Did you work at Head Wrightson? Do you know friends or relatives who worked there?

Did you work at Head Wrightson?  Do you know friends or relatives who worked there?  We need your thoughts, memories and reflections to help preserve a very special collection of photographs.

Chief Photographer at Head Wrightson’s Research and Development department, Alan Simpson, donated his negative collection to Stockton Borough Libraries.  The collection contains over 16,000 negatives detailing the work carried out by Head Wrightson from 1958-1978 with hundreds of images of employees at work and play, providing a fascinating insight into the culture of the company and of the time.

We’re in the process of putting a funding bid together to preserve and digitise the negative collection.  If you remember working at Head Wrightson or know people who did then let us know and we can add your thoughts to this exciting project.  Here are just a few of the pictures from the collection…

107 thoughts on “Did you work at Head Wrightson? Do you know friends or relatives who worked there?

  1. HI.
    My father in law Derek Major worked at Hartlepool in the 1950s to the 1960s.
    He played in the football team and later ran it.
    As a family we are trying to trace the trade union he was in, he worked on the hammers,any information would be grateful.

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  2. My father-in-law, Richard (Dick) George Robson, worked at H.W. for almost forty years, including throughout the Second World War. I’m told that when he left school he was employed as a apprentice joiner with a local firm. However, in the early 1930’s, as financial pressures were tight in the the family household he was forced to leave his apprenticeship before it was completed. He then found better paid employment as a labourer working with the Moulders at H.W. from about 1935 and left in the mid 1970’s. He was a staunch Trade Union supporter, a shop steward and became the Branch Secretary of, we think, The Transport and General Workers Union.

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  3. *Hi
         My name is Wally (taffy) Davies and I live in Toronto Canada. I worked at the Head Wrightson  Machine Company in Middlesbrough from 1949 to 1952 and apprenticed as a fitter and turner. I joined the RAF and emigrated to Canada in 1954.I have fond memories of my time at the Head,particularly those who I worked with.
    George Henderson was my chargehand and I remember accompanying him to ICI Birmingham (Smethwick) to set up a Drawbench. Others who I worked with, Harry Craster the boxer, Derek Bone, Peter Deakin, Bob Lyall, Peter Barkworth, Terry Dunne, who also lives in Toronto and I keep in touch with, and Guy Hillaby who corresponded with me long after I moved to Canada and sent me a number of copies of the magazine” Wright Ahead”, that I still have.
    Great memories I have and I would be very interested in sharing them.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

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  4. Hi my name is Stuart Hitchcock, i worked at Heads starting my apprenticeship at Stockton Apprentice Works in 1974 for the first year then moved to HW Machine Co Drawing office in Middlesbrough.
    My uncle was Ernie Jopling who was a Director at Heads but left to go to AMF about the same time I started in Thornaby.
    Ernie Jopling was very active in the Soccer team I understand and I believe that there is a photo of him and the team somewhere on line.
    I moved to Australia in 1983 an often wonder what happened to people I worked with.
    I know one or two have contacted me via Linkedin.

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  5. My dad and his brother Ernie Rudd and Harry Rudd worked at HW Bridgeyard in the 50s and 60s also Alf Rose in the apprentice school, Thornaby

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  6. Day two brother were apprentices in the sixties Geoffrey Wood and Stephen fitter and turner and electrician both now live in Perth West Australia

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  7. My Dad, David “doc” Halliday is keen to know if there are any of the old HW football team still around? He now lives in Devon with us.

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    • Your Dad Doc Halliday may be interested to know Bob Nicholson who was in charge of Head Wrightsons Football Team, his grandson Adam is captain of the successful Stockton Town who are in the Northern League First Division.

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  8. My name is Rob Clark and back in 1966 I was serving an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with DG Wiggins. They sent me to the Head Wrightson training school for one year, my grandfather Bob Clark he was the head patternmaker back in the day. I emigrated to Canada in 1980 and worked in a machine shop attached to a foundry, one day I met the foundry manager who had a Thornaby accent. After chatting it turned out my grandfather apprenticed this guy when he was 15 years old!
    Small world……

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  9. Yes my Dad John Darragh worked there in the late 60s/70s then my brother again John Darragh worked there he was an apprentice plater worked along side my husbands uncle Robbie Hall who also was a plater.

