View Full Version : James Neill Tools Summerfield Street


bigkev
22-01-2006, 22:19
HI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week.

peterdo
22-01-2006, 23:53
Hi Bigkev, I worked there as a plumber. A bit before your day though 1963. :D

shoeshine
24-01-2006, 11:24
I worked there Sept 1967-Jan 1969 as Asst. Melting Shop Superintendent.

At that time I was working 2 Shift sytem ( Early Day Shift one week, Afternoon Shift the following week, in rotation.
3 Small Melting Shops were in operation, including the Magnet Alloy Shop.

The only name I can remember from that period is Norman Harrison (Melting Shop Superintendant).

I moved on to become Plant Manager at Union Carbide U.K. Ltd. at the beginning of 1969, at their Wincobank Works.

A bit before your time. I remember the people there to be very friendly, a bit like family really.

desy
24-01-2006, 18:55
I worked at Twist drill can anyone clarify an old tale. That I think two lads had started on apprentiships at one and spent the afternoon. Half day at Neils and half at Twist Drill and did it for a fortnight before anyone twigged on.:hihi:

buck
24-01-2006, 20:35
If this is the company that made Eclipse tools and I think it is, My Brother Eric Taylor worked there for many years, leaving in 1966 or so to settle in Plymouth. He later settled in Liskeard, where he died in 1989.

carcrash
24-01-2006, 20:56
My dad worked there for a while in the early 70s as a craine driver I think

peterdo
25-01-2006, 03:14
Yes that was /is the company that made eclipse tools.

Shoeshine. It realy was a family busines. You had to be carefull what you said about about who because you might be talking to their dad, brother or cousin.
It was also a non union shop. The personel manager got into trouble when he hired me because he didn't check to see if I was in the union.

ALZYMER
26-01-2006, 08:51
My whole immediate family worked there in the late sixties. My mum,Mary Newbold, worked in the packing dept on the ground floor. My step dad, George Newbold, worked as a supervisor on the middle floor,can't remember what dept it was, all I remember is that he was in charge of a lot of ladies drilling holes in hacksaw blades and polishing whatever. As for myself, Brian Moss, I was a chemical technician on the top floor looking after the plating machine that nickel and chrome plated the handsaw and hacksaw frames.

shoeshine
26-01-2006, 16:05
Yes that was /is the company that made eclipse tools.

Shoeshine. It realy was a family busines. You had to be carefull what you said about about who because you might be talking to their dad, brother or cousin.
It was also a non union shop. The personel manager got into trouble when he hired me because he didn't check to see if I was in the union.
In the job I was doing, because of its nature mentioned in a previous posting on this thread, I avoided gossip, which was as you would expect. What struck me most about the Melting Shops was the tiny size of the Induction Furnaces. I had been working at Parkgate Iron & Steel for 6 yrs. during my Metallurgical training and thereafter for several years as a Shift Casting Bay Metallurgist on their 90 ton Open Hearth Furnaces hands up an close on, which were massive in comparison to the small, dinky ones at James Neill. Still, they say the best things come in small sizes. Horses for courses. Different products altogether. Mild/Carbon steels in bulk at Park Gate, and complex alloys at James Neill.

chuffinel
26-01-2006, 23:13
My whole immediate family worked there in the late sixties. My mum,Mary Newbold, worked in the packing dept on the ground floor. My step dad, George Newbold, worked as a supervisor on the middle floor,can't remember what dept it was, all I remember is that he was in charge of a lot of ladies drilling holes in hacksaw blades and polishing whatever. As for myself, Brian Moss, I was a chemical technician on the top floor looking after the plating machine that nickel and chrome plated the handsaw and hacksaw frames.

It was called the "Magnet Department" The hacksaw department was actually on the ground floor when I was there. The ladies were drilling holes in components prior to assembly as magnets. Both my wife-to-be and myself worked there until 1960 or so. Don't remember George Newbold but I do remember Bob Broome, Pete Merrick, Stanley Pennington, Jack Hall and a sweeper called Val. My wife remembers all these plus Jean Marshall (Horsepool) Sheila Pinder, Cora Howson, Joan Ireland, Bill Williams and Elsie Turner (cigarette lady). Can see the faces of more people but can't put names to them. 2 of the chargehands were Mr Dexter and Mr Critchley.

pagill
27-01-2006, 10:48
I worked 'in the offices' from 1973 to 1984. And for the last 15 years have run one of the Neill companies based in Woodseats.
It is certainly a very different company today from when I started and changed radically after the acquisition of Spear and Jackson in the mid-80's.

There were ceratinly many family dynasties in my early days - I recall the Greatorexes, Wainwrights, Jessops. I was always told that this was encouraged by the owners.
The other aspect was the long service put in by many employees. There were plenty who only ever worked there. I recall two employees receiving 50-year service badges. Even today there are many who have put in 35+ years.
There was a history of the company published in 1989 to celebrate 100 years with anecdotes from long serving employees like Tommy Watkinson (toolroom), Edna Hatch (ETD), Ruth Jarman ('offices'), George Palfreyman (shipping), Joan Cross (warehouse).

scout
09-02-2006, 12:48
My sister-in-law worked there in the 70's early 80's in personnel. Her name is Irene Wilson. She has lived in Majorca for the past 20 years!

Yerman
10-02-2006, 05:30
I worked with Irene at Napier Street in the mid-70's. Didn't she go off to be a holiday rep?
She did secretarial work for a bunch of miscreants: Clive Brothwell, Barry Foster, Roy Bright, Ged Bamforth & Dennis Coupland.
Clive (avid Rothrham fan and rarely seen without a cigarette) and Barry (mainstay of every conceivable sports team) have both died in recent years.
Clive spent many hours in negotiations with Des Bell, union convenor.
In those days Des had his own office, carried a brief-case and spent fraternal holidays at workers' camps in Bulgaria. How times change!
Irene will remember all those plus Eve Jones, Doreen Burnside, Cyril Oldfield, Frank Spencer, Val Machin, Brian Whitehouse. They all worked in a huge personnel department.

jackandclaud
13-02-2006, 20:55
A Mr and Mrs Ardron lives across the road from me in the sixties and I know they both worked there.

chuffinel
14-02-2006, 18:48
Would this Mr and Mrs Ardron be the parents of Carol Ardron ? Carol was voted Miss Sheffield sometime in the fifiies and married (I think) Johhny Fantham, the Wednesday player who is the subject of another thread. I remember a Cyril Ardron at Neill's who WAS the father of Carol.

jackandclaud
16-02-2006, 20:43
Correct on all counts re the Ardrons!

jauntyone
19-02-2006, 00:09
HI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week.

I used to work at James Neils from around 1970 to 1980. I worked in the band saw,sid luckman was the foreman, and in the strips dept, john hawksworth was the forman in strips

jauntyone
19-02-2006, 00:15
HI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week.
hIBIG KEV
I WORKED AT NEILLS ON NAPIER STREET BETWEEN 1970 AND 1980.
i WORKED IN THE BAND SAW DEPT WITH SID KUCKMAN AS FORMAN AND IN STRIPS DEPT WITH JOHN HAWKSWORTH AS THE FORMAN THERE.

Yerman
20-02-2006, 18:26
Bandsaw department was a world of its own. Sid Luckman was a great character. Along with him were Gordon Lowery, Vic Sammans, Tony Simmons, Brian Bullas, and Paul who did the inspection work.
Strips was a noisy shop full of presses coverting metal sheet into saw blades.

All that area is now aWaitrose supermarket and car park.

pedro1
22-02-2006, 11:40
My mum worked for james neill prob in the 50`s. Her name was valerie Armitage.

heeleygirl
23-02-2006, 12:56
Bandsaw department was a world of its own. Sid Luckman was a great character. Along with him were Gordon Lowery, Vic Sammans, Tony Simmons, Brian Bullas, and Paul who did the inspection work.
Strips was a noisy shop full of presses coverting metal sheet into saw blades.

All that area is now aWaitrose supermarket and car park.

