The Work Centre

A new building, the Work Centre, was built in the grounds of Longfields and officially opened on 20th November 1962. In the early days, there were eight ‘trainees’ at the Work Centre with ages ranging from late teens to mid-twenties. The main activities undertaken were cane and leather work with a high demand for products.

Mrs Laura Rumbelow was the first ‘Works Supervisor’ at Longfields. An extract from her first report shows what was produced in the first six months of operation.

In 1964, Hector McKelvie was employed as Work Centre Manger. The Work Centre provided employment and had evolved into three sections.

The Print Room

Richard Paton and Brian Nicholls at their machines in the printing shop 1964
The printing shop 1964

The print room met a range of printing orders commissioned by private and commercial customers coping well with seasonal demands.

It celebrated its 25th Anniversary in June 1990. In the early days, equipment included hand operated ‘Adana’ machines. As time went by, a refurbished 1945 Heidelberg printing machine was acquired. This was complemented in 1990 by a T-Offset Automatic Press presented by Mr George Clarke, Financial Director of Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Limited.


Items produced included mosaic work, basketry and a range of handmade articles and household items for which there was a steady demand. The 1967 Association Year Books list the variety of articles made.

Products were sold directly from Longfields and also through family and friends of the Association.

Industrial Therapy

Contracts were secured with local companies such as Mettoys Ltd., Addis and New Cleaners in Skewen. Further details of these will be added as the project progresses.

These images show activities taking place in the Work Centre.

Mr H. McKelvie, The Works Manager, at the head of an assembly line in the production of toy sets, by Richard Lewis, Joan Hubbard and Ann Rogers, a contract undertaken for Mettoys Ltd.
An assembly line for the production of toy sets 1964
Pauline Brayley concentrates on rugmaking and Sandra James on teapot stands.
Pauline Brayley concentrates on rugmaking and Sandra James on teapot stands.