12.  People’s memories of the Works.

Mary Mills and Tracey Williams (op.cit., p.31) quote a reporter visiting the works in 1968 and commenting on “the roaring, hissing and clattering ringing in his ears.  

Even after leaving the works he describes still feeling the blistering heat on his face and blinking from the blinding, searing light.  The monstrous heat of up to 150 degrees in summer meant that some men lived on salt tablets and a furnaceman, reportedly, could drink twenty pints of beer in day”. 

“All the steelmen were issued with flameproof clothing and wooden clogs.  Shift working in teams meant that it was possible to work with basically the same people for ten years or more and some families had a steel tradition with several generations employed at the works.  It was hard work and supposed to be a job for life, one where you could work your way up.  Except in wartime, women only worked in the offices, not on the shop floor”.

David Bishop, the ex-Wolverhampton City Archivist, has provided the following account of the works, assembled from the memories of workers and local people which are preserved in the city archives.

Tim Hadley was at the works from about 1947 and recorded some of his colleagues there:

Tim Hadley himself.

An apprentice project.   Two apprentices.
Blast furnace crew.   Gordon Cadman.

"Little Tim".


Open Hearth Furnace fettling team.


Alf Bowen takes the plunge at the swimming pool on the site.


Sports Day - attended by Billy Wright and Bert Williams.

A group of Polish workers, whose names are recorded as Cheshak, Swegnui and Conrad.
A group of Stewarts and Lloyds workers outside Bilston College.

Return to
  Return to the
  Proceed to