Photographs of Hydraulic No.1 Heavy Machine and Fitting Shop

Views of No. 2 Bay, taken from office end, c.1954 and 1958

D7338/14/5/7/4897
Gloucestershire Archives
D7338/14/5/9/5267
Gloucestershire Archives

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If you remember working in this area please share your memories below by clicking on the words Add a comment about this page.

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  • Another popular prank was to get a group talking and the apprentice leaning on the bench vice. Slowly a fitter would tighten up the vice with your sleeve cuff in it. This done they would grab your other arm and clamp the sleeve in the vice conveniently positioned leaving the poor apprentice stranded and awaiting the wrath of the Badger, aka Owen Feltham, as to why you weren’t doing any work!

    By Tony Ravenhill (17/10/2013)
  • Great stories Jim! So glad to see that these photos have brought back memories like these to share with others.  John B

    By John Bancroft (18/09/2013)
  • Pranks were common-place in the shop. A cupboard by the edge of the shop and just across from the mens bathroom, contained an open box of industrial soap. When the lunchtime bell sounded, many of us in the shop would rush to the cupboard, plunge a hand into the soap and rub the soap into our hands and wrists, only to find heavy grease had been substituted! Collecting parts for an assembly sometimes became a nightmare. You would find a bench to put the parts you had collected from the stores, return to collect more items only to find the previous load had disappeared. Go to your tool drawer, only to find that a six inch nail had been driven through the bench top, down into the drawer. Also tools were found coated with micrometer blue; a real bu**er to remove from your skin!

    By Jim Rigby (13/09/2013)
  • The pit was approx., 25 feet deep and used for the erection of vertical type presses. John had a plot of land where he grew and reaped a variety of edible healthy vegetables at his home in Minsterworth.

    By Jim Rigby (11/09/2013)
  • John used to live in Minsterworth and would bring in all sorts of vegetables to sell in the works. I think he had a small holding or something like that and could grow quite a lot of things. His son Richard was a fitter at the same time as I was. He had been the ‘office boy’ at first and then was offered an apprenticeship after a year doing that, as was Jon Swift who was in my intake year. In those days I seem to remember that was what was done at F&P. Also in the second photo you can see, as Jim has mentioned, the test clamps which I pointed out on a previous page. In this photo you get a much better ides of how they could be arranged to suit any length of cylinder. Also near the clamps are several round ‘packing pieces’ for use in the clamps. Chippy Aston

    By Graham Aston (11/09/2013)
  • Good one Jim! Was John a keen gardener…?! Just how deep were the pits though?

    By Ollie Taylor (10/09/2013)
  • John Bennett is on the right of the pair in the second photo discussing if the hole is a little too deep to grow potatoes in! The equipment on the right was used for pressure testing various types of hydraulic cylinders.

    By Jim Rigby (05/09/2013)

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