago Field which lay between the Malago, Albert Road (now Shene Road) and a road and some gardens to the north. The strip of ground then bought had been a brick and tile yard and was about 500 feet long; though it was separate from the works it was convenient for its purpose and an easy carting distance from the main scene of operation. Apart from the technical details of the raw materials used, and of the smelt­ing methods employed, one begins, from now onwards, to get a clearer picture of in­dustrial life within the Capper Pass works. It seems, in many ways, a very different world from that of today.

The employees, in these late Victorian years, seem to have been more numerous than they are now. Their basic rate of pay, though very low by modern standards, was higher than that paid in the brickyards, by the local iron foundry, or by J. S. Fry's. More labour­ing and mechanical operations were then done by hand, and Mr Bowden, another retired employee still living in 1963, was told by his father that in the years about 1900 there j e 'more people about' than in more recent years. Great physical strength was clearly needed for many of the jobs that were done; tradition has it that Mr Alfred Pass only required, in his employees, that they should 'fear God and lift a hundredweight'. There was no canteen in those days; meals were eaten on the job and cans of tea were warmed up on the pots of molten metal. Many of the men must have lived, in those days of no bicycles or motor-buses, in Bedminster itself. But one hears of one country-loving em­ployee, Billy Parsons by name, who continued to make his home at Chew Magna, walking in every day across the windy heights of Dundry and always punctual, by rising at 3.30 am and leaving home at four, for the six o'clock start. Another man walked in, a somewhat shorter distance but a long climb home, from Dundry itself.

Another thing that comes clearer in these last two Victorian decades is the person-

jr, shrewd, efficient, paternal and benevolent, of Alfred Capper Pass. He was promi­nent, among the local industrialists of his time, for his intellectual stature. This intellec­tual eminence, in a man whose formal education seems not to have been very extensive, appeared both in his metallurgical ability and in his wide range of cultural pursuits, biology, archaeology, and history all being among his interests. He was specially keen on the history of pre-Roman man in Britain, and conducted the first excavations at Sil- bury Hill in Wiltshire. Till 1894 the firm was entirely his own, and although one hears more of others of importance in its running, it was very much a 'one man business' even after, in 1894, it became a limited company.

We have seen how from 1878 or thereabouts the pattern of the firm's activities be­came fixed, in main essentials, for the best part of forty years. But in the obtaining of pos­sibly fruitful materials Mr Pass is still seen to have made use both of his innate intellec­tual curiosity and of his shrewd realisation that something could be got from seemingly unpromising sources. From about 1878 material known as 'Greek Fume' or 'Greek matte' was smelted, with considerable difficulty but apparently with success for the production of nickel (whose price rose about this time) as well as lead. It also, perhaps, yielded good quantities of silver. The story runs that the material was bought cheap from a Greek merchant, and that when results were unexpectedly good Alfred Pass sent his supplier a handsome, and presumably an unexpected, Christmas present. But the wily Greek, after making his deductions, shipped no more of the material. The fume itself may possibly have come from the ancient slag dumps of the silver-lead workings in the Laurium peninsula in Attica, the mines being those whose silver had financed the Athe­nian navy and the great days of Imperial Athens. Another, more certain reference to an ancient source of supply comes about the same time. For Alfred Pass heard of the great slag dumps round the worked-out Cyprus copper mines whose ore, in Ptolemaic times, had been important for the Hellenistic world. So he had samples sent. But he found, from assays and from written sources, that the copper content of these residues was low, the original ore having been many times smelted by cheap slave labour at a time when Cyprus, before the fuller development of Spanish sources under the Roman Empire almost monopolised the copper supplies of antiquity.

Nearer home was the black slag, still containing a worthwhile amount of tin but reckoned worthless in South Wales and used as ballast by an old bargemaster who came over to ship iron sheets and plates made in the Ashton rolling mills. As ballast it cost him nothing, but Alfred Pass thought it well worth his while to pay a shilling a ton for the supposedly useless slag, sending down his horses and carts to clear the barge quickly as it lay in Bathurst Basin awaiting its iron loading. How great a profit arose from those shillings per ton is not disclosed!

Throughout the last twenty years of the century Alfred Pass remained firmly in day-to-day control of activities at Bedminster. Other men, however, appear by now in positions of considerable importance; their recruitment, in some cases, was due to some degree of family relationship with the Passes. The first of these was Alfred Trapnell, a man whose earlier career had been one of adventure in various parts of the world, and who returned to Bristol and there married Miss Lydia Pass, a sister of Alfred. He became the second man, after Alfred Pass himself, in the management of the firm, and ranked as a co-partner when it became a limited company in 1894. His nephew H. C. Trapnell, was the company's solicitor by 1883 and signed documents in that capacity. H. C. TrapnelFs wife had been a Miss Badock, of a family well known in Bristol social and educational circles, and her youngest brother Stanley (later Sir Stanley Badock) joined Capper Pass and Son about 1885 as a young man straight from Clifton College. It appears, from the early calendars of the university college, that he attended evening classes there (presumably in chemistry) during the session of 1884-1885. Mr Badock was entered for work on the technical side and is said, by Mr Cable, to have been more inter­ested in fumes, gases, and acids than in actual metals.

