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Article brought back fond memories of Bilston firm

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

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I REFER to your article in The Bugle (January 30 edition) concerning Oberg-Sankey Ltd, in particular the photographs of a selected few of those highly-skilled and qualified toolmakers who were employed there.

Most of the Oberg-Sankey employees were transferred from the main plant at Joseph Sankey and Sons Ltd, Bankfield Works, Bilston, whose main toolroom could boast as producing high precision press tools for the production of electrical laminations worldwide.

I can recall all of the people featured, particularly Bob Ferrier, Tom Williams, Eric Schofield and Tom Davies? Everyone was a Bankfield Toolroom tool maker who had served their apprenticeship, under the excellent guidance and management of Mr. Reg Williams, the manager of the Bankfield Training School. Many have much to thank this gentleman for.

Bob Ferrier was a good footballer and an amusingly cheeky pleasant young man.

Tom Williams was a genuine sort of man and good company.

An anecdote concerning Tom. He enjoyed playing cricket and we both played for Sankey's second team. I remember every year the first eleven and the second eleven played each other as a special fixture. The first team invariably won. That is until one season after the first team had batted first and scored a decent total as expected.

The second team then batted and did reasonably well, but wickets were falling on a regular basis. Tom and myself came together at the fall of the sixth wicket with quite a few runs needed to win. For the first and only time I can remember I scored more than 50 runs, while Tom, at the other end, did the same. The second eleven surprisingly won. If Tom is still alive I have no doubt he will recall this.

Eric Schofield was a good-hearted man who always seemed to have a smile on his face. He was a very popular genuine and sincere man.

Tom Davies was a nice warm-hearted young man. I trust now he is a nice warm-hearted OAP. I could not recognise him from the photograph however. He was a good friend. All the above were qualified engineers and all came from a very good company.

I left Sankey's in my late 20s but still remember with great pleasure my time spent at that wonderful company.

I have no information if any of those featured are still alive. I myself am in my late 80s and have lost touch with most of them.

It would be nice to hear from any of them who are still with us.

Congratulations on all your interesting Bugle publications, reminding us of the wonderful times we lived through.

Dr. S J H Wilkes,

69, Grosvenor Road, Ettingshall Park,

Wolverhampton, WV4 6QX.


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