Alwyn Isherwood Ltd. Eulogy by Mel Ashton


"Crossland" was always the initial response to my very much loved friend, colleague and mentor Mr George Henry Crossland, (Harry to some, G.H.C. to many).

I had known G.H.C. for some fifty nine (59) years .......
My first meeting was as a worried 14 year old when I was interviewed by George for an apprenticeship with Alwyn Isherwood Ltd in their head office at 62 George Street, Wakefield.
[strange that, after 59 years, I just noticed the street name 'GEORGE Street !]

I had left Wakefield SECONDARY Technical SCHOOL at 14 years of age with NO QUALIFICATIONS and George's first words were ....

"Well Melvin, we don't normally take on apprentices with no qualifications but, as I am aware that your Father is a Radio & Television Shop Manager, (E. Mercer Ltd., Normanton), I am prepared to risk taking you on.  However, you will need to attend City & Guilds Radio and Television courses on three evenings per week AND, if you fail to attend  or fail the examinations, your Apprenticeship will be terminated"

I had left school at 14 years of age, was never academic and was eager to start work.
The Apprenticeship was offered to me but I had to wait until September, 1955 as my 15th birthday was 30th August.  [Hint for prezzies ??]

So began a 5 year Apprenticeship with a further 3 years as a City and Guilds qualified television service engineer including some years in charge of a television tube reconditioning factory in Barnsley which George set up as Director of Alwyn Isherwood (Electronics) Ltd.

George had not mentioned that he was a part-time lecturer at Wakefield Technical College so there was no escape from the studies and examinations !!

Along with several other apprentices - many still in touch after almost 60 years, I passed the required City & Guilds examinations.  In my case, due to my birth date, I was fully qualified by 20 years of age and was a part time lecturer at Kitson College, (now Leeds City College).

Our rapid progress through these years was MUCH INFLUENCED by  G.H.C. but also by the fact that several older apprentices had been conscripted into the services hence leaving us young'uns to hold the fort.  I was deferred from National Service due to my apprenticeship and it was later abolished so I 'never attended' !

Later, due to encouragement from George, I left Isherwoods and eventually became a senior lecturer at Kitson College  (now Leeds City College), and a part time lecturer for the Open University but that's an even longer story.  See Mel's CV  (new window)

I am very privileged to have been associated with George for so many years and was saddened, yet pleased to hear of his death - he had suffered more than we would wish in very recent times but is now at peace ........ R.I.P.G.H.C.

George's Pictures   Coronation  [by G.H.C.]   Queens Jubilee  [by G.H.C.]

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