Apprentices at Work

In the Fitting Shop, Hydraulic 2, Bay 2A, c.1963

Gloucestershire Archives

On the top of the three-mould press, Martin Blakeley, in the press mould, Terry Wheeler.

The photograph illustrated was recovered from a poor-quality acetate negative, digitally converted and enhanced.

Click on a photograph to enlarge an image.

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  • I too remember doing the job that Alistair describes,it was to ‘pre-stress’ the columns during the early part of the build of the press. I also remember how we used to fit the ‘mould table’ which was made up of three segments. 

    One segment at a time would be lifted by crane onto the ‘mould centre’ and lightly bolted together until all three segments were in place then the final tightening up would be done,and that involved more swinging of the sledgehammer!

    One of us would be under the mould table holding a large spanner on the nut while the other person would be standing above swinging the sledgehammer tightening up the bolts using a ‘flogging spanner’, a large heavy duty single ended ring spanner. Again,as Alistair says,a job for the apprentice’s, especially holding the spanner underneath while someone swings the hammer above your head!

    This process ended when a new method of pre-stressing was introduced which involved stretching the column’ s hydraulically and then inserting ‘spacer rings’ before releasing the pressure.

    Chippy Aston

    By Graham Aston (05/08/2015)
  • I remember standing on the casting that Martin is sitting on, with sledge hammer in hand, aiming at an Allen pin protruding from the column nut to tighten it.

    This task was not helped by the hydraulic oil on your boots and one of the pipe fitters using a gas torch on the column below your feet!

    Sweat leaked from your head, partly due to the heat from the torch, but also the fear, that if you missed, you could follow the sledge hammer to the floor below! Most sensible colleagues kept well clear of the area when this was happening!

    Strange that we apprentices seemed to get the job. I did it several times.

    By ALISTAIR ADAMS (02/08/2015)

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