Like the Passes and Trapnells he always lived in the Redland-Clifton area, and Mr Cable also recalls that about the turn of the century he rode 'the highest penny-farthing in Bristol'. Another late nineteenth century recruit, for work on the commercial and office side, was Mr Crosby Warren, first encountered by Alfred Pass when both of them were in Egypt on a holiday trip.

The firm's own records throw little light on this period of Alfred Pass's direction of its affairs. The Business Experiments Book stops at 1880, and it is said that Alfred Pass destroyed many records and papers when he left Bristol to live as a country gentleman in Dorset. But something can be gleaned from various other sources, among them the Bristol directories of the time, and Mr Cable's memoirs. The directories show how in the i Syo's Alfred Pass moved from a house in Redland Park, just off Whiteladies Road and opposite the terrace house where his father had died, to a large individual house. This, perhaps specially built for its new and now prosperous occupant, was in Upper Belgrave Road, whose houses, in a situation still much prized, directly overlook Bristol's noble open expanse of the Downs. We find, by the same time, that the Alfred Trapnells were living near at hand in Belgrave Terrace, and the Passes and Trapnells for some time remained near in residence as in relationship, for at the opening of the 1890*8 they were actually next-door neighbours. But by 1892 Alfred Pass, at the height of his prosperity, had moved to his final Bristol address, across the Downs to 'The Holmes' in the select residential suburb of Stoke Bishop. By 1895 he was one of the Bristol magistrates, a prominent and respected citizen. In some eighty years, and in a manner common among energetic, self-reliant Victorian industrialists, the family had certainly moved far since its arrival in Bristol.

It is interesting to look briefly at some of Alfred Pass's activities, not of a strictly business character though linked to his business and to the life of the part of Bristol in which he operated.

We find, for instance, that he was a benefactor to the Bristol General Hospital, this being the one of the two hospitals in the city, which served the Bedminster area. In 1886, when the new church of St Michael was being built on the slopes of Windmill Hill just above the works, Alfred Pass gave the ground on which the church was to be erected. The area, on the slopes of Windmill Hill, was one in which he had considerable property interests, for he had, in 1878 and immediately afterwards, been responsible for the de­velopment of Algiers Street, Gwilliam Street, Vivian Street, and Fraser Street whose name derived from Mrs Pass's maiden name. In 1901, when its permanent nave was consecrated and when the furnishing of the church was completed, he gave a set of choir stalls in memory of his father and mother; when the church was accidentally gutted in 1926 they were replaced by his son, Mr Douglas Pass.

Of special interest, and logically connected with the nature of his business, is the record of what Alfred Pass did for Bristol's University College in its earliest days. He was by no means the only Bristol industrialist who aided the College in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, but what he did contribute put him well in the front of its early benefactors. The fact that in those days the College was a small and desperately struggling institution made the interest of Alfred Pass and other friends of all the more value.

The University College was founded in 1876. It is in 1883, not long after the firm of Capper Pass and Son had entered on its long period of steady prosperity, that we find Alfred Pass a member of the short-lived University College Club which was started to create for the little College an organised body of local supporters. From 1886 till his death Alfred Pass appears as an annual subscriber to the Sustentation Fund which was a mainstay of the College's finances. In 1886-1887 he was actually a day student of the College; in what subject he studied the list does not say. More notable than his annual subscriptions were his large occasional donations. In 1887 he gave £100 to a special fund, and in 1890 another £100 for the building of a new medical wing. Those sums may seem small now, but they were of much more value than the same sums would be today, and on each occasion the donations which equalled or exceeded those of Alfred Pass were a mere handful. The same was true when in 1896 he gave £250 to a special fund. By now, for seven years from 1895, till in 1902 he resigned for reasons of declining health, Alfred Pass was on the College Council, and during these years he established in the College a Capper Pass Scholarship in Metallurgical Research. On his death he left the College a substantial legacy. It was therefore very fitting that when in 1909 the College advanced to the status of a fully chartered University Mr Douglas Pass asked that his own large benefaction to the University should be used for the endowment of the chair of chemistry which is still known as the Alfred Capper Pass Professorship.

