Lord George Hayter & Lady Anne Hayter
Lord George Hayter KCVO CBE, 25 April 1911 - 2 September 2003
- Born George Charles Hayter Chubb
- See also
A Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers - Chubbs
- The third Baron Hayter, who has died aged 92, came to unexpected political prominence as a leader of the 1985 crusade to stop
Margaret Thatcher from abolishing the Greater London Council and other regional authorities.
In a series of amendments in the House of Lords, which would have retained the essentials of the GLC, he and others almost succeeded in derailing the prime minister's plans.
Hayter's skill at knitting together this coalition reinforced his position as a deputy chairman (or deputy speaker) in the Lords for 15 years from 1981.
A crossbencher (or independent), he disappeared from the House with most other hereditaries in the 1999 cull.
A shy man, who admitted "I'm not a very good mixer",
Hayter was a distinguished industrialist, and the fifth generation of his family to be involved with the Wolverhampton locksmiths' firm of Chubbs.
The company's success was built on the work of his great-great grandfather Charles Chubb, who invented the prizewinning detector lock back in 1818.
Educated at the Leys school, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history, Hayter wanted to be a barrister, but, at 20, capitulated,
and learned lockmaking in Wolverhampton and salesmanship in London.
After 10 years, he took over as managing director from his uncle in 1941, becoming chairman in 1957.
He became a pillar among industrialists exporting to North America, Africa and Australasia.
When he inherited the barony in 1967, he broke precedent by making a maiden speech on the role of locks and safes in crime prevention
- in contrast to his father, who had never made a speech despite attending the Lords for 21 years. He became deputy chairman in 1981.
Then, in 1984, along with Lords Elwyn-Jones (Labour), Molson (Tory) and Hooson (Liberal), Hayter signed a motion to delay the enactment of the GLC-destroying bill.
The following April, he made a powerful speech pointing out the enormous cost of dispersing essential London services to non-elected quangos,
and the unfairness of taking away the voting rights of several million Londoners. He tried - and almost succeeded - in establishing an elected successor authority,
tagged the "mini-GLC", and sought to establish a £10m fund to aid London's voluntary organisations after they were cut adrift by the abolition of the County Hall authority.
In 1987, he made an effort to halt the Channel Tunnel bill, though most of his later political efforts were in defence of charities.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, whom he married in 1940, a daughter and three sons. The eldest, George William Michael Chubb, succeeds him.
George Charles Hayter Chubb, 3rd Baron Hayter, industrialist and politician, born 25 April 1911; died September 2 2003
- The 3rd Lord Hayter, who died on Tuesday aged 92, was the last family chairman of Chubb & Sons Lock & Safe Co, founded by his great-great-grandfather, Charles Chubb,
and was also a deputy speaker of the House of Lords.
The brothers Charles and Jeremiah Chubb were ships' ironmongers at Portsea until Jeremiah was granted a patent in 1818 for his Detector Lock,
and awarded a prize of 100 guineas by the government.
The money was used to found a new business with workshops at Wolverhampton, where the best locksmiths were to be recruited.
Jeremiah took charge of manufacturing, while Charles went to London to open a sales office.
It was said that the Detector Lock first achieved fame after the Prince Regent sat on one, with the key protruding.
The device was certainly recognised as a significant advance, and Chubb received a Special Licence (the precursor of a Royal Warrant) from George IV in 1823.
Chubb became the sole supplier of post-box locks to the General Post Office, and found a growing market in Her Majesty's Prisons.
The firm also patented a burglar-resistant safe, and developed the first time-lock
- products which sold well in the United States in the era when armed hold-ups were a constant threat for small-town banks.
As George Chubb, Lord Hayter joined the firm in 1931 and became managing director 10 years later,
playing a major part in its post-war expansion from a highly specialised family concern to a diversified international business.
He travelled to Australia - initially by flying boat - and to Canada and South Africa to open new businesses,
and during his chairmanship from 1957 to 1981 oversaw acquisitions and expansion which took Chubb into a broad range of security products,
including fire protection equipment, in 17 countries. The group's workforce grew from 700 to 17,000, and profits multiplied.
Hayter was a wise and skilful chairman, in business and in a variety of public roles. In personality he was somewhat reserved
- as befitted a manufacturer whose products guarded the Bank of England, the Crown Jewels and the Shah of Iran's treasure - describing himself as "a Victorian at heart".
But he appreciated the irony of the fact that, in a world without sin, there would have been no demand for locks and safes.
Among his papers was a letter signed "Yorkshire's ex-Burglar Bill" which concluded:
"You can take it from me that your lock is definitely invulnerable to light-fingered gentlemen of my profession and I congratulate you."
