Power Station picture stirs memories

Reader Jean Davy wonders if readers can shed any light on this odd photograph. She believes it was t

Reader Jean Davy wonders if readers can shed any light on this odd photograph. She believes it was taken at the old Great Yarmouth Power Station just before it was pulled down. - Credit: Archant

I joined Great Yarmouth Power Station as an apprentice and worked there from September 1975 to October 1985, and remember most of the people pictured in Mrs Davy’s photograph.

The Spanners dept, in reply to a letter in the GYM 030415

The Spanners dept, in reply to a letter in the GYM 030415 - Credit: Archant

I also have my own picture that was taken on the same spanner wall. I’m sure the photos were taken by someone from the laboratory as part of a leaving do in the early 1980s. This weekend I dug out my old photo and met up with a friend who was an apprentice at the same time and is featured in Mrs Davy’s photo. Together we made a good attempt to identify all, and this is set out below for her information.

In Mrs Davy’s picture the people are:

On the left side Electrical Panel the top three men were Laggers Jimmy Barwick, Dave Rutter and Ron Leggett

The bottom three were Welders Johnny Mansi, ? and Bert Martin.

On the central Spanners are the Fitters and Mates from top left: Bob Ship, Jimmy Benton and Les Allen. Michael Blyth, Colin Jones, Norman Perry and Stuart Haylett. Steve Grimson, Peter Verhoven and Ray Mace. Bill Manning, Brendon Green, Graham Barks and Vic ?. Donny Brown, Mark Tompkins, Adrian Spindler and ?.

On the right side Valves were four Riggers Fred Lee, Sam Hambleton, Arthur Middleton and Lou Anderson.

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My picture shows more Fitters and Mates: Billy Dix, Roy King, Steve Mileham, Ira Smith, Roger Balls, Peter Goffin, Jack Mann and Gavin Seward.

I was a fitter and Bob Ship was a fitter’s mate, Ray Mace or Les Allen were the fitters that Bob tended to work with, they were the older generation, I was in my early 20s and the foreman referred to us younger members of the team as Young Lions. We recall Bob was sensitive about his lack of stature which prompted much wind-up activity.

Bob did leave a lasting impression through his driving skills in his Mk1 Ford Escort back then. Each year Great Yarmouth Power Station would help out at Sizewell; the speed he drove to get there and back, I could never keep up with him!

We think over half of the blokes shown are no longer with us, Bob and the other guys were genuinely good blokes we enjoyed working with. It has made a nostalgic Easter break remembering names and sharing stories. Thank you.



I was employed at South Denes Power Station from 1969 to 1992 from the original CEGB, passing to Powergen upon privatisation circa 1988, then by the contractor resulting in the demolition by explosives on May 5, 1997 and finally by Amoco, building the new gas turbine

power station.

I finally retired in 1999.

The photograph in the letter pages of last week’s Mercury comes from an album produced for the retirement of Ray Kitchen, long serving station superintendent of South Denes Power Station about 1980.

The album contained many photographs of all the many people employed at South Denes at that time. Each Department was depicted with the staff members in their respective locations.

The one shown depicted the maintenance department. I well remember Billy Ship. Other departments were as far as I can recall the five operational shifts, mechanical, electrical and instrument departments, laboratory, canteen staff, admin, efficiency departments, general service team and works office.

The album was photographed and produced by John Beckett, John Lees and myself and presented to Ray on his final day.