Apprenticeship in Hydraulic Engineering brochure

circa 1960

This introductory brochure dates, I would imagine, from the mid 1960s.  I remember a lot of the faces and most of their names.

Some names that are not on the pictures are Colin Eagles in the ambulance room with Nurse Edwards (on page 11).

In the lecture room pictures the ones I can see are, Jeff Wood, Keith Hale, Malcom Pobjoy, Malcom Popejoy, Chris Swan, Ken Mattock, Tony Parsloe and, I think, Richard Bennett.

On the page 12, with pictures from the Training Department and the Fitting Shops, I can see (in the Training Dept.) on the left-hand side operating the old Herbert capstan lathes Graham Coughlin, instructor Gerald Williams and ? , Wayne Roberts?, Dave Hamblett?, the instructor Bert Ravenhill and Jon Swift?.  On the right-hand side is John Leyfield operating a horizontal boring machine.

In the Fitting Shop pictures (on the right of page 12), (1) is Mark Hodges at the controls of an extrusion press but I’m not sure about the others in the picture. (2) is George Meredith on the far side of the baler.  I seem to remember the faces of the other two but unfortunately can’t put names to them.

I hope anyone reading this will be able to correct me if I am wrong about any of the names I have mentioned.

Chippy Aston

Comments about this page

  • Hi Gordon, hope you are keeping well. I don’t have any particular memories about the ‘craft school’ shaper, but I do have one about the shaper at college, around about 1964/5. The shaper was in the workshop of the old part of the college that was in the ‘hall’ of the old Ribston Hall girls school not far from the traffic lights in Southgate Street, on the left going towards the Park.

    I had been give a job to do on the shaper one afternoon, shown how to set the machine up and left to get on with it. So far so good……until I started the machine up and engaged the drive! The ‘crosshead’? that held the tool shot forward and there was a loud crunch and it never returned!! I had over set the stroke and had managed to break the operating link inside the machine, much to the amusement of everyone else! Happy days!! Chippy Aston

    Posted by Graham Aston 02/02/2014

    By John Bancroft (27/02/2018)
  • Hi Gordon,
    Yes, I remember the Shaping m/c in the training school – but I was lucky enough not to get caught ! Do you remember the very large shaping m/c in the heavy machine shop – that was a real beast ! I remember that it was also the home of the Fieldings tuck shop run from the shift operators locker. You could buy fizzy drinks, Sweets, Chocolate, Crisps, etc., plus some rubber things that came in a packet containing three !

    Also if you had no money till pay day, it would be put on a tab for you. Happy days!

    Posted by Phil Allen 27/01/2014

    By John Bancroft (27/02/2018)
  • I wonder if anyone has mentioned this; if so, then apologies for the repetition!

    One of the (many) cardinal sins in the apprentice training school was to ‘play horsey’ on the “shaping” machine – it was a machine that “planed” metal. It moved back and forth in the horizontal position. If you got caught, then it meant a good …….ing!!

    It was one of the many favourite pranks.

    Posted by Gordon Tozer 21/01/2014

    By John Bancroft (27/02/2018)
  • Ollie and Chippy! A further point of detail that you may be interested in. The sub-title is credited as circa 1960. In fact, I believe the brochure was produced in 1965. Photo 5, page 13, shows a picture of Daryll Parsons and he is credited as being in the 1965 apprentice intake. (I don’t know which is the correct first-name spelling!). The year 1965 would also tie in with my recollection of the period that five of us were on a six-months’ course in the Heenan Technical Training Dept. at Worcester, photo 4, page 11. John B

    By John Bancroft (22/09/2013)
  • Thanks for adding this page Chippy! It’s great to see these pictures and I hope others will upload brochures they have at home too!

    When were you issued with these brochures? Was it on your first day in the Craft School or beforehand?

    Also, something which I’ve always wondered about this brochure is this: who was the draughtsman responsible for doing the illustrations on the front and back covers of the brochure? I anyone knows, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page!

    By Ollie Taylor (20/09/2013)
  • Hi Ollie, I have 2 of these brochures, where I got them from I really don’t remember. They could possibly have come from the rubbish tip behind Fielding’s Sports and Social club in Hempsted, where I know some stuff ended up in the 1970s. I think quite a bit from the photographic department ended up down there!

    During the mid 70s, myself, Ken Mattock and Steve Hill used to go there on a lunch time with our air rifles to shoot at tin cans etc. for a bit of fun. I would like to stress we did not kill birds or anything like that! Chippy Aston

    By Graham Aston (20/09/2013)
  • Ollie! With regard to the illustration on the front cover of the brochure, this would appear to be based on photo no. 5033, uploaded recently to the Apprentices at Work in the Fitting Shop, c.1955 page. I cannot provide an answer for the photo on the back cover. I suspect in both cases the originator would have worked from photos provided by F & P and would have been an illustrator connected to the company that prepared the brochure. Regards, John B

    By John Bancroft (20/09/2013)
  • Thanks Chippy and John!

    That was a lovely memory of you, Ken and Steve going shooting of a lunchtime Chippy. Please do continue to share these snippets – they really capture the atmosphere and camaraderie of life at the company. Did many others walk down to Hempsted in lunchtimes or after work for a kick about?

    John – Wow! You’ve got a great eye and memory for the photos. It’s great to be able to link between the illustrations on the covers of the brochure and the photo of the apprentices at work in the Fitting Shop in ’55. I had wondered if F&P draughtsmen had provided the drawings but I think your interpretation is the more likely! Do you know if Fielding’s Draughtsmen were ever called on to illustrate anything during your time there? Cheers, Ollie

    By Ollie Taylor (20/09/2013)

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