Billingham ICI Messenger Boy Intake c1970

A photograph taken in September 1970 of the Billingham ICI Messenger Boy Intake. I can recall all of the faces and some of the names but not all… Tony Bailey, Alan Griffiths, Steve Davis, Malcom Finlayson, Micky Growling, Al Hart (Training Manager) and me, Steve Flounders. I’m behind and to the right of Al Hart, had a nice head of hair in those days. Steve Davis was my best man 5 years after this was taken and we’re still in contact with each other today, smashing lad.

Photograph and details courtesy of Steve Flounders.

4 thoughts on “Billingham ICI Messenger Boy Intake c1970

  1. I was also a class of 1970, but in the earlier intake… however I can name a few more of these wasters! top row at the back left to right Paul Hetherington, can’t remember the next lad, third one along is Finny, then Griff, then Tony Bailey, then Malcolm Brown. Next row down left to right… don’t remember the first two lads, the third along is Nipper Calvert (heard he died recently), then Kick Gatenby. I don’t know the front row except for Dave Southall to the right of Al Hart and I can see Shirty hiding below Malcolm brown… I think Dave Crossan may be the second from left front row…


  2. Long haired lovers from Liverpool I called them, years of Army haircuts made me wonder how they could stand having it so long, even at my good age it drives me mad if it grows over long.
    We would get small groups in the Workshops on projects under a Tutor from the school, I would be responsible for their safety so they rapidly came to obey me more than their Tutor. We had a lot of dangerous machines, they had to learn and did. The other thing they did learn rapidly was a work ethic, they would arrive a bit laid back from the school into a mad house of men on Bonus so if they got a machine they had to get stuck in as some one else would be wanting it as well, they got well and truly geed up by those men.
    We got some very good lads out of that school and it was surprising how many sons followed fathers into ICI it was a family firm the thinking being like father they would be there for life, that went out of the window with the upturns of the 1970-80’s although good tradesmen could still find plenty of work.
    We could do with those schools now teaching young people skills and a work ethic as the future looks very challenging to me.


  3. My uncle, John Syson worked for ICI back then, not sure whether he was at Billingham in those days, he worked at Wilton later until his retirement.


    • Would that be the same guy I knew, 6’5” John?, I worked at the club house in Billingham and left in 1984. He was a lovely man, how is he?


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