Your right about bandsaw being a world on it's own, but you got one name wrong. It was Vic Sampson and I should know I married him ! We still see Paul Sills and have seen Gordon Lowery but some time ago now. Brian Bullas
passed away a few years ago from heart problems.

pagill
24-02-2006, 09:10
And my father, Bob Gill, who spent 20 years working with the Bandsaw Department, is still alive and kicking in his mid-80's. He has finally given up his daily inhalation of Senior Service.

harold
24-02-2006, 18:05
hiya bigkev. my brotherworked there, his name is lewis ogle,dont know what department he worked in but he was there quite awhile. harold

Yerman
25-02-2006, 07:04
A couple of other names from the bandsaw department of the 70's:

Chris Watson - Flapper - the man of a thousand jokes
Alan Blythe - I think he was Brian Bullas' son-in-law

Both went on to become sales reps.

Paul the inspector was Paul Barratt.

scout
25-02-2006, 13:46
Yerman, yes she was a holiday rep but she is still there but no longer repping. Irene knew about Clive - Someone contacted me to let Irene know, I'll tell her you've been in touch. Thanks

G18241
25-02-2006, 14:28
HI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week.
Hi Big Kev,
I've worked at james neills since 1976 mostly in hacksaw blades dept.Ahhhh the good old days of napier street where you could disappear for hours and no-one would find you.Yes i remember the fire at handsworth as i was working that day.If you worked in the melting shop then you may know Freddie "E"?Who is also still working at neills,but now we are at Atlas way off Carlisle st;
There are still a few of us still working that were at napier st.
I must admit though that it isn't as good to work for as it once was.

Yerman
28-02-2006, 02:57
So where were these hiding places?
There were cavernous cellars everywhere at Napier Street as I recall. The compressor houses and top of lift shafts were well known hide-aways for the fitters. But were there others?

Floridablade
06-04-2006, 21:25
I painted the old Colonels house in the '40s,he was very sociable and would often shout me down the ladder to have a natter. He had a large collection of old pistols and blunderbusses which he asked me to take one day when I was looking at them in his garage,he lived in Fulwood.

luap
07-04-2006, 20:06
Hi worked in bandsaw from 1968 to 1984. He started at the age of 15,in that time we had a lot of men and women come in to the bandsaw.Sid Luckman was chargehand,Rose was in the paint shop Vick Sampson and Pete Gold worked in the hardening.A chap named Fred Woolhouse on welding,Ron Broom,Ken Flinders, Pete How, Reg Holt,all worked in bandsawin that time plus some others Grayham Thompson was forman

Arfer Mo
09-04-2006, 16:49
HI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week. Hi Bigkev My late brother in law worked there George Gilks he was on the maintenance side.

bigkev
14-04-2006, 12:28
well well I knew george gilks he was a right chap to talk too I can see him now walking up from the maintenance dept. I use to go and have a pint with him every thursday he always made my day when i saw him and when I worked in the melting shop he would always come and sit with the rest of the lads and drink tea with us.

jauntyone
23-04-2006, 21:50
Your right about bandsaw being a world on it's own, but you got one name wrong. It was Vic Sampson and I should know I married him ! We still see Paul Sills and have seen Gordon Lowery but some time ago now. Brian Bullas
passed away a few years ago from heart problems.

HI, Paul Sills is a very good friend of mine too. I was his best man at his wedding and I am god father to his son David.

He is still living on the Waterthorpe.

Mark H
24-04-2006, 20:02
Hi Bigkev, I worked there as a plumber. A bit before your day though 1963. :D

Think my mum worked there in the late 60's, early 70's!! Must ask her, but I'm sure she's mentioned it before.

My grandad used to work at Roberts and Belks Silversmiths near Redgates.

Arfer Mo
25-04-2006, 22:40
well well I knew george gilks he was a right chap to talk too I can see him now walking up from the maintenance dept. I use to go and have a pint with him every thursday he always made my day when i saw him and when I worked in the melting shop he would always come and sit with the rest of the lads and drink tea with us.
Hi Kev have you seen my topic about that b.......d stealing pensioners fund s and me talking of my brother- in -law well that was George it killed the poor old lad ,Arthur,

TattooedDoll
28-04-2006, 15:08
My Daddy worked there! I still have a red Neil Tools promotional kagoul!:)

jass
29-04-2006, 22:00
Mike Raynor worked there in the 70's but can't remember which dept.

alchresearch
30-04-2006, 11:18
My pop and uncle both worked there in the mid 70's.

luap
05-05-2006, 20:27
HI, Paul Sills is a very good friend of mine too. I was his best man at his wedding and I am god father to his son David.

He is still living on the Waterthorpe.
Hi jauntyone nice to know you are still close.Its about time you phoned me now you are back in yorkshier , dont have your number or email .:thumbsup:

jauntyone
06-05-2006, 08:25
Hi jauntyone nice to know you are still close.Its about time you phoned me now you are back in yorkshier , dont have your number or email .:thumbsup:

Hi there iuap

Thanks for replying to the thread, you can have my e mail address and I hope to here from you soon.

jaunyone_188@hotmail.com

or you can text me on my mobile which I will leaveyou on a PM

Cheers

jauntyone

Joanl
08-05-2006, 09:54
My brother Harry had a girlfriend that I think worked there in the 60's.
If Mary Mawson looks on here, I would love you to get in touch.:)

alan D
11-05-2006, 05:00
i used to work in the now what seems notorious band saw dept.i was there a couple of years in 1966-67, when we were doing alot of r+d, the foreman was a man name sanderson can't
remember the first name? the charge hands name was phillip marshall,
i used to look after the heat treatment part of things but had a go at most of the operations, i.e. straightening ,inspection etc. but mostly in the hardening
dept. i remember going to the rifle club on friday nights target shooting .22's,
good memories.:)

CJ-Atlas
26-05-2006, 13:27
My whole immediate family worked there in the late sixties. My mum,Mary Newbold, worked in the packing dept on the ground floor. My step dad, George Newbold, worked as a supervisor on the middle floor,can't remember what dept it was, all I remember is that he was in charge of a lot of ladies drilling holes in hacksaw blades and polishing whatever. As for myself, Brian Moss, I was a chemical technician on the top floor looking after the plating machine that nickel and chrome plated the handsaw and hacksaw frames.Hi Brian remember wayne I was Georges apprentice and while I was listening to the Beatles you were banging on about Andy Williams and Antonio carlos breem or somebody

jauntyone
28-05-2006, 19:36
Hi iuap

Thanks for answering my thread about james neis and the welcome back to yorkshire

I have tried to pm you but won't let me do it.. I seem to think you know me, could you PLEASE PM me with your e mail address and name, then I can get in touch,
cheers matey
hope to here from you soon

Linda Jakema
23-08-2006, 19:59
I worked 'in the offices' from 1973 to 1984. And for the last 15 years have run one of the Neill companies based in Woodseats.
It is certainly a very different company today from when I started and changed radically after the acquisition of Spear and Jackson in the mid-80's.

There were ceratinly many family dynasties in my early days - I recall the Greatorexes, Wainwrights, Jessops. I was always told that this was encouraged by the owners.
The other aspect was the long service put in by many employees. There were plenty who only ever worked there. I recall two employees receiving 50-year service badges. Even today there are many who have put in 35+ years.
There was a history of the company published in 1989 to celebrate 100 years with anecdotes from long serving employees like Tommy Watkinson (toolroom), Edna Hatch (ETD), Ruth Jarman ('offices'), George Palfreyman (shipping), Joan Cross (warehouse).
Hi Pagill
Edna Hatch is still going strong at 91. She is a very good and treasured friend of mine. She helped many people during her time at Neills, myself included.

carpet
23-08-2006, 20:40
my dad worked in the melting shop 65-78 ish his name was cliff egan remember him coming home one day when i was a kid and he had a accident and molten metal was spilled on his foot looked a real mess but remember 2 days off work and he was back ladeling again tough blokes in those days.