From Mr Cable's memoirs we get some intimate glimpses of Alfred Pass, the patern­ally benevolent employer. He was, it appears, a temperance advocate, so he handed round, to every man, copies of The British Workman^ a paper whose columns inveighed against strong drink. At Christmas his generosity to his employees was on a lavish scale. A new shirt was given to each employee of a year's standing or more, the shirts concerned being of an excellent lasting quality as some were still being worn over twenty years after Alfred Pass's death. Presents were handed out, by Mrs Pass and Mrs Trapnell, to the workmen's wives and children of school age. Old women living near the works, whether or not their menfolk had worked for Capper Pass's, would get two woollen garments. A charming touch lies in what we hear of some Christmas proceedings at Alfred Pass's own home. The Bedminster Salvation Army Band would come up to the house, sing a few carols, partake of a hearty lunch, and then play and sing again in the hall before they went home, the richer in their collecting box by a good donation. Another feature of winter life in Bedminster was the frequency of Malago floods, with ground floors awash In the humble little houses near the works. On such occasions, in 1883, for instance, and 1889, each house In Paul Street would get two sacks of coal from Mr Pass to help in the task of drying out. It was all a far cry from the wider attentions of the modern welfare state. Till 1894 the business of Capper Pass and Son was the property of Alfred Pass, with Alfred Trapnell described as a limited partner. In practice Alfred Pass was dominant and almost solely responsible for what occurred. His business methods, along with the paternal benevolence we have already noted, seem to have been very much those of the somewhat high-handed, individualistic Victorian industrialist, brooking no interference from outside and least of all from the State or municipal bureaucracy. His dealings with the tax-gatherers throw brusquely amusing light on this aspect of his business life. For in September 1895, a year after the firm had become a limited company, but at a time when Alfred Pass's personal control was still little affected, he sent an income tax return to the local Surveyor of Taxes. The figures required are set out in the simplest form. The profits for the year 1895-1896, allowing for £167 11s 4d spent on charities and £398 13 1d paid out in income tax, amounted in all to £11,875 5s 9d The net profits for 1893 had been £5,899 8s 5d andfor 1892 (a moiety of the two years 1891 and 1892)£16,032 8s 1d. Very much to the point is the brief accompanying letter. For the Surveyor was told that 'No accounts are published, and we do not care to issue copies of them', but that overleaf he would find the statement of figures which showed how much the amount due (at the low taxation rate of those days) was arrived at. Almost exactly similar expressions are used in the five following years, the letter being handwritten by Mr Crosby Warren and signed by him or by Alfred Pass himself. The net profits, in these years of the 1890*8, ranged from £5,899 8s5d (an unusually low figure) in 1893 to £25, 954 18s 5d in 1897. In the last two years, the status of the concern having changed by now, Alfred Pass is described as sole director.

Alfred Pass expressed the opinion, towards the end of his working career, that the concern he had inherited and developed would collapse at his death. For this reason, along with the steadily good results which came from producing solder, not much was done in his later years by way of experiments or the pioneering of new processes. But in 1894, not many years before Alfred Pass retired to live as a country gentleman in the lovely countryside of west Dorset, the firm's structure was changed so that it became a limited company. The papers show that the share capital, ordinary, preference, and debenture combined, amounted to £ 120,000. Of this the great bulk was held by Alfred Pass himself; it was laid down that he was to carry on the business as manager, either solely or jointly with persons of his own choice. Alfred Trapnell was the only other really considerable shareholder, with smaller holdings in the hands of Messrs Crosby Warren, Stanley Badcock, and a few others. The price paid by the new company for the purchase of the business and all its assets was £150,320. From now onwards, though at first in a very sketchy form, the company's minute books are available to give rather more evidence for its story than is at hand for the years of Alfred Pass's absolute ownership. The period, as one can tell from the profit figures accepted without demur by the tax gatherers, was a prosperous one, with good profits and high dividends. In 1896 the ordinary shares yielded 25 per cent. In the next two years, with profits for those two years of over £87,000 and a large sum added to general reserves, the dividend was doubled.

With the business expanding, the 1890's saw important site extensions and enlarge­ments of plant. Margaret Place, at all times a humble and unimpressive little street but with its houses bearing such pleasantly floral names as Camellia, Dahlia and Hyacinth Cottages, was gradually absorbed into the company's main site. These plots of ground, along with the site of Margaret Gardens, were cleared and became the main part of the acquisitions which brought the company's territory close to the houses along the south­ern side of East Street; a few properties were later bought in East Street itself. The last rural relics in the close neighbourhood of the works had by now been swept away, and the site, by 1900, was very nearly as large as it is today. The ground so added to the older factory was used for the erection of the third blast furnace operated in the Bed-minster works. There was, however, no space remaining for further plant or buildings; we shall see how in a few more years the directors' thoughts began to turn to expansion, or complete rebuilding, away from Bedminster,

The next great event in the history of Capper Pass was the death of Alfred Pass. He had gone to live at Wootton Fitzpaine about 1900. Soon after that, as one gathers from his resignation from the University College Council in 1902, his health began to fail. He was an invalid for some time before he died in October 1905. From what has been said of him it is clear that his services to his firm had been decisively important. He was also well known and much respected in Bristol as a religious man and, to quote Mr Cable, *a gentleman in every sense of the word'. From what the Lord Mayor said of him just after his death he seems, in performing his duties as a magistrate, to have been generous as well as merciful. For he was said to be 'a liberal contributor to the poor box', and the Lord Mayor added, in his public tribute to Alfred Pass, that 'the whole city had lost a very good friend'. The Bristol Times and Mirror in its obituary notice, summed up its own estimate of Alfred Pass by saying that he was 'a friend and citizen whose memory will be kept green for many years to come'.

