Andrew Fielding: Apprentice 1968-71 and son of FJ Fielding
A message to all former employees
My name is Andrew J L Fielding. I am the son of Francis James Fielding. I am very happy indeed to see this site up and running – brilliant! – and well done to all those dedicated people who have contributed to the history and archives of this once great Gloucester firm which produced some of Britain’s finest Heavy Hydraulic Presses. Indeed, it was know at the time as “Britain’s leading Heavy Hydraulic Press Makers”.
I served an apprenticeship at Fielding’s after leaving Millfield School in 1968, finishing at the ”Works” in 1971.
I am 63 and currently living in Perth, Western Australia and have done so since 1977. I have a wife and two daughters, aged 18 and 21 (Sophie and Grace Fielding).
I have been in contact with Ollie Taylor at the Gloucestershire Archives and I will email him again very soon as I still have yet to send him many more pieces of Fielding and Platt memoribilia. I have many things my father has left me and some wonderful old photographs of my family going right back to the beginning of Fielding and Platt, including Fielding and Platt catalogues etc.
There is still much we can all contribute I am sure over time.
1500 Ton Extrusion Press at COMALCO
My father visited me in Perth, Western Australia, when he was 86 years old (!) and we made a trip to what was once COMALCO in Perth (Commonwealth Aluminium Company of Australia) which has since become Kapral Aluminium. There was an old Fielding and Platt 1500 Ton Extrusion Press still working constantly after 23 years after its original commissioning – amazing!! We had some photos taken and I will get them off to you all as soon as I am able. The Press has since been decommisioned due to a crack in the main ram housing and has been replaced by a German Press.
Rugby and Heavy Machine Shop fun
In fact I am sure I worked on that very press when I was doing my apprenticeship in the Heavy Machine shop with Mr Tony Barton and Bob Harding, who constantly harrased me for being the son of FJF and MD!!
It was all great fun and they taught me a lot – and gave me even more ribbing when I was playing for Gloucester RFC in 1970, only to be injured and having to retire after 35 games with severe right knee cartalidge and ligament damage. I even played one match for the Fielding and Platt Rugby team against Dowty before joining Gloucester RFC!
All the best to all the great people I ever met whilst at the ”Works”. I did enjoy that special time there – they were good days.
Kind regards to you all.
Andrew J L Fielding