By Mustafa Suleman
Ron King was born in 1938 just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Like many children of Lebus employees, Ron’s childhood was set in the backdrop of the Lebus factory with the family home in the Tottenham Hale area (Thackeray Avenue near Down Lane Park). Both of Ron’s parents worked at the Lebus factory – Arthur King and Dorothy King.
Arthur Alexander King (born in 1912) was employed by Lebus as a cabinet maker initially before the Second World War, after a stint in the forces Arthur resumed his career at Lebus. Dorothy ‘Doll’ King (born 1911) was employed by Lebus as a polisher before the Second World War and was one of the many hard working women who manufactured Mosquito airframes during the War. Ron’s grandfather also called Arthur Alexander Kind and grandmother Elizabeth King (nee Goodfellow) were employed by Lebus as a cabinet maker and a French polisher respectively.
Arthur and Dorothy were both active members of the Lebus social scene, primarily at the Harris Lebus (PANDO) club house. The club house was located on the paddock just over the bridge on the northwest Side of Ferry Lane, it was originally setup by the polishers and office workers (where the name was derived) and at its peak approximately a quarter of Lebus employees were members. PANDO activities included football, cricket, tennis, bridge, darts, amateur dramatics, a youth club and a singing group. The club house had a fully licenced bar, which was maintained and served by Mr Hooper (a retired policeman) with his son in law Tom Ritson and daughter Hilda Ritson taking over – both of whom worked for Lebus at the time.
The club house on the paddock was a real labour of love for volunteer members, they even constructed the bar themselves, notable volunteers included Arthur King, Fred Forrest and Tom Ritson. Arthur and Dorothy took over bar duties when Tom and Hilda moved away from the area and continued their volunteer work in the new facility, after it was opened by Sir Herman Lebus on the land north of Ferry Lane behind the new warehouse (which was in its planning phase).
Football was one of the main activities of the PANDO club and Harris Lebus FC was a formidable amateur league team. Ron recalls many members of the team including Douglas ‘Haig’ King who was Ron’s uncle and of course – Lebus employee!
Notable players for Harris Lebus FC included – Jack Smith, Bill Radley, Checker Hale, Bill Saltmarsh, Bill Burroughs, Fred Forest, Tom Ritson, Bill Rose, Jack Dickie, Sapsford, Hoy, Martin, Douglas King and Aurthur King.
Harris Lebus FC were part of London League Division One, their results are available be from the Football Club History database.