FJ Stories Project begins

"Fletcher Jones Factory in Warrnambool employed more than a thousand people at its height. The Fletcher Jones story is of social, cultural and historical significance in the Warrnambool community, not only because of the large number of people who worked for the company, but because of the business ethos & the innovative & progressive way the company was run on co-operative and consultative principles.     While the story of Fletcher Jones, the man and his business, has already been told, there are many fascinating stories that can be told by people who worked for the company.  Some of these people are now very old & we would like our community to document their stories."   Julie Eagles FJ Stories Project Coordinator

After the purchase of the Fletcher Jones Pleasant Hill site in May 2014 by Dean Montgomery, a Spring Picnic in the Fletcher Jones gardens attracted more than 1500 people on a cold September afternoon.  This event, along with the stories and photos shared on the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher's Gardens Facebook page and through the Silver Ball Film Festival reinforced that the connection to the Fletcher Jones story was very much alive in our community and that there were some great stories worth recording.  

In late September 2014, a small group of people gathered to talk about how we could record some of these stories from our community.  This was the beginning of the FJ Stories Project.  We applied for a small grant from Gwen and Edna Jones Foundation (no relation) and also to the Public Records Office of Victoria.  Our first idea was to do movie workshops and get people to record stories from their own families.  However, while the first small grant was successful, the larger application to PROV was not.  Then Fletcher Jones granddaughter, Susan Jones from the Isobel and David Jones Foundation, contacted us and agreed to provide funding for a project to gather stories.  And for the next two years, we gathered memorabilia, stories, photos and historical records.  We have not been able to use everything that was shared, but hope that we have been able to give a picture of the important role that Fletcher Jones, the man and business played in the fabric of our Warrnambool community and that his legacy lives on.  



Julie Eagles, FJ Stories Project Coordinator bottom right with her sister Debbie, and parents Margaret and Des in the FJ Gardens in the 1960s.  Photo: Eagles Family Collection.
Julie Eagles and family in the FJ Gardens in 2015 striking a similar pose to the original photo.  Photo: Colleen Hughson

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.