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British Industrial History

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Edward Powell

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Edward Powell (c1851-1919), Managing Director of Humber

1880 June 3rd. Married Mary Eleanor Pugh Pryce-jones

1914-18 President of the SMMT

1919 Obituary.[1]

DEATH OF MR. EDWARD POWELL CHAIRMAN OF HUMBER LTD. It was with surprise, as well as deep regret, that the people of Coventry heard on Monday that Mr. Edward Powell had passed away, in London, on the previous night. The deceased gentleman, who was chairman and managing director of Humber, Ltd., Coventry, was in this city last week, and those who saw him then had no idea it would be his last visit.

Mr. Powell was also Chairman of the S.M.M.T., and was well known and respected in commercial circles.

It was in 1889 that he joined Humber and Co. (Extension), Ltd.; and upon the fusion of Humber and Co., Ltd., and Humber and Co. (Extension), Ltd., he became Chairman of the combined concerns. With the exception of a period of two years Mr. Powell bad been Chairman of the Company ever since. He was also a director of Drake, Driver, and Lever, Ltd., and Pryce-Jones, Ltd.

He married the eldest daughter of Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones and leaves two sons, both serving in the Army — one as a major in the Royal Engineers and the other an officer in the Royal Air Force. He resided at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, where the funeral took place at half-past two on Thursday afternoon. Amongst those present, representing Coventry, were Col. Cole, one of the directors of Humber, Ltd., Mr. Allbutt, the secretary, and Mr. Niblett, works manager.

Mr. Edward Powell, who was 68 years of age, was always deeply interested in the fare of the workpeople as of the firm, and he gave expression to this in his remarks when presiding over the general meeting of shareholders in November last. At that time, he said, there was but one black spot on the horizon, which let them hope, would quickly dissolve like a morning mist in the face of the rising sun, giving them light, warmth, and peaceful growth; needless to say, he referred to the threatened trouble with labour. The war, with its accompanying horrors, the lose of millions of valuable lives, the mourning of still more millions. the destruction of property, and the placing on our shoulders of an immense burden of death, had at the same time taught us many valuable leaves, not the least of which was the indexation of a feeling of kindly sympathy and helpfulness to their fellows. They had endeavoured to show that feeling in more ways than one to those who were in their works. Not only had they provided them with a recreation ground and pavilion and an up-to-dale mess room and reading rooms, but they had retained the services of a welfare superintendent to help and guide them in making their lives happy end useful. He was delighted to say their efforts in this direction bad been greatly appreciated by their employees, and he thought he might say that the best of relations existed between their managers and their workpeople.

On matters affecting the trade as a whole, they nest he guided by the Employers' Federation, and the men would be guided by their Unions; and they could only hope that a spirit of reasonableness would prevail on both sides and that no labour dispute leading to trouble in the works would arise. The formation of Joint Councils of Employers and Workmen. as advised by the Whitley Report, should do much to secure harmony, so that all alike might benefit by the great boon, in trade, of which there was every appearance.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Coventry Herald - Saturday 22 February 1919