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  10. Did any know of folks who worked at Eaglescliffe, it was mainly segments made all day long, I started my apprentership there 1963, worked with a lad called Colin Castle (Cass) we worked together on the gantry making key segments, Cass lived on Albany est, a really lovely lad. Another chap I got very pally with was Danny Booth, again another lovely lad. Would be nice to hear from any one who worked at Eaglescliffe.
    All the best.
    Derek.

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  11. Just sat here waiting for SHETLAND to start at 9 oclock.

    I wonder what happened to Tommy Walker, Trevor Pinngar, Evelyn Sturdey and .the Peacocks. Then there is Rita Bell who lived just opposite Chelmsford Street in Westbury Street. Then Rita Whitehead who lived at the top of my side of Chelmsford Street. I vaguely recall she married and went to live in Ausralia.
    Ann Mcdonald, who lived next door to you died about 10 years ago. She had altzheimers. Jack Ibbetson and his wife Janet always kept in touch with her and went to her funeral. Good and sad memories.
    George, my cousin lives in Low Lane, Acklam, with Sylvia. He will be 84 next week and I 84 in July. I always visit him when in Teesside.

    I hope to put a few Thornaby Photo’s on here shortly. They will help the Thornaby History. I have only one photo of Chelmsford Street. Wish I had more.

    I have all sorts of things I could share with you but do not really know how this works. Can one share addresses. I had an article published in REMEMBER WHEN which will be of real interest to you. It covered two pages.

    We must keep in touch somehow. Eileen & I have been married nearly 58 years and are reasonably healthy although I am just getting over the ‘flu. Been ill for 3 weeks. We both still drive but not so much these days.

    Kind regards again, Philip

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    • Hi Philip. I lived in No 4 Chelmsford Street with my sister Freda and brother David. I live in Ramsey Cambridgeshire with my partner Colin Boon who is a farmer. I was widowed in 1989 and met Colin in 1994. I love the farming life after working in Civil Service till I retired. My brother Davis still lives in the top Green and I met George your cousin in 1994 when he came to my nephew Michael’s wedding as he is friends with David. Love to keep in contact. if you need email address ask in another post.

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  12. Well that knocked me for six to read those lovely comments of my Dad made by George Outhwaite and Len Nicholson, bit choked.
    On the very odd occasion I did bike over to the machine shop and Dad would show me round.
    J.

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    • My grandad Harry Wales worked there after returning from WW1 he was known as the peace maker between management and workers during his time there. He died in 1953 a WW1 Hero.

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  13. I knew a Stephen Stuart Hulse who used to work here. I lived with him in a care home. He was a wonderful man. We always had a laugh with each other. He sadly passed away from bowel cancer in July 2017. xx

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  14. I worked at Head Wrightson from 1961 to 1972. Started as an apprentice draughtsman at Head Wrightson the Friarage Yarm from 1962 until late 60’s when we moved to Thornaby Teesdale drawing office. 
    In 1969 I went with Heads to Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station in Somerset to help supervise its construction, but I loved working at the Friarage it was a great place to work, Bill Grainger was the Chief draughtsman, my immediate boss was Ron Miller a lovely man and we got on well. Other draughtsman were Peter Chapman, Barry Robson-Cross, Alan Collier, Stan Brennan, Denis Sizer, Peter Targar, Brian O’Connell. 
    Don’t forget the great book that was produced in 2013 by the Teesside Industrial Memories Project entitled Life at Head’s – memories of working at Head Wrightson Thornaby-on-tees, maybe another follow up book could be produced with all those Photographs. 

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    • What a small world! – I also started as an apprentice draughtsman at the Friarage in 1959 and was there until 1963 – I remember the people you mentioned and also worked under Ron Miller and Denis Sizer – Stan Brennan was the apprentice who started the year before me and I still meet him occasionally in Stockton. It was a great place.
      Alick Smith

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  15. Read today in the Gazette of the death of Billy Day, the ex Boro winger who was 81. He was in the apprentice school the year before me and then went into the machine shop as a fitter. The main fitter he was apprentice to was Bill Marcheant.

