Accident at the Works

Circa 1950s

Photographs submitted by John Davis.

If you remember any of the people, places or machines pictured in the photographs please share your memories by clicking on the words Add a comment about this page below.

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  • Hi David,

    I am sure we could all remember some ‘Incidents’.

    Two in the works come to my mind, (although I do remember a couple on site too).

    I worked mainly in Hydraulic 2 in the 1960’s so both of these relate to that fitting shop.

    Firstly, some studs failed in a flange holding an elbow under pressure at the ‘Clocking in’ end of the shop. A horizontal column of oil went nearly to the other end of the shop, before it dropped to the floor. Luckily no-one was in its way. The oil was a red, anti – inflammatory grade and very expensive!

    The second incident I did not see, but was told about. A fitter was checking for a leak in a pressurised hydraulic system, with his thumb!

    He found it when the vapourised oil inflated his thumb. Not a good move. He did not lose his digit, luckily.

    I will not name him, it could be embarrassing. I have seen him at an F&P function in the last couple of years!

    By ALISTAIR ADAMS (31/05/2015)
  • I remember two potentially serious incidents in No1 hydraulic in the early sixties.

    A Newman Hender 24 inch gas main gate valve blew its top off just as Dick Brain was inspecting the seat for leaks. The valve blew Dick backwards and the valve fell the other way taking another five? valves with it. Dick was surprised but not hurt and the only damage was to the valves.

    The cause was found to be a design change from Newman Hender from 24 (I think) 2 inch studs to a circlip design with no radii in the location groove corners.

    All valves when stripped were shown to be on the point of failure.

    Another instance was a vey high pressure cylinder (120,000 PSI) for Berkley Laboratories as I remember.

    It was set up in the deep end of the large pit in the bottom bay. As the pressure took all morning building up we all had regular trips to look over the railing and monitor the pressure, I think on my last look the gauge showed circa 80,000 PSI. 

    Then a loud bang, everyone hurried to see what had happened. A blanking plug had blown out of the end of the cylinder and made a hole about six foot diameter and going eighteen inches into the wall. 

    By David Budrey (24/05/2015)
  • What a brilliant page! Thanks for adding it Alistair! Hope someone can remember what happened that day and who’s pictured in the photos?!

    By Ollie Taylor (24/09/2013)

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