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Hadfields Steel Works

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I wonder if there is anyone around who worked in the Sales R department at Hadfields in the mid-1950s. I recall that a smashing guy called Jack Bowles was the chief clerk in that department, and I worked for a time alongside a lad called Mike Williams. I believe that Mike died a few years ago after running a post office in Sheffield for many years.

 

Hi, 1st post as I only 'happened' across this forum whilst, ironically, googling 'Hadfields' earlier. Mike Williams was my father - and joined Hadfields after completing his RAF national service in the early 50s - starting off as a clerk and then becoming one of the few non-degree qualified employees to be put through their new [at the time] graduate apprentice scheme - eventually becoming their Marketing Manager & travelling all over the world on the Company's behalf including to the states (when I was only 6 weeks old as my mother regularly reminded him!). He ''left'' in 1978 - shortly after the unsuccessful takeover bid for the company by Firth Brown resulted in Hadfields being bought out by Lonhro, under Tiny Rowland. Lonhro had promised no redundancies when they took over the helm - but the writing on the wall quickly became clear that this organisation with comparatively limited experience in this arena were really ultimately only interested in asset stripping & maximising the return on their original investment by steering the company toward its ultimate closure. Dad disagreed once too often with decisions being made at that time & was ultimately given the choice of leaving with his company car & on the remainder of his then current contract - or simply seeing it not being renewed the following year.

 

Whilst all the above is relaid as I recall the way in which the information was imparted to me many moons ago - I do know Dad had many, many happy memories of the 24 years he spent working at the East Hecla works; he met & married my mum (Fay Hudson who worked in the Hadfields lab), met one of his childhood heroes Douglas Bader (of 'Reach for the Sky' fame who visited the works) & met & made many, many good friends over the years. He often used to say that it was the people who made a workplace good or bad - and that Hadfields was a great place to work in that respect.

 

Conversely, his watching & seeing the ultimate outcome of the strikes at the end of the 70s, and my taking him back up there from his [final] home in Cornwall many years later to see 'Meadow Hall' - were most certainly memories he would undoubtedly rather not have had. He certainly found the latter particularly traumatic - seeing a singular statue on the ground floor of the meadowhill complex as an apparent singular reminder of the sites former use most certainly did not, he felt, bare suitable memorial to all that was acheived & undertaken in the vicinity for so many years and by so many people. This said, at the time we visited I believe the local pub where he & colleagues occasionally met for lunch et al still remained standing!

 

I still have some of the Hadfields in house magazines and also some of the engraved ashtrays, parker pens, calculators & magnifying glasses Hadfields commissioned as gifts for current & prospective customers too - and have many photographs of the site and vivid memories of visiting Dad at work myself.

 

It would be great to hear from anyone who knew him or indeed to read of further memories of people who worked at Hadfields, too; I've certainly found it very interesting reading through all the memories recorded here :)

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G'day... like you I was idly googling Hadfields and came across your thread. I worked at Hadfields in Vulcan Road in 1964 in the cost accountancy office straight out of school. My boss was Dennis Hudson. There were some good blokes there such as John Barker, Cass (?) Peter Ford (who was killed in a car crash that year) John Welbourne, Steve Shaw. Our neighbour Steve Draycott was a turner there although he had retired before I started. I have fond memories of wandering around the works watching the pouring of the castings for turrets and also watching the moulds being prepared for the lost wax process. A great guy whose name I can't remember was in charge of the casting plant and when queried on discrepancies with the number and weight of certain jobs would always respond "thems niver that!!". It became a signature comment! The cold mornings were always made tolerable by the bacon butties we got from the canteen which I recall was quite close to the main entrance. These were the days when punched card sytems were giving way to punched tape. A number of the best and brightest were seconded to what we would call today the IT team. I was not one of them but I used to sneak a look at the work they were doing.... in retrospect it was prettty basic programming but good on Hadfields for having the nouse to invest in their own for this R&D. I left after a year and joined the National Provincial Bank on the Moor.

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I wonder if there is anyone around who worked in the Sales R department at Hadfields in the mid-1950s. I recall that a smashing guy called Jack Bowles was the chief clerk in that department, and I worked for a time alongside a lad called Mike Williams. I believe that Mike died a few years ago after running a post office in Sheffield for many years.

 

I also worked in the offices at Hadfields as a young woman around 1968/71, and had some wonderful times there. I worked in the Shipping Office as a typist and worked for Mr. Mayhew and Mr. William Shakespeare, both very smart and great to work for. There were some real characters in the office, and the older ones all looked out for you. I also had a cousin who worked in another office there called Linda Denial. My uncle, Sid Bird, who has now passed away, also worked in the steelworks there. I think the Main Gates were right at the bottom of Vulcan Road off the main Road. Happy Days.

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Does anyone recall or did anyone out there work closely with Richard Lamb of Hadfields

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Would you be kind enough to send pictures of Brown Bayleys to me at stuartb47@yahoo.com as I used to work there.Thanks

 

Sorry I do not have photos, but my dad worked at Brown Baileys in the melting shop for many years. He was a melter (1st hand) on the small high frequency induction furnace. He was transfered to Hadfields to a similar role and took part on the picket lines when Thatcher decided to destroy South Yorkshire. As a scotsman he was known as 'Jock'.

I worked at Brown Baileys for about three months a year each summer for about four years when I was a student. I was a 'spareman' in the melting shop (12 hour days and nights) occasionally picking up a spare job on either the casting pit side, or the melting side on the electric arc furnaces. I remember several characters, 'Cyril' the works manager, and a labourer called 'Wincobank Jack'. He used to wonder round the melting shop with a shovel full of dust which he put down at meal times, and at the end of his shift. He would pick up the shovel again at the start of his next shift and carry the same pile of dust around for another eight hours! Jim the 'Stopper Lad' who used to assemble the brick and iron-rod stoppers for the ladles used in the shop. I was known as 'Jock's Lad'.

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Fascinating to read the thread by Steveninusa and having read some of the other posts I wonder what has happened to Sheffileld's history.Some of the vague comments make me wonder if it has any relevance at all.

I worked at Edgar Allens in the melting shop across the road,Vulcan Road, from Hadfields and the contribution to modern life by both Companies was enormous.

After all everything that we use in life started life in a foundry.

Just think about it.Oil and oil products ie plastics, do not jump out of the ground.Iron ore and all sorts of minerals in use today do not fall from the skies.

Think back to the opening scenes of the Full Monty and the promotional film about the Steel industry in Sheffield (Sheffield on the move) and now that it has nearly all gone we still owe a lot to Companies such as Hadfields.

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My dad, Fred Moss was a toolmaker at Hadfields. He worked there until his stroke in 1975.

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I came across this site by accident, and I am so pleased that I did. It was with great sadness that I saw that Mike Williams passed away. It was so lovely to read about him. I worked with Mike in the Marketing Department, we became great mates and me and my then husband often used to get invited to Mikes house. I remember is lovely wife Fay.

It was such a lovely old building to work in, but I hated having to go down into the basement to look for certain files, very spooky down there!

We used to be always going out to the many local pubs at lunch time, and I still remember Mikes car a Triumph I think. Great memories, it would be lovely to hear from anyone who worked there same time as me.

I remember Sam Thackur, I think he went onto lecture in Sheffield somewhere.

 

Lovely memories :)

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My brother in law, Peter Lax, started work as an electrician when he was 14 and stayed there until he was made redundant in the 80's from East Hecla. He started about 1959.

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I came across this site by accident, and I am so pleased that I did. It was with great sadness that I saw that Mike Williams passed away. It was so lovely to read about him. I worked with Mike in the Marketing Department, we became great mates and me and my then husband often used to get invited to Mikes house. I remember is lovely wife Fay.

It was such a lovely old building to work in, but I hated having to go down into the basement to look for certain files, very spooky down there!

We used to be always going out to the many local pubs at lunch time, and I still remember Mikes car a Triumph I think. Great memories, it would be lovely to hear from anyone who worked there same time as me.

I remember Sam Thackur, I think he went onto lecture in Sheffield somewhere.

 

Lovely memories :)

 

Hi - from my own memories I can ellaborate a little on Sam - he and his wife Krishna were good friends of my parents and Sam is still in touch with my mother [Fay] you reference, above. Several colleagues of my father's at Hadfields (and indeed their families) serve as lasting memories for me: a guy called Neil Wilkinson in sales (with whose wife & children my sister, mum and I would often go to either Chatsworth or Bakewell's Thursday market during holidays); a lady called Beverley who worked with Dad & who came round once a week to desparately try to teach my sisiter and I to play the piano!); a guy called Howard Grinrod (if memory serves me correctly) - who lived a few houses down from us on Muskoka Ave. in Ecclesall.......I could go on and on! Would be great to hear more from you, 'Jancot'; my mother refers to herself as a 'technical philistine' (sounds more like a quote my Dad would have made!) but would, I'm sure, be interested to hear more of your Hadfoelds experience and working with Dad.

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I also came accross this site by chance(so glad i did)Istarted work at hadfields in 1963(it became dunford hadfields later)as an apprentice blacksmith.approxamately 6000 people worked there.my clock in number 6066(how strange i can remember this)must go now but i will be back

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I'm sure this is the place my dad worked at he was a welder, but if my memory is correct i'm certain it was called Osborne Hadfields.

My dad's name was Jack Bishop it would be great if anyone remembers him, orhas any photo's.

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