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    • There was four fitting squads in the Fitting Shop all with a chargehand, who were Arthur Jackson, Freddie Goodman, Tommy Betts & Bob Close, Billy Day was in Arthur Jackson’s squad along with Bill Marchant.

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    • Sorry to hear of the death of Billy Day, my early recollection of Billy was when I was playing for a very successful South Bank Juniors team about 1952, Bully asked me if he should sign for the South Bank Junior team and I advised him against it as our our outside right which was Billy,s position we had Snowy Stones a Durham County Schools Cap also a North Riding Junior Cap playing in that position. I advised Billy to go to Newport Boys Club for one season then come to South Bank Juniors , which he did. That season I was playing in the South Bank Northern League Team. I got injured half way through the season and Billy replaced me in the Northern League team. Billy.s career took of like a rocket and he was in the England team in no time at all. Nice to see a local lad do so well. RIP Billy Day.

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  16. Worked at Head Wrightson Processes at The Friarage,Yarm, from 1958 (after leaving school) until 1961 as a Trainee Shorthand Typist. Attended night school and day release finally becoming a qualified Shorthand Typist.

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  17. I worked with Alan, he was my boss in the Photograhic Dept from 1963 to 1968 firstly as an assistant and then as a Photographer, before moving to London make my “fortune”
    Alan was one of nicest people I ever worked with and I loved working at Heads, my future father-in-law Harry Laverick who was a core maker at Stockton Steel reckoned I had a “bobbys job!”
    Eric Barrow from Whitby and Anne Ross who later married Alan were also photographers at the same time.
    The 3 of us must have taken quite a few of those negatives
    I remember covering the Heads Golf Tournament one Saturday at Middleton One Row, so the featured picture could well be one of mine.
    Alan Rowbotham

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    • George Outhwaite who worked in the Machine Shop, Thornaby won the golf tournament one year, it took them three months to give him his trophy, the golf competition was generally the director’s baby.

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    • Your post has helped my memory. You are the fourth Alan from the Photographic and the metallurgical Sections, plus me, Alan Taylor (Taylor Made Magic) and Alan Simpson. I was also there from 1962 – 1968 and early on worked with Joe Duce in particular whose mentoring was a great start to my career. When someone rang for Alan all four of us could have been in a dark room at the time.
      If I remember correctly Eric was the motor bike man who travelled from Whitby every day in the same “short” time no matter what the weather was like.
      Anne of course had no excuses for being late for work as she lived just up the road and most males driving cars enjoyed giving her a lift!
      You said you made your fortune – and that was what I heard also. Is it in fact true that you returned to the Lab and parked your flash new car in Mr McDowall’s space?
      You went to London and I travelled farther afield to Australia in 1971 and I am still here.

      Allan Marshall

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      • Alan Taylor went on to be a teacher at St Johns School, Ragworth. If you have done well for yourself Alan Rowbotham, that is another lad from old Ragworth to do well, as Ronnie Thwaites now Ronald Thwaites Q.C.

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        • Working with Alan Taylor was interesting to say the least, as he would perform an act of magic before you in the lab and mystify everyone of course (e.g producing a lit cigarette from his mouth) – but never repeat it! I would imagine that as a magician and a natural comedian that the schoolkids at Ragworth would have really enjoyed school time with Alan.
          He was also a practical joker and had an artificial mouse that he could move very realistically – you knew where he was in the building by listening for the screams of the girls as it ran across their typewriters!
          I last saw him when he was the star turn at my leaving Head’s party in November 1971 and it was a great send off. He certainly made my time at Head’s memorable.

          Allan Marshall

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      • Hi Allan remember the 4 Alan’s, in the photographic / metallurgy dept and I was AR2 when I initialled a job sheet as Anne Ross was AR.
        Eric Barrow would also extol the virtue of his Riley 1.5 as well as his motorbikes! Nortons, Triumphs or Tritons or whatever!!
        I remember Joe Duce was a real nice guy, used to give me a lift to Stockton in his Morris Minor.
        Remember Alan ( the magic man) strange he ended up at St Johns, my uncle Stanley Rowbotham was a teacher there when I went to Ragworth Primary, a few years earlier.
        Where in Australia are you now?

