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The Shrewsbury team who sought to avoid shock results

By Toby Neal | Nostalgia | Published:

These are some of Shrewsbury's bright sparks of yesteryear, and we're getting to see them thanks to Geoff Inwood, who emailed in this photo.

Midlands Electricity Board electricians at Roushill, Shrewsbury, in 1953 or 1954.

"It is some of the lads at the MEB electricians' department at Roushill, taken in 1953 or 1954," said Mr Inwood, of Roman Road.

"I cannot remember all of their names, but here are the ones I do. Left of photo are Tim Sargent and Bill Butler, who was our plumber. Centre middle from back to front are John Langford, Jerry Wellington, and Dave Harding. Right of photo, right to left, Jeff Davies, Percy Alcock, John Russell, and Ron something.

"This was taken at the Smithfield entrance. Many more of course worked there – Ted Allmark, Roy Picken, Jack Barker, Stan Carver, Jack Hassells, Johnny Broom, Terry Franklin, Brian Mansell, Bill Mattingley Bob Glover, and so on. In those days nobody arrived in a car, we all came on our bikes. It was a long time ago."

And Mr Inwood was also able to add some information about a photo we carried the other day showing MEB overhead workers in the early 1950s, probably at the Midlands Electricity Board base at Spring Gardens in Shrewsbury. That picture had originally come from Mrs Mary Phillips, and featured her husband Jack Phillips.

Another on that photo was Les Jones who was not, as we wrongly thought, Mary's father but was in fact dad of Lesley Jones, who told us at the time we first published the picture back in 2001 that her dad Les was better known at the MEB as "The Baron" and was there for about 36 years before retiring

Mr Inwood said: "I knew Jack Phillips as I worked at Roushill in the electricians department.

"Jack was the foreman of the overhead lines department, well respected by all the men who worked with him and a good man to know.

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"I also remember George Nash. At the top of the group in the picture you published is Nobby Hall and, just to the right of Jack and in front was, I think, Jeff Davies who was one of the best pole climbers and linesman I knew. Next to him is Jeff Beddows at that time the shop steward.

"Roushill in those days was a very busy place and included the DC generators supplying all of Frankwell, including the Atlas Iron Foundry. The generating engineer in charge was Dicky Holland.

"The meter department, wayleave office, the electrical stores and the electricians' workshop were all part of the building.

"The road in front led to the Smithfield and on a Tuesday chaos was the norm, with the drovers driving in the sheep and the cattle. Opposite was the very busy abattoir which I was called to on more than one occasion

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"Needless to say when the river flooded the 70 steps from Pride Hill was only way down.

"Nearby, on the corner of Roushill, was the Horseshoes pub, a good watering hole and meeting place after a day's work. It was run by Jim and Dot Shone.

"The engineer in charge of the electricians was Frank Maggnason, foreman Jack Kelsall and charge hand Reg Purslow. That was 1955.

"It was a nine hour day at around two shillings an hour, five half days.

"I would guess now there are very few of us left. I do know just three who are still with us."

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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