Memories of a distinguished Fitter: 1940-1982
Walter Organ (known as “Wally”) started at the company on a Monday in August 1940 and worked there as a Fitter until 1982.
The Tin Robot
Walter went to The Central School and was taken to Fielding and Platt by them and told “you will work here”.
His time at Central stood him in good stead at Fieldings, especially the instruction of Mr Cobb, the metalwork teacher at Central, known as “The Tin Robot”.
Cruel at times
There was no Apprentice School when Walter began in 1940. He recalls his first day there was “horrible”. “I was only a tot”, he remembered. However, by chance, Walter met his great-uncle Arthur there, who worked in the Machine Shop.
Walter goes on to recall how apprentices were treated by the established workers. In his second year there, he was knocked unconscious by a man and had to be revived in the toilet, rather than being taken to the First Aid Room. “It was cruel at times”, he recalled.
There were many lighter moments during Walter’s apprenticeship though. In clip 4, he recalls how he and another apprentice, Frank Poole, would manage to get their haircut at the barbershop in Southgate Street.
Walter also recalls the fun he had working on the CEGEDUR press in Issoire, France, and the “jambo sandwiches” that he and his fellow Fitters lived on. Click on the links to listen to Walter’s memories of installing the CEGEDUR press and a light-hearted story about Bert Ely.
1982: A lot of bitter memories
In his 42 years at Fielding and Platt, Walter recalls how he saw the company change and the different types of work being done in the 1940s and 50s.
In the final clip, he recalls the redundancies of 1982. “There were a lot of bitter memories all the way down the Bristol Road”, he remembered.
Click here to listen to more of Walter Organ’s wartime memories.