John Platt
Text adapted from "Our Journal" July 1927

The death of John Platt, on 10th June 1927, in a nursing home in London, at the age of seventy-nine, saw the end of an era. He was the last survivor of the original pairing of the firm Mather & Platt.

To a lot of people within the company John Platt was just a name because for many years he took no active executive part in the business; but formerly he had been very actively concerned indeed with the firm's affairs. His family connection with the firm dated from about 1859 when Mr. Colin Mather, uncle to Mr. (later Sir William) Mather, took into partnership Mr. William Wilkinson Platt, the firm being thereafter known as "Mather & Platt". A few years later, in 1863, the senior partners retired, and in 1869 a young Mr. William Mather took into partnership the young Mr. John Platt, the style of the firm continuing as before. John Platt served his apprenticeship with Hulses, machine tool makers in Salford.

He was, with Mr. Mather, Dr. E. Hopkinson and Mr. Hardman Earle, a director of the firm of Mather & Platt Ltd., when it was formed as a private company in 1892 and in 1899 when the public company was formed, John Platt again had a seat on the board - a seat which he held until his death.

On the technical side of the business, John Platt was not so prominent as his partner and he travelled abroad for a large portion of his time, frequently visiting Italy, Austria, Germany and Russia. He was a man who made friends readily and the trade of the firm benefitted greatly by his travels. Some idea of the growth of the firm since his first connection with it in the 1870s, may be guaged from the fact that the number of persons employed at the old works in Salford (Salford Iron Works) was less than 200, whereas by 1927 the names on the payroll approached 3,000 in number.

John Platt was of a 'sigularly retiring' nature and when he retrated from active business to his home at Hyning, Carnforth, he absorbed himself in a simple country life there. He was very thorough and sincere in everything to which he placed his hand and always had a word for the workmen (whom he knew all by sight in the old days) when he met them walking abroad from the works. Those who worked with him spoke of him as a loyal colleague with wonderful self-control whom not even the most trying circumstances could ruffle. Up to the time of 'the great railway fusion' , John Platt was a director of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. He was a Justice of the Peace for the county of Chester. His funeral was attended by the directors of the firm and by representatives of several firms by whom he was well known and respected.