Pull Another Leg!

This story spans 4 generations!

"My daughter brought this FJ website to my attention the other day, and I thought I would share a story regarding my grandfather, William Henry Meier.

Bill worked for D & W Chandler’s store in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, from about 1927. By July 1943, he was working in their Warrnambool store and on 4 Dec 1950, at the invitation of his friend Fletcher Jones, he left Chandlers to begin work at Pleasant Hill. He remained there until he retired on 9 Feb 1968. My mother, Margaret Thorburn (nee Meier) recalls Fletcher being a lovely man, who had a severe stutter. He would walk along the beach in Warrnambool speaking to himself in order to practice not stuttering.

My mother also tells how, at around 40 years of age, her mother (Nancy - Bill’s wife) suffered a nervous breakdown. At this time she found it impossible to look after her much loved garden, and when Fletcher heard of this, he sent the factory gardeners around to their house to landscape the substantial back yard. This was at 7 Ardlie St. Warrnambool (now a physiotherapy, occupational therapy practice – I believe). I remember the yard being separated into 3 terraces with a large vegie patch on the lower terrace. On the upper terraces there were hedges, hydrangeas and many flowering plants. These gardens remained a joy to my grandmother until her death in 1988.

My other memories of FJs as a child are, of course, the water tower going up, and of my parents attending Rotary conferences in the gardens at Pleasant Hill.

I've attached a couple of photos of my parents and friends at those Rotary conferences and also a copy of a Do You Know (FJ Daily Staff Bulletin) about my grandfather when he retired from the company. There is also a short note attached from Fletcher sent to my grandfather in 1971."  David Thorburn

The Greatest Leg Puller of Them All

Bill Meier of our After Sales Staff retired last Friday, on his 65th birthday.

Bill established a record, which will take some beating.  In all of the 17 years of his service at Pleasant Hill, he had one day only off from work!  

Can anyone beat this record?

Whatever the answer to this challenge, Bill can claim another record, which will possibly never be beaten. Before he became an inspector in 1964, Bill operated a reformer in After Sales for 14 years - reforming an average of 1100 after sales garments per day.  (This was in the days when Melbourne Cleanpak garments came to Warrnambool for cleaning).

Our statistician reports that over this period Bill handled 3,788,400 trousers, weighing 3,383 tons (about the weight of a fair sized coastal cargo boat!) and stretched no less than 7,576,800 legs!  Surely this makes Bill the greatest leg puller of all time!

DO YOU KNOW - FJ Daily Staff bulletin, 1968

Margaret Thorburn left with friends at a Rotary Conference in the Pleasant Hill gardens. Photo: shared by David Thorburn
Margaret and John Thorburn attending a Rotary Conference in the Pleasant Hill gardens.  Photo: shared by David Thorburn
Do You Know - FJ staff bulletin, 1968 telling of William (Bill) Meier's retirement after 17 years with only one day off!  Shared by his grandson, David Thorburn
"Greetings  Thank you for remembering me with your gift of love at Christmas.  This was especially appreciated as I didn't send any!  Inter alia.....I received a cable from California at Christmas, telling me "Don't forget to count your blessings, Fletcher.    This woke me up to appreciating how many I have!  Our children and grandchildren kept things lively at Christmas and thus memories of Rena here, bright and beautiful each day.    You reminded me that there are so many folk to love and useful things to

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.