Michaelson Road Bridge built by Head Wrightson

The Michaelson Road Bridge in Barrow-in-Furness was built in two stages to replace the old Lift and Roll bridge by Head Wrightson c1960s. Due to submarines being built in the same area, the bridge was constructed in a vertical position and once complete it was maneuvered into its horizontal position.

Photograph and details courtesy of Tony Campbell.

Foundries of Thornaby

Following on from Philip Moore’s photograph of the Motor Cylinder Department at Crosthwaites in the 1920s, is this ragged article showing that by 1966 Crosthwaites was closing down and the teams moving to the Bon Lea Foundry including 8 women to join the 25 woman already there. The Bon Lea would survive only another 10 years or so. The main photograph shows Margaret Armstrong. Kathy Wrightson a co worker was only 17. I wonder if any Bon Lea workers are still with us? I am researching Thornaby foundries for the Thornaby Lives project and would love to hear from them.

Image and details courtesy of Derek Smith.

Head Wrightson TNPG ‘Dungeness’

Heat exchangers built at Head Wrightson, Thornaby for Dungeness Power Station. The heat exchangers were wrapped in timbers and trunnions added before being launched into the Tees. They were towed down to Dungeness and then rolled up the shingle beach before being installed in the power station.

Photograph and details courtesy of Tony Campbell.

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…

Aerial View of Blackett’s Brickworks Portrack, 9th May 1949

This picture comes from the NCAP collection, which includes some excellent aerial pictures of Stockton and Billingham. Anyone can use it.

At this point of time, Blacketts had just about worked through the first 30 feet of boulder clay, which was used for brickmaking. The chimneys indicate that there were are least two sets of kilns which were coal fired. The pictures are clear enough to show the bogies (trucks on a miniature railway) that transported the clay to to the works. They were mostly cable hauled, excepted for the last bit were the labours would bush them to where the steam powered digger was working. This can be seen, in shadow, at the top middle of the picture. There is a white flare of steam coming out of the top.

This picture shows that my Drawing of Blacketts Brickworks, 1966 was pretty accurate.

Details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Riverside View of Head Wrightson Site, 1972

This was originally intended to be a an artistic view of Head Wrightson’s taken from the opposite side of the River, just about where the North Shore Branch of the Clarence Railway terminated. It is just about possible to make out, what I think are the boilers for an AGR nuclear plant lying in a row, ready to be floated down to the appropriated coastal location. I think other people have confirmed this.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.