This is the only photo I know of which shows my paternal Grandfather William Coleman, he is at the front centre of the main group, he has his foot on the support timber and his hands on the brake rope.
I never knew my Grandfather, he died in 1941, before I was born, my Father never spoke of him and my Mother never met him.
In the 1939 Register his occupation was given as ‘General Labourer & French Digger’. I Googled French Digger and it is somebody who specialises in digging trenches, that would follow as the cable looks to be going into a trench.
30 years or so after this picture was taken I was part of a gang doing the same job, excepting the cable we pulled in went up and across a roof in a steel mill in Scunthorpe.
30 years on again I was once again involved in a cable pulling job, but this time I had commissioned the job and I stood and watched, much better.
These lads wouldn’t win any prizes for sartorial elegance, but I wasn’t dressed any better when I was involved in my cable pulling experience.
I was wondering if this cable was a new feeder for the upcoming electric welding, it would need a cable of that size for such a job.
My Father started work as an apprentice riveter in the shipyard in 1939 and moved into steel erecting in the early 1960s as the need for riveters waned.
Photo and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman