First Aid Memories Article

An article in the Northern Echo Spet 2020 about the memories of Jackie Short who started his first job at Consett Steelworks aged just 15. (what age where you when you started)—st-john-ambulance-volunteer-given-56-years-service/

He has also spent more a less a life time volunteering with St johns Ambulance

John ‘Jackie’ Short who has served as a St John Ambulance volunteer in County Durham for 56 years. Picture: Peter Barron

First aid memoirs – the St John Ambulance volunteer still going strong at 87

Link to history of St Johns Ambulance

John ‘Jackie’ Short who has served as a St John Ambulance volunteer in County Durham for 56 years. Picture: Peter Barron

Did you work in the Infirmary on the Steelworks site or have voluntered for St Johns Ambulance? if so please do get in touch

Health & Safety at Consett Steelworks- do you have any documents or memories that you can share

As part of the June 2021 focus on Health and Safety the HCSW project team would like to ask for anyone with Health and Safety documents relating the works , names of any Health and Safety reps + of course any of memories/stories of health & safety

What Health and Safety measures were part of the induction and apprentiships?

Please comment or send an email if you have some content to share

Thank you

Richard Judd

Chair of the HCSW project

Ronnie Dawson , my Dad by Dorothy Whitesmith

Dorothy Whitesmith writes

This is my Dad Ronnie Dawson

.He was born in Dacre Gardens the youngest of eight children.

My Grandad William Dawson had a good job at the works.

His brother Ralph also had a good job there too.

He lived in a lovely end terraced house on The Promenade with an integral conservatory.

My Dad must have started there in about 1936 as a Fitter and Turner.

He left to go in The Royal Engineers to lecture on steam engines in World War Two and returned to the works after that.

The names I remember from the Fitting shop were as follows Ronnie Davison, Matty Henderson, Tommy Stoddart, Cecil Nesbit, Alan Wood, Bob Urwin.

The then apprentices he mentioned were the King brothers from Bridgehill and the Cherryman brothers from Castleside.

I have heard of George Dawson but I don’t think we are related. My Dad had a great sense of humour, told some really corny jokes and was so, so kind and patient.

Thanks to Dorothy for sharing her memories of her dad and family all worked at the “Works”

Barry Britton model of Hownsgill Plate Mill – Request for information

Thomas East recently commented on a post on the HCSW Facebook group as follows

That a guy who was a fitter and turned at Hownsgill at one point built a scale model of Hownsgill, his name was Barry Britton

Lived at one point in the bungalow on Cutlers Hall road, he had a car repair shop in the old forge in Shotley.

Last time I saw him he was living up from the Mount Pleasant pub towards Medomsley Road

The HCSW project team would like to hear of anyone who knows anything about the model, has pictures and knows if it is still held by the family

We look forward to hearing from you

RFI Request For Information, acronym business concept

International Archives Day 2021

Victoria Stevens part of the HCSW Project team is an experienced archive conservator so on #internationalarchivesday2021 no better time to do a post about her

see our Meet the Team section

From the about section on her website

I am a highly experienced library and archive conservator delivering a comprehensive conservation service across the UK. I am an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation (Icon), and am proud to be listed on Icon’s Conservation Register. Full details of my background and experience can be found here.

With over 20 years’ experience of working with historic collections, predominantly in the library and archive collections of several Oxford University colleges and now in museum, educational and religious collections across the UK, I am able to offer an extensive range of practical conservation treatments, and am confident and skilled in treating a wide variety of formats and materials of all ages. Additionally, I am able to provide pragmatic conservation and preservation advice, including condition assessments, environmental control, handling and moving collections and preparing objects for exhibition or digitisation. I am available to undertake collection-wide projects as well welcoming the opportunity to work on one-off, individual objects.

Regardless of the size of the project, every client is offered a cost-effective service tailored to their individual requirements and to those of each object, with full consultation from initial condition assessment, through treatment to final reporting and aftercare.

Please do consider speaking to Victoria to explore her supporting any projects

Accident 1847 a mystery

Michael Burns writes

My song, Crookhall, (link below) has been getting a few plays on SoundCloud over the weekend.

It tells of a disaster at the iron works back in 1847.

At the time the papers often didn’t bother giving the names of ordinary people so, ten years or so ago, I wrote to the county registrar at Bishop Auckland, to say that I’d like to buy the death certs of the 6 who died in order to discover their names (it would have cost quite a few quid, but I had a bee in my bonnet about it).

I was able to give the date & location of the deaths, that they would have been violent deaths, caused by an explosion & that the informant would have been the county coroner.

Imagine my astonishment when I received a reply saying that they could not trace death certificates if names were unknown! Despite appealing using the council’s complaints procedure I’m still none the wiser. If anyone has any contacts at the records office, or on the council …

Be good to help Michael solve this mystery please do comment or email the HCSW project team if you have any information or suggestions

Topper Robson Blast Furnance Rigger

The HCSW project team are doing a month focus in June 2021 on Health and Safety

A comment on one of our posts has conjured up a story and a character we would like to know more about

Stephen McGuigan wrote

There was a rigger at the Blast called Topper Robson. Imagine the top level of the furnace with what were referred to as the goal posts on top.He thought nothing of going up a wooden ladder with a sling and chain block over his shoulder, climbing into the crossbar, walking along it, wrapping the sling around then hooking the chain block to the sling.

If you know of Topper Robson or any family in the area we would like to learn more about him please comment or email the project team