This silver spade was used to cut the first sod on the site of the Gramophone and Typewriter Company building site. World famous Gramophone company tenor Edward Lloyd was given the honour of breaking the first sod at the Blyth Road site February 9th, 1907. This spade is currently preserved at the EMI Archive Trust.
David Hughes, Chair of the EMI Archive Trust, shared his story via the blog about how the spade came to the trust. During his time supervising the EMI archive, a silver spade became available for sale with an engraving that linked it to the company.There was very little known about the spade and its significance at the time but after some research the Trust decided to buy it to be kept in the archive. He took it home by car, to be delivered to Hayes the following morning. Unfortunately he awoke to find the car had been burgled. The thief had carefully removed a window and the internal light bulbs and carefully dismantled the CD player and its 6-CD cartridge, leaving the window on the ground. The thief was obviously unaware of the spade and its incredible value because it remained untouched inside the car!! In keeping with its original use the spade was subsequently used by Roberto Alagna and his then wife Angela Gheorghiou to dig the first sod of the new, and current Archive building in Dawley Road.