5 The War

For some years before Alfred Pass's death the day-to-day management at Bedminster had been in other hands. Mr Pass remained sole director till the middle of 1905, coming up to Bristol from Wootton Fitzpaine to attend annual general meetings whose minutes he still signed. But his increasingly poor health in the end made these journeys im­possible, and in May of 1905 Mr Stanley Badock presided at that year's annual meeting on Alfred Pass's behalf. Next month, an extra-ordinary general meeting was held, and at this a board of management was set up to carry on the work of the firm. Mr Badock, who had for some time had in his hands the practical management of the works, was appointed, by the terms of Alfred Pass's will, the first president of that board. Its first meeting was held a few days after Alfred Pass's death; at the second, among other items, it was decided to give £100 to the City of Bristol Unemployment Fund. The commercial department, or business side of the firm, was now managed by Mr Crosby Warren.

For the first few years after Alfred Pass's death things continued in much the same way as in the last years of the previous century. The steady and assured market for solder still brought good profits to the business, and the ups and downs in the values of metals do not seem to have had much effect on its prosperity. The danger lay in the tendency to believe that a business like that of Capper Pass could be static, that no competitors elsewhere might in time draw ahead, and that no new technical developments or researches would come to upset or supersede the steady, well-established pattern of its activities.

The years between Alfred Pass's death and the first world war, like those of the later nineteenth century, were thus a time when not much was done by way of an experiments or new lines of production. Solder remained the chief, though not the only product, with Bolivian tin concentrates coming in as raw material at the very end of the nineteenth century. Casting copper, soft lead, and antimonial lead were also produced. A new product of this period was copper sulphate, its raw materials being a coppery tin alloy known in England as metalline. Mr Alfred Pass had himself invented the process, and experimental production was started in his time. But an output of some ten tons a week was not attained till shortly after his death. The man behind this particular aspect of the firm's work was Mr Morris Fowler who had been taken on about 1900 as a tech­nical assistant. He was, for the purposes of this small but quite profitable sideline, left largely on his own and designed and built the tank shed in which it was produced. For a number of reasons the new directors of the firm were little interested in new lines of production. Among these the fact stood out that the works, even on a site much enlarged since the 1840`s, were so cramped and so full of various plant that no room was left for additional apparatus or new processes.

These problems of congestion, and of possible expansion in Bedminster itself or elsewhere, must have been well in the director's minds very soon after they had taken over from Alfred Pass. But for the first three years their minutes contain nothing about possible moves; some more changes were still, however, made on the site of over sixty years' standing. By 1908, for example, electrical equipment had been partially installed and there had been considerable additions to the buildings and the plant which the yard contained. The offices, designed by Mr (later Sir George) Oatley were ready for use that year on the site of some houses which had once stood on the corner of Paul and Coronation Streets.

Commercial prosperity had also continued. The year's working in 1906 was more favourable than ever before. The profits (£20,000 of them accounted for by apprecia­tion in metal values) were over £16,000, and the firm's reserves stood at £90,000. It was from these reserves that the new work of 1907-1908 was financed. An 11 per cent bonus for 1906 was paid to the workmen and salaried staff, and in 1907 the solder sales, at nearly 4,000 tons, were the highest in Capper Pass's history.

The year 1908 was one of considerable importance in our story. Apart from the changes inside the Mill Lane works the question of a new site away from Bedminster was seriously considered. It was found that the lack of space in the old works was now proving uneconomic, and as no extra land seemed available in Bedminster the directors spent much time, that autumn, in visiting possible sites elsewhere. Keeping for the moment to the Bristol area they investigated sites at Avonmouth, Keynsham, Brislington and in St Philip's Marsh not far away from where the first Capper Pass originally installed himself in the district. Nothing came of these visits, but then in the spring of 1909 the chance came to buy two plots of ground, in all amounting to over eight acres, not far away in Bedminster. One of these, forming part of the Ashton Court estate of the Smyth family, lay just to the west of Shene (formerly Albert) Road. The other, adjacent to it, was the site of the defunct Malago Vale Brickworks and had formerly been a colliery. The two sites together, along with some smaller purchases in their immediate neighbourhood, made up a larger area than that of the Mill Lane works. They were duly bought in 1909, and the brickworks site was at once used for the storage of coal and of residues awaiting treatment.