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        • Thanks for the follow up but you avoided one question – Is it in fact true that you returned to the Lab and parked your flash new car in Mr McDowall’s space?

          I live on the Gold Coast in South East Queensland, which is a great place to live and we will have the Commonwealth Games here in April.

          Sooo different to Teesside.

          Allan Marshall

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  18. My dad Johny Smith was a plater at the forge on Norton Road he died in 1988, I am his only family still alive. He enjoyed his time there and a member of the boilermakers union, happy days.

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    • I remember a Plater at the Forge called Smith who was reputed to be the best boilermaker in the North East. He was an expert marker off and always commanded respect from every one due to his reputation. We all new him as Smithy and was always in the same central position in the Bridge Yard marking off. Could this be your father Paul? Maybe some other ex employee of the Forge can confirm or deny this statement. The period would be 1951 to 1956 was when I worked there..

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      • Hi Ben my dad was that plater. I am Paul married last year to Sarah, dad died of lung cancer at 63. Head Wrightsons was very special and also a boilermaker. Mam married again but she passed away 2 years ago we buried her on Christmas Eve. He loved that job and would tell me the things he had done at work and as a lad we went fishing on the Tees. Thank you Ben for your reply. He had a stroke aged 57 he was very disabled I just wished he was at our wedding. I worked in schools and colleges as a science technician I am now 58 and medically retired. Heads was 32 happy years of his life.
        Ben if you ever want to get in touch with me you very welcome to talk about my dad please do so. Picture Stockton will forward on my email address if you contact them: pictures@stockton.gov.uk
        Peace be with Paul.

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          • Hi Sandra I don’t remember my dad telling me about your dad Tommy. During the WW2 my dad fire watched at Newham Grange School, dad liked to wear suits and tie he used to have pint at the Grand pub in Stockton. My mam worked in the kitchen at Thornaby Heads they met each other at a Yarm dance and got married in Yarm parish church, the vicar was Fr. Chris Barker. Thanks for reply Sandra, best wishes Paul

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      • To have the title of best boilermaker in the North East he would of had plenty of competition from the platers at Head Wrightsons, Thornaby, the apprentice platers done all the marking off at Thornaby, some of the platers at Thornaby were Harry Foster, Bob Nicholson, Bertie Simpson, Eric Allen, Fred Ford to name a few.

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        • Hi my dad Johny Smith dads life was very much the work he did when the forge closed down, he then worked Foster Wheelers, Hartlepool. After having a severe stroke. it left him very disabled he was 57 he often talked about Heads… Josh and Tommy Brown, mos Alexander, low hydrogen welding rods and when the forge closed I went with him to get his tools. Big Andy I went to school with, a lad called Ian Brumpton his dad and he were welders at Thornaby also a another lad John Bage his dad Harry worked at Thornaby Heads.
          Thanks for your comments that you remember my dad. Best wishes Paul Smith

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  19. I worked at Heads from 1960 to 1969, starting in the apprentice training school then going into Headquarters Electricians. I was in there for a year and then transferred to Research & Development, again as an Electrician. I knew Alan Simpson and also his assistant and future wife, Anne Ross.

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  20. My grandad worked there I can’t remember what he used to do but he talked about it quite often his name was Bill Short and I think my nana welded there too on ships she is called Renee Kidell

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  21. I started at Head Wrightson Teesdale in JULY 1956 aged 16. My name then was Frances Bage. I was a commercial trainee and we had to go to night school 2 nights a week for Shorthand and Typing. The following January a vacancy arose at the Iron Foundry Eaglescliffe and I went there as a wages clerk. My boss was Mr Catchpole, who seemed elderly to me and two other younger men called Dennis and Kenny. There was an accounts office upstairs and 2 young girls called Norma and Wendy worked there. We became friends. I loved working in the wages office and there was about 200 men working in the foundry, some who had come from the Hungarian uprising. One sad thing happened when there was an accident in the foundry and some of the workers were killed. I can’t remember the date but I left just before New Year 1960 as I was expecting my first baby February 1961. My leaving present was a Burco Boiler for nappies. My name then was Frances McDermont. My friend Norma left 7 months before me to have her first baby. I look back with fondness on my time there and Mr Catchpole was very firm but also very fair.

