The Varley Story - Part 12

The new G.H. Varley chairman, Clement York 'Clem' Varley.

At Varley’s 1930 AGM in February, a loss of £414 was announced. After five long years of extremely difficult trading and with the Depression set in, the Company was again facing an uncertain future.

The possibility of selling out was raised once more, however was promptly shut down by a majority of the family members. The Varley sisters, Hilda and Myra, suggested that current chairman and brother Ambrose Varley be replaced by younger sibling and assistant manager of five years Clement. As a result, Ambrose retired and was replaced by Clem, who also bought all of his brother’s shares along with the Company manager, James Colgan.

A new era was about to begin.

Clement York Varley was only 38 when he became chairman. Clem’s first move was to retain the service of James Colgan as manager, and the latter would prove enormously instrumental in the Company’s revitalisation in future years. In the short term, however, the Great Depression was increasing its stranglehold on the business, and despite the admirable resilience of Clem and James’ management, times were desperately tough…

Stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.