Another event of 1908, of great importance for the future well being of Capper Pass's, was the engagement, on the technical side, of Mr (later Sir Paul) Gueterbock. Mr Douglas Pass well realised that if the firm was to survive and progress it would be necessary to increase the technical ability available from within its own staff. He and Mr Gueterbock had become friends at Cambridge, where they were colleagues in the University Shooting VIII. Mr Gueterbock, who was an excellent scientific chemist, had done well at Cambridge, and when he came down he was brought to the directors' notice by Mr Pass, and was eventually taken onto the staff. He proved most able both on the business side and in finding out and elaborating the chemical theories behind the somewhat haphazardly made discoveries of Alfred Pass's time.

The last few years before the first world war continued, commercially speaking, to be prosperous, and the board minutes contain no suggestion that really bad times lay so close ahead. The sale of tin in increasing quantities (173 tons in 1909) kept company with solder sales as a revenue producer. The sales of solder reached a new high level, staying steadily over 4,000 tons a year from 1910 till 1914. Mr Morris Fowler's works diary gives some details, from 1912 onwards, of what was happening in the works them­selves. In 1912, for instance, a new blacksmith's shop and a new, two-storeyed mill shed were built, and corrugated iron roofing replaced primitive timber roofs which were badly liable to catch fire. Labour problems come also into Mr Fowler's record of events. In June of 1913 the Gas Workers' Union held a meeting of Capper Pass's employees, of whom some sixty to seventy joined. Later that year an employees' meeting voted for the setting up of a board of workmen to negotiate with the management; the voting figures show that the firm's manual workers then numbered 189.

In the meantime the search for new ground for expansion was taken up again. In the summer of 1912 the board gave Mr Badock, its chairman, authority to negotiate with the firm's neighbours, the Western Tanning Company, for the purchase of their prop­erty, but nothing came of the idea. Next year Mr Badock was asked to make contact with Mr Napier Miles over a possible works site in the Bristol district, and later in that same year the directors paid a visit to the site of the old Ashton Vale iron works. No option on this site was, however, secured, and nothing more along these lines was done before the outbreak of war. In the meantime, late in 1913, Mr Humphrey Prideaux (an accountant) was engaged as a junior manager, another staff member who would be im­portant in years to come.

The outbreak of war in 1914 at once brought a sharp check to Capper Pass's output. The employees had been strongly encouraged to join the Territorial and Reserve forces, with the result that about sixty were at once called up. From among the management Mr Gueterbock and Mr Prideaux were also away on military service. It was only found possible to run two out of the three blast furnaces. But the war itself, and its heavy

munitions requirements, caused a steady demand for the firm's products, so that a few years more of good profits and a guaranteed market gave protection against efficient competition from other companies at home and in foreign countries. Labour shortage, and the withdrawal of men so that they could join the Forces, continued to cause diffi­culties. But early in 1917 the Ministry of Munitions gave support to the firm's claim against the enlistment of its men of military age, and though twenty men in the highest medical grades had to join up the remainder were declared temporarily exempt.

In the meantime there were the more ordinary problems of management, and the long-standing need for a more spacious works site had still to be kept in mind. In 1915 a wage claim for a general rise was met by the more limited concessions of an extra two shillings a shift for some of the men who worked a night shift. Potmen were given an extra ninepence a week, and there were rises for some individuals. Mr Badock addressed the whole body of employees to give them the firm's reasons for refusing a general in­crease. There followed some discussions on the problems of union recognition. The Gas Workers' Union, after its success in recruiting members from among Capper Pass em­ployees, was the one recognised by the management, the claim of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers being turned down. A less pleasant aspect of things at this time was when five men were dismissed for using undue pressure and intimidation on their fellow workers. In 1918 there was an unofficial strike, of a few days' duration, when attempts were made to force non-union men to join the union and to compel others who had left it to resume their membership.

In addition, the search for a new and more spacious site continued despite the preoccupations of war. Directors would go out in pairs to look for suitable places. The requirements were varied, and included nearness to a good coalfield, space for stacking and dumping waste slag, good water supplies and facilities for the discharge of effluent, an adjacent railway line, and ample space for any future development. Early in 1916 the Liverpool Silver and Copper Company's works at Widnes in Lancashire were in­spected, but the time had not yet come for a move so far away from Bristol. Later that year a large plot of ground was actually bought in the St Anne's district of Bristol, close down by the river and in all over fifty acres in area. It was used for the dumping of slag and residues, but nothing could be done immediately to build a new smelting works in this part of the city. This was as well, for the site (with no adjacent railway) was in many ways unsuitable for its purpose. In about ten years much of it was sold to the Bristol Corporation for the building of new council houses, and the present Wootton Road, with its reference to Wootton Fitzpaine, is a reminder of its Capper Pass ownership. The rest of the site, being the part of it lying closest to the Avon, was later sold, for the building of their existing works, to the St Anne's Board Mills.

