Images supplied by Sarah Morgan
Sarah Morgan a social historian and author has made contact with the History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) project team
Hi, I’ve been researching my great grandfather, Ben Bennison for my next novel. Ben was a coke filler in the Consett Iron Company in 1911 until he went off to fight in WWI.
I don’t suppose you know exactly how and what a coke filler did? Did he push wheelbarrows of coke up to the Bessemer converter, on a gangway??
I have a nice letter from the works manager saying had he not left for the war, he’d have been made a foreman soon. ( He left to manage a coke works in Tondu.) I could send a copy for the archive if it is of interest.
You may have already covered this explosion in Jan 1915 in the blog, if not it may be of interest.
Sarah has agreed for us to do this Blog to share her request and open discussion on the couple of issues she has raised
I’d be pleased for a blog post asking what a cokeman filler did in 1911. I’ll find the letter and send on in the next couple of days. I have a few photos of Ben, mostly from the DLI archive in Durham records office, evocative as in the trenches and marching through Newcastle and off to war.
In 1901 he was already in the steel works, aged 18. Can’t quite see what he’s employed doing in 1901, maybe as a millers man.?? Maybe in the rolling mill? Did they have a rolling mill back then?
Link to Sarah’s blog
So can you help by describing what a Coke Filler’s role was?
Did any of your family work at the Steelworks and then go off to World War 1?
Also any information on the explosion of 1915 would also be welcome
Thanks to Sarah for getting in touch