8 thoughts on “JC Hird 1957

  1. I worked on the maintenance crew at H&JC Hird between 1973 and 1976 and the ‘pullers’, as it was called, looked exactly the same then as it did in this picture. The company employed about a 100 men, almost all from Yarm and Eaglescliffe, and in the office, 1 woman. The managers at that time were Bill Wade and Gerry Burnett, a Mr Porter was FD and a Mr Jordan, the wages clerk. Bobby Cartmell, elder brother of Keith who was an electrician and had a shop in the High Street, was the joiner, Morris Ambler, who lived in Hartburn, and a man called Bill who lived on Willey Flatts were the fitters. The workshop manager was called John Allen. Many of the older men who worked there had done so for a very long time – one in particular, a grader, had worked there for 40 years and before him his father and grandfather also. Albert Havelock was another grader, I recall. A number of the older men had served in action during the war. Bobby Cartmell had been taken prisoner at Tobruck (and lost one of his fingers in the process). Another man, one of many ‘Stans’ who worked in the factory, in his case as a packer in the wool store, had served as a Royal Marine Commando.


    • I have the watch that was presented to Albert Havelock on his retirement after 39 years service. I was a good friend of his son, John Bernard Havelock, who passed away recently.


  2. My great grandfather was John Hird – the “J” in JC Hird. His youngest son – George – worked for the company for a short time, before deciding to become a pharmaceutical chemist in Northallerton where he ran a shop, which my father also ran, until he sold it in the 1980s. My grandfather told me that part of his job was to come to London to sell the skins to tanneries: the area he came to in London – Bermondsey – still has street names recording this trade.


  3. This is the pulling shop at H & JC Hirds Yarm. The skinyard as it was known was there for over 150 years up until about the time the Tees barrage was built around the 1990’s, which made the river none tidal. The men in the photo’s are grading and sorting the wool of which there is dozens of different types. I also worked in this pulling shop from 1979 until closure in 1990, hard graft but great camaraderie with a great bunch of lads.


  4. There was also a tannery that worked cow hides in Yarm just before you went over the bridge opposite the Bluebell pub.
    These photos were taken in H & JC Hirds which was behind the Green Tree pub. I did the job seen in these photos for about 12 years and in that time we did very little with cow hide but they could process over 5000 sheep skins a day, four days a week.


  5. When I was an apprentice sheetmetalworker with John Green in Maritime Road we did some work at this tannery. The work involved putting in extraction ducting from the drying machines. As I remember from those days, the tannery sent the fleece down to the spinning mills in Yorkshire and the skins went elsewhere to be proccessed into leather.


  6. Very interesting. For some reason I had always assumed that the tannery processed the skins of cows. But these photos show the wool being removed from sheep skins. I wonder what they were used for?


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