The end of the war was soon followed by a time of considerable crisis and confusion. The large sales of solder which war requirements had caused gave way, in the early months of 1919, to a period when the demand fell drastically. Yet 1919 as a whole, with • sharp rise in metal values, was a year of high profits; really serious financial straits were for a while postponed. But troubles and difficulties soon became apparent at a time --vhen Mr Badock, who had been Sheriff of Bristol in 1908 and was increasingly caught up in public affairs and in his work for the University of Bristol, was tending to give less of his time to the management of Capper Pass. As research and modernisation had for some years been neglected or kept at a low level the Bedminster firm fell more and more behind its rivals in the same field. Its advertising and publicity were very defective, and as its chief product was sold direct to metal dealers, who then passed it on to the actual users of the solder, the name of Capper Pass was hardly known in the metal industry as a whole. Nor, as was seen in the strike of 1921, were labour relations very satisfactory,

1 there was a strike of the firm's carters in 1920. More promising factors were, how­ever, at work in the year 1920, the centenary year of what we now know to be the first certain record of the Pass family in Bristol.

Some debts due from German firms, unpaid during the war, had by now been re-

ered. More important still was a technical innovation of great significance. This was the introduction of tin refining by an electrolytic process. The process was one which had already been operated in the United States, and involved the smelting of higher srrade Bolivian ores and residues so as to produce high-quality tin. The plant for this process at Capper Pass's was put on the site which had once been that of the Malago brick works. It was actually on Armistice day, nth November, 1918, that the necessary i.terations were started. Work continued well into 1919, and tin refining by the new process started late that year.

By the end of 1920, despite the generally difficult trading conditions of that year, and despite the inadequacy of the Bedminster sites as the sole scene of the firm's activity, the rate of operations tended to increase and the blast furnaces had by now started to work over the weekends. A very troubled and difficult few years lay ahead, but the men were

I available who would in time guide Capper Pass through lean years and equip the firm for a more expansive and prosperous future. Mr Douglas Pass, Mr Humphrey

ieaux, and Mr Paul Gueterbock had all returned safely from their war service, and these, along with Mr Morris Fowler till his death 'in harness' as works manager, were those who would, in the main, be responsible for the move towards better things. Mr Gueterbock's combination of technical ability, foresight, and business capacity was to be of particular value in Capper Pass's progress from the St Philip's backyard of late Georgian times to the large concern, with its works both in Bristol and on the Humber, which one knows today.

6 The Last Forty Years

The time immediately after 1918 was one of sharply fluctuating fortunes for Capper Pass. The firm's deepest problem lay in the need to adapt itself to the greatly changed trading conditions of the post-war years.

At the end of the war, and for a few years more, solder was still the chief product oi the Bedminster works. Sales varied considerably, and in 1921 fell heavily, for this was the year of the one strike in the firm's history, apart from the General Strike of 1926. Ii was over a wage dispute and lasted from April to June. But though solder sales improvec in 1922 and 1923 they never approached the tonnages of the pre-war and wartime years Competition from continental and domestic smelters was becoming severe. Demand moreover, was now for the faster working, antimony-free solders, whereas Capper Pas only produced their traditional tin alloy. There was also a change in the type of ra\ materials available. In Bolivia, development of the tin-mining industry was progressing and substantial tonnages of low grade and complex tin ores were on offer. In addition the breaking down of surplus war munitions produced big tonnages of scrap metals an< secondaries, many of these being high in antimony.

These new materials could not be treated economically by the old-establishe methods, so that new processes had to be developed and new markets exploited. Th directors realised that there would always be a ready market for metals in element; form and of a high degree of purity, and much research to this end was carried out und( the direction of Mr Gueterbock. His work led to the separation by electrolysis of an e: tremely pure tin, justly claimed to be the world's purest tin at 99.99 per cent ti content and marketed under the brand name 'Chempur' (chemically pure) for the first time in 1923.

While the production of antimonial solder, antimonial and soft lead and copper sulphate continued as important items in the firm's output, the increasing demand from the motor, electrical and can-making trades for faster flowing solders was met by the production of antimony-free solders, the antimony being removed with aluminium.

In an endeavour to increase their profitable outlet for antimony the company now en­tered business as suppliers of type metal to the printing trade, and for some years the sale of type metal grew steadily. They also sold small amounts of anti-friction and bear­ing metals to shipbuilding and engineering concerns. But the cycling load of used type that printers and newspapers returned in exchange for new metal was such that the out­let for antimony was very limited, and in 1934 the goodwill of Pass Printing Metals was sold to the London firm of H. J. Enthoven & Sons.

Meanwhile, Mr Gueterbock was directing further development work to find a means of electrolysing a very much more impure anode. This led to the T' process, and in 1933 to the production and initial sales of Tass No i tin'. As the original Mill Lane works at Bedminster were too small for these new operations the work was done on the site owned by the company higher up the Malago valley and named the Malago works.