DavidRa
23-08-2006, 21:13
Hi Big Kev,
I've worked at james neills since 1976 mostly in hacksaw blades dept.Ahhhh the good old days of napier street where you could disappear for hours and no-one would find you.Yes i remember the fire at handsworth as i was working that day.If you worked in the melting shop then you may know Freddie "E"?Who is also still working at neills,but now we are at Atlas way off Carlisle st;
There are still a few of us still working that were at napier st.
I must admit though that it isn't as good to work for as it once was.
My brother Ken Rawson started at James Neill in 1975 and left in 1998 he worked at all the locations mentioned.

Yerman
27-08-2006, 15:18
I was in Napier Street last week and noticed that the very last bricks of the Neill factory had been removed. Part of the old magnet dept wall had been left in place but have now been taken down to make way for more appartments.

buck
27-08-2006, 15:25
Hi Bigkev, I worked there as a plumber. A bit before your day though 1963. :DI wonder if you remeber Eric Taylor, my brother, who worked there many years as a maintenance fitter. He eventually left Sheffield to work in Plymouth and died in 1988.

peterdo
28-08-2006, 03:36
Hi Buck. The only fitter that I can remember was the one that bought condoms by the grose and sold them to the apprentices one at a time at some inflated price. ( normaly packet of three) I don't remember his name, sorry.

buck
28-08-2006, 05:00
Hi Buck. The only fitter that I can remember was the one that bought condoms by the grose and sold them to the apprentices one at a time at some inflated price. ( normaly packet of three) I don't remember his name, sorry.Couldn't have been Eric , he'd have used them all hissen!!!

True_Brit
01-10-2006, 03:20
I worked there 1964-1968
Worked in Pete Merricks section for about 15 months, then moved into the magnet dept .Gaffer was called Ian (a nice bloke) worked with Bill Herring.
Bob Truelove, Pete ? (Bob Rooms brother inlaw), Ada, Pauline, Olga.

devlin
04-10-2006, 20:15
My mum worked at Dormer / Twist drill, summerfield street 70/80? 90's. Maureen in accounts.

Realale
28-11-2006, 20:09
I worked at James Neil Tools and Moore & Wrights from 74 to 89'. I had left when the fire started at the end of the building. But I know what happened, maintenance (my dept) burning bolts off with cutter, set fire to packaging. The rest, as they say, is history.

I worked with Jeff Burton, Tommy Fieander, Ray Woodall, Joe Mollins, Ken Hewitt (foreman for twenty years, worked there nearly fifty years). Frank Butler and many more, but can't remember their names. Happy days. :)

I came back to the Handsworth site when I joined Spear and Jackson Saw as a salesman for three years, early 90's. Malcolm Gore, Steve Watson, (bandsaw dept)

Linda Jakema
10-01-2007, 07:53
Sad news to all those who worked at James Neill Tools Ltd in the Engineers Tool Division I am afraid. Edna Hatch who was put into munitions work during the war and stayed until her retirement in 1974 passed away 4 January 2007 aged 91. She was a wonderful lady who helped hundreds, if not, thousands of people during in her days at Neills and still was doing until the day she died. She will be missed by those who knew and loved her. The doctors and nurses on ward Q1 at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital were kindness it's self in the care they gave her. Her funeral is to be held Friday 12 January at 3.00pm at Hutchliffe Wood Cremetorium. Please family flowers only donations to guide dogs for the blind via Woods Undertakers. Children none, mother of thousands.

Yerman
11-01-2007, 09:11
Edna Hatch was a wonderful, wonderful lady. She was one of the cornerstones of Neill's during her time. She certainly helped and mothered me during my very early days. She was one of those female pillars on whom the company depended - along with the likes of Gertrude Fenwick, Joan Cross, Maida Shaw. You crossed them at your peril but each had a heart of gold.

Mention of the war years brought to mind a contemporary of Edna, Sid Morley, who told numerous stories of being on fire watch on the roof of the razor blade department during the blitz.

It was on the shoulders of employees like them that the company grew and flourished.

morgilou
11-01-2007, 21:45
HI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week.


hi,my nan and aunt worked at james neil tools,they were called annie and annette hartley,i know annette went onto work for spear and jackson,does any1 remember my nan annie????l

BLITZER
11-01-2007, 23:11
I seem to remember that in the thirties ,Twist Drill had a reputation of employing young lads leaving school at 14,and sacking them upon reaching the age of 21,and thereby qualifying for adult wages. Was this true?

Waltheof
12-01-2007, 23:12
I never worked there myself but I used to pas the buildings every day on my way to work and so when I knew they were going to be demolished I took some photographs, as I felt itto be a part of Sheffield's industrial history even if the buildings weren't exactly architectural masterpieces. I have them as slides so currently have no way of transferring them to digital form, however. I expect they will go to the Local History collection eventually.

Arfer Mo
13-01-2007, 19:09
Your right about bandsaw being a world on it's own, but you got one name wrong. It was Vic Sampson and I should know I married him ! We still see Paul Sills and have seen Gordon Lowery but some time ago now. Brian Bullas
passed away a few years ago from heart problems.
Hi can you remember didBrian Bullas have ginger hair if so Ithink I worked with him at Hatfields

VillageElder
14-01-2007, 01:22
I started at Moore & Wright in January 1970 after leaving school. I left in 1975 and returned in 1978 until 1990. Quite a few names mentioned here bring memories. I had a lot of dealings with Brian Whitehouse as a union rep. A nice man. The comment about Clive Brothwell's ever-present cigarette is spot on. Des Bell in union meetings would constantly rattle on about the "cathedral calm of the toolroom". Mind you, he always stood up for toolroom guys. I was there when the fire happened. Toxic substances in the smoke, coupled with the water used in extinguishing the fire caused everything to turn rusty within hours. We spent a couple of weeks trying to clean everything. I think the eventual insurance payout paid for the CNC department, which was a strange department thankfully.

eileent
15-01-2007, 09:55
My mum worked there in the 1940's[during the war]
I can remember Winston Churchill visiting and I seemed to be the only one in our neighbourhood that didn't go to see him[silly me]

NETTIEJ
15-03-2007, 18:01
I worked 'in the offices' from 1973 to 1984. And for the last 15 years have run one of the Neill companies based in Woodseats.
It is certainly a very different company today from when I started and changed radically after the acquisition of Spear and Jackson in the mid-80's.

There were ceratinly many family dynasties in my early days - I recall the Greatorexes, Wainwrights, Jessops. I was always told that this was encouraged by the owners.
The other aspect was the long service put in by many employees. There were plenty who only ever worked there. I recall two employees receiving 50-year service badges. Even today there are many who have put in 35+ years.
There was a history of the company published in 1989 to celebrate 100 years with anecdotes from long serving employees like Tommy Watkinson (toolroom), Edna Hatch (ETD), Ruth Jarman ('offices'), George Palfreyman (shipping), Joan Cross (warehouse).

I worked in Customer Services Department 1974/1978. Names I remember are Don Bates, Beatrice Nutton, Chris Barlow, Sally Lee. I remember quite a few others but can only remember their first names. Jack, Steve, Mary, Hilda Betty Oh and there was Eileen Howsden. So many years ago but great memories.

Keelycam
16-03-2007, 19:01
My mum used to work at Neils until around 1974 her name was Karen Senior (offices)

NETTIEJ
16-03-2007, 19:22
My mum used to work at Neils until around 1974 her name was Karen Senior (offices)

It was 1974 when I started working there. I'm afraid I can't remember your mum's name. I have just remembered Jack's surname. He was called Jack Mallet.

Yerman
17-03-2007, 20:39
Keeleycam,

I remember your mother well. In fact, I worked with her. She was 'Miss James Neill' in 1974 (or thereabouts). Her sisters and mother also worked there.

Nettiej,

'Steve' may have been Steve Chaytors, 'Hilda' Hilda Eason and 'Betty' Betty Ledger. Others around at that time included Gerald Brown, Sue Brailey, Sharon Thorpe and Wendy Dawn.

Keelycam
17-03-2007, 22:39
yerman,
yes she was Miss James Neil, Ive told her about this site she's gonna have a proper read of it when i see her monday. her mom an sisters did work there as well. small world isnt it.

