Gas Division Drawing Office, Power Gas Corporation c1960

This photograph was taken in the Gas Division Drawing Office and I would guess the year as 1960. Some of the names I remember are Ronnie Watson, Bev English, Ivor Anderson, Kenny Bell, Charlie Poole, Ian Findlay, Sam Lobb.

Photograph and details courtesy of Keith Waller

14 thoughts on “Gas Division Drawing Office, Power Gas Corporation c1960

  1. I worked at Ashmores from August 1954 to 1963. I worked in the Drawing Office 1954 to approx 1957. I can’t recognize anyone other than Ivor Anderson and Bev English. I am able to name a lot of the men I worked with at that time. I knew Ivor had died but not Bev. .However, one person looks familiar his name is Bill Moss. He wasn’t a draughtsman. I worked in a smaller office with F.B.B. Smith and Bob Wilson and Bill was there. I remember he was 28 at the time and I was 18. After that I worked in the Purchasing Department typing pool before being transferred to South Works.

    Although I have lived in Western Canada since 1967, I read the Evening Gazette pretty much daily as well as the obituaries, that’s how I knew about Ivor. My name before marriage was Dorothy Stitt. Ivor in his inimitable way used to make fun of us young girls who worked alongside him. All meant in good fun.

    I remember working at Ashmores with very fond memories. Remember the Christmas hampers we got at Christmas? Just going back to the Drawing Office for a moment, Len Mash was a supervisor and Mr. Dixon was the D.O. Manager. I think his first name was Frank.


  2. While Keith Waller was down in London at the Power Gas Offices, somewhat earlier I had joined British Gas – London Research Station in 1967 becoming their failure investigator on steam reformers. The Research Station was based on Fulham Gasworks, just off the Kings Road. I stayed their until 1993.

    I had quite a bit to do with Power Gas at the time, going back to Stockton to meet up with their Chief Engineer up in Bowesfield Lane. A major problem was occurring with reformed gas boilers on steam reforming plant. Power Gas thought they had a solution. Somewhat embarrassingly to all concerned, they hadn’t. One of the meetings, however, was in Central London, perhaps where Keith later began working.


  3. Many thanks Frank for additional info. A good 30°/60° isometric, showing false perspective, was a pleasure to look at and essential during plant construction

    Frank and myself would have been taught technical drawing at Richard Hind in my case by Eggy Plummer from 1953 through to 59. But was a subject I did not like, not being naturally tidy. Eggy said I might just make a Technical Drawing “O” Level. I scraped though, probably as I knew the principles, despite my messy work


    • Fred, my time was 1940-44 November. It was Eggy Plummer and after he threw a board rubber at me that missed and I threw it back bouncing it off the board then passing his nose at the speed of light, he took umbrage. I was sent to get some discipline from the Head Master a Mr Rawlings at that time before we got Mr Rosser. What good did that do “not a lot” as they say.
      Mr Plummer took an interest and found I could put the three planes on paper accurately. He started bringing parts from his car (garaged during the war as fuel was rationed) I took them home Dad stripped them explained how they worked cleaned them up and I took them back and drew them. Four years later he said I had given him a new car for the time he would be free to use it. Needless to say I flew through all the exams as he also taught Maths Trigonometry and Geometry.
      I never met him again and had no idea he was still at Richard Hind but bless him for giving me a flying start in engineering.
      That School was my jumping off point to a rapid rise in the Army REME and then ICI, I found a good grasp of Mathematics was the open door to almost all areas of industry, a very important subject indeed.


  4. Drawing Office work was In some respects the hardest backroom job in Chemical Engineering. Staff had to translate a complex two dimensional schematic of the pipework and flows into something that could be taken on site and used to actually construct the plant. As well as ensuring that no piece of pipework was unnecessarily long, they also had to prevent pipes, coming from different directions, colliding.

    The work became much harder when Power Gas switched over to designing and constructing high pressure/high temperature plants based on steam reformers. They were the leaders in the field.


    • Drawing Office Staff had Tracers usually Ladies who would draw out the plans required to build anything from Gas plant to ships, then print them.
      The three plane system of drawing could lead to mistakes being made Front, side and top gave the run of pipe work not the orientation. We worked off Isometrics much easier to follow once you got the hang of them and they showed the orientation through the plant,
      They were still from the drawing office with the tracers doing the fine work, it was all skilled and well paid work for the time.
      Now you feed the information into the computer and it draws it for you then prints it off reducing the number of people needed yet again.


    • I remember producing many drawings for the Steam Reforming Plants built by Power Gas from the early ’60s to when I left the company in 1968… It was at that point I realised that there was much more money to be earned working on a freelance basis, however, in 1971 contacts became far and few between, consequently I rejoined Power Gas as a staff member. Of course by this time the main office had been relocated to Baker Street in London. As a wise old draughtsman told me when I started my apprenticeship with Power Gas back in 1958. Quote: Draughtsman aren’t that important, or are they, just look around you, every component of every house, TV, car etc had to be drawn before it could be made…


      • Hi Keith,
        Just to take you back to the 1960’s I was an apprentice draughtsman in the drawing school in 1958 along with Dave Lewis ,Alan (Charlie) Crow, John Bell, Neil Watt. I was friends with Ronnie Watson, Bev English, Ken Ward, I know I met you during this time. I ended up working in the Chemical Plant drawing office for Wilf Boland’s and Jim Henderson. Finally left P.G in 1965, went to ICI Wilton (More money) and then onto Holland in 1966. Only been back to England on Holiday and am now living in Australia. I’ve bumped into a lot of people from PG over the years.
        Les Hogg


        • Hi Les,
          Ye Gods a lot of water has gone under the bridge since those days.
          I remember you well, we went to ‘The Tech’ at the same time, in fact I remember giving you lifts a few times from there on my Triumph Tiger 100.
          I too went to Holland but ten later in 1976, working there on and off for 10 years… I came across a few ex PG staff like Kenny Bell, Dave Bulmer, Barrie Alum and a few others whilst I was there in the the place Malcolm Brunton so aptly called ‘The Graveyard of Marriages’
          Ended up on a few contracts here in the UK working with Ronnie Watson and Charlie Crowe lived here in Ingleby Toytown till a few years ago. As the say ‘Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be’


  5. I wonder how many in this photo are still alive – better still, if any of them actually see this! I am now 85 but still remember so many happy times back in the 1950’s/60’s, leaving in 1963 after 14 years with Ashmore Benson Pease (to change name to Power Gas). It then became Davy United? But after my time.


    • Ellen I do know that Ivor Anderson, Bev English, Charlie Poole and Ronnie Watson, (I worked with Ron again back in 2004), are no longer with us… I think maybe you will remember my ex wife Greta, who worked in the Photographic Department, better than you remember me… Although you will probably remember my elder brother Alec who started at Ashmores back in 1947.


      • I remember Frank White in the Photographic department, but not Greta. I remember Bill Hollis, Eric Hugill, Joyce Fawdon, Ida Fawdon, Bill willoughby, Mike Bell, Mr Flentje, John Fowler, – could go on and on, but some happy times. I started working at Ashmore’s in January 1949 and left in October 1963.


  6. I am in the front row in this picture, along with colleagues from the Typing Pool. Fond memories. I was formerly Ellen Johnston.


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