The man in the white jumper is Hughie McGlade. He was one of those quiet unassuming people who you would never really notice. But he was a trusted foreman for many of the civil engineering projects associated with construction of the chemical plants on the Tees Estuary. He was my Uncle, who lived next door to us in Kingsport Close, Portrack, growing up in Watson Street.
I never got the story from his own lips… Hughie was taken prisoner during WWII, but escaped to Yugoslavia where he joined forces with the resistance fighters. At some point he took a watch from a dead SS man. If Hughie had been caught he would have been shot on the spot, at best. Is the watch still in existence, and can anyone add more detail to this story? The phtograph was taken in the Conservative Club in 1979.
Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.
In view of the recent interest in Hughie McGlade and his exceptional wartime exploits, here is another photograph courtesy of Fred Starr.
Hughie McGlade at a Portrack do c1978
This was the only time I heard him mentioning himself. I can’t remember his exact words when he said that there had been redundancies in his outfit. But, he said, the people who got the push were the middle managers and pen pushers in the Portakabin who kept out of the rain. The company needed people like him to see that things got built. This meant working outside, chivvying welders, erectors and crane drivers, etc, no matter what the weather.
Details courtesy of Fred Starr.