    My Godmother Miss Margaret Ayre also worked in Head Wrightson but in the machine shop. She worked the right through the war and retired aged 65 in 1975. There were two lads working with her called Peter Preston and Raymond Bainbridge and we became friendly when I was at school aged 14/15. I wonder what happened to them. They lived in Stockton whilst I lived in Thornaby.
    My uncle Ernie also worked in the Labs in Teesdale as a Metallurgist. I can remember him having some sort of badge to keep check of the x-rays they used. I can’t remember his surname as he was always uncle Ernie. He died in 1989 but he retired several years before that time.

    My name now is Frances Plimmer and I live in Cambridgeshire. I am now 78 yrs old but still very active and would love to know where this goes and how I can keep in touch with it.

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    • Margaret Ayre worked on a turret lathe in the Light Machine Shop along with Vera Stewart, Olive Cauldwell, Hilda Sanderson & Dorothy Morris, their gaffer was Ernie Orpen. Peter Preston was a fitter who lived in the Bowesfield Lane area, but when he got married moved to Redcar.

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      • Harry Bage was my dad’s youngest brother. He lived with us for a few years and was a Saturday Football Referee. He paid me sixpence to clean his football boots. His children were Bronwyn and John Charles. John was names after a footballer of the day. I have not had contact with them for a lot of years/I am one of the oldest cousins.

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        • Harry was a good referee, he then assisted his relation Bob Nicholson to run the successful Head Wrightsons football team in the sixties & later became the North Riding F.A. Referees Appointments Secretary.

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    • The accident happened when a ladle of molten iron was being transported by an overhead crane there was a problem with the ladle and the metal spilled out onto some workers below it. Jack Robinson the works chemist saw the accident and it affected him badly for the rest of his life as I recall.

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      • I saw exactly the same kind of accident when I worked as a lab technician at Davy United in the early sixties and was in the factory collecting samples. The ladle leaked as it was being transported and the molten iron spilled onto the factory floor, scattering the workers. Nobody was killed in that one but it was a terrifying event to witness. Health and safety regs were much looser in those days.

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    • Hello I am Philip Moore. I worked at Head Wrightson Egglesclife Foundry from 1949 to 1952 as office boy. Geogre Catchpole was Cashier and Chief Wages clerk. I went into the army in 1952 and returned to HW Thornaby in 1954. Worked in the Accounts until 1965. I am 83 now. Do you have any contact with anyone else from HW. WOW Francis I have just seen your name BAGE – you must remember me!!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. I think my Grandad worked here, George Howe, he was from Thornaby later moved to Roseworth, not sure what year it was or for how long he worked there.

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  23. My father Sid (Sydney) Todd was a boilermaker/plater/welder and worked at Thornaby. Not sure of the dates but he went there after the war till he was laid off or something in the 70’s if my memory serves me right.

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  24. My Grandfather, Eddie (Edward Arthur) Moss, and my mother, Enid Moss, were draughtsman and draughtswoman c.1950s/1960s. I would be interested to be kept in touch with how this project (hopefully) develops; to view what sounds like an extraordinary collection; and maybe even identify my family!

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      • Hi Frances,
        This is Herb (Herbie) Moss and I do believe you are the same Frances Bage I knew so long ago when we both lived in Thornaby. I often wondered what happened to you and now I know from your messages. So you now live in Cambridgeshire. I live a lot further away from old Thornaby having my home in Tucson Arizona USA. I left England in June 1972. I live here with my wife who was born in Middlesbrough, and we have three daughters who have kids of their own. Two live in California and the other one on Nevada.
        I am pleased that life has been good to you and hope it continues.
        How is your sister Freda and your brother?
        I read your preambles and it brought back memories of life in northern England during the 1950s.
        Your old friend Herb

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        • Hi Herb.

          How lovely to hear from you. You have always been remembered with fond memories, I had my daughter Judith and Son Peter and then divorced a bit later; I remarried and had a son Andrew and all the children are grown and I have grandchildren, My late husband died in 1989 whilst I was living in Cambridgeshire and after 5 years alone I have had a partner who I have been with for 24 yrs now. He is a farmer so it was a completely different life but it has been wonderful.
          Not quite as far away as you but lovely to hear you have had a good life and lovely family.
          I don’t see anything of my sister as she lives in France. My brother still lives in Thornaby on the high Green. He has 3 sons and 1 daughter and several grandchildren and has done well for himself
          Warmest wishes to you and yours
          Frances

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          • Hi Frances,
            Thanks for your reply and the well wishes that come with it. Thanks also for the brief update on your life as it happened. I always remember the happy times we shared in our youth. I have always remembered with fondness your Mom and Dad too, and your brother and sister.

