Barbara McEnaney’s Story
Dad has been passed 10 years now, but I still have a lot of his things including his model sailing ships. This was his hobby, but it was his life too. I’ve never seen a more devoted man to his ships.
He started work at CIC in 1958, he was a steel sampler, which is why he made the model of the sample room [see above]. He stayed at the works till it closed. This job also took him to Tyne dock to collect some steel samples, I know this was one of the things he looked forward to doing as it got him a chance to go and be where he loved, on the quay, as you see from one of the photographs, he kept a record of all the ships he took the samples from.
I remember going with him one Saturday morning because after he finished, we were going to Boldon to buy our horse. Dad was also a good horseman. When he had days off and I was at school or working a late shift Dad would take the horse out. When the works closed, he got a job at the YMCA in Consett, he could turn his hand to anything and I think he did do just about everything when he was there, from repairs to making kitchen units. It was here where he made a model of the Gill Bridge, I remember the research he did for that, I have loads of photos of the bridge, from the bottom and from the top: Dad was a perfectionist, so it had to be right. I don’t remember what it was going to be used for, but I know it did go into some event or other in Consett.
He also made a wonderful fisherman’s cottage; the inside was just as perfect as the outside and even had a fisherman sitting by the fire. Dad was a very shy and quiet man and would do things that I would be amazed at, he always thought no one would be interested in what he could do, so kept a lot to himself. The worst day was when Dad had a stroke and lost his speech and the use of his right arm, this meant he couldn’t make his models anymore. He wasn’t going to be beat though, he would get a small paint brush and meticulously dust them.
He was an amazing man, and I miss him every day, so thank you for this opportunity to maybe let a few more people know about him.
Barbara McEnaney, via Facebook