Erie Resistor

The impact of Erie on the town, an interview with Mr Ball

By Richard Dade

Mr Ball reflects on working life before the war and the impact Erie had upon the town

"Before the war most of the female population of Great Yarmouth were employed by two companies, one was Grouts Silk works and Johnson's who made overalls, sea boots for the fishing industry and for the working population.

Grouts began to dwindle and Johnson's didn't seem to be employing so many people and after a few years they both finished. This is where Erie came to the rescue.

The growth of Erie coincided with the growth of the television.

The average television set in those days had over 300 resistors and condensers and that was what Erie made and having moved from London they paid London rates, much higher than manual rates in Yarmouth. So, a lot of the girls they were going down there and working on the line sticking resistors in little holes rather than selling hats and coats up at Arnolds.

There were very few families in Yarmouth who didn't have a member or two members working either mum, dad, sister, brother working at Erie in some capacity. Everybody knew everybody else and a lot of good friends I met there".

This page was added by Richard Dade on 23/02/2008.
Comments about this page

My father Peter Rantle worked at Eries in the 60's and 70's. Him and his wife Dorothy (my Mum) owned a guest house in Wellesley Road and she also held down a part time job at Grouts. Does anyone remember my Grandad Mr Edward Prime (Ted), owned a butcher's stall on the market? He also used to be the lift man in Palmers and was Father Christmas for many years, he used to arrive by Helicoper, Train, Boat, etc, it was a very big deal in those days.

By linda ferguson
On 11/03/2011

In 1950 to 1952 I served in the RAF at Hopton Radar Station and had a Girlfriend named Jean Starbuck who worked at Erie Resister The Company had a Xmas dance at the Floral Hall with The Ted Heath and his Band playing there alongside Eddie Gates the resident band. I was lucky enough to be able to attend with her and a fellow companion accompanying a friend of hers from Erie It was a great but unusual night in as much as when Ted heath played very few were dancing just listening When Eddie Gates Filled in the Dance Floor was crowded apart from it being a most wonderful night Ted was surprised it had turned out to be more like a Concert than a dance and asked us if we would likehim play any request and we were delighted to do so The other remarkable event was whilst Eddie Gates played we stood against the small Tea/coffee Bar in the left hand corner when Lita Rosa Dickie Valentine and Dennis Lotis came out to the said tea/coffee bar and we spent some time talking to them we were over the moon (especially Jean and her friend ) Among my memories it is one of my most memorable events I eventually lost contact with Jean and Tony and the the other young lady after i was demobbed and often wonder what eventually happended to the trio as the years have passed by i know Jean and Tony were married Jean to a Yarmouth Boy and Tony to a girl from Mansfield although he lived in Nottingham some 14 miles away But this was 62 years ago and Halcyon Days in my life Such fond memories.

By Malcolm Raynor
On 11/09/2013

My Aunt, Molly Condon worked at the Erie Resistor factory for many years.  I remember she had a close friend called Jean but do not know her last name.  Molly would have been born around 1930, I think and so would have been in her early twenties at the start of the 1950’s. She would bring home some resistors when she could; my brother and I were into electronics and she helped us to understand the colour-coding for the resistor values. Molly rose to be chargehand on the production lines later in her time there; her friend Jean was in charge before her.

She loved going out and I’m sure it was always with Jean, they were close friends.  We saw her whenever we went back to Great Yarmouth for our annual holiday and we stayed at Nan and Grandad’s; so the visits were not that often, but she did come to stay with us in Lancashire.  They all lived in Raleigh Avenue, Newtown; Molly died in the mid 1970’s I think; it is a long time back and memory fades, I’m afraid.

All I remember of her now is her bouffant hairstyle, jet black hair and winning smile, always accompanied with a dimple in either cheek.

By Peter Condon
On 12/02/2022

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