These favourable technical developments also compelled the directors to make a final decision about a new and more spacious site. During the war the question had lain dormant, but in the summer of 1926 the matter was taken up again. The board decided :o collect information on the requirements for a really large and spacious works. Many possible sites were visited, Mr Badock and Mr Gueterbock being particularly active in the search. The site already owned at Brislington was seen to be unsuitable, and was therefore sold. In 1927 and 1928 over twenty acres were bought at Keynsham, but this site also was never used. Some sites, like one at Newport and one at Sharpness, which the Earl of Berkeley refused to sell, were in the Bristol Channel area. One was at Peri vale in Middlesex, and another at Goole at the head of the Humber estuary. By the early months of 1928 the search was narrowing down to the district within easy reach of the Humber and its port of Hull. It was pointed out that congestion at Bedminster made the matter urgent, and that a failure to expand would severely endanger the com­pany's future. The search for a site was now concentrated on Melton, at North Ferriby on the northern side of the Humber a few miles above Hull. The board agreed that this was the only one to meet future requirements, so on 2yth July 1928 they decided to exercise an option. Thus they committed the firm to its most historic territorial move since the first Capper Pass moved from Birmingham to Bristol.

The Melton site was spacious and level. It had a main line railway immediately behind it, and water for cooling and for the discharge of effluents was available in the Humber nearby. Old clay pits were close at hand for dumping slag. Coal supplies from :he west Yorkshire coalfields were close, and ample labour existed in the district. The port of Hull offered shipping facilities both for distant sources of raw material and for continental markets, particularly in Germany. By and large the site seemed, and has proved, almost ideal for Capper Pass's subsequent period of expansion and more varied production.

Though the Melton site was bought (for less than £12,000) in 1928 the slump which soon started delayed work. Above-ground building did not begin till 1936. The tin refinery started working in about a year. The first blast furnace started operations in September 1937 and two more were finished by the outbreak of war. The Melton works started with seventy-five employees of all grades. These included a number of key men who moved with their families from Bristol. The total number initially employed at Melton was not quite a third of the number still working at Bedminster.

Both at Melton and Bristol many men left early in the second world war to serve in the armed forces. Some, however, came back to their civilian work, as the firm had some cover for its workers under the arrangements for men in reserved occupations. Morale among the workers was high in both works throughout the war. The story is told of a man at Bristol who, when he heard that his house was actually ablaze in an air raid, only asked to go home when the raid was over. Despite heavy destruction in the Bedminster area, the Bristol works had only slight damage and at Melton there was virtually none. A worse problem was the loss of the firm's chief source of raw materials.

Bolivian ore supplies were cut off owing to shipping difficulties. As a strategic move, and to avoid the shipment of precious Bolivian ores through the dangers of the open Atlantic, the United States Government set up a plant to refine them in Texas. Capper Pass had thus to find other raw materials so as to maintain its production of metals which were vital to Britain's war effort. The whole country was scoured for suitable tin slags, large quantities being obtained from disused workings in Cornwall. Technical development continued, however, throughout the war years. With increasing available supplies of secondaries which contained tin and copper, the outlet for copper as copper sulphate was unsatisfactory, and a change was made to recover copper as copper cathode. The electro refining of lead became necessary to recover increasing amounts of bismuth and silver, and equipment was installed to divide the slimes into a high bismuth-lead alloy and crude silver for marketing. After the firm's withdrawal from the type metal business surplus antimony was concentrated into fume, but no satisfactory market for this could be found and a plant for the production of antimony metal was designed and built.

The post-war story of Capper Pass is largely one of great changes in the relative importance of Melton and Bristol, with Melton becoming the more important of the two, and the centre of the firm's main activities. During the war two other solder-making firms were taken over by Capper Pass. One of these, Victor G. Stevens Limited, of Felling-on-Tyne, approached the directors in this connection, and seemed a worthwhile acquisi­tion both because it had good stocks of scarce raw material and because of its good contacts with the retail trade in solder. The other firm, Messrs George Pizey of London, special- sed in the production of highly fabricated forms of solder. It was taken over towards the end of the war and its plant was moved to Felling. Then in 1959 the entire plant of the Tyne solder works was transported to Bristol, where Capper Pass's production of fabricated solder has since been concentrated.

At Melton expansion and development have been continuous ever since 1945. The numbers employed there give a good indication of the changed balance between the firm's two centres of production. For the Melton numbers gradually increased from the time when the works were opened, rising, in 1952, to about 400 at which level they have remained steady, whereas at Bristol numbers gradually fell. In 1946, when Melton had 228 men and Bristol 191, they overtook the Bristol figures. The Melton numbers then increased, and since 1952 they have remained about 400 or a little more. At Bristol, however, the employees were gradually reduced; the figure for 1960 was about 150. Staflf numbers have shown the same trend, particularly after the firm's head office, with its commercial, secretarial, and costing departments, was moved to Melton in 1955. Early in the 1950*8 a research laboratory was built at Melton, research being carried out both there and in the works.

