During the flood and other stories

"Sir Fletcher rescued my heavily pregnant sister, Alisa Chiltern, from Winslow during the flood of 1946.  Her sister-in-law, Florrie Thompson, was great friends with Fletcher's wife, Rena. When Alan Chiltern asked to leave work to drive out in his truck to bring Alisa into town in case the road was cut, Fletcher insisted on collecting her himself in his big Buick, as it was more reliable. His car was the last vehicle across Cassidy's Bridge before it was swept away in the flood!

Fletcher knew every worker by name and he asked after personal information about families. He made people feel important and cared about.  He used to drive all the female workers home when they worked late, either at the factory or the remnant shop. I liked that he didn't sit at the 'official' table in the canteen for lunch - he preferred to eat with the workers and chat.  

We lived near the factory in Flaxman St and when my husband was very ill in the 60s, I was allowed to go home during the day to check on him until his death in 1969." 


Val Britten (nee Shepherd) worked for 23 years at FJs starting in 1948 sewing in the trouser section at Pleasant Hill.  At the time, there were 250 workers at the factory.  Later she worked as the supervisor in finishing skirts and also with her sister Alisa Chiltern in the FJ Remnant Shop in Flaxman St, Warrnambool.  

Warrnambool Flood 1946. Image: State Library of Victoria
Fletcher Jones waiting in the queue like everyone else at the FJ Christmas party, 1967.  Photo: Jones Family Collection

Become a Part of the Fletcher Jones Story.

If you would like to share images, stories or anecdotes about Fletcher Jones, the man or the business, please contact the Project Coordinator, Julie Eagles, through this website or contact via the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher’s Gardens Facebook Page.  

We'd also love your feedback about our website and your favourite stories.  You can also let us know if you think we've got anything wrong, misspelt or left out.