Ronnie White remembers how employees at Westland were encouraged to play sport and keep active outside of work
Westlands used to organise walks from Weymouth to Yeovil 32 miles and you had to average 4 miles an hour. It started off as being a race and you got awarded for being first, second or third, all the way down to number three hundred and forty-two, if that’s how many apprentices you had walking but it was quite a lot starting from the Clock at Weymouth to the Westland Sports Club in Yeovil. I’ve done that five times. Tony Greatrex pulled a rickshaw from Weymouth to Yeovil in his bare feet so that was quite interesting. There were other events and we’d take part in other walks that were going. There was Trowbridge Athletic Club. We used to go up to Bath and walk to Weston-super-Mare 32 miles. That was the one occasion that I got a certificate.
Westland Apprentices organised their own walk from Weston-super-Mare to Yeovil. You’d start at midnight from Weston pier and walk to Westlands Sports Club. Various things like that going on – inter-house darts and sports. I even made an athletics track at Westland Sports Club. Four of us took the day off from Westlands and went down and marked a running track all around for 400 metres.
Westland were very good like that for keeping people together and giving them events to do. They were very active outside of work shall we say, all the Westland apprentices.