IT WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS...

… and the staff at Moulton Developments were looking forward to the Christmas holiday. It wasn’t a long break - finish 5 o’clock on Christmas Eve and back into work on the 27th - but a holiday nonetheless.

Alex Moulton had a habit of coming down to the factory at 5 o’clock to discuss how work had progressed and give instructions for the following day. The staff would assemble as a group and ‘orders’ would be given: “John, you will be on the lathe making parts for the BMC project; Peter, you will be attending to the test machines and otherwise in the office; Brian, I need you to complete the cone drawings” - and so on.

On this particular Christmas Eve, Alex launched into this issuing of instructions without noticing that the assembled throng were keen to go home and hang up their Christmas stockings. Finally a brave voice came from the back of the group: “Excuse me, Mr Moulton”. Alex looked at him, irritated by this interruption. The dissenter continued: “It’s Christmas Day tomorrow”. Alex, somewhat shocked, replied “Is it? I had no idea”.

He wished them all a Merry Christmas and they went on their way, possibly stopping for a festive drink and to marvel at the uniqueness of their employer. They could then enjoy two days off with their families and friends - well, except for those who were called in for urgent jobs on Boxing Day. An offer that was, apparently, difficult to refuse.

The image below is by accomplished artist Brian Walker, who drew many of Alex Moulton’s Christmas cards and promotional images from the 1960s onwards. In 1999, one of Alex’s friends remarked to him that whilst the drawings were technically wonderful and very interesting, they “were not very Christmassy”. Brian was duly instructed to introduce some Christmas cheer, some colour and, of course, Toby the Cat.

We wish all of our friends, supporters, volunteers and staff a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.