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‘Oss Power takes the strain

By rob taylor  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

Another delivery - from John Thompson's

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THIS giant steel vessel, made by John Thompson Ltd, of Peartree Lane, Dudley, required a massive amount of horsepower to move it.

This photograph probably dates back to the 1920s, or maybe even earlier, and has been kindly sent to us by Bugle reader John Ryder, who nowadays lives in retirement in Devon.

John worked at John Thompson’s in Peartree Lane, where he was a design engineer, from 1953 until 1964, and recalls that he rescued these photographs, together with others, from a skip when offices were being cleared.

He was born and bred in Kingswinford, but attended school at Stourbridge, at Hill Street in the late 1930s, and then King Edward’s.

He later worked all over the world as an engineer.

In the photograph, the horse shown was the last in a team of horses pulling the weighty rivetted storage tank, which looks to be quite precariously perched on the wagon.

The tank dimensions are painted on the side — 9 feet diameter by 30 feet long.

“Poor horse!”, comments John.

The John Thompson boiler manufacturing company, first established around 1820, was later split into several divisions, with the main bases being at Peartree Lane, Dudley, and Millfields Road, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton.

Nowadays the name still lives on, as part of Actom Limited, but in South Africa, far from its Black Country roots.

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