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Hadfields Steel Works

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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.

 

Hi -I knew Linda Denial, she was well known for her very short skirts and high heels. I distinctly remember she had a short black leather skirt which she wore usually with a frilly white blouse, sheer black stockings and black stillettos. She used to cause quite a stir when crossing the yard. One man was heard to say he "felt sorry for that lass because she had grown out of all her clothes!" Nonetheless, we younger ones were envious of her aplomb and style. There was also a cousin Trevor Denial, who I was at school with.

Edited by Twinnie1
Gave the name Terry instead of TREVOR! Sorry Trev.

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I remember frequenting the two pubs that were situated on Meadowhall Road in the late 60's and through the 70's whiilst I worked at Hadfields. One was the Fox & Grapes (this was situared near the low bridge) and the other was, I think called the Pheasant which was about 100 yards from the gate of the iron bridge at the back of the firm.

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Thank God someone corrected him - I thought my old lady memory was playing tricks again :-0)

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I worked there for a coupl of years and I walked from Worksop Road across to Zion Lane and walked down that way but I think I was going in the back entrance as the lorries (SCOW men) used to come in another gate. I had to work an hour or two each day in the gate house and it was the first time I had heard a Welsh accent - I used to go weak at the knees! Lovely they were.

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The title is wrong! The Steelworks was called HaDfields East Hecla Works and the Meadowhall Centre now covers the site. My late father, John L. West, was the Chief Metallurgical Chemist there and I first was taken round the laboratories at about 10 /11 years old! --I saw an aircraft turbine blade fractured in a sonic fatigue test. -very impressive to see it fractured by sound alone! The firm was most famous for Hadfield's Manganese steel which was used for steel railway crossings, and also used for grinding equipment.

My father, before I was born, had analysed samples of steel which had been made by Michael Faraday. These samples were obtained from a box in the Royal Society in London, by Sir Robert Hadfield who was a Fellow of that Society. The samples had been made with small amounts of elements like gold and silver in order to try to make corrosion resistant alloys. My father often analysed strange things for Sir Robert, among them old church-door hinges to try to develop fatigue resistant alloys, and Coffin nails for their known anti corrosion behaviour. He also analysed part of the famous Indian "Delhi Iron Pillar".

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The title is wrong! The Steelworks was called HaDfields East Hecla Works and the Meadowhall Centre now covers the site. My late father, John L. West, was the Chief Metallurgical Chemist there and I first was taken round the laboratories at about 10 /11 years old! --I saw an aircraft turbine blade fractured in a sonic fatigue test. -very impressive to see it fractured by sound alone! The firm was most famous for Hadfield's Manganese steel which was used for steel railway crossings, and also used for grinding equipment.

My father, before I was born, had analysed samples of steel which had been made by Michael Faraday. These samples were obtained from a box in the Royal Society in London, by Sir Robert Hadfield who was a Fellow of that Society. The samples had been made with small amounts of elements like gold and silver in order to try to make corrosion resistant alloys. My father often analysed strange things for Sir Robert, among them old church-door hinges to try to develop fatigue resistant alloys, and Coffin nails for their known anti corrosion behaviour. He also analysed part of the famous Indian "Delhi Iron Pillar".

 

Hadfields

East Hecla Works

Sheffield

 

(known as Hadfields, then Dunford Hadlields)

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My Father,Tom Webster,worked in the Foundry at Hadfields for 51 years.He started there as a boy of 14,his first job was straightening nails for the Moulds,he then became a Moulder,during the War,he made Moulds for Tank Turrets & Tank Tracks.

Afterwards he made Moulds for Dredger Buckets among other things.

I think it was about 1952/3 Prince Phillip came & opened a new press,which at that time was the biggest in Europe & afterwords all the Workers Familys were invited down to have a look round,&have a Buffet Meal & Drinks in the Canteen.

Hi Keith. My father worked in the foundry all through the war.His job was as a shanker.I.e. He poured the molten steel Into the moulds I remember him telling me casting tank tracks, so its quite likely that he knew your father. Regards , John.

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I was an electrician for contractor F.H. Wheelers and my first proper apprenticeship started when I was taken to Dunford Hadfields one afternoon in August 1968. Bill Bottomley was the Wheelers chargehand and their cabin was quite a walk into the plant from Vulcan Road. Being a blue collar worker, I shouldn't have used the main gate at the end of Vulcan Road, but I defiantly always did, but one morning I'd walked from the bus stop with a young woman only to be re-directed to the small wicket gate further along the road. Christ I was humiliated and angry, I hated that, workers through one entrance and office staff through the main gate next to the weigh bridge.

I managed to get to work in the offices with a young electrician called Ken Nelson, he'd secured the job of working on office electrics rather than the industrial side. Whilst installing a ring main in the offices, which were immediately above the main entrance, I recall a very attractive, leggy blonde who stood out from all the others, probably in 1968 in her late twenties. I was 16 and I thought she was absolutely gorgeous.

One saturday morning working there, I had a play on their electronic calculator. It was a huge thing with neon nixie tubes and as I recall, they had just the one in accounts.

I worked on the electrics in the office conversion that included an old dark room. There were loads of photos strewn around and I collected them all up and took them home. These were fabulous 10x8 shots of bygone years of the staff and workers, young lads wearing weskets and flat caps from the turn of the century. All were of recognisable parts of the works. Some photos showed what many won't know and that is that the river Don used to go straight through the middle of the Hadfields plant but was diverted to the northern boundary alongside Meadowhall Road where it runs to this day. In 1969 whilst working at Shepcote Rolling Mills, the gaffer, Jack Childs, who'd worked at Hadfields as a youth, asked to see the photos. Big mistake, I never got them back and I would still have them today because I love old photos like that. I would pay good money to have those photo's back.

Oh and by the way, as an apprentice in 1968, I used to take home £4 19s 6d for five days and for seven days I got £6 4s 2d ha ha

 

I also worked for Wheelers in the 50's

 

It was the best job in the world at that time (except for the money). We worked in all the steel works in and around Sheffield, Steelo's, Firth Vickers, Hadfields, Sammy Fox's, and also in shops like Boots, Walsh's, Liptons, bank branches, and around the country, Scotland, Liecester. Joddrel Bank. so it was never boring. There was always a new local pub.

 

One day you'd be in a sooty boiler suit with a mashin can under a rolling mill, the next day you might be in a clean shirt and tie having lunch in Boot's canteen with a 100 or so pretty lasses.

 

Because we got around so much, we were minor stars with the locals, who lived and worked at the same places, day and day out.

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Hi,

 

The Hadfield's that used to be where the Meadowhall Shopping Centre is now was know as Hadfield's East Hecla Works. Off Vulcan Road, as noted by others.

 

The name East Hecla was to distinguish it from Hafield's orginal Hecla Works. These works were roughly behind where Attercliffe Church used to be, but a bit closer to town. Don't know where the main entrance was. Could have been off Newhall Road or somwhere off Oaks Green.

 

Somebody mentioned Shardlows. They used to be next to Arthur Lee's at Woolley Woods. Can't remember the name of the road that Shardlow's works was located on but I think it ran from Meadowhall Road throught to Grange Lane. All a long time ago.

 

Regards

grange mill lane

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Hello Fellow Hadfields Aficianados.

I'm glad there are some of us still walking the planet. I'm Neil Furniss. I started work at Vulcan Road in1962, as an apprentice welder. I did my four and a half years at college, and then when I qualified, stayed for a year or so, then left and went contracting, before returning to work there in Central Maintenance in 1970, and finally left in 1982.

We (all the guys in our workshop) used to work in all the different departments on the plant, which was good, because life never got too boring. Most of the other lads (no ladies in overalls then!) on maintenance were allied to a particular department, i.e. Melting Shop, Rolling Mills, Forge, etc. all had their own dedicated fitters, tricians, and so on, but we went wandering where ever we were required.

I worked shifts for most of my time there. We worked in teams, initially a welder and plater, then later two welders and a plater. This was necessary when more and more fitters forgot how to use spanners to take nuts and bolts apart and put new ones in their place. It became far easier for them to call us out to a breakdown on the plant to burn the bolts out with oxy-ac and then weld the bits back together when they had finished playing with them. It was called the hot spanner/electric bolt syndrome!

It was well know that if the fitters were called out to a breakdown on their patch they could call us out even before they had put their cups of tea down!

You can laugh, but it takes a bit of doing, does that! :hihi:

I loved my time there, and I miss it still, even though I am now retired. The kudos and esteem of working at a successful innovative company was enormous.

My two regular teammates were Tony Holliday, with the black beard, (told from time to time that he looked like Jesus!) sadly no longer with us, and Ian Graham, a Scots lad, who as far as I know, is still around.

Both brilliant blokes, great to work with, and bloody good fun, which helped a lot in some dirty, dark, dank, horrible places we had to work in! And that was just in the offices! (Only kidding!)

Fond memories indeed. Regards to all.

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just wondered if anyone remembers my stepfather bill butler, worked in heavy forge on crane, made redundent in '79, sadly passed away in '85

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My father work in the Heavy forge as a crane driver who also was made redundant in 1979 but sadly died a year later due to cancer his name Lawrence Moore known

as Lol don't know if it rings any bells with anyone.

Edited by rosekath

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