HALE & HALE, the iron founders of Dudley Port, Tipton, have made a couple of notable appearances in the Bugle in recent weeks.
And such is the wealth of excellent material which has been put our way, we can share another selection of photographs with you.
From the collection of Gloria Williams, whose father George Bowater was a moulder and later a foreman at Hale& Hale, the pictures we’ve chosen for this page are testament to the work of women on the factory floor. These girls worked every bit as hard as their male counterparts, in the same filthy conditions and doing the same long hours. The pictures date, we think, from the nineteen-fifties.
At top left, three young women are either packing sand into moulds or scoopting it out. Notice the moulds are on stands which allow them to revolve, to allow them to empty the sand out. A pile of sacks in the background, we’d guess, contains the latest delivery of sand.
At top right another five girls, all but one of them wearing headscarves (and at least two of them have their rollers in) are at work in another, slightly cleaner department, but what they’re working on is a mystery to us.
They may well be cleaning up the items which cover the floor in the foreground, but what they are we have no idea. Can anyone tell us?
At bottom left there are more women at workbenches, with more moulded items and plenty of sand in evidence. And at bottom right is the busiest scene of all, with a couple of dozen girls, and a few of their male colleagues, beavering away at long rows of workbenches.
Finally, at left we have a picture of the Dudley Port foundry’s imposing entrance, with Thomas L. Hale Limited, Founders and Manufacturers’ stated boldly across its frontage.
l Do you have photographs or mementos of any of our once mighty manufacturing companies? Share them with our readers by calling 01384 567678, dropping by our office, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org