Yerman
18-03-2007, 07:00
Keelycam

There was recently a thread about Neill's Nymphs ladies football team. Your mother was a member of that team. She could probably recall the names of other members.

Keelycam
18-03-2007, 12:56
cheers Yerman, i'll have a look for that.

NETTIEJ
20-03-2007, 21:32
Keeleycam,

I remember your mother well. In fact, I worked with her. She was 'Miss James Neill' in 1974 (or thereabouts). Her sisters and mother also worked there.

Nettiej,

'Steve' may have been Steve Chaytors, 'Hilda' Hilda Eason and 'Betty' Betty Ledger. Others around at that time included Gerald Brown, Sue Brailey, Sharon Thorpe and Wendy Dawn.

Great thanks:) I remember Gerald Brown he was the manager of Customer Services, and I remember Sue Brailey. I can see all their faces but cannot put names to them. I will have to get my wedding photographs out there is a group photo with all the girls on, maybe that will help me remember the names:thumbsup:

cdcreative
09-04-2007, 05:40
Hi

I've been reading through people's posts on this thread and found them great! I am doing a bit of a history project about the place I work which is on Bernard Road. It's now called the Megacentre but it was formerly owned by Spear & Jackson until they were taken over by James Neill in the mid-80's.

I am trying to find out any information about the history of the building, who worked there, when it was closed, how many people worked there, what they manufactured etc...

In particular I am wanting any photos of either the outside of the building or the inside with people at work. I want to post an industrial archive section on our website and would really appreciate any help anyone could offer.

Kindest regards

Questor
09-04-2007, 10:41
Hiya Chuffinell, my Dad worked at Neills for as long as I can remember as a surface grinder. His name was George Wass and he was good mates with Mr Ardron. I remember him talking about him having a daughter who was "reyt beautiful" and was gooin in fodem beauty contests. We lived on Summerfield St and I used to sit on the chip-shop step on the corner of Parliament St waiting for him to come home from work when I was a nipper. He retired in 1976 and died in Feb 1979, I still miss him. Questor.

chayt
12-04-2007, 14:47
The steve was steve Chaytors I left james neill in1980 and moved around quite a bit. eventually ended up at Mastercraft tools (Spiralux) and the company was bought by Neills. Still around have been holiday rep for last 5years currently working in Tenerife.Lots of names I remember with lots of memoriesKeeleycam,

I remember your mother well. In fact, I worked with her. She was 'Miss James Neill' in 1974 (or thereabouts). Her sisters and mother also worked there.

Nettiej,

'Steve' may have been Steve Chaytors, 'Hilda' Hilda Eason and 'Betty' Betty Ledger. Others around at that time included Gerald Brown, Sue Brailey, Sharon Thorpe and Wendy Dawn.

NETTIEJ
12-04-2007, 15:53
The steve was steve Chaytors I left james neill in1980 and moved around quite a bit. eventually ended up at Mastercraft tools (Spiralux) and the company was bought by Neills. Still around have been holiday rep for last 5years currently working in Tenerife.Lots of names I remember with lots of memories

Hi Steve. Now I remember your surname. Its been a long time eh!. Dont know if you remember me. Im Jeanette Jessop. Sounds like you are enjoying your life. I started work at James Neills in 1974 and left in 1978 when I was expecting my first baby.

charlotte 2406
12-04-2007, 16:47
anyone remember alan midgley he worked there in the 70,s someone must know

S8 Blade
12-04-2007, 19:12
My Grandad worked there a loooooooooooonnnggg time ago. He died in 1994 so shows how long ago it was. No idea what part of James Neill tools, or where abouts it was - just know he did a long service there and he had lots of "thank you for your service" type things - tankards and watches etc.

My nan still recieves a hamper at Xmas from James Neill tools, and they still send it despite her being in a home.

His name was Arthur Jessop, should anyone have worked there such a looooong time ago

Yerman
16-04-2007, 06:42
Chayts

I can't send you a PM as you have not posted often enough.
You and I had many a bevvy together. Pitchfork phoned me out of the blue a couple of years ago and asked after your whereabouts. Rumour has it that Tothy is in Australia with his fellow convicts!

hollypmi
28-05-2007, 09:49
Yerman

Hi, this is Irene, over in Mallorca Found your posts by coincidence. Just been back to Sheffield for my sister in law's funeral (she posted under Scout as she was a Scout Leader), and was searching for some scout info, and came across your messages. I obviously know you, but not from your user name.

So sad to hear about Clive a while back. I always used to send him a birthday card every August, and a Xmas card to him and Sue, and when I came over I always used to meet up with him, George Hibberd and Christine Unwin for lunch one day.

Hope to hear back from you soon.
Irene x

Yerman
31-05-2007, 12:48
Irene

I have sent you a PM.

Y

drinkingman
31-05-2007, 14:09
I remember George Hibberd very well. I worked at Handsworth and had many dealings with George (I was a shop steward). I always found him to be a really nice bloke. I remember Christine Unwin too.

Beesa rider
06-06-2007, 15:38
I worked at Neills from '67 to '75 as a technical apprentice (remember apprenticeships?) through to production Engineering.
Names from the memory in no particular order :-
Jed Bamforth, last seen with a huge beard, Ken Apthorpe (deceased I think) both from the Training Bay. Fellow trainees Carl Cato, David Hey, Phil Waddington, Ian Rowbotham.Liverpudlians from Whiteley Land and Neill Steve Downes and Les Morris,
Production Engineers, well some of them - Jeff Barden, Malcolm Haden, Terry Lockwood, Mick Sanderson, Alan Allcott, Dave Clowes, John Birchenough, Bill Martin (the rambler) Ian Wainright, Ian Hopwood, Grant Hayward, Bob Wainright, Pete Jakeman, Dave Brooks, Rod Managers Peter Vickers (deceased) Dave Pownell, John Brooks ................. oh there's bloomin' hundreds of names once you get going.

George Hibberd retired from the company about 5 years ago. Christine Unwin left when it moved from Handsworth to Atlas North about 9 years ago.

Nosnarb
21-06-2007, 13:46
I worked in the design studio at james Neill putting together leaflets, packaging etc. Any body remember Albert Keats who was exhibitions manager. I am told that for years he drove around in a Triumph Herald with a Guiness label in the tax disc holder. He virtually lived in the Nursery Tavern up the road. He once had his hair cut in office hours and my boss Tony Evans challenged him "Albert you've had your hair cut in works time", .... his reply "Well it grows in works time" nuff sed. We made him a gold watch out of an old wall clock cos he got the push just before he done 25 years service. The chairman couldn't attend so we made a life size cardboard cutout from a blow up photo... happy days!

gippeswyc
07-08-2007, 10:29
I worked at James Neill from 1971-1982 in Computer Operations. Although I don't know anyone mentioned here, some of the names sound familiar. I think I met and did a little work for Joan Cross at the Handsworth warehouse once or twice.

I have a thread on the same theme with some pictures over at sheffieldhistory.co.uk if anyones interested. Being a newbie it won't allow me to post a link but just look for the "James Neil - Summerfield St" post in the main thread of SHEFFIELD PLACES - THEIR HISTORY - same handle.

4bob
07-11-2008, 16:29
I worked at James Neill from 1980 - 1985 when I moved to Moore & Wrights Microsystems. I was a young 16 year old started in the data processing department as a programmer before moving onto join the PC developers at micro systems. I worked with Steve Roe and my boss was Bill Fletcher

escort1
07-11-2008, 17:38
If anyone knew my father, Fred Sissons, the joiner who worked there for years, he peacefully passed away today. I know he spent many happy years at J.N. and knew alot of people there.

Nosnarb
18-02-2009, 14:53
I think I knew Fred Sissons. Was he stocky with black hair back in the 1970's?

escort1
18-02-2009, 15:11
Yes and dark looking, he played cricket for J.Neills as well.

