Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PODE , Sir EDWARD JULIAN ( 1902 - 1968 ), accountant and industrialist ;

b. in Sheffield 26 June 1902 , s. of Edward and Lilla (née Telfer ) Pode , educated at Mount House , near Plymouth and in H.M.S. Conway , he served in the Royal Navy during World War I . In 1926 he entered on his life-work in Welsh industry when he joined Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds, Ltd. as district accountant at Dowlais . When the heavy steel interests of GKN and Baldwins, Ltd. were amalgamated he became secretary of the new company in 1930 and in 1938 took over the commercial managership as well. In 1943 he was promoted assistant managing director of Guest, Keen, Baldwins Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. Two years later he became managing director . Though personally opposed to the nationalisation of the steel industry, he was persuaded in 1947 to assume the directorship of the newly-formed Steel Company of Wales , being chairman from 1962 to 1967 . Under his guidance it grew to be the biggest steel company in Europe , with the output of steel increasing from half a million to 3 m. tonnes per year. He was a member of the executive committee and later president ( 1962-64 ) of the British Iron and Steel Federation and became vice-president of the Iron and Steel Institute . He took a keen interest in saving fuel and wrote an article on ‘ Fuel efficiency in industry ’ in Industrial Wales , June 1952 , becoming director and later chairman ( 1965 ) of the National Industrial Efficiency Service . He held numerous interests outside the steel industry, serving as chairman of the Development Corporation of Wales ( 1958 ) and of the Prince of Wales Dry Dock Co., Swansea, Ltd. , and a director of Lloyd's Bank, Ltd. He held fellowships in his profession and an honorary diploma . His contributions to public life were acknowledged when he became high sheriff of Glamorgan in 1948 and J.P. in 1951 . In 1957 the borough of Port Talbot recognised his great contribution in raising the prosperity of the district by making him an honorary freeman . He was knighted in the New Year's List , 1959 . His down-to-earth approach and his gift of getting directly to the heart of a problem, his readiness to take instant and firm decisions, and his ability to obtain the highest standards from those who worked under him, were qualities which contributed to his remarkable success in his profession. One of his hobbies was farming and he was as popular among the farmers in Bonvilston as among the town dwellers of Port Talbot . In 1930 he m. Jean Finlay , dau. of F. Finlayson of Gwynfa , Caswell , Swansea , and they had two children. He d. at his home, The Great House in Bonvilston , 11 June 1968 , and he was buried in Bonvilston churchyard .


  • Who was who? , 1961-70 ;
  • Western Mail , 7 and 8 March 1957, 13 June 1968 ;
  • The Times , 13 and 18 June 1968 ;
  • information from his son John Pode .


Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001