RT Tanner & Co Ltd


In 1964 a document headed “Office Staff Practices” and dated 1852, was found in a building about to be demolished in Lichfield and gives an idea into the conditions prevailing when Richard Tanner started his career.

  1. Godliness, Cleanliness and Punctuality are the necessities of a good business
  2. This firm has reduced the hours of work, and the Clerical Staff will now only have to be present between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays
  3. Daily prayers will be held each morning in the Main Office. The Clerical Staff will be present
  4. Clothing must be of a sober nature. The Clerical Staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colours, nor will they wear hose, unless in good repair
  5. Overshoes and top-coats may not be worn in the office, but neck scarves and headware may be worn in inclement weather
  6. A stove is provided for the benefit of the Clerical Staff, Coal and Wood must be kept in the locker. It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff bring 4 pounds of coal, each day, during the cold weather
  7. No member of the Clerical Staff may leave the room without permission of Mr. Rogers. The calls of nature are permitted, and Clerical Staff may use the garden below the second gate. This area must be kept in good order
  8. No talking is allowed during business hours
  9. The craving of tobacco, wines or spirits is a human weakness and, as such, is forbidden to all members of the Clerical Staff
  10. Now that the hours of business have been drastically reduced the partaking of food is allowed between 11.30 a.m. and noon, but work will not on any account cease
  11. Members of the Clerical Staff will provide their own pens. A new sharpener is available, on application to Mr. Rogers
  12. Mr Rogers will nominate a Senior Clerk, to be responsible for the cleanliness of the Main Office and the Private Office, and all Boys and juniors will report to him 40 minutes before Prayers, and will remain after closing hours for similar work. Brushes, Brooms, Scrubbers and Soap are provided by the owners
  13. The New Increased Weekly Wages are as hereunder detailed:
    Junior Boys (to 11 years) l/4d
    Boys (to 14 years) 2/Id
    Juniors 4/8d
    Junior Clerks 8/7d
    Clerks 10/9d
    Senior Clerks (after 15 years with the owners) 21/-
  14. The owners recognise the generosity of the new Labour Laws, but will expect a great rise in output of work to compensate for these near Utopian conditions.

This website is subject to copyright © Alistair Tanner 2006