City Grammar School - THEN and NOW Pages

Dave Wakelam

A little of what has happened since I left CGS in 1956.

              I went to the then, Steel Peech & Tozer's in Rotherham and started as an apprentice electrician. I 'staggered' my way [7 years for a 5 year course] through to a HNC in Electrical Engineering to eventually transfer to Swinden Laboratories in Moorgate [Green grass and plenty of the opposite sex], only to discover that I would be working at the Rotherfield site [Arc Research Lab.]. This was at the top of the slope near the Templeborough Melt Shop Works with an official street address of Deadman's Hole Lane, which describes it well. However the work, and team of people, was so interesting that the surroundings did not matter.

            As a continuation of my experience with electric arcs and graphite electrodes I moved to Coated Electrodes in the BSC Chemicals division  at Orgreave [another "rural setting"], and this is the reason I am in Canada. The coating process was to be introduced to North America in 1979 so I volunteered to go on a 2 year contract as part of a team from the UK office. I am still here after 25 years, and am now a Canadian citizen. This operation lasted some 10+ years after which it was closed and I was made redundant [ 49 years of age - not good ], and after 1 year of looking for work [harder than working] I was fortunate to be taken on by Sheffield Forgemasters (Canada) Ltd, ........ talk about full circle. I spent my last 12 years selling steel mill products [mainly rolls & forgings] to Canadian and US companies produced by the UK Group.
 
     I was 65 in December 2004 so now living the eas(ier) life, weather permitting. When I was at school I was built like a racehorse, now more like a  'rhinocerhorse' (see picture). The Dinosaur was organised by my daughter and turned up on my lawn at 6.30a.m. I saw it some 2 hours later on opening the blinds so I did not manage to keep my birthday quiet from the neighbours.


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