The Varley Story – Part 9

A view of post-WWI Darby Street in the 1920s. Note the G.H. Varley office bottom left.

Although the end of World War I meant a time for celebration and positivity throughout Australian society, industrial commerce suffered a major blow.

G.H. Varley experienced a major decline in profits between 1921 and 1924. The minutes of the AGM in 1924 display a lengthy consideration that shareholders gave to selling the Company horse, cart and harness for £16 and purchase a Ford motor car, costing £212. The horse stables in Lindsay Street, Hamilton, were also sold for £231.

Despite making a loss in 1925, the G.H. Varley managed to open the first electric welding shop in Newcastle. This intelligent show of foresight would help the Company drag itself out of the difficult 1920s. In the short term, however, the 1925 loss forced Chairman and Managing Director, Reginald Varley, to consider various options for the business.  

He believed that persisting with the King and Darby Street offices, and the costs associated with running the business, would offer less profit than leasing out the buildings to other businesses. Reginald was also worried by the Company’s trading results, and so broached the question of selling the business entirely…

Stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.