Consett’s Christmas Countdown Day 14

Sending Christmas greetings is important in any year, and particularly so in times of difficulty, such as the year that has just passed. In 1967 the Consett Iron Company Magazine featured a Christmas card that had been received from Alberta, Canada from a previous employee whose fond memories of Consett were still very present 56 years on.

The Despatch Office was the featured department in the December 1963 magazine, with a suitably festive addition to the image of Despatch Officer Manager, Mr Maurice Collins. Mr Collins, with the help of an army of men, women and juniors, supervised the sending and distribution of post throughout the Works. In an average day, the Despatch Office handled in the region of 1000 items to and from the UK and abroad, and many young people entering the administration of the Works started their career here.

As well as staff delivering mail to departments on foot, there was also a company van, known affectionately as Wells Fargo. Here is an image of driver, Mr Billy Hale about to set off to the Consett Post Office sorting office with the heavy evening delivery of mail for despatch to all four corners of the globe.

The December edition of the magazine was also used by the Chairman to send Christmas greetings to all staff. It is telling that these started with light-hearted and sunny cheer in the first edition in 1957 but rapidly descended into missives of impending gloom. However, the workers at Consett were consistently praised for their determination and work ethic and were always acknowledged as the key to Consett’s success, whatever was going on in the outside world.