Thursday 8 December 2016

Family gives 419 years to same firm

Published 17/02/2011 | 14:16

Jon Langford is the last in a line of 17 family members to have worked for London's water supplier
Jon Langford is the last in a line of 17 family members to have worked for London's water supplier

A family has totted up more than 400 years service working for the same company.

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Jon Langford, who joined Thames Water as an apprentice electrician in 1980, is the last in a line of 17 family members who have worked for London's water supplier since 1850.

Although the documented total of all 17 family members' years of service amounts to 419 years, two others worked for the company in the past but it is not known for how long.

Mr Langford, 47, from Orpington, south-east London, said: "The real total could be closer to 450 years but as I only have documented proof of 419 years' service that's the number I'm sticking with until further evidence emerges."

Mr Langford's great-great uncle, Vince Munday, started work in 1850 as a clerk at New River Head, the headquarters, in Clerkenwell, north London, of what in 1903 became the Metropolitan Water Board (MWB), which combined the city's nine water companies as one over-arching body.

Mr Munday was joined in 1890 by his brothers Albert (jointer), William (turncock) and Onslow Munday (district foreman), and Mr Langford's great-grandfather, whose rental agreement on his water board accommodation read: "One penny per week, payable if demanded."

By the mid-1930s, Mr Langford's great uncles Bert (engine driver), Charles (clerk) and Sid Munday (engine driver) and their two brothers-in-law Fred Stevens (district foreman) and Charlie Langford (district foreman), and his brother George Langford (clerk), had joined MWB.

Mr Langford's father Sid joined MWB as a welder in 1941, working his way up to district foreman at Orpington. He worked for the company for 42 years until 1983, by which time the MWB had become the Thames Water Authority, established in 1973.

Sid Munday's brother Peter also worked for the MWB, along with his cousins, George and Stephen Hewitt (jointers). In 1989 Thames Water Authority became a private company, Thames Water plc.

Mr Langford's great-great uncle, Lt Col George Hanover, also worked for the London water board for a number of years, rising to chairman of the board. And another of his uncles, Ron, worked as a chlorination attendant but it is not known how long they served for.

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