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Memories of our early days at work


Hanging Around The Cinema By: Steve Thompson

The good thing about apprentices is that they are mostly small and pliable. I remember being sent into very small apertures to chip away silt from fan blades. This was during my apprenticeship at Consett steel works.

My Mother told me this. Even though she has been married to my father for 50 years she only learned this recently: It tells how one slip of the hand and I may never have been born. It could also explain why, to this day I can not pronounce the letter "R".

There was a  cinema in Consett  called the REX. (It burned down in 1967) The letter "R" in the sign had come loose and was hanging askew. The firm my Father was apprenticed to (Harry Tully) were called out to fix it. This was a very large building and they had no ladders that would reach. The ingenious answer was for them to go up onto the roof from inside the building and, with  two men holding my fathers feet they dangled him from the building and he fixed the sign working upside down. No modern health and safety malarkey there eh!


originally appeared in Newcastle Community News