I think this photo is of the staff of the accounts office in the works. I can only date this from the dress and the estimated age of my Great Uncle, Bert Dunleavy, standing on the left. He was born in 1876 and began work here as an office boy in 1890. So my best guess for the date of the photo is circa 1910.
If there is anyone who can help identify the others in the picture, this would be helpful.
Note the wall telephone in the corner and the ledgers on the right hand side – one of which is staped “Petty Cash”. The ladder may be there to reach volumes on higher shelves.
They are all men, of course. The idea of women working with figures was not entertained until the necessities of WW1, and even then it took two or three decades for the idea to fully take root. Even when I was a boy, Banks, for example, did not recruit women.
There is a range of ages here – from the office boy at the back, through young and middle aged men, to older men approaching retirement. One thing you can bet on, is that everyone in this picture spent their entire careers in the works.