Nosnarb
18-02-2009, 15:22
I am sorry to hear about you father, Fred. He was a very pleasant man and as far as I remember popular and well respected, the joiners shop was beneath our department and had a covered veranda around it where they parked their cars. Situated just above the coop. Fred used to call in to see our boss to discuss any work required in our department. Wasn't he the foreman joiner?

escort1
18-02-2009, 15:40
Dereck Needham was the foreman, my dad was assistant foreman. Another ex joiner Graham Elliott (who saw it in the star), an ex plummer and a guy who made the journey from out of town (can't remember their names) and Tom Mason who played cricket turned up at the funeral. At the time I did not know how to contact Dereck Neeedham, but have since spoken to him via his wife who rang where I work to report a problem with her tumble dryer, which is part of my job in aftersales at a large Sheffield store. She used to work there herself many years ago.

Nosnarb
18-02-2009, 15:49
Now you mention it I think I vaguely remember Derek Needham. Was he shortish with a beard, smoked a pipe? I remember your Dad with his orange coloured overalls and I think Derek had what I can only describe as an overcoat but in the same material. The other names sound familiar but I can't picture them. What store do you work in by the way, our dishwasher needs replacing?

mikeG
18-02-2009, 16:11
I worked at James Neill from 1980 - 1985 when I moved to Moore & Wrights Microsystems. I was a young 16 year old started in the data processing department as a programmer before moving onto join the PC developers at micro systems. I worked with Steve Roe and my boss was Bill Fletcher

Did Bill Fletcher live at South Anston. If so he was my Chief Programmer at Shepcote Lane Rolling Mills in 1970/71.

escort1
18-02-2009, 16:26
Yes Dereck always smoked a pipe and wore a brown coat. The store I work at is the one That is Never Knowliny Undersold!, and they give you a free 2 year guarantee on dishwashers.

Teresa250
19-02-2009, 23:24
Hi Bigkev, I worked there as a plumber. A bit before your day though 1963. :D

Hi I am trying to find people who knew my dad, he worked at James Neils in the 60's but got killed in 1966 when I was a baby. His name was David Lowson, he met my mum there she was called Margaret Vahey just wondered if you knew them. Thanks

Baggo54
11-08-2009, 09:49
Hi
I was just browsing the internet to see if James Neil still actually existed & found this place.I'm Phil & worked as a computer programmer around 1978-90, Napier Street & Handsworth, most wil have know me as 'Baggo'..I was in Wheel chair with Cereberal Paulsey..Anyone remember?

Thanks all.
Phil.

4bob
11-08-2009, 19:52
Hi
I was just browsing the internet to see if James Neil still actually existed & found this place.I'm Phil & worked as a computer programmer around 1978-90, Napier Street & Handsworth, most wil have know me as 'Baggo'..I was in Wheel chair with Cereberal Paulsey..Anyone remember?

Thanks all.
Phil.

Hi Phil

I remember you, I worked as a programmer from 1980-83 before joining Moore & Wrights MicroSystems. We used to go to the pub together with Jim and the others.

Thanks
Bob

Yerman
12-08-2009, 07:05
Some members of the DP department from the 70's & 80's are still there - Dave & Marie Higgins, Phil Kidger, Barney Reeves, Steve Eyre, Mike Roberts - and Bill Fletcher only retired a couple of months ago!

BERTIE BIGGI
13-10-2009, 16:16
Clarice biggin (my aunt .) worked at niels from1928 to 1978
an article in a sheffield paper 1978 tells the story of her
going to the local shops to buy up the stocks of candles
to see to clear up after an air raid.she worked in the hacksaw blade dept.and was the first woman to work with a gang of men.
She was only late once in fifty years.due to having to walk from wadsley in heavy snow.hope this is of interest as someone may remember her.yours bertie biggi.

Yerman
14-10-2009, 04:21
To say Clarice was a character is an understatement.
I think she worked on the hardening furnaces.
I had heard about her attendance record but the cause was slightly different but may be a variant on your information. I was told she cared for her aging mother and had set off for work when she realised whe had not given her mother her medication. So she decided to return home to tend to her mother. Whicherver story is true her record is pretty unbeatable.

okismoki
20-01-2010, 13:50
my father in law worked at neills for 14 years,cyril wyatt,he was instrumental in setting up the football team with barry foster.to the best of my knowledge he still has photos of the old football teams.Rumour has it the first game was a twenty something defeat!!!!!!!

chrishall
20-01-2010, 15:37
As a 16 year old apprentice I helped do all the white mosaic on their new building in '63

harrysgame
24-01-2010, 22:25
Hi Kev, My dad (Trevor) worked at James Neill's at Napier street from 73 onwards - hacksaw or bandsaw can't remember as i was a young lad then, remember him moving to Moore and Wrights in Handsworth and then down to the new place down Carlisle street area, retired 2 years ago due to poor health, was sad to hear that all the work is being transfered to China, as an aside my Grandma was the Housekeeper to Sir Hugh Neil ( james Neills Son) good man looked after his staff.

NeilHI everbody did any body work at james neill tools that are on this forum or knew someone who did, I use to work in the melting shop then the salt baths and then in the hack saw blade department on the heat treament side also did some milling as well that is putting the teeth on the blades. my foster dad use to work as a fork lift truck driver in one of the departments. I was there in 1988 until we moved to handsworth and stayed for another 3 years. I was there when the steel wharehouse roof caught fire at handsworth and the firm was shut for a week.

busy.P's
28-01-2010, 00:02
I went to work there from school as a trainee in 74, with 12 others we spent couple of weeks at a time going around the various departments, very good training. After a period of time I was placed with John Yeardley in the Home Sales Dept as a junior secretary. I can remember Madge Basforth ruling our office with an iron rod,but also very funny, she was Don McLennans secretary, Barry Clarke and Roger Cottle's secretary was Shirley and Betty was Hugh Neills secretary, I remember them well. Diane Vokins was one of the trainees with me and was also in our sales office. My cousin also worked there at the same time as myself Jim Darnill, think he worked with Steve in the programmers dept.

Yerman
28-02-2010, 11:14
Two of the girls who joined with you are still there over 35 years later - Liz (can't remember her maiden name) and Betty Lazenby. Madge Bashforth was a parody of herself - the most acid tongue and more faces than a thruppenny bit. I never did work out how she was always allowed an extended lunch break on Fridays for a blue rinse. Her acolytes all had to come round later and praise her on her hairdo!

Jack Yardley was a wondeful man from another era. He started his career as a salesman when reps did not have cars but visited customers by train, tram, bus, taxi and Shanks' pony!

Happy days.

Terbow
28-05-2010, 16:01
I worked at Neills after leaving school during the sixties and did the 'rounds' in various departments. My Dad, Syd Bownes worked as a Works Superintendant on the Top Floor in Magnet. he retired after serving 44years and sadly died in '78.

caste22
28-05-2010, 17:34
I worked in the print room at James Neills when I left school in 1972. My Mom worked there when she was 16 in 1944, then returned to work there in the 70's till she retired. She used to go fishing with the ladies fishing club and I remember her talking about some of the people mentioned on here.

Runningman
29-05-2010, 20:58
Remembering the late Joyce Biggin, once of the Purchase Invoice office, a lovely lady and also the late Eric Crofts in the Cost Office, a real gentleman.

Some more names remembered !

George Coulson, Jack Ratherham, Bill Palmer and Arthur Carver.

Terbow
04-06-2010, 08:00
Caste22, I used to have to go to the Print Room during the course of my work, although if the company, as it was then, was still in existence today, I wouldn't have a clue how to find it again! Was it somewhere around the Hacksaw Dept?
Runninngman, I don't recall Joyce Biggin, but I worked with Ernie Biggin (I think that's his name) for a while - he was primarily involved with the Mobile Demonstration Unit and exhibition work.

Some more names that I remember...

