Following the flame: Lincoln - 'our cashier is nearly exhausted'
27 Jun 2012
Posted by: Anna Stone
Subjects: Interesting stories
By 1806 W Bedford was acting as agent for Norwich Union Fire in Lincoln and in 1824 the newly established Yorkshire Fire and Life appointed Richard Whitton junior. In 1826 he received a set of detailed instructions from the company secretary which included those reproduced below giving steps to follow in the event of a fire in his area.
By this date Norwich Union Life had appointed Robert Swan as agent and his company, Swan and Bourne, was still representing the Norwich Union Life and Fire Societies in 1877.
Norwich Union opened a sub branch in Lincoln in 1922 based in Barclays Bank Chambers. The resident inspector was Frederick T Tourt photographed below.
By the end of the decade Yorkshire had established an office in Lincoln at 183-184 High Street and General Accident had opened a sub-branch at 22 Newland where they were still operating in 1938. By this date Northern were at 15 Silver Street, Road Transport and General were based in Grosvenor Buildings, 5 Corporation Street and Ocean Accident had opened a branch in St Benedict's Square. In 1949 Ocean Accident vacated its home of 16 years to move in to these new premises at 7 Bank Street.
The new building was spacious enough to also accommodate the Lincoln staff of Commercial Union and British General who were photographed for the staff magazine of 1949.
Staff celebrated the move with a sherry party which may explain the following note which was sent to the chief accounts department: "please let us have a cheque to increase our petty cash balance as our cashier is nearly exhausted."
The following year staff at General Accident had a party of their own to celebrate the move to General Buildings at 15 Monks Road, below, under new manager J L Shorrock.
Interviewed for the staff magazine shortly after his appointment Shorrock revealed a love of gardening and river cruises but "no longer had time for such frivolities" as cycling, golf and tennis. His staff worked in temporary accommodation from the summer of 1959 while the office was extended to allow for their increasing numbers.
They moved again in 1967 to integrate with Road Transport and General in Corporation Street but following the merger with Yorkshire in 1969 the company was soon looking for larger premises. In 1977 they moved to General Buildings at 11-15 Brayford Wharf East.
The former wharf buildings accommodated a staff of 105 with a "pleasantly informal reception area where policy holders, brokers, agents, and members of the public are assured of prompt and confidential attention".
The following year Norwich Union's staff moved from their offices at St Peter at Arches...
...to Stonebow House at 1 Silver Street, below, adjoining the old southern gateway to the city.
I'll end with a query raised by an unidentified clerk in the Commercial Union Lincoln office in 1975. Put on postal duties she was looking at a memo destined for the Isle of Man and asked "Who's Douglas?"