9 thoughts on “Anhydrite mine at ICI

  1. I was also a messenger boy at ICI in 1950 and went down the mine and remember that I reckoned at the time that you could drive a Double Decker Bus in parts of the mine as it a so cavernous. I was not impressed with the ICI as a Company when they offered me a job as an Welders Labourer, when I asked them them why they were not offering me an apprenticeship I was surprised at their answer that in their opinion I was going to play professional football in the future and they were not going to waste their training and expenses on me in those circumstances. I eventually left and joined the Head Wrightsons Company in their Apprentice Training School and had a very happy and successful time with them with some of the best Engineering training that it was possible to get in those days, which stood me in good stead over my career. Mr Harry Soppett, and Director Frank Shepherd, also helped me in furthering my future career. In comparison to the treatment I received at ICI they were streets apart, thank goodness For Head Wrightsons.

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  2. James Wood – the mines were closed several years ago but the equipment (plant) was left down there as it was considered too expensive to bring up to the surface. My husband remembers as a child hearing ‘booms’ under his garden – it was dynamite – as his mother thought he’d be scared, she told him in the 50’s that it was just the vehicles bumping together! PS We are no relation!


  3. This takes me back to my first days in full time employment. Like many others I started as a messenger boy at ICI. One of our orientation trips was down the mine. I looked up at the ceiling, lost my safety hat & was deducted points. This was April or May 1950.


    • Same here Colin. I was the messenger boy for Sulphuric acid and Cement works in 1970 but on a Monday my mate “Mossa” Baily was at Tec. so I had to do his run as well, Went down the Mine once could not believe how big it was


      • Mossa Baily, Steve Davis and me, Steve Flounders.
        The three plumbers taken on in 1970 as messenger boys then apprentices until 1975. I used to have the Photo of us all with Al Hart stood on the bank behind the training school, lost it a few years back but still remember. Alan Griffiths, a plater if I remember rightly?


        • Steve
          Long time no hear from, I still see Brian Robbo, Mick Robbo Booner Brown….haven’t seen Mossa in a while, retired as I recall. Never seen Griff for years either.


        • James Wood – The situation with the closed Anhydrite mines is that a Nuclear plant (probably the one near Seaton) wanted to use them to store nuclear waste! People at Billingham protested with placards etc and WON – thus no nuclear waste stored under us. Some people including me would be willing to pay for a guided tour if not extortionate as I also would with the underground tunnels under Stockton High Street.


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