The "discovery" of the Park Works site ...
- written by John Wormald in a letter to "Our Journal", April-June 1924 (p.13)
 
This letter was a response to previous material in the company magazine in which it was being suggested that another or others had discovered the site upon which Mather & Platt Ltd.'s Manchester base was later to be constructed.
John Wormald began his letter as follows:
 
"Dear Mr. Editor,
 
I have just been reading the last number of "Our Journal" and been wondering why, in my expiring days, you want to deprive me of one of the few honours to which I can lay claim, viz: that of being the discoverer of the site upon which Park Works now stands ..."

He then explains the circumstances surrounding his first sighting of the land in question and the subsequent action:

" ... it came about in this wise. I had been visiting my family at Filey, where they had been spending the summer of 1899 and, one afternoon, travelled across Yorkshire to Manchester where I was to meet Mr. Taylor the same evening at The Queen's Hotel for dinner. The question of a site for our new Works was then uppermost in our minds. We had all been searching the neighbourhood of Manchester, but so far had found nothing really suitable.

When my train reached Stalybridge, the idea suddenly struck me that I would stand up in the carriage and keep a sharp look-out on both sides of the line down to Manchester.

I had almost given up the job as hopeless when the train slowed down through Park Station and there, on my right hand, was the very thing for which I had been looking - a large tract of flat land, bounded by railways and canals with a brickworks thrown in. The situation was open and airy with any amount of room for expansion, and from the very first glance I never doubted that this was the site for which we had all been searching.

On reaching Manchester I at once told Mr. Taylor of my discovery, but he was sceptical, talked of bad smells from Chemical Works and generally inclined to dampen my ardour. Nevertheless, he allowed me after dinner to drag him, on top of a car, up Oldham Road, where, after some difficulty, we found our way to the land over which we wandered until it was dark.

We did not know whether it was for sale nor even to whom it belonged, but eventually ascertained from a man whom we knocked up out of his bed that the owners were the Dean and Canons of Manchester - at which our faces fell!

Mr. Taylor, with that keen perception and judgment we all know so well, agreed that I really had found something - but the rest of the story is his. One of these days, get him to tell you how he got the better of the very Reverend Dean and his colleagues.

BACKYours very truly,

Authentic Wormald (1930) signature image donated by David Drew-Smythe, his great-grandson."

* This was written in 1924. In fact, John Wormald did not die until 1933.