German language. After he returned to Scrutton and Goodchild, if he needed to write a confidential document it would always be in German, which made it almost impossible for anyone else to understand. T he business continued to prosper, so much so that in 1968 they merged with their Ipswich competitor, Nankivell & Sanderson to create Scrutton, Goodchild and Sanderson with branches in Dovercourt, Diss and Saxmundham. The merger meant that the firm doubled in size, and there were now two buildings on either side of Museum Street. The original building (the ‘old’ building) was cold and draughty, although complaints by the staff fell on the deaf ears of Gordon Goodchild who favoured thick tweed suits in the winter and told them that they should simply wear more clothes. In 1972 John Pickering joined the firm, and worked his way up to become a partner in 1983. John got to know some of the older partners over the years, and recalls that in a recent conversation Gordon Goodchild revealed that he didn’t want to be an accountant at all originally, and had taken eight years to pass his exams: “In those days you followed your father’s expectations”. According to company legend there was one occasion when one of the partners was ‘accidentally’ locked in the strong room, although the circumstances of how and why it happened are now forgotten.
J ohn Davey and Cyril Smith at Scrutton, Goodchild and Sanderson’s Saxmundham office in 1983
B ack in Museum Street, Messrs Scrutton and Goodchild had been joined by several new partners: Cyril Smith; Frank Gower; Gordon Goodchild (son of founder Francis Goodchild) and John Davey who came in after the Second World War. Like most businesses of the time, the practice was run on strict hierarchical lines, with very different methods of working than today. Mr Scrutton would park outside the office on Museum Street, leaving his keys in the car, and go in for work, confident that nobody would dare to touch it. At lunchtime he would go home to dine, then have a sleep (never to be disturbed) and return to the office for the afternoon at about 3pm. There were sometimes arguments between the partners, which in the days before email was a problem if they refused to speak to each other, and Cyril Smith recalled regularly being used as a go-between to convey messages. The war years inevitably caused some major upheavals in the staffing of the business. Accountancy was a ‘reserved occupation’ which meant that staff were not obliged to enlist, although many of them did serve in the armed forces. Scrutton and Goodchild partner Cyril Smith was a signalman in the Royal Corps of Signals but was captured during the Desert War in November 1941. His son Graham still works in Scrutton Bland’s Ipswich office and recalls that after his capture his father was initially transferred to Italy and then to Stalag 4B near Dresden where he remained until the German camp was liberated in May 1945. The living conditions were appalling although Graham says that his father always spoke about the kindness of local people who provided soap and other small luxuries in exchange for cigarettes which had been sent to the prisoners from home. One interesting result of his internment was that Cyril became fluent in the
The original certificate of insurance dates the foundation of Bland & Son to June 1919
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