Family Fun Day to Celebrate 175 Successful Years

Sep 19, 2012


Despite the weather, there was no dampening the spirits of almost 200 staff and their families who came along to our Family Fun Day to celebrate our 175th Anniversary.

The party thrown by owners, Clive Newton and John Gallagher was to mark the tremendous milestone in our history of 175 years of successful trading. Clive said:  “We are enjoying a year long celebration with a variety of events, fundraisers and activities to mark the company’s longevity.  This particular event is to say thank you to our fantastic staff who have played such a significant part in the success of the company.”

Emanuel Whittaker, Mayor of Oldham in 1873, established the company on its present site in 1837. His father George was also a master builder, having built the Oldham Lyceum as well as many of the cotton mills in Oldham and the surrounding districts.

The company thrived and remained in family hands until 2004 when Clive Newton and fellow director John Gallagher, who both worked for the company since leaving school, purchased the business. Having worked at Emanuel Whittaker for so long, they continue to retain many of the core principles established by the founding Whittaker family.

However, there is still a Whittaker connection in Anna Whittaker the great, great grand-daughter of the founder who still works for the company as Company Secretary and HR Manager.

Originally established as a joinery and building company, Emanuel Whittaker has always been keen to train new generations in a variety of trades.  One of its most famous sons was the late Eric Sykes, who was an apprentice joiner and it is believed that he based his famous film ‘The Plank’ on his time at Emanuel Whittaker.

“The company has survived the cotton famine of the 1860s, the 1930s recession and the timber rationing of the Second World War,” said John Gallagher.  “Today’s economic climate provides other challenges but we believe that by embracing modern techniques while at the same time keeping to good old fashioned values such as customer service – we will continue to trade successfully for many years to come.”

The Emanuel Whittaker 175th anniversary celebration included a Take That tribute band, a disco, an MC, a bar, barbecue and ice cream stand and children’s entertainment.

Anna Whittaker attended the party along with her two boys, the next generation of Whittakers’.  She said:  “I’m sure that when my great, great grandfather set up the company in 1837 he did not think that 175 years later it would become the award winning, respected organisation it is today.

“We are all so proud to be part of such an historic company and today’s celebration has been fantastic.”

View pictures here…

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