The tin smelter set up in the United States continued, uneconomically, for some years after the war, the United States Government finally withdrawing from tin smelting in about 1956. Supplies of tin ore from Bolivia in time became available again for British smelters, new complications being caused by political upheavals in Bolivia itself. But Capper Pass have been able to obtain ample Bolivian supplies, personal contacts with the Bolivian authorities being maintained as some of the firm's directors and executives have paid visits to Bolivia. The company has also contributed to the international loans made to the Bolivian Government for the re-equipment of its mines.

By the beginning of the I96o's, the firm of Capper Pass and Son Limited had got fully into its post-war stride. The Melton works, on their spacious site with ample room for new activities, and with housing provided close at hand for several of the workers, were amply fulfilling the plans made for them some thirty years beforehand, but par­tially interrupted by the war. Tin and cathode copper at Melton, and solder at Bristol were the three financial mainstays of the firm. The move to Melton had shown how necessary is ample space for the progress of such a firm. This had, in fact, been the story long before, when the Capper Pass of an earlier generation had moved from his back­yard in St Philip's Marsh to what were then the wider pastures of Bedminster.

The Capper Pass family business originated in the West Midlands, but moved to the St. Philips area of Bristol in 1812.[1] In 1819 Capper Pass himself was convicted of handling stolen metal and transported to Australia.[2] The sentence was for 14 years, but he stayed there, remarried and had a family, whilst the Bristol operation was run by his descendants.[3] In the 1840s the business relocated to Bedminster. The factory there extracted the non-ferrous metals copper and lead from their ores, as well as processing silver and gold. By 1860 the factory had begun to manufacture solder.[1]

The company was developed and expanded by Alfred Capper Pass, doubling in size between 1872 and 1888. He was born in Bristol in 1837, and took over the business in 1870 when his father died. He became a paternalistic Victorian industrialist, building houses for his workers in Windmill Hill, and donating to the newly founded Bristol University.[1] In 1894 the family business was converted to a limited company.[4] He died in 1905, after which the company was run by non-family members.[1] A chair in chemistry was established at the University in his name.[5]

The works in Bedminster was constrained by its locality,[1] and in 1928 a new factory site was acquired at Melton, East Riding of Yorkshire; the great depression delayed the project; the factory construction and opening occurred in 1936/7.[6] The Bristol works closed in 1963.[1]

HE Capper Pass metal refining works were once a major Bedminster employer .

The family business , which started life in the West Midlands, relocated to Bristol in about 1812 and became established in Avon Street, St Philip's.

But after being found guilty of receiving stolen metal the elder Capper Pass was transported to Australia, which is where he stayed and remarried.

Seemingly undeterred by this the rest of the family continued trading in Bristol.

Alfred Capper Pass, the man who took the firm on to greater things, was born in St Philip's in 1837.

By the 1840s the business, which was now processing gold and silver as well as lead and copper ores, relocated to Bedminster's Mill Street, closer to the coal supplies.

By the 1860s Capper Pass were producing tin alloy, or solder.

The family  lived in Windmill Hill, near the works, later moving to more upmarket Redland.

In 1870, after his father had died, Alfred took over the business .

He ran it in a typically Victorian, paternal way, with himself as a father figure to his loyal, non- striking, workers.

At Christmas employees got new shirts, and their families presents.

In winter when the Malago stream which ran near the factory, overflowed, he would order sacks of coal to help dry out the workers' sodden homes.

Older employees would receive warm woollen clothing.

Workers' houses were built on Windmill Hill with Alfred also buying land there for the building of a church.

Wages were paid at higher rates than the local iron foundry and even higher than at Fry's cocoa works, noted as a generous firm.

But Capper Pass employees were expected to do their bit.

Bill Parsons, for instance, who lived in Chew Magna, was expected to rise at 3.30am to get to work for 6am.

Meals were taken “on the job” and tea brewed up on the company's red hot furnaces.

Between 1875 and 1882, the size of the works doubled.

Alfred, with ambitions and interests that were solidly Victorian, saw himself as something of an intellectual gentleman, collecting ancient bits and pieces discovered while resmelting lead from the Roman mines on Mendip.

And, after helping a fledgling Bristol University get on its feet, he remained a major benefactor until his death.

In 1905 Alfred died, and from this time on the firm was managed by non-family businessmen.

World War I proved profitable and by the 1920s, utilising new methods of refining high-quality tin, the firm prospered.

But finding space to expand in Bedminster was an ever- present problem.

In 1928 a new factory, near to railways, coal, water and old clay pits (for dumping), was opened near Hull.

By the end of World War II most employees  had moved north, and in 1963 the Bristol works ceased production.

But the company  name lives on at Bristol University's department of organic chemistry, which has an Alfred Capper Pass professorship.


Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/loyal-workers-rewarded/story-11284829-detail/story.html#FvAR1hefRR6SIBxr.99