Thomas Staniforth & Co. Sickle works at Hackenthorpe.
George Thomas Carter with his Employees in 1937
In the early 20th Century, Thomas Staniforth & Co went through a complete structural change. With William Staniforth passing away in 1900, followed by his partner John Hibbard in 1923, the company was for the first time, being ran by people outside of the Staniforth family.
By the end of March 1908 the company had an overdraft of £3000, and John Hibbard was forced to take out a mortgage. He incorporated the business into a Limited Company and made himself chairman and Managing Director, and his two sons John (Jack) and Rowland Directors. John Hibbard Jr passed away two years later.
On December 19th 1911 a meeting was held and a resolution passed:
‘That it has been proved to the satisfaction of the Company that this Company cannot by reason of its liabilities continue in business and that it is desirable that the same should be wound up voluntarily and that the Company be would up accordingly’
Within months of this resolution the running of Thomas Staniforth & Co was in the hands of a new partnership that consisted of Alderman W.R. Fox, Alderman E. Peat, Councilor A.E. Hall, Mr. John Jermyn Hutton (Member of the same Ridgeway Sickle Smithing family that competed with the Staniforth's for centuries) and Mr. Charles Helliwell. This marked the end of the Hibbards association with Thomas Staniforth & Co.
Alderman Peat and Councillor Hall left the firm in 1923 and G. T. Carter and W. H. Roddis became directors. George was originally a Cashier at the company, and in 1918 he became the company secretary.
George Thomas Carter was born in 1891 at Worksop to George Thomas and Mary Tidy. His father is described as working as a Circular Sawer on the 1911 Census, and his mother Mary was from Plymouth, Devon.
George had a number of siblings including John Robert Carter, born in Worksop in 1889, Harold Bernard Carter, born in 1896 in Chesterfield and two sisters Anne Carter born 1905 and Elsie Carter born 1910.
George Thomas Carter (Third from left)
George’s Grandparents were Thomas Carter born in 1833 and Elizabeth Frost born 1842 both in Worksop. Thomas was a Chairmaker, who took after his own father Robert Carter born 1806 in Lindrick, Yorkshire.
In 1915 George Thomas Carter married Mary Lancaster, together the two had a son Alan Tidy Carter born on September 24th 1919. Alan himself would take a role in the running of Thomas Staniforth & Co.
During King George VI’s Coronation on May 12th 1937, George was photographed with a group of his employees on the front lawn of Greenside House. This was printed and presented to employees as a gift.
We also find an article in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Thomas Staniforth & Co. in the Derbyshire Times in March 1943:
‘Few industrial firms of today can boast a 200 years existence but that is the proud claim of Messrs Thos. Staniforth and Co Ltd. whose Severquick Works at Hackenthorpe are renowned throughout the world for the quality of their scythesm hooks, sickles, axes and agricultural and garden tools of all descriptions. For many generations, the products of this old, but very modernly run works set in an unpretentious yet charming village on the Derbyshire border, have found their way in ever growing numbers to the far corners of the globe, and made their mark. Today in addition to its large export trade, the firm is playing no mean part in the national effort and holds many Government contracts for the manufacture of agricultural and horticultural tools and butchers implements. The origin of the association of the Staniforth family members of which are buried in Beighton cemetery, with the ancient craft which is still carried on under their name, is lost to obscurity, but that it was at least 300 years ago is proved by a trade mark "T.S Since 1743" which is incorporated on the firm's present letter heads that the association dates back even further than that - to the 16th Century - is evidenced by a mark which was referred to by the Master Cutler of Sheffield at a luncheon in 1940. This mark is referred to in a document in Latin which is in the British Museum and records that in 1565 in addition to 17 marks granted in respect of Iron Knives, a mark was granted to one John Stanyford to be impressed on his iron sickles. It is known that about 1740, a Mr. John Staniforth erected the oldest of the present buildings of the Hackenthorpe Works and began to forge sickles by hand. The larger portion of the present buildings was erected in 1820. In 1912 the firm was purchased from the Staniforth Family by Ald. W.A Fox, Ald E. Peat, Coun, A.B Hall, Mr J.J Hutton and Mr. Chas Helliwell. In recent years the firm has followed an ever-progressive policy and has incorporated the businesses or good will of such local firms as John Cox and Son, John Riley and Sons, W. Fox and Sons, Castle and Turton, and C. Lowcock and Co, Mr. W.H. Roddis is chairman of directors, Mr Geo. Thos Carter, managing director and secretary, with Mr. G.G Thurgarland and Mrs. G.T Carter as co-directors with Mr. Carter whose only son, Mr. Alan T Carter entered the business and was assistant secretary and manager of the Government contracts department before joining the Army. The good name which Severquick products holds throughout many countries is due first and foremost to the excellant workmanship which goes to their making, but another factor is the rigid tests in which each bladed implement is subjected before it is "passed out". An iron bar is used to test hatchets, butchers cleavers etc. The iron bar is notched by the force of the stroke but if the blade of the implement turns in the slightest - a rare occurance - it is discarded as useless.’
Although this article states the origins of the Staniforth family are lost, this is clearly not true, however this article gives great insight into George Thomas Carter, and the fondness his employees he had for both him and his son Alan.
Alan T Carter (Right) presenting a watch and chair to employee Walter Booth.
George Thomas Carter passed away in 1958, and his son Alan passed away in 2001, both in the Chesterfield district.