Following the flame: Derry - featuring Rowan McNeilly, Jack Massey and Gloria Smylie
04 Jun 2012
Posted by: Anna Stone
Subjects: Interesting stories
Aviva's earliest known agent in Derry was J Buchanan who was representing Norwich Union Life by 1824.
Other group companies with agents in Derry included Scottish Union, which had appointed John Lyon by 1839 and Scottish National which was represented by solicitor Archibald McCorkell of Fovell Street a decade later.
By 1897 H A Byron & Co was General Accident's agency in the city...
...although the company did not open a sub office there until 1968 when premises were taken at 10 Strand Road.
Fifty years earlier Hibernian had a Derry branch at 12/14 Castle Street...
...and by 1920 Commercial of Ireland, a local concern, was operating a branch in Foyle Street.
The archive includes details of salaries for the branch staff T Campbell Sweeney and Miss W McGuinness.
Although details on the branches and agents are sparse we do have a number of photographs of staff such as this group shot from Norwich Union in 1954...
...and these Commercial Union staff in 1973. The first picture features R McNeilly, the office first-aider, checking his supplies...
...and the one below has Jack Massey of security checking Gloria Smylie's shopping bags.
Finally, here is Commercial Union's branch at Shipquay Street photographed in around 1980, 150 years after West of England had an agent, Pitt Skipton, on the same street.
I'll end with a couple of local knee injuries which were compensated by the Scottish Accident Insurance Company and listed in a pamphlet they produced in 1904.