George Charles Hayter Chubb was born on April 25 1911. He succeeded his father in 1967 in the barony and baronetcy created for his grandfather, George Hayter Chubb,
who, besides running the company, was very active in charitable work, establishing homes for sailors.
He was said to have chosen to use his middle name for the baronial title, when it was conferred in 1927,
after a family member suffered a burglary which provoked headlines - deeply embarrassing for the world's leading locksmith
- along the lines of "Chubb gems stolen".
George was educated at the Leys School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History.
His ambition was to be a barrister, but he was pressed into joining the family firm. His grandmother told him:
"The first three years you won't like it; the next three years you'll get used to it; after that it becomes part of you."
He learned the intricacies of lock-making in the Wolverhampton factory, and went on to work on the sales side in the firm's St James's Street branch.
Eventually he took over the running of the business from his uncle Emory Chubb, who had served his own apprenticeship under an aged locksmith who recalled being reprimanded for taking time off to watch Wellington's funeral procession in 1852.
Wellington had been a Chubb customer, and so was Winston Churchill:
during the Second World War Hayter handled an order for a new set of secure fire-resistant cabinets to hold the prime minister's papers.
The cabinets they replaced, bearing the initials WSC, sat in Chubb's St James's Street cellar for many years until they were bought by an American souvenir hunter.
During Hayter's chairmanship the firm was also asked to make a set of ornamental keys (there were no locks) for use in guard-mounting ceremonies at Buckingham Palace,
the Tower of London and Windsor Castle, which had previously involved the handing of imaginary keys by the captain of the old guard to the new.
Meanwhile, the firm continued to develop a range of high-tech security devices for more practical purposes, and to acquire other lock brands such as Union.
Expansion also meant dilution of family control, however, and Hayter was the last family member on the board, though his eldest son worked in the business overseas.
After Hayter's retirement the firm was several times taken over and restructured, its locks business ending up under Swedish ownership.
When he stepped down from Chubb in 1981, Hayter was asked what he planned to do next.
"There is a very good club," he replied, "called the House of Lords."
Sitting as a crossbencher, he emerged as a leader of a coalition of peers opposed to Margaret Thatcher's abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986.
His objections were practical - to do with the future of emergency services and voluntary sector funding in the capital, for example - rather than ideological.
Hayter admitted that he was relieved not to have achieved a historic defeat of the government (the bill passed in the end, but by a margin of only three votes),
an event which would, he felt, have dragged him into the political thicket.
He was a Deputy Chairman (deputy speaker) of the House of Lords from 1981 to 1995,
and continued to attend debates regularly until Labour's reorganisation removed his right to sit as a hereditary peer.
Hayter was chairman, from 1965 to 1982, of the management committee of the King Edward's Hospital Fund for London - now the King's Fund,
the healthcare research charity. He encouraged the Fund's efforts to promote a shift of emphasis in NHS policy towards patients' needs rather than doctors' priorities.
He also championed the development of the "King's Fund bed", a robust, adaptable design which became the standard in British hospitals.
Strongly interested in design issues, Hayter also served as chairman of the Design Council and the Royal Society of Arts,
where he encouraged the introduction of children's lectures. He was chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh's "Countryside in 1970" committee and of the British Security Industry Association;
he was president of the Royal Warrant Holders' Association, the Business Equipment Trades Association and the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce.
He served as upper bailiff of the Worshipful Company of Weavers, the City's oldest guild, where he pressed for the admission of women liverymen.
In his later years, Hayter enjoyed being president of his local cricket club at Ashtead in Surrey.
He collected paintings by modern Australian and British artists, the work of British furniture makers, and also Staffordshire figurines.
He was appointed CBE in 1976 and KCVO in 1977.
In 1940 he married Elizabeth Rumbold, who was appointed MBE in 1975; they had three sons (of whom the eldest, George William Michael Chubb, born in 1943, succeeds to the titles) and a daughter.
Lady Anne Hayter MBE
The books are listed in alphabetical order of title.
In-Print books are available, as they say, 'from all good book sellers', including
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||Contemporary Observations on Security from the Chubb Collectanea 1818 - 1968
Noel Currer-Briggs: Published 1968 by Chubb Lock & Safe Co, 56 pages + 50 facsimiles of contemporary ephemera, spiral-bound
||If There Were No Loses - The Story of Chubb & Sons From Its Founding in 1822 Until 1957
Thomas Caldecot Chubb: Published 1957 by NY Chubb & Sons, 93 pages, hardback
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