            If my memory serves me well I believe the last time we saw each o other was around early 1961, when you were with your baby, probably Judith and I was on my way to meet my brother. This happened in the Bowesfield area of Stockton.

            I am happy that we have made contact. Please email pictures@stockton.gov.uk and they will forward on my email so that we can continue our discussions.

            I trust that your two sons and daughter along with all the little ones (or maybe big ones by now) are all in good health and enjoying life.

            Very fond memories, and well wishes.
            Herb

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        • This note by Frances ‘Bage’ brings back so many memories. I could write a book about Chelmsfrod Street. Freda was on of my playmates.

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  25. My father Sidney Miller worked here. Also Frank Miller, William Miller, Eric Miller those are my uncle’s and my brother Kenny Miller. Unfortunately I can’t remember which part. I think my father was a Crane driver not 100%

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  26. I worked at Heads from 1958 to 1966, started as a messenger in the Works Office with Margaret Hodgson (who sadly died recently). George Cain was the Bridge Yard Manager, my uncle Les Howe was the Welding foreman. I moved to the Planning Dept where my boss was Tommy Frier, and it was lovely John Jeffels when I left. My best friend and colleague was June Stott, such happy days, such good memories, met so many lovely people, such a good place to work. I remember all the people mentioned in other comments so very well.

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  27. I joined the apprentice school in 1957, and was offered a job in the steel foundry lab after spending some time in there. Worked in there with Harry Berry, Colin Waugh and Bob Middleton to name one or two, then was transferred to Eaglescliffe Iron Foundry where I worked with Jack Robinson and Roy Foggin. Then back to R & D where I was in the same lab as Alan Simpson along with Ray Hargreaves and I think Colin Waugh and 2 girls called Anne who worked on photography with Alan (I think he later married one of them). I then finally moved to HW Stampings in the lab and Heat Treatment plant with Norman Preece. Left to work at Davy United in 1965 but returned to the fold at the iron foundry when Heads and Davys merged. Finally moved on to pastures new in 1973. Had some great times and worked with great people during my time there. My grandfather George Wright and my father Arthur Day both worked there for most of there working life. My father was a wages clerk and my grandfather was a joiner. Hope this jogs a few memories of people I worked alongside.

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    • Knew your dad well. Worked with Arthur at HW Teesdale in 1967-1970. He was the Cashier then, and lived somewhere in central Stockton from memory. Good bloke, had many chats with him.

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  28. My brother’s in law Jimmy Huggins and Bob Fairlie both worked at Heads for many years. Jimmy as a burner in the Bridge Yard and Bob as chauffeur to Sir John Wrightson. I worked for a short time in the foundry as a fettler at Thornaby and Light Hall Pipe Road, Stockton.

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  29. I worked there in the bridge yard 1964 to 1986, started off as a welders labourer then took charge of the welding stores in that time I had a few different bosses Tony Hewson being my first boss he was also the main man over the welders sub managers included John Manuel, Tommy Dover, Jimmy Dunning, factory managers were John Jeffells, Maynard Wilson, George Kane, Freddy Lisle and lots of other shop floor personnel, some of the shop floor welders that I remember were Billy Bonner, Harold Walton, Jack Twigg, Reg Morgan, Ernie Wise these were all class 1 welders probably some of the best in engineering there was of course many many more, some of the characters that I remember were Harry Renton who used to drive the lister machine always joking on I don’t think anyone disliked him, Charlie Simpson whose voice could be heard from afar and a man I came to respect used to be a driller and through ill health ended up in the bridge yard tool store shang aka Gordon Wilson there are so many other people could mention here!!! and a few stories to tell maybe I’ll post some more comments later!!

