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Jim carved his name with pride on Ironbridge job

By Toby Neal | Ironbridge | Nostalgia | Published:

Jim Steventon made a name for himself on the Ironbridge Power Station job – quite literally.

Jim Steventon on top of one of the towers with a couple of office workers. Left is Greta Millward, thought to be from Broseley, and right is unidentified.

He confesses to trowelling out his work colleagues' initials carved into the concrete of one of the cooling towers, and replacing them with his own.

Perhaps it's a good thing that they were none the wiser about his deed of over 50 years ago.

Today the power station Jim and his colleagues helped build is about to come down again as demolition teams get to work.

Men at the top. From left, unknown, Sammy Owen, Mike Bowden, two unknowns, "Jock," Bruce Allcroft and front centre, Eric Dodd.

Jim and wife Lorna, who back then lived in Beech Road, Madeley, but live now in Oakengates, have a clutch of old photographs taken during those days as the power station was being built and Jim worked on the cooling towers.

"He was a charge hand for down the bottom of the towers, and the photographs are of people on the top of the towers," said Mrs Steventon.

"It must have been 1966. It was a two year contract to build the towers. I have no idea who took the pictures, but think it was a friend of Jim's."

On the edge... Not a hard hat in sight, although it wouldn't have helped Mike Boden or Bowden, left, if he lost his balance.

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On the basis of the photos, health and safety does not seem to have been a high priority.

"They didn't have hard hats, or anything. There were no safety nets."

One photograph shows a piece of wooden shuttering being thrown from the top of one of the towers. Another shows two women office workers on the top of the towers.

"When they finished the towers all the men put their initials in the concrete at the top of the towers," said Lorna.

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Watch out below... According to a note on the back of this print this piece of wooden shuttering was thrown from the top of one of the towers.

"But then one of the main blokes said it had all started to crack a bit, so told Jim to go back up and do a bit of trowelling.

"He trowelled all their names out and put his own name instead. He said nobody ever knew about this. Naughty man!"

After the Ironbridge job Jim, who is 76, did groundwork.

By the time of his retirement Lorna says he was working on houses at the back of Telford's hospital.

"He worked for himself then, with a few men working under him."

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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