Herbert Hindle's memories, page 2

My Life at Fielding's: Part Two

In the next phase of my life at Fielding and Platt, my section of the Drawing Office was given the task of designing a Platen Press for De La Rue to be installed at Whitby.

De La Rue Platen Press

The system produced large sheets of chipboard about 18mm thick with a decorative layer of Formica on one side and a black layer of Formica on the other. We understood that these sheets were to be used in the internal decoration of [cruise] liners. I was involved with the transportation of these sheets on conveyors. It was a wonderful job which worked beautifully.

After that job, the powers that be decided the section was too strong so we got split up.

It was at this time that a close association was built up between us all, the names that come to mind; Es Sergeant, the two Eric’s, George C, “Mitch” (Jon Makeilson), Ray Hequet, Graham Coats, Keith Harding, and of course myself.

The Fostons Ash

“A wonderful night was had by all and it became the first of many, even the locals found out about our nights and flocked in there to be with us.”

At some point someone suggested that we have a night out together which was approved by all. The venue was to be the Fostons Ash pub at the top of Birdlip Hill, turn right before the George Hotel then about two miles along the road you’ll find it.

The first time we congregated there we met the locals and they joined in our gaiety. After the drinks it was in the cars and down to the chippy in Brockworth then home.

Sometimes the lads went into one of their homes for further laughs. At one time they went into Mitch’s house and removed all the labels from the tins in the cupboard. For some time Mitch and his wife didn’t know what they would open next!

Impact Testing Machine, Rosyth

After the De La Rue Platen Press job, I was given the job of finishing off the “Impact Testing Machine”; this was a job for the Admiralty and was to be installed at the HM Dockyard Rosyth. It had somewhat of a chequered past and many loose ends needed to be tidied up.

It consisted of a massive cylinder with a piston inside; compressed air at a very high pressure was introduced behind the piston, which took off at high speed down the cylinder with a test piece attached to it, which then hit a solid object in its path.

It was something to do with torpedo design so I understood.

From Geneva mechanism to hydraulic

Having completed that successfully, I was put in charge of the Slab Press machines.

It was decided to change the method of table rotation from the Geneva mechanism to hydraulic, which we did quite successfully. It was then the time for a redesign of the Single Mould machine and the design I produced is still in use today.

Here’s to the next time…

Click on the hyperlink to read the first part of Herbert’s Life at Fielding’s.

Click on the hyperlink to read the third part of Herbert’s Life at Fielding’s.

Comments about this page

  • Thanks Bert!

    By Ollie Taylor (18/03/2013)
  • To see the principle of the Geneva Mechanism, go into Google and type in Geneva Mechanism and all will be revealed.

    By Herbert Hindle, C.Eng (14/03/2013)
  • Thanks Bert, you’ve got real knack for explaining complicated things simply – no wonder you were chosen to teach in the Technical Training Dept! I wonder what the weakness was in the system with the electric motors of the slab presses that made them need so much attention? Why was the hydraulic mechanism so much more reliable?

    I’m sorry to hear about Mitch. I hope that if Es, George, and Eric have computers that they know about us here and will add their memories of the Fostons Ash and Fielding’s here soon! Cheers, Ollie

    By Ollie Taylor (27/02/2013)
  • Thanks for adding another interesting and entertaining page Bert!

    Your trips to the Fostons Ash sound like great fun and I wonder if you or any of the colleagues you mention can remember other memorable occasions there?!

    I’m fascinated to hear more about your work on the Slab Press machines next time. Can you explain what the Geneva mechanism was (and why it was so-called?) and how you made the table rotation hydraulic? In what other ways did you redesign the single mould slab press? I know that many of our younger visitors will be delighted to read more about your work on them.

    Anyway, I’ll look forward to hearing more from you – and to seeing the photos you mentioned you’d add here too…

    By Ollie Taylor (26/02/2013)
  • Hello Olly, the Geneva mechanism indexed the table round to its three positions. It was driven by an electric motor and needed much attention. The hydraulic mechanism was a rack and pinion with the hydraulic fluid metered by valves.

    The nights at the Fostons Ash were brilliant and are remembered by all who are left. Sadly Mitch passed away recently and we don’t know about Es, but George Clarridge and Eric Penning remember.

    By Herbert Hindle (26/02/2013)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.