Athur Clarke, Mike Simmons, Jeff Ward, Peter Barr, Peter Critchley

pistonbroke
04-06-2010, 18:18
Hi, My uncle used to work there, I think in the personnel department. his name is ray littlewood.

caste22
04-06-2010, 18:53
Caste22, I used to have to go to the Print Room during the course of my work, although if the company, as it was then, was still in existence today, I wouldn't have a clue how to find it again! Was it somewhere around the Hacksaw Dept?
Runninngman, I don't recall Joyce Biggin, but I worked with Ernie Biggin (I think that's his name) for a while - he was primarily involved with the Mobile Demonstration Unit and exhibition work.

Some more names that I remember...

Athur Clarke, Mike Simmons, Jeff Ward, Peter Barr, Peter Critchley

Hi to get to the print room you had to go up a very narrow winding staircase and it was next to the shipping department, but the hacksaw dept was further down the road from there. It was always very hot and very noisy in the print room.

Terbow
04-06-2010, 23:02
Hi Caste, now you've explained where the print room was located, I do remember how to get there. I feel that with Neill's being the building it was, there were many such locations that were hard to find and it all went to make the company what it was to us, the folks who worked there.

Another point I would like to make, is when you recall all the names of the people you either worked with directly, or those you didn't, but just somehow knew them, what a major contribution to the sucess of the company they must have collectively made. All great people, no matter what their particular job was.

Runningman
06-06-2010, 21:20
Some more names remembered !

Ray Littlewood was Mike Rolt's assistant in the personel office which you accessed off Summerfield Street.
Arthur Wragg was manager of the Hacksaw Blade Dept.
Arthur Smart, manager in the Strips building bottom of Napier St.
Brian Watson in the Drawing Office.
Tom Oxley and his assistant Don Smith in the Purchase Invoice Office.
John Proctor and Frank Meakin in the Steel Warehouse.

Just smiling to myself at the fact that the first computer set up ( IBM ) to replace the Hollerith Punch Card System that was installed, filled an entire room.

Terbow
08-06-2010, 16:03
Some more memories...

There was a very nice chap by the name of Mallinder (can't remember his first name) and at the time he worked in the Hacksaw Dept. Also in the same office was someone who took-up a Neill's post in Australia?
I wonder if Arthur Wragg was the same person I met up with at the Sandvick works at Maltby during the 70's/80's?
Like Runningman, I too, smiled at the fact that the first computer set up filled an entire room! How different things are today.

rarmin4
21-12-2010, 12:17
I started in Hacksaw frames in the 70s, working in the plating dept.
Foreman was Stuart Bull (sadly deceased) and also Ken Coldwell was the Chargehand, until he got sacked for boozing in the Earl Grey during works time, lol.
Fred Burbury, Les Eley, worked there at the same Time.
I used to go out with a young secretary from the magnetic rubber sales office called Michelle Marshal, her manager was Peter Knight.
Ah happy days.
Unfortunatly the unions killed it for me.
I left in 1978.

eileent
22-12-2010, 00:24
I worked in the print room at James Neills when I left school in 1972. My Mom worked there when she was 16 in 1944, then returned to work there in the 70's till she retired. She used to go fishing with the ladies fishing club and I remember her talking about some of the people mentioned on here.
My mum worked there for a time during the war.I wonder if your mum remembers her? Her married name was Bertha Edge.I was a few years younger than your mum

Yerman
22-12-2010, 08:14
Sadly two of the people mentioned above - Geoff Ward and Tom Oxley - died in the recent past. I understand Geoff Ward, who lived at Eyam, had suffered from Alzheimers for a while which is quite unthinkable for such an imposing character.

And George Coulson died last year.

Yerman
22-12-2010, 13:41
The last bastion of the Neill empire fell at the end of September when the hacksaw blade department, which had been the cornerstone of the business for almost 100 years, closed for good. It was not through lack of sales. Plant, equipment and expertise were all shipped out to China!!

There are many who would argue that the turning point in the fortunes of James Neill came with the acquisition of Spear & Jackson. Senior management came and went with little continuity and little feeling for the business. Attention was turned away from more specialised enginnering products to low margin, low tech, volume related garden tools which were seen as much more sexy.

A sad story..... but not uncommon.

eileent
24-12-2010, 00:30
Hi Jaffa1,Received your message but unable to send reply.The answer is yes!

flightliner
24-12-2010, 21:47
I worked there from ;'68 to '71-- I had been working on what were to be the new polytech extensions in pond Street but the winter was awful and when I saw an advert for an exhibition joiner (box number only) I applied for it and was lucky to get the job. My boss was Albert keats- a commercial artist , another artist /designer was Bert Whitwam who hailed from Wombwell. I worked with another joiner called Sid Stephenson and our job was to build exhibition stands and displays and then take them all over the country - I remember once staying in a hotel in Whitley bay and a guy there went into a casino next door and lost his trousers on a turn of the wheel-- it was in the news of the world!. The work was -at times- a little seasonal and we often had little to do , but then it was hectic for weeks and weeks-- seldom evenly spaced out. I loved the company, If I was working away I didnt stay in some low level accommadation but was able to stay in the same place as the reps. Lots of the work we did went to overseas shows so we had to make the displays in a simple way so the reps could assemble them when they reached there destination- we once made a "pretend house" that went somewhere in Africa and after the show it was given to some of the locals who used it for real to live in!!! There seemed to be a lot of pride in the company and many people wore badges of 10/15/20/and 25 years service, Every christmas time pensionaer employees were sent a wacking big hamper of food, drink and ciggys to enjoy on christmass day---- I dont think any company plays this sort of game anymore--- great firm- great pity its no longer what it was.
The boss-- Hugh niell was a real gentleman- the world could do with more of his kind.

jaffa1
24-12-2010, 22:36
Hi Jaffa1,Received your message but unable to send reply.The answer is yes!

I can't understand why you can't send reply but it's not the easiest of sites to send PM.
I'll explain who I am in another PM.
Have you got your PM on open to messages in the Control Panel.
Not just " open to Contacts " .

Gingerchick
09-01-2011, 14:58
I worked at Eclipse Magnetics from 1995 to 2002 at the site on Vulcan Road. I worked in the offices. My boss was John Shanks. I worked along side Christine Smith Jack Thompson Richie Dawson. I no in about 2000 times were hard and they made all the lovely ladies who worked in the factory redundant. a very sad time. I know shortly after I left they re-joined James Neils at Atlas way. I know Christine still works there.

rbbt
10-01-2011, 10:35
My dad worked at Hallamshire steel and file which was a rolling mill for Neills down Neepsend.
He said they found out that they had been laid off by hearing about the closure in the 70's, from local radio.....so he went to work for the night shift as usual but they were sent home.....what a way to find out!


I once met a guy who was the long term chauffer for old Mr Neill....... says he used to pick him up and ask "where to today Sir?" One of his jaunts used to be down to London to his barber for a hair cut!

Nothing else better to do! What a life..

The Pensioners still get their hampers from the company at Christmas though...thanks to Mrs Neill who ensured that the retirees were not forgotten.

Pete1958
10-01-2011, 17:27
Hi to all. I live in Liverpool, and found an interesting item at my mother in laws house.
She (Eva Williams) was a commercial artist for James Neill and Co before the war.
The item is a bound booklet to commemorate her 21st birthday. Dated 4th March 1939, it contains the signatures of her fellow workers and wishes for "long life and prosperity". The long life was granted, not so sure about the prosperity!
Nearly all of the signatures are legible, and are as follows :-
Margaret Holt Wise
T E ?Townsend
L Turton
John W Adams
R Russell
Uncle Syd
Ernest Grayson
May E Hudson
Edith Taylor
Marion Fielding
Audrey Earl
G Palfreyman
Harold Beddard
Wm McLyle
W Bower
D Howley
C Smith
B W Cole
Molly Bishop
Betty ?Mettam
Eva Catherine Beatrice Dash
Muriel Fowler
Kathleen Margaret Kershaw
Molly ?Fletcher
Jessie Framley
Madge E Wallace
R G A ?Colley
Hilda M Goodhead
Mabel L Merrill
?Osmund Mallinder
Betty Hardwick
D Pett
Hilary Duke
Hilda Collins
R F D ?Bull
E M Esslem
Hilda Ashton
Joan Diamond
Margaret Lindley
R K Charlesworth
Mary Bland
J Kenneth Walton
Joyce Weatherington
Betty M Griffiths
Ida P Foster
D ?Humpston
J Critchley
Winifred Bunting
Mary Parker
D Williams
Lawrence ?Redfern
C Mary Godby
H S Swallow
Mary Beer
Margot Wright
Edna Beck
Frances Atkin
Mary Heppendall
Jack A Rotheram
G E Gray
J Wilson
J J Kay
Betty D Parkin
Eva Mould
Margorie Mason
A Galley
C Russell
Trish Billings
Ishbel Graham
M Beryl Warner
Dorothy Palmer
Mary Nunn
S Joan Williams
Patricia Furnell
Margaret Gerrard
Becky or Betty B
?Olegar Sheffield
Marjorie Finch
P Jupp
Margaret Jean Whewell
Dorothy Coult
Kathleen Wackgill
Eileen Wilmore
Sybil Bell
Shiela Letitia Jones
Joan Mary Gallagher
Joan M Boulanger
Barbara G Watson
Marian E C Ainsworth
Nancy Rowland
Peggy Gwynne Jones
Mollie J ?Peath
Joan Meridith

I hope somebody recognises a name or two!

Pete

Olive Gato
10-01-2011, 19:30
i didn't work there but went to school near by. You always heard what I thought was bell going off getting everyone to start working.

Pete1958
18-01-2011, 17:51
Futher to my last post, we have unearthed a letter to my mother in law from 1965. Hope it brings up some memories for people

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

From letter from T. E. Townend, 2 January 1965

.... You will no doubt be wondering how I am getting along in retirement & how some of the folk are faring at the old firm. [Followed by an account of holidays and some of his family news]

I don’t know whether or not you had heard that the firm commissioned me to write its history & also one of the Trade Associations have also given me a similar commission so I find plenty to occupy my spare time and of course I see the old folk from time to time.

In these days Sir Frederick is looking an old man and Hugh is running the show & very well too. Wilfred is still in retirement in Bexhill-on-Sea. His son David is on the firm on the work side [I think it says ‘work side’] & his older son, Guy, is now the London Representative running a London office. Nancy’s husband Peter Forsdyke [?] is Sales Director.

Mr Swain who was retired from the board & the firm is an old man. I saw Annie about 6 weeks ago & she told me how at times he insists on going down to the firm to see Sir Frederick.

Ron Russell is now Landlord of a pub – the Rifleman’s Arms Winslow Cheshire. Jim’s sister Dorothy was married this Xmas to a chap, widower, whom she met whilst on holiday but she is still keeping on with her job in the [hacksaw?] warehouse. Ike Gray retired from the firm during the year on his 90th birthday. Colley has also retired.

Wath [?] & Burgon I think will retire during the year the latter being 83 years old. Doreen is still on the firm working under Spurr who now manages the small saw department. She has not been too well recently. Jack Wilson I think will also retire during the year. Jack’s son Peter is a departmental manager and a very clever lad and Jack is very proud of him. He is married & has 2 children. Billy Bower is still at his board. He has about 4 years to go before his retirement but is not in very good health.

The old department is exceedingly busy & now numbers 19 staff in all... what a difference from the old days with the 3 of us and a part-time typist.

The other day I saw Les Turton who was with Hida [?] & Speirs. He & his wife have a small shop at the bottom of Whinney Hill – about a mile away from here & seem to do well. How different from Blockmaking.

Well there’s a whole bag of news for you to be going along with. Write when you feel like it. Y our letters will be welcome. Regards to your hubby.

Yours, T. E. Townend.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nosnarb
22-01-2011, 12:22
I worked there from ;'68 to '71-- I had been working on what were to be the new polytech extensions in pond Street but the winter was awful and when I saw an advert for an exhibition joiner (box number only) I applied for it and was lucky to get the job. My boss was Albert keats- a commercial artist , another artist /designer was Bert Whitwam who hailed from Wombwell. I worked with another joiner called Sid Stephenson and our job was to build exhibition stands and displays and then take them all over the country - I remember once staying in a hotel in Whitley bay and a guy there went into a casino next door and lost his trousers on a turn of the wheel-- it was in the news of the world!. The work was -at times- a little seasonal and we often had little to do , but then it was hectic for weeks and weeks-- seldom evenly spaced out. I loved the company, If I was working away I didnt stay in some low level accommadation but was able to stay in the same place as the reps. Lots of the work we did went to overseas shows so we had to make the displays in a simple way so the reps could assemble them when they reached there destination- we once made a "pretend house" that went somewhere in Africa and after the show it was given to some of the locals who used it for real to live in!!! There seemed to be a lot of pride in the company and many people wore badges of 10/15/20/and 25 years service, Every christmas time pensionaer employees were sent a wacking big hamper of food, drink and ciggys to enjoy on christmass day---- I dont think any company plays this sort of game anymore--- great firm- great pity its no longer what it was.
The boss-- Hugh niell was a real gentleman- the world could do with more of his kind.

I worked in the Promotions Dept under Tony Evans and we had a rare old time. Albert Keats was in charge of exhibitions, to say he liked a drink would be an understatement. Albert and his mate MC boss of a sign company kept the Nursery Tavern profitable for many years. Albert left JN in mysterious circumstances 'was he pushed or did he resign'? We never knew. At the same time Albert retired, the Promotions dept was in the process of moving location within the JN complex to just across the yard. We were originally above the union meeting room where red Des Bell used to hold court with the down trodden work force. Anyway the change of location meant removing the 'furnishings' including an old wall clock. Albert was just short of his 25 years service when he would have been awarded a gold watch by the chairman Mr Hugh. Being thoughtful souls we cut a slice out of the wall clock like a slice out of a cake, with a 20T hacksaw, to compensate for the 25 yr service shortfall, sprayed it gold and made a strap which we also sprayed with gold paint. The late Gordon Fidler, photographer printed a life size mono blow up of the chairman which we mounted onto plywood and cut out, we had all the means to do such things at our disposal. Alberts colleagues assembled and Albert was summoned where we held a parody of the 25 years service award complete with Mr Hugh albeit as a lifesize cut out. On occasions where Mr Hugh spoke to the flock he would chuckle and to replicate this we had a tape recording of the laughing policeman. After the ceremony we retired to the Nursery Tavern to oil our throats. Albert went on to found Silver Knight exhibitions under his mate MC the sign man. This since developed into a significant operation. If they were asked to quote on a job and didn't have time to work out the price Albert told me he used his National Service number, a good few digits in that which should cover most eventualities, I could go on and on and on!

Nosnarb
22-01-2011, 12:48
I worked there from ;'68 to '71-- I had been working on what were to be the new polytech extensions in pond Street but the winter was awful and when I saw an advert for an exhibition joiner (box number only) I applied for it and was lucky to get the job. My boss was Albert keats- a commercial artist , another artist /designer was Bert Whitwam who hailed from Wombwell. I worked with another joiner called Sid Stephenson and our job was to build exhibition stands and displays and then take them all over the country - I remember once staying in a hotel in Whitley bay and a guy there went into a casino next door and lost his trousers on a turn of the wheel-- it was in the news of the world!. The work was -at times- a little seasonal and we often had little to do , but then it was hectic for weeks and weeks-- seldom evenly spaced out. I loved the company, If I was working away I didnt stay in some low level accommadation but was able to stay in the same place as the reps. Lots of the work we did went to overseas shows so we had to make the displays in a simple way so the reps could assemble them when they reached there destination- we once made a "pretend house" that went somewhere in Africa and after the show it was given to some of the locals who used it for real to live in!!! There seemed to be a lot of pride in the company and many people wore badges of 10/15/20/and 25 years service, Every christmas time pensionaer employees were sent a wacking big hamper of food, drink and ciggys to enjoy on christmass day---- I dont think any company plays this sort of game anymore--- great firm- great pity its no longer what it was.
The boss-- Hugh niell was a real gentleman- the world could do with more of his kind.

