"Cherry Blossom" (Chiswick Polish Co. Ltd) "Chiswick Products"
Dukes Meadows Industrial History
In 1923 Directors of the Chiswick Polish Co Ltd ( Cherry Blossom )
acquired land on Dukes Meadows from the Chiswick Urban District Council to build their tinplate printing and cardboard box factory, for approximately £13,000.
The Chiswick Polish Co Ltd / Chiswick Products Factory on Dukes Meadows
The factory had a giant thermometer and barometer erected on the face of the factory chimney. The dial of the barometer was 9ft in diameter, mounted 48 feet from the ground; the thermometer scale covered almost the entire height of the tower, the other 3 faces of the tower had clocks.
In 1925 Charles and Dan Mason presented to their employees, a ten acre sports ground in Dukes Meadows which included a pavilion with changing rooms and a tea room.
In 1930 first occupancy of 50 semi-detached houses in Staveley Gardens ( adjacent to the firm's printing works ) provided for the workforce.
Since 1878 Dan and Charles Mason had been running a soap company in Burlington Lane manufacturing soft soap, furniture polish and metal polish,.they foresaw a good trade for boot polish and engaged a chemist to devise a formula.
Cherry Blossom Boot Polish was launched in 1906 and was put on the market for 1d a tin. At first the the polish was put into tins of their own manufacture by hand, but by the end of 1907 the mixing and filling had been mechanised. This venture was such a success that in 1913 soap production was transferred to Yalding in Kent and the Chiswick Polish Co Ltd was formed with its factory in Burlington Lane with Dan Mason being the first chairman of the new company, and continuing in this position until the time of his death.
In 1930, the Chiswick Polish Company amalgamated with the Nugget Polish Company to become Chiswick Products Ltd,
producing both Cherry Blossom and Nugget shoe polishes and a number of other household polishes and cleaners at the
Burlington Lane Factory.
Boston House Chiswick Square
Chiswick Polish/ Chiswick Products Sports Pavilion
He purchased the property known as Afton House in Bourne Place, thoroughly renovated it and refurnished it, letting it to the club ( The Chiswick Memorial Club ) at a peppercorn rent. Afterwards it was handed over to trustees to remain perpetually a club for exservice men.
However, Mr Mason's greatest work of all as far as Chiswick is concerned was, the establishment of the Hospital, which he later endowed. From it's small beginnings in Burlington Lane it has broadened out into the present Hospital in The Mall.
For this purpose Mr Mason purchased Rothbury House and behind it erected the Hospital which has been added to in the course of time. Truly a monumental piece of generosity that will live in the minds of generations of Chiswick people yet to be born.
Mr Mason's interest in the life of the younger members of the community was shown by the establishment of a much needed creche or day nursery in the crowded area of Bennett Street.
Mr Dan Mason first became interested in West London Hospital in 1914, when he became an anonymous donor introduced by Dr Shuter. He later generously undertook to be responsible for the building of the new nurses home. Since then, many improvements have been carried out. Dr Shuter became the doctor attached to Chiswick Polish Co Ltd / Chiswick Products Ltd, and served in that capacity for nearly 50 years.
Many other people have benefited from the generosity of Mr Mason who also generously supported the Salvation Army, Church Army, St Dunstans and South Eastern Hospital for children at Lewisham.
Afton House in
Bourne Place Chiswick
Chiswick Mall (now demolished)
Chiswick Lodge as it today Stretches back from the Mall to Netheravon Road South, and was Chiswick's Maternity Hospital, in the 60's. Now Elderly Care. (Now demolished )
Mr Dan Mason, together with his brother Charles, wholeheartedly associated himself with the welfare of the company employees. In 1918, the company was one of the first to introduce a five day working week of 44 hours. Other early innovations included a pension scheme, and a "dispensary" made up of a main surgery, rest rooms, a dental clinic and a chiropody clinic, all supervised by qualified personnel.
Dan and Charles Mason purchased Boston House and adjoining buildings in Chiswick Square.
Boston House was used as a social club for the female employees and the other buildings were
rented to company employees as homes. Extensive grounds to Boston House were laid out for all types of games, including a bowling green, eight grass tennis courts and four all-weather courts, plus a well equipped sports pavilion.
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Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish