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Keith_exS10

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  1. Post boxes on trams

    In answer to Broakham's question, have to say once more that I can. The Board of Trade had reservations about the Walkley route past Crookes Valley Road and initally imposed restrictions on the cars (singledeck only) and looking at the gradient at the top of Barber Road they imposed a compulsory stop halfway down. This lasted to the end even when doubledeckers with better brakes were allowed We lived in Barber Crescent; fifty yards to a tram stop was very convenient. Saturday not being a "school day" I was allowed to stay up late on Friday. At the right time Father handed me an envelope with the odd instruction not to wave it about, and so off to the tram stop.We could see it stop just over the brow as usual then come down. No problem in identifying it because of the end indicators. The top one was the usual destination in white letters on black. The lower one had "Postal Car" in white letters on red. The tram had a Z shape plate bracket inside the dash panel to the right of the brake column The post box was I think something like the small boxes still in use today but not as big. The height was such that a normal person could stand on the ground and post a letter. I couldn't. There was always someone else so I had to wait to climb on, post the letter and climb own. And at six those steps looked horribly deep. So back home to bed, excitement over for the day. Speculating at a distance, that was the easy bit. The Post Office must have had a small problem getting the boxes on the right tram on the outward journies. Collection as we know was in Fitzalan Square but not all routes passed through there. Snig Hill would have to deal with boxes from Ecclesall, Fulwood, Malin Bridge and Middlewood. Was there anything from Exchange Street.? Another problem; arrival times would be spread out depending on the distance. Wonder which was the last one in? I imagine that by the time I took an interest the Post Office had got their bit down to a fine art. During the war I looked for the brackets on the dash panel when we came down the stairs, no bother then about passive smoking and the young. Mother liked her Senior Service. At this range I have two vague memories. One is that only the older designs had them and that I saw them less and less. Someone will doubtless correct me. . In the matter of trivial pursuits I have often wondered how they were fastened to the dash panel. . I am told Standard 189 at Crich has both brackets and box so somebody might know. At least there is a survivor to look at. As to Father's letter It was his football pools entry which as I found out later was at that time supposed to be posted no later than 6 p.m. I doubt if anybody bothered and anyway he never won anything. And I wonder how many stamps he put on
  2. Sheffield Student Rag Parade

    In a word, yes. 1950-1954. The basis was the various faculties and their associated societies.Shortly after going up a note would appear on the faculty board by the senior undergrads calling a meeting after lectures. How it was done I never found out but there would already be a list of local works willing to lend a flat or lowsided lorry for the preceding week for us to decorate as the meeting had decided. All had to be done out of hours; scrounge or borrow but don't pay. "It's all in a good cause, can we have it for nothing " usually worked. The Engineering Society never seemed to be very imaginative or artistic. In 1951, Festival of Britain Year, our leader had the idea of "Farce-tival of Britain", his words not mine and borrowed half a ton or so of scaffolding poles, assembling what was supposed to resemble the Royal Festival Hall. It didn't, it just looked ridiculous with members hanging on any way they could. As I remember there was some sort of competition for the best float judged at the start which then led the parade. That always seemed to be done by the Architects. The subjects were wide and varied but those societies with female students always had more interesting ideas and an advantage when it came to persuading the populace to part with their money. Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy were all male; we had no chance. As an aside the instruction , probably from the Psychologists, was "Go for the kids" Myself and four others spotted an ad. for Motorcycle Marshals and duly volunteered. The duty was to patrol the parade, look for problems, sort them or tell the Chief, who had overall control of the procession order. It duly formed up and set off at a stately walking pace down Hounsfield Road, West Street, Church Street , High Street, Waingate and into the Wicker. All the way there there was a flood of strangely dressed beings waving tins and buckets. Long scarves to be worn where possible . We cheerfully rode carefully as slow as we could till something happened to bring things to a stop. I recall a quick move down Waingate, blocked with floats. To get ahead I had to go down the tramlines on the wrong side of the" Keep Left" signs on the island. It wasn't done in those days and I was worried for days about it. Nobody came knocking. At this point the whole thing broke up and individual floats took off for the reasonably near surroundings to park up, disembark and collect. For the record, hurling bags of flour from the floats was frowned on. Toilet rolls in extended form were more or less acceptable. There were few incidents but one year stands out. One float had borrowed a set of Wednesday and United shirts for the participants . Their float had the usual fairly deep sides with a goal post each side. Their weapon was a football on the end of good strong line, long enough to reach hallway across Church Street. The method was to lob the ball at a likely lad even on the move and invite him to kick it back at the float. Any problem and it could be pulled in and sent off again. Bad idea. I came to see why motion had ceased. Someone had kicked low, the ball went under the lorry and caught on the prop shaft which promptly reeled it in. There followed some rapid bypassing and some furious work to disentangle the mess and get it moving again. We thought that was that. Wrong again. Later heading back up Church Street, in front of the Cutlers Hall out goes the ball, one almighty kick and it went up and over the overhead live wire. just enough to wrap itself round and swing happily. And nobody was going to pull the rope either. That did not endear us to the Transport Department. Effectively it cut off all trams to Crookes and Walkley till the tower wagon arrived to recover it. ( They perhaps diverted via Leopold Street and Fargate but we didn't ask) I believe an immediate ban was put on further audience participation. In those days there were trams to contend with but at least we could see where they were going and keep left past them. Trams behind us just had to wait as did the few buses on the route. No buses till we reached High Sreet in those days. Comes the afternoon and there is the boat race on the Don down to the weir. All sorts of weird and wonderful cobbled up boats with optimistic crews. As expected they all ended up soaking wet in a good cause. Those boats that didn't disintegrate immediately had a final hurdle. The finish was at the bottom of the weir so heave your boat over and slide down after it. After that there was the last serious attempt to extract money and a pause for tea. There was little activity till later In the evening. I have to admit that one of my most pleasant memories was of wandering round the main building at Western Bank where we engineers never went. Hearing music, looked in and then spent a pleasant hour listening to the Spanish Society passing the time singing and playing the guitar. Then about 9 pm a general gathering in Western Bank, distribution of torches like huge wax candles, light up and off along the same route taking up all the road width, except that it stopped short of the Wicker. At this point that was the end of Rag Day. A gentle walk up to the Union, kick the bike into life and back home. At some point there was the Rag Ball in the Students Union.. Not my thing so I can't say much more than that. The other ģevent in those days was the Rag Show at the Empire Theatre, for one week only. I suppose the nearest description is that it was a Review. Short items of student humour poking fun at everything and anything, a few musical items and what we all expected, a chorus line. It was generally accepted that the Radiography School had the best girls in all respects. Their performances were a high light for us. We didn't know them, they came from somewhere Witham Road way and we never saw them again. They did very well. "Twicker" had been on sale well before the day; as usual there were those who chuckled and those who were vocal and horrified. This was seen as a good thing; at least they had bought one and read it. I hope at least that hasn't changed. To my mind those were the best days. The Engineering Society had been a lively one when I started, visiting a variety of works in the area and taking on the Rag float, but interest fell off and it effectively folded. What didn't help was the drop out rate. In my case there were twelve Mechanicals who started but in the final year there were only twoģevent left. As a result there were no more floats from St George's Square, at least for the moment. Looking at the photos in this thread, apart from the surroundings they look much as we did. I get the impression of it being more ambitious than we were able to be. There were still hangovers from the war, petrol was only taken off ration at Easter 1951 in my first year. There were still shortages as many manufactured items went for export. The country needed the money. We tried, most folk seemed to enjoy it, we enjoyed ourselves and raised money for charity which was the idea. .And no doubt there would be another one next year.
  3. Introduction Of Diesel Bus In Sheffield

    Simple answer re the big silver roof bags. These were used in WW1 and WW2 and were filled with ordinary town gas. The trailers were producer gas units. My recollection is that it was one or the other, not both. The beauty of the gas bag was the same as gas powered cars today; pull In, couple up, fill the bag and drive off, that is it. The producer gas trailer allowed the vehicle to go out to where the was no gas supply, but required more attention from the crew. Pay your money and take your choice sort of situation. As an odd observation at this distance, my recollection is that of what traffic there was, the gas bag was the more common and was in civilian use only. The sight of one nearly empty sprawling and wobbling about all over the roof if it didn't have a frame to restrict it was quite something. Going back to boginspro's post of 29 November, the business of converting a diesel engine to spark ignition looks horribly messy, particularly the need to provide a synchronised drive for the ignition. Considering the scarcity of labour and materials (the times we heard "Don't you know there's a war on?), I can't see SCT doing a major conversion of eight buses. Somehow the dual fuel option looks more likely yet is at variance with Chris Hall. Let us hope there is some information buried somewhere.
  4. The Story of the Sheffield Blitz

    Interesting post this one. Always the same drawling introduction by Joyce, followed by supposedly the latest, usually bad, U.K. news. His broadcasts were quite late in the evening so I got to stay up later. Once father had expressed disbelief it was bedtime. I don't think anyone really believed him and he was often the butt of the comedians of the day. I have to query the Seven Sisters bit though. The theory of Sheffeld being "built on seven hills like Rome" was common at the time but was dismissed as a myth. Looking it up is an interesting exercise. I suggest William Joyce did mean the whole city at the time. I doubt he would be so specific about the Steel Peach and Tozers set-up. Anyway they had fourteen chimneys, not seven..Funny nobody picked that up in 2007.
  5. Do you recognise this Sheffield scene?

    Can I suggest that it looks different without the row of elderly houses between the University and the Scala cinema. You had to look closely to see which bit of admin was in which house except for the branch of Lloyds Bank near the far end which was more conspicuous Winter Street was flat and straight with houses on the Scala side only and the trams did run close across their fronts. Very conveniently the stops in both directions were by the Scala. No problem getting there and back from Barber Road. It wasn't long after the Walkley route was abandoned that moves were made to gain space. Ultimately each end of Winter Street was closed off. Building began across it at Western Bank and that was it, just a bit more expansion. Till the local papers for no obvious reason suddenly rediscovered Winter Street as having the last remaining tramlines in the city. So what? It's a long time ago and what struck me was that it was the tramlines only. Nobody had bothered to take them up and there was no need to tarmac them over. Not even a nine-day wonder. So did the residents ultimately have to move out? Any descendents out there to tell us.? And what happened to the redundant lines? Nice bit of scrap value there.
  6. Curiosity aroused. Smart military turnout down to knee level. What we ask is the untidy piece of webbing apparently anchoring him to the table? Strange item to see on this type of photo. saw 119 didn't comment. Anybody know?
  7. Introduction Of Diesel Bus In Sheffield

    At the risk of outstaying my welcome I have to agree about these unusual.starting practices. At one time or another to customers order we used Ford, Ruston, Paxman, Dorman, Perkins Cummins, Caterpillar and Deutz diesels in plant guise and a very few Volvo, Scania, Foden and R.R. engines. All of them had their little starting quirks whether indoors in assembly or outdoors in frost to -20 but they had to go. It was a matter of remembering how.. All we could do was hold the button down and hope. A 24v. system got them going sooner or later. The problem was the unburned fuel in the exhaust. Once the engine fired that came out as thick black smoke, guaranteed. The worst offenders were the big Paxman RPH V engines which could bring the shop crane drivers down to ground in a matter of seconds. Then somebody found "Bradex Easystart", in aerosol form, "One shot only" whatever that meant into the air cleaner and they went every time. No problem till the makers found and raised a storm. It turned out this was neat ether which reacted very violently to being compressed and had been known to stretch cylinder head bolts and would we please desist. It was too good to do without. I did mention it to the test gang. I say no more. Only the Scandinavians ran electric heaters in the cylinder blocks overnight in the winter. Now I sIt in my elderly diesel car and wait for the automatic heater light to go out. Wonder what the ancients would say about that?
  8. Introduction Of Diesel Bus In Sheffield

    Britishgas Apologies for the delay. Good clear photo, strong suggestions of being official, just as I remember them. Perhaps not surprising as there presumably weren't that many makers. Nice clear explanation as to how to do it. Either way the engine ceases to be a diesel. Simple when you think about it. Thanks for your efforts. All nicely tidied up after all these years .........unless someone goes off about the relative calorific values of the fuels......
  9. High Storrs School

    Strange that no-one has commented on the photos in the inaugural 7 booklet. No 11 is supposedly the front entrance but from the position of the clock tower it looks more like the girls quadrangle. I am sure there was a front door in the 1940s. And who explained that away to the Lord Mayors?
  10. Sheffield during the blitz

    May I add my thoughts to the thread. Once again I have to say I was there. The Blitz photos showed what it was like after the event exactly as I remember it. Father and I had just reached the grandparents by Barber Road off the Circular bus when the sirens went followed by an immediate attack. So back in the opposite direction to Hunters Bar for home. Only we two on board with the indicator showing Havelock Bridge which showed the crew's intention of making it to Leadmill Road. We hoped they did. Getting home was a game of chance with anti aircraft shells exploding overhead. One contributor remarked that the A.A guns did no good. Pieces of shrapnel as big as two fingers hissing down could do as much damage as bomb fragments, so it was into a passage till there was a pause and run again. After the raid the first impression was the silence which the book can't convey. Time for some tea. No water; there isn't any gas or electricity either. Good job we had a coal fire and a bucket of fresh water every night. Now listen for the man and nip out to the water cart with a bucket. Bit short of window glass as well. We were lucky; others didn't have a house to go back to.The book brings it all out. . Our concern was for friends and relatives. Nobody had a phone so we walked to Bramall Lane They had survived so a look at the Moor. Silence, rubble all over and the smell of all sorts of material burning. The book can't bring that out either. We walked back to Hunters Bar. No public transport. Drag the tram casualties out of the centre and it wasn't long before they were back running. When we got round to it we saw the centre just as the book shows it. Looking at the list of contributors. Eddie Ratcliffe, and the late Ken Atkin were at Hunters Bar School at the same time as I was. Best estimate is we were five, nine and ten years old In that order. Ken's experience was pretty much the same as mine. I am a bit reticent to correct the written word in the opening paragraph of Sharrow Vale at War regarding the school staff. Ladies they were not. The headmaster was MISTER Thomas Bingham ( "Thos" to us lads).a genial type. This sticks in my mind because father was in a similar line and spent time in discussion in Thos's office halfway up the stairs. Nobody could forget MISTER Laver if like me you were on the sharp end of a stroke with his walking stick, handed out to all and sundry at the drop of a hat. An elderly silver haired old gentleman whose looks belied his disposition and who had some weird ideas but you learned not to query them.The other staff names ring no bells but there was at least one lady teacher who did her best with local weather recording. Temperature readings varied wildly; nobody told us or her about Centigrade and Fahrenheit. Overall I cannot see how all the staff became female. Even at that date we could tell the difference. Slip of the keyboard perhaps. That said I have to say that this book covers the Blitz and the war as I remember it, a good introduction to the subject Can't say much about the "now" photos. Having lived away in the second biggest county for fifty odd years I don't like the look of a lot of them. Shame really. Final thought. To help out, school dinners became available, arriving from some mysterious source in big two handled insulated containers like oversize 5 gallon drums at about 11 a.m. This day the two dinner ladies brought them up into the hall as usual. Then there was a yell. We looked out. Released from it's container it was surprising how far and fast rice pudding could travel on a polished floor. For once Thos looked put out. We wern't happy either: only half a dinner and we'd paid for a full one.
  11. Sheffield Trams

    No mention of "Sheffield Tram Must mention "Sheffield Trams" which turns up periodically on eBay (Search Sheffield Tram photos) as DVD or VHS. Under "Walkley - Intake Route Abandonment " there are three shots of the Hounsfield Road pointsman at work.
  12. Introduction Of Diesel Bus In Sheffield

    It's getting a bit distant now but I can remember the gas buses. We lived at Hunters Bar and the grandparents at Middlewood. Once and sometimes twice a week we did the long tram ride. At the bottom of Snig Hill I looked for a bus with a two-wheel.trailer turning out of the stand, slowly coming up from Bridge Street and heading off along West Bar. Makes were a mystery at ten years old and again I omitted to make notes to use seventy years on. Best I can do is ancient doubledeckers towing a two wheel trailer with a vertical boiler and spindly chimney with signs of fire down below. Somehow I have a thought that they visited Chesterfield but that was out of our area. My recollection is that having been tried out all over they were not overpowered and could only cope with level routes so Stocksbridge got them. We saw them going both ways always with a stately gait. By the time I wanted a closer look, as usual they had gone. I have searched the commercial dealers without success for photographs, as much as anything to see whether they were four or six wheelers .Civilian photography was banned and there were no films anyway Anyone with a camera was regarded with suspicion.Someone no doubt will turn up with some official photographs. The prize would be one of the conductor with his little shovel firing up at Bridge Street. Like other members the petrol conversion is straightforward. The suggested diesel conversion seems less likely. Later in life I was concerned with diesel powered cranes for offshore gas platform service in the North Sea. One essential extra which was always fitted and carefully checked was an emergency flap valve in the air intake. In a gassy atmosphere a diesel engine will take off and run as an uncontrolled gas engine and destroy itself. Not nice, hence the need to be able to cut the air off instantaneously. I suggest that if a diesel conversion was possible it would be interesting to see how it was done, if a trifle academic now. .
  13. Sheffield blitz

    An interesting report for an odd reason. Declaring my interest I grew up in Sheffield, and as Father was called up into the R.A.F. (49 and 617 Squadrons) we spent some time at Lincoln. Later I moved to Lincoln permanently to work. . The Echo was then the exact equivalent of The Star and very much a local paper. Looking at the report what strikes me is that from the bottom two paragraphs of the first column onward the reporting is what we came to.expect. The details are blurred, no specifics by order. "Sheffeld" would normally have been a "large northern city". A report of an air raid on Hull and Grimsby came out as " East Coast ports were attacked" Details of casualties and damage were banned on the grounds that it could indicate to the enemy the success of their locating and attacking. We weren't stupid; we found out but not from the press or radio. Films were usually somewhat delayed particularly if visits by distinguished visitors were involved..Only London was named, being too well known. Usually they had a " but we're still carrying on" sort of ending anyway. Anyone not actually there probably cannot comprehend the stress on secrecy. Everywhere there were the posters " Careless talk costs lives". With that in mind the headline at the start of the piece and the detail of place, time, people's comments and so on come as a surprise. It was just not the done thing. How the Echo got it so swiftly is probably the mate on a phone. Publishing in that detail Is curious. Lincoln had a ring of some twenty odd bomber bases, there but not mentioned in the press. (Actually there was no doubt; the High Street was a sea of blue uniforms.) Why the Echo chose to go that way is a mystery to me; what was allowed was well known. Just jotted down for the record. No point in pursuing the Echo: a change of owners and down to one edition on a Thursday. A useful wartime curiosity that's all. And before anybody asks, I was in an Anderson shelter at Banner Cross at the time.
  14. "Chirstmas Jobs"

    Just after WW2 in the week before Christmas the Sixth Forms at High Storrs Boys disappeared to become temporary postmen. It happened for several years and thinking back we didn't ask and nobody said we could or not go either. In 1948 and 1949 I worked out of the sorting office on Ecclesall Road just above Greystones Road. That covered an area out to Ringinglow one way and somewhere around Moorfoot the other. I was put with the postman who did Washington Road and a short length of Sharrow Lane towards Highfields. Day one and we went round together. It looked straightforward, two rows of terrace houses. Wrong. Improbably many did not have a letterbox so it was knock and wait hopefully which took the time up. However my mate had it worked out. Many had a gap under the door big enough to slide a hand in so in went the mail. The other technique was the knee at the edge and push hard to warp the door enough to slide letters in at the side. And I was to remember the one with the dog with a taste for postmen; get their mail in any way you can without the door being opened. Next day booking in at 7 a.m. I found the bag sorted and ready to go. As of then all postmen would be indoors sorting so we were in at the deep end. Handful of tokens for the tram and bus and walk to Banner Cross for the 28 bus to Sharrowhead. Down Sharrow Lane and start delivering along Washington Road on one side and back on the other. Then I came to the two passages with a keystones marked CT1 and CT2. I had not met Courts befoe and there never seemed to be enough doors. Fortunately there was always someone in the yard to help out. Back up to Psalter Lane for the bus back to the office. So the week passed, fairly straightforward. Then Christmas Day, out of the house by 6.30. No trams or buses so at 7.15 we were crammed into a van with the instruction " Don't bring anything back. We're going home now so bring the bag back tomorrow if you want paying". We were delivered to our respective walks. Off along Washington Road as usual. cross over and start back. Nice fine peaceful morning, nobody else moving. Then faint sounds of music? Round the corner comes the Salvation Army Citadel Band with songsters and banner, stop, and set up shop in the middle of the road. Two verses of "Christians Awake" and away. They stopped again, two more choruses as I caught up with them. And twice more. At Wostenholme Road we parted company. I concluded if there were any Christians still asleep they had no business to be. Then came the fun bit, a three mile walk home. It occurred to me that all week there had been more.walking to get to and from than in the delivering. Then the SallyArmy's effort came to mind. They had managed to get to the Citadel and then march down the Moor and up to Washington Road. The breaks for playing probably came as a relief. And it was as far back as they had marched out. They went up in my estimation. In 1949 I did better. This time it was Knowle Lane Hoober Avenue and Marsh House Road. At this time Knowle Lane was unmade past Hoober Avenue with a few houses out in the wilds on a rough track. Altogether an easier walk than the previous year. And they all had letterboxes. Very handy to get on the tram opposite the sorting office. get off at the terminus and start delivering. It struck me as odd the number of times there would be someone waiting for me in the doorway. Strange how useless items stick in the mind. Every day there was a big bundle marked REDIRECTED MAIL, all for one Doctor Cuthbert Ainscough on holiday from an address in Lancashire. Every day I would be greeted with " Ah! The supernumery". As it looked as if every patient in his practice had sent hime a card I had a word for him as well. Other than that it was quite uneventful. Christmas Day meant being driven out again. This time walking home was no problem. I had been doing the same route for the previous six years. I didn't have a musical accompaniment this year but you can't have everything. Recently this came up in conversation with our local postman who comes in his van, parks up delivers and goes away. He could not believe there had been Christmas Day deliveries. Times change.
  15. Air pollution Sheffield-history

    If I may add a belated comment as one who experienced it. We lived in Hunter House Road on the top flat stretch. From the bedroom windows we looked clear across the valley to the Town Hall in it's own ridge. In general that view was always there except for fog rain or snow. Behind it was a dark grey curtain which blocked everything out. Haze it was not. It extended to our left behind the Town Hall till the ground rose in front of it .To our right it disappeared behind Sky Edge, now Parkhill Flats. It was always fairly low level and it was always there except for two occasions. We certainly had strong winds off the south west moors but they never actually cleared it away. However during the general summer shutdown for works holidays and Christmas, to the right of the Town Hall we could suddenly see Steel Peach and Tozer's ( now Magna) row of thirteen open hearth furnace chimneys which were end on but slightly turned to our right. Actually with binoculars I could see past them but my geography of Rotherham wasn't that good. In terms of the south west wind clearing the air it certainly only took about a day to do it. After the holidays it didn't take much longer to come back for another six months. Comments that the west end air was better because of the wind are right. Dunsbyowl's picture is close to the truth as well. As to what came down in the area I regret to say I have forgotten which technical journal stated that in the Tinsley/Templeborogh area the deposition rate was 500 tons of muck per acre per annum, which " makes it the muckiest square mile in the world" There were also some fearful figures given as to the comparative rates of atmospheric corrosion of a carbon steel bar in Sheffield and a desert somewhere or other. As for seeing it at the Derwent Dams I have my doubts at least at dam level. They are all in a valley for the obvious reason, high hills all round and the wind is blowing it away towards Rotherham anyway. . My experience covers 1939 to about the mid 1960s when the family moved south. There was concern as to the effects of the pollution and the advent of the Clean Air Act probably helped. I note the comments re smoke emission in Victorian days. All I can say is that the black blanket over Tinsley seemed to be just one of those things and somebody ought to do something about it. During WW2 nobody would have dared. I recall seeing black and yellow smoke from S.P.T.s chimneys (acid or basic furnaces, two colours of smoke) and wondered. Standing on the melting shop floor with a typical First Hand melter, cap, apron, blue glasses on his nose end, white sweat towel, I saw he was watching his furnace but paying no attention to a MASSIVE display of gauges on a huge board behind him, showing everything that was happening; airflow, temperatures here there and everywhere including the melt, every single part of the process. In the distance quietly baking at the side of an open furnace door was a little figure with a long pole in the doorway. " Laboratory. Tekin't temperature. Wastin his time It's not hot enough" From the distace a faint voice "It's not hot enough" "Silly b*******" said the melter and dropped the door. I was fascinated. I had assumed fine technical control; the only apparent one was the analysis, another man with a cup on the end of a long pole dabbling through the open door. I enquired about the temperature. " Look here. Tha can see as its not hot" and up went the door. I looked as this bubbling redhot mass and said nowt. He could see what I couldn't On my last visit some years later the conversion to electric melting was in hand, with two arc furnaces up and running. Much tidier not to say cleaner if not quieter. Now the melters are still obviously senior men, tidied up and sitting in a glass cubicle but obviouslly paying more attention to a collection of gauges on a console. I commented on the difference between this and the Sheffield end where the open hearths were being taken out. The Melting Shop manager said that it was now necessarily much more tightly controlled. To that end they had insisted that only the melters who had attended college and gained a City and Guilds qualification would be allowed to operate the arc furnaces. The unions had doubts about their older members ability to qualify. The melters didn't, they went, all qualified and came back proud of it. A point strongly made by the manager was S.P.T.s recognition of their need to do something about atmospheric pollution and electric melting was an obvious way to go. And so it came to pass that our view past the Town Hall gradually improved as other works took action Unfortunately later came the collapse so what caused what gets muddled. However various bodies in the city decided to take action. For years we had got used to a black Town Hall and many others round about. Pressure washing the filth off was greeted with some reservation regarding possibly actually blasting away the masonry. It didnt happen, things looked better coloured and doubts disappeared. Suddenly it was a good thing. Odd thought about the atmospheric deposition. Later, making some assumptions regarding it's density it l worked out at a carpet at least knee deep. Good job it rained and the wind blew.
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