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    • Hello Mick. Have just found this site. My dad was Tommy Dover. I live in Rotherham, he sadly died in October 2014. A wonderful man. I also knew John Manual. Regards Sandra Dover

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      • Hi Sandra, I knew your dad very well he filled several positions in my time there, specialist welder, supervisor, in his later years he looked after the apprentices marking their modules etc he once helped me change an engine in my car he was very good with cars, I was at his cremation service, like you said he was a wonderful man.

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        • Hi. Thank you for replying and your comments. Thank you for going to his funeral. Wish I had spoken to you. I sold the family house as I live in Rotherham. I am a retired teacher. My dad played the piano and I play the piano and am keeping up the music. So pleased to read your words. Sandra Dover

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      • I worked in the HW Accounts Cashiers from 1954 to 1966. Tommy was one of the transport drivers who took us to the bank two or three times a week with cheques etc.

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  30. I served my time has an apprentice moulder at Stockton steel foundry from 1963 to 1967, at the same time my brother was a moulder and my father was a slinger on the furnaces.
    Happy days and some memories.

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  31. Yes, I’m into my mid 70’s but my Dad worked at Thornaby works as a fitter & turner, also nominated a first aider with his St John’s training, he would bike to work every morning from Tilery across the Black Path.
    One story he told me, true or not? he was never one for doing overtime, only doing his regular day shift and never missing any, apparently there was a fairly big job on at one time and he went in, entering the turning shop he thought nobody else had turned up, but when he got to his machine the other men stood up and banged whatever they could, highlighting the fact he had turned in doing overtime!
    George Outhwaite is another Tilery lad, much younger than My Dad who also worked there.

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      • Walter Laing was a highly skilled turner who worked in the Light Machine shop. As an apprentice I worked behind him. One day he asked me to try out a pair of roller skates he had made as a gift for his son John, I said don’t be daft Walter i’II cripple myself. This was 1958/59, they were built with 2 wheels each – possibly the first ever in-line skates. Who knew!
        George Outhwaite

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        • Yes George I am the youngest of the three Mam and Dad had, you may well know our Wally, Walter named after Dad.
          As I recall you lived opposite the Joinery hut of Tilery school ?.
          Those roller skates mentioned I remember very well, I dropped onto them as I believe they were banned, they were called Terra-Glides having only had two hard rubber ball wheels on each foot and when I wore them out Dad made spindles so I could fit two rubber Jacko-skate wheels, but they had an even surface.
          John.

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  32. Who was the man who retired from Head Wrightsons then built up a thriving business & moved to Jersey for tax purposes – I met him several times in the late 1970’s when he visited Stockton from Jersey a remarkable story – however cannot remember his name
    Ken Howells

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  33. Worked at Head Wrightson Teesdale (mainly) plus Steel Foundry (Thornaby), Iron Foundry (Eaglescliffe) between September 1965 and February 1970. Returned to HW Steelcast (3 foundries, including Stockton Forge) between 1977 – 1979.
    Started as Commercial Apprentice, then ‘matured’ into Cost Clerk based mainly at Teesdale.
    Bosses were Bill Fortune, Bob Murray, Matt Wilson and Wilf Bradley. Also worked with Fred Mothersdale (Purchasing), Norman Gaget, Roy Brown (who recommended me to Hartlepool FC!), John Barker, Michael Miller, Eric Slack, Arthur Day. Cost team included Alan Walton {drove old Austin A30}, Colin Ainsley (taught me/mentored me very well, Bill Wade, Ian Carter, Malcolm Bell, Rita Ozelton, Barbara Baker, Una …., comptometer operators Peggy… and Rosemary…later Alan Woods, John Egglestone, Ethel McGlade, Frank…., ‘RP’ or Mr Ronnie Purnell was the MD. Used to remember Sir John Wrightson arriving just before Christmas each year to wish all staff a ‘Merry Christmas’ – his brother was Peter Wrightson who was in Sales, and their nephew, John Eccles arrived on the scene about 1968 or so, in an E-type Jag, I may add!
    I’m sure there are a few names I’ve missed, but I think there were about 5000 people employed on the HW sites in the 60s, and the start and finish times were very crowded going down from Thornaby station, past the newsagent (who must have got their living out of HW at that time.)
    Stuart Leed

    Liked by 1 person

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