Staff share memories from over the decades as Wigan firm celebrates its 100th anniversary

Staff at Moss Industrial EstateStaff at Moss Industrial Estate
Staff at Moss Industrial Estate
Past and present employees of a family business have come together to record a special video to celebrate its achievements over the last 100 years.

George Moss & Sons Ltd, which is based in Leigh, was founded by George Moss in September 1920 as a joinery business.

It evolved into a house builder and construction business and now owns Moss Industrial Estate on St Helens Road.

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During the past century, George Moss & Sons Ltd built many important buildings, such as Leigh Library, Bedford High School, Leigh Market, St Helens Law Courts and Tyldesley swimming baths, as well as banks, churches, bowling alleys and cinemas.

The centenary video was filmed over the summer when it became clear the business would not be able to hold the events it had planned to celebrate the occasion.

Sebastian Moss, current owner and fifth generation of the Moss family, said: “George Moss & Sons has had a big impact on the local community for 100 years and local people have so many wonderful stories to tell about the business and the projects they individually were involved in and so we wanted to involve them in this special project.

“It has been a fantastic experience to hear from those people who helped to shape the business and played an important part in its history.”

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The video features builders, joiners and surveyors who worked for George Moss & Sons, as well as current staff.

Jack Hunt, 92, was a surveyor for the firm when he was starting his career just after the Second World War. He worked on several local bridges, such as Leigh Bridge and Hindley Green Bridge, and buildings including St Luke’s Church in Lowton.

He said: “George Moss & Sons has a history of excellent builders. I wish them well and I think they will do well because it’s in the blood.”

The video also features Tony Jennings, 73, from Leigh, who was a bricklayer for the firm in the 1960s. He started as an apprentice at 15 and worked on the Market Hall in Leigh.

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David Eastwood, 66, an apprentice carpenter and joiner in the early 1970s, helped to make the fixtures and fittings for Leigh Library, the old Odeon cinema (now Thomas Burke pub), the former TSB bank and several local pubs.

He said: “George Moss & Sons built quite a lot of big projects like Leigh Library as well as banks, churches and cinemas. I’d like to thank them for all the chances I got.”

Malcolm and Barbara Ryding lived in a house built by George Moss & Sons Ltd in the 1980s, where they spent 17 years raising their family.

Malcolm said: “I first knew George Moss because they were a principal Leigh company. They have been part of the lifeblood of Leigh and district for 100 years. As a Leigh brand and a Leigh company and a Leigh name and a Leigh family, that meant a lot to local people.”

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Earlier this year, to kick off George Moss & Sons’ centenary year, pupils from Lowton Junior and Infant School buried two time capsules at Moss Industrial Estate with the Mayor of Wigan, Coun Steve Dawber.

They contained the children’s letters, drawings, photos and other important items they collected for future generations to discover.

Mr Moss said: “To mark our centenary, we wanted to involve the local community as well as past and present employees so I am delighted that we have managed to achieve that during what has been a very challenging year for everyone.

“We are very proud to be a Leigh business and we hope that our community enjoy this short video and will join us in celebrating this very special milestone and all the wonderful buildings and local industry that we have in Leigh.”

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