Reflection on Pickering Lifts, 1971

The introduction to engineering draughting after a selection process started at Pickerings Lifts in 1971.

Two apprentices for the drawing office were taken on that year, where I participated with memorable moments in a professional career. The first year of my apprenticeship was an initiation to drawing office procedures of drawing and documentation. Manufacturing courses in the second year were at the Engineering Industry Training Board in Billingham. Unfortunately, I was instructed to try harder as the time went on. A project of manufacturing a set of gauge of guides for Pickerings Lifts did not meet the required standard, sadly I accepted the verdict from my apprentice partner from Pickerings. At least I managed to attain the EITB certification. We went on to Stockton & Billingham College for the engineering qualifications. There is abundance of admiration I hold dear to the staff at Pickerings Lifts. (In the photograph, that is me in the middle).

My reflection on life in my career and ancestry started in 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer. Two surgical operations later (left & right dissections; partial tongue removal), 60 treatments of radiotherapy and 6 regimes of chemotherapy, hope the coronavirus does not get me. Still my wife who I met at Pickerings Lifts looks after me and me to her.

Images and details courtesy of Michael Hymer.

14 thoughts on “Reflection on Pickering Lifts, 1971

  1. Good morning I came across some interesting things of my late Grandfather David Henry Lewis passed away in the 60’s. He resided in Southfield Crescent And also Warfe street. He was a member of the Malleable club I found his life membership card and drivers licence. Regards Jacqueline Lewis / Australia

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  2. Hope you are bearing up and that your lovely wife is ok. Thank you for this post. I worked as a typist for the chief draughtsman on leaving tech. In 1967. I was the only female on that floor and was teased a lot but it was all good natured. I was Lyn Robinson in those days.

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    • My wife (Sandra Collins-Donny Osmond fan) worked in the general office. Old English written love notes were delivered by the typists (Joan Anderson who married John Clague {draughtsman}) to Sandra on the ground floor. Sandra worked for Pickerings Lifts from Dec 1972 to 1982 (or thereabouts – just before the birth of our son).

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      • We attended disco and ballroom classes at Eric and Lynne’s Dance Club in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough – good days. If memory serves me right there use to be Jacques Dance Club in Billingham.

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      • The dance team performed charity events at a few venues around Middlesbrough, of which we participated. The days of Saturday Night Fever and Grease were the dance themes at that time, while achieving qualification certificates.

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    • My oncology consultants express that from the outset my attitude is very positive, which is the way I feel and life carries on. Even when being zapped with radiation with you head and shoulders in a mask bolted down to a table on your back, I could still joke with the medical staff. Well, what does one expect, stripped to the waist and wearing a swimming cap! A tattoo [did ask for a skull and crossbones, but no!] was given to me on my chest, to enable an alignment for the procedure. Presently, all signs are good that there are no indications of growing tumors. A few after effects still persist, one that is scar tissue from the surgeries. On the bright side I am still around to tell my tale.
      Ancestry, a project in progress for my descendants [son and his wife, plus grand-daughter {b2018 Dec} and relatives. Other interests are astronomy and computer aided design, waiting to show my grand-daughter when she is of age, small steps though!

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  3. How different to getting an apprenticeship today. It was something to aspire to and viewed as the start of a career. I started mine in 1965 and just retired last year at 70 and like you met my wife at work when I was 17 and she 15 and also like you still happily married to the same young girl.

    Lovely article and we wish you all the best of health from now on. Alan Davis

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  4. Raymond Fleming Restall [1934-1990]
    I worked alongside Raymond with his enthusiasm and dedication to detail.
    A draughtsman at Pickerings Lifts, an intellectual and meticulous in his draughting abilities. The calligraphy technique in his penmanship and detailed mathematical layout of calculations, second to none as artwork.
    Amateur Radio Station G4FCU, now silent key.
    Amateur radio enthusiast, he would listen over the airwaves in his spare time. Qualified in using morse code would allow him to contacts around the world.
    A friend who is forever missed.

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    • I am terribly sorry to hear about your illness and trust that you are as well as can be expected. I wonder if you had any involvement with a 2-ton capacity car lift installed in a motor dealer’s premises in 1969. The lift had access at either end and would transport cars to a first-floor workshop and also up to a second-floor car park which extended over the whole of the top of the building. There were teething troubles when the lift was first installed. Especially troublesome when customer’s cars were stranded on the first-floor when the lift broke down and refused to move. One particular customer, going on holiday, had his car booked on the Dover-Calais car ferry leaving Dover at noon the next day. I believe Pickering’s engineers worked half the night to get the lift working and get his car down. The premises were operated by, at the time, Rover and Land-Rover Distributors Fred Dinsdale Ltd of Yarm Lane, Stockton-on-Tees and who were latterly Jaguar. Rover, Land-Rover, Range-Rover, Triumph and Peugeot dealers.

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    • hi I knew Ray Fleming restal g4fcu a great very gifted radio ham excellent Morse Code a gentleman and always helpful with ham radio he rebuilt the hro radio receivers used in WW2 always remembered

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