I worked in the Promotions Dept under Tony Evans and we had a rare old time. Albert Keats was in charge of exhibitions, to say he liked a drink would be an understatement. Albert and his mate MC boss of a sign company kept the Nursery Tavern profitable for many years. Albert left JN in mysterious circumstances 'was he pushed or did he resign'? We never knew. At the same time Albert retired, the Promotions dept was in the process of moving location within the JN complex to just across the yard. We were originally above the union meeting room where red Des Bell used to hold court with the down trodden work force. Anyway the change of location meant removing the 'furnishings' including an old wall clock. Albert was just short of his 25 years service when he would have been awarded a gold watch by the chairman Mr Hugh. Being thoughtful souls we cut a slice out of the wall clock like a slice out of a cake, with a 20T hacksaw, to compensate for the 25 yr service shortfall, sprayed it gold and made a strap which we also sprayed with gold paint. The late Gordon Fidler, photographer printed a life size mono blow up of the chairman which we mounted onto plywood and cut out, we had all the means to do such things at our disposal. Alberts colleagues assembled and Albert was summoned where we held a parody of the 25 years service award complete with Mr Hugh albeit as a lifesize cut out. On occasions where Mr Hugh spoke to the flock he would chuckle and to replicate this we had a tape recording of the laughing policeman. After the ceremony we retired to the Nursery Tavern to oil our throats. Albert went on to found Silver Knight exhibitions under his mate MC the sign man. This since developed into a significant operation. If they were asked to quote on a job and didn't have time to work out the price Albert told me he used his National Service number, a good few digits in that which should cover most eventualities, I could go on and on and on!

telekoness1
13-02-2012, 17:36
I use to work for James Neill Tools (Handsworth) from around 1985-89. Use to work on reception and just a few names I can put out there are :-

Dawn Adams
Wendy Baines
Jane Pellagrina (spelling) Was Hugh Neills PA
Margret Newsome
John Jenkinson
Julie Cross

One guy from the 'shop floor' as he drove a very nice Stag car, hes called Mick Carling.

robertl
13-07-2012, 12:34
I worked at Neills from '67 to '75 as a technical apprentice (remember apprenticeships?) through to production Engineering.
Names from the memory in no particular order :-
Jed Bamforth, last seen with a huge beard, Ken Apthorpe (deceased I think) both from the Training Bay. Fellow trainees Carl Cato, David Hey, Phil Waddington, Ian Rowbotham.Liverpudlians from Whiteley Land and Neill Steve Downes and Les Morris,
Production Engineers, well some of them - Jeff Barden, Malcolm Haden, Terry Lockwood, Mick Sanderson, Alan Allcott, Dave Clowes, John Birchenough, Bill Martin (the rambler) Ian Wainright, Ian Hopwood, Grant Hayward, Bob Wainright, Pete Jakeman, Dave Brooks, Rod Managers Peter Vickers (deceased) Dave Pownell, John Brooks ................. oh there's bloomin' hundreds of names once you get going.

George Hibberd retired from the company about 5 years ago. Christine Unwin left when it moved from Handsworth to Atlas North about 9 years ago.

work there from 1966 after i left school, to around 1972 when i left.
I was one of the 1st students in the new training school with Jed and Ken. And the Liverpool conection was that Neils had bought a company in Speke, so we had a couple of apprentices from there each year.
had 12 months in the training school. then 3 months in the toolroom and the 3 maintenance shops. finished up in #2 maintenance with Jack Parker (supervisor, spring heeled Jack we called him). vaguely remeber a lad called Paul, who introduced me to Jimi Hendrix music. cannot remember any other names.

smck39
25-09-2012, 19:13
Hi I have only just seen this thread and had to register. I started work at James Neills in 1962 as an apprentice in the training bay alongside the toolroom. I moved to the EPT and finished up in the hacksaw blade dept. fitting shop where the foreman was Mick Blackburn, one of my best mates there was a guy called Roy Smith and remember another fitter called Alan Jepson. Reading these post certainly brought back many memories

scaleman
28-09-2012, 11:30
I was the 'technical demonstrator' for James Neill group and travelled all over the country demonstrating their tools in a mobile showroom.

sara-jane
19-10-2012, 08:13
Hi, I've just found this thread and had to register to ask a question.

Does anyone have any more information on Albert Keats? He was my grandfather but I never met him as he and my grandmother divorced before I was born.

Thanks Sara:)

jules1955
01-11-2012, 23:35
My Dad worked at James Neils, he was a maintenance painter I think,

Yerman
15-11-2012, 10:13
Albert Keats left James Neill in the early 1970's and went to work for Curley Signs which was located right opposite the Nursery Tavern on Ecclesall Road. Albert was known to spend the occasional evening in the Nursery. Curley Signs then became Silver Knight Exhibitions which moved up to Handsworth Road, not too far from the current Asda store.
When he worked at James Neill Albert was responsible for exhibitions and product displays and had a couple of joiners responsible to him.

jules1955
15-11-2012, 10:18
My Dad and his friend Graham worked for Silver Knight after being made redundant from Neil`s ....that would be the 70s sometime !!!

escort1
15-11-2012, 10:47
2 joiners were Fred Sissons and Dereck Needham, both sadly not wth us any longer.

jules1955
15-11-2012, 10:52
My Dad is Barry Collins, Graham and he used to decorate the stands I believe, can`t recall Graham`s surname, will ask my Dad, but he is no longer with us.

Yerman
15-11-2012, 14:42
The two joiners I recall specifically working at James Neill producing display material with Albert Keats were Sid Stevenson and Vin Fletcher.
Derek Needham was more involved in general joinery work around the factory at that time.

Was the surname of the Graham you mention Bagshaw?

jules1955
15-11-2012, 14:50
yeah believe it was Bagshaw ....

Mawgana
26-06-2013, 22:01
does anyone remember Margaret Whitaker who worked as a furnace operator in the hack saw dept back in the 80's?

---------- Post added 26-06-2013 at 22:05 ----------

can anyone remember a Margaret Whitaker who worked as a furnace operator in the hack saw dept back in the 80's?

---------- Post added 26-06-2013 at 22:06 ----------

remember Margaret Whitaker who worked as a furnace operator in the hack saw dept back in the 80's?

maginu
06-08-2013, 20:02
i worked in dawn department which was located on the first floor above bandsaw dept this was from 1975 till 1979 had some good times and it was a pleasure to work there had many a few run ins with brian bullas who played hell when he used to come and nosey at what we were doing "absolutely nothing sat on our bums and watching the radyne machines doing the work " he couldnt understand that when we were sat doing nowt the job was been done properly some names to remember geoff peat steve hoyland pete gold john taylor to name a few

MFoster
07-09-2013, 08:45
I worked with Irene at Napier Street in the mid-70's. Didn't she go off to be a holiday rep?
She did secretarial work for a bunch of miscreants: Clive Brothwell, Barry Foster, Roy Bright, Ged Bamforth & Dennis Coupland.
Clive (avid Rothrham fan and rarely seen without a cigarette) and Barry (mainstay of every conceivable sports team) have both died in recent years.
Clive spent many hours in negotiations with Des Bell, union convenor.
In those days Des had his own office, carried a brief-case and spent fraternal holidays at workers' camps in Bulgaria. How times change!
Irene will remember all those plus Eve Jones, Doreen Burnside, Cyril Oldfield, Frank Spencer, Val Machin, Brian Whitehouse. They all worked in a huge personnel department.

One of those miscreants was my husband Barrie Foster . Sadly Barrie died in 2004 . I worked jn the wages office under Cyril Oldfied . We moved to Middlesbrough in 1990 . The list of names above have brought back a lot of memories.

Jon Street
30-10-2013, 15:47
If anyone remembers Margaret Whitaker or anyone else who worked in the Magnet Department between 1973 and 1987, please will you let me know as solicitors are looking for witnesses to help her family who are bringing a claim following her death from lung disease in 2011. Margaret worked as a grinder, fettler and on the furnaces?

Thanks

Jon S