Apprentices at Work

In the Craft School, c.1956

Gloucestershire Archives
Gloucestershire Archives

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If you recognise yourself or someone else then please get in touch. Please share your memories at the bottom of the page by clicking on the words Add a comment about this page.

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  • Thanks Jim! Ouch! I bet you can still remember hitting your thumb today?! I wonder if you can remember any more about John Davis’ lectures – what they were about, why they were so valuable later on, and which aspects came in handy or have stuck with you today?! Cheers, Ollie

    By Ollie Taylor (24/09/2013)
  • Regarding the day question, the year is the best I can offer. Again, as I remember, there were sixteen of us in the intake. We were divided into two groups. After being initiated into the world of Fielding & Platt Ltd, Bert put eight onto the bench programme. This rotated every two weeks. The others were assigned to the various machines (Capstan and centerlathes, miller, shaper and drill press).

    For the benchwork, the company provided basic tools for us to use. The first test was Block. 2.1/2″ square block of mild steel. This was to be chiseled, filed and scraped to plus/minus 003 inch. I still have a lump on thumb knuckle from hammer blows. We also made other tools which were most useful in the shops.

    The lectures John Davis gave us proved invaluable later on in our apprenticeship. Every Friday, the machines were cleaned and greased. Every Monday they were degreased.

    Bert was like a Sgt Major in this area. Bert and John were task masters in their capacity as trainers to all of those who wanted to achieve success in the future. It was serious teaching, but also a lot of fun.

    By Jim Rigby (12/09/2013)
  • Thanks for identifying those in the photo Jim! Was this the 1956 apprentice intake then? If so we can day the photo even more accurately than c.1955 (well, we were close!)!

    It would be good to hear more about what it was like to be part of this intake and what the Craft School was like in those days. Your story about Willie and the apprentice Christmas Party was so funny – I wonder what other fun memories of being an apprentice with these guys you have? Please do share them here. Look forward to hearing from you! Cheers, Ollie

    By Ollie Taylor (10/09/2013)
  • My memory tells me the following, from right to left are: Nigel Meek, Michael Standbrook, Yours Truly Jim Rigby, ? , Trevor Lawrence with John Davis, back of head view is Cyril Fletcher, Peter Jenkins, Derek (Noddy) Bennett, Bob Webb, David (Titch) Crowther on the Shaper, ? , ? .

    Willie Whitworth is missing. Willie played the tuba. At an apprentices’ Christmas party, which we held in the air raid shelter under the bicycle rack, Willie was playing his tuba when Cyril Fletcher poured a pint of bitter into it. Willie was not amused. We were of course, all laughing at Willie’s misfortune. On the year photo, Willie is #1 seated front row left. Best Regards to all F & P former employees. Jim Rigby, Muncy, Pa, USA

    By Jim Rigby (04/09/2013)

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