Ashton-under-Lyne Forum

General Category => Memory Lane => Topic started by: Joyce_in_Canada on April 18, 2018, 06:47 PM

Title: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on April 18, 2018, 06:47 PM
Hi everyone!  I've been keeping an Album of my own life history for the family's future references, and yesterday in the process I was remembering when I started work at the age of 14 in August 1941 at Guide Bridge Mill on South Street, Guide Bridge.  The building is still there but is now definitely not an aircraft factory!   At that time it was called "Cornercroft (Northern) Ltd.", having been converted into making parts for aeroplanes during WW2, when it was a subsidiary of Cornercroft's in Coventry.   My Mother also worked there on the 6th floor climbing around ailerons and hammering away having climbed up stepladders!    It was very old of course,  having previously been a cotton mill and I remember a lot of the wooden floors were quite slippery and the stone steps between the six floors were very worn, shiny and dark.   Having searched everywhere I can think of on the internet, nowhere can find any information that covered its wartime production of aircraft parts, and conversion to pots and pans after the war ended.  I was still working there when I left to come to Canada in January 1947.   

I know for an absolute certainty Guide Bridge Mill was opened up and converted to wartime production of airplane parts when Cornercrofts in Coventry itself was blitzed  in November 1940, because one of their Managers, a Mr. W.M. Gascoigne, was transferred up to Guide Bridge and he boarded with my Grandma on Albemarle Terrace off Henrietta St.   That was, as well, how I came to be employed there and I still have my employment recommendation letter on their letterhead showing the name as "Cornercroft (Northern) Limited" a subsidiary of Cornercroft, Coventry.   

I realize a lot of the younger members on here wouldn't perhaps remember those times, but I was wondering if any of you with longer memories (like myself at 90 -  :o), have ever found any reference (or photos) to those years at the Guide Bridge Mill.   I also had an Aunt and Uncle (sadly long gone now), who lived at 3 Pelham St. which ran off South St. at the far end of the huge bay-door entrance to the Mill.   Those places are still there now but all with different names.   I do find it rather odd that such a great contribution to the War effort has never been recorded anywhere.   As a matter of fact, they also made the first of the "plastic" items to be manufactured after the war ended.  Egg cups on a plate, each cup being of a different colour - red, yellow, green and blue!   

Perhaps no-one will remember any of this, but I just thought I'd take a chance and hope!!   
Happy Spring everyone, and hope you all have far better weather than we're having here just now with day-time highs of only about 1 or 2C !!!    :(    Joyce






Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Fudge on April 20, 2018, 11:12 AM
Hi Joyce I will try and find out if there is any info at the Archives and let you know what I find it will be at the end of next week Fudge
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on April 20, 2018, 03:51 PM
Thank you so much, Fudge!   Anything at all would be good to know that I just didn't dream it all in my long-ago past.    ;D  Joyce
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on April 22, 2018, 02:19 AM
Although it obviously didn't mention Guide Bridge Mill.....today I finally found the following quote on a very interesting site that had to do with all the various aspects of WW2 in the UK, quoting statistics, etc..   At least I now know that I wasn't dreaming about the date of the blitz on Coventry, which is why Cornercrofts came to be in Guide Bridge Mill.

Quote:   
   " One devastating raid on Coventry in November 1940 was the biggest air-raid the world had ever seen. 4,330 homes were destroyed and 554 people killed. At one point during the night 200 separate fires burned in the city. "   

It makes one wonder how the people of those times were able to carry on, and even a few survive to live to be still around  today.   ;D  Joyce

 
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on April 27, 2018, 11:57 PM
Hi Fudge.... 
Thanks for your message re your rather unsuccessful visit to the Archives, where there was no mention there either.   I've sent you a reply, but as no one else has posted any replies for me on here, I guess that must be the end of this particular topic.  Again, thanks so much.   Joyce   :)
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: greeny on June 29, 2018, 10:57 AM
hi joyce i don't know a lot about the history of guide bridge mill,i believe a german plane crashed ,there were documents found and guide bridge area was targeted in red meaning it was an area of interest to the germans , for future bombings , know guide bridge mill made air craft parts , and the railway was close by and a few bombs were released on the railway near to birch street, was it a industrial, area during the second world war , there was explosion in the west end 1917 they made t n t ,did it remain after ? pelhem street is still there and guide bridge mill is still there ,tameside archives may help you more  :D
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: LCGI on June 30, 2018, 02:37 AM
All very interesting this stuff - thanks to all who are researching and posting here

Regards,
Larry E.
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Son of Nomad on June 30, 2018, 11:14 AM
One would think there would have been something in the Ashton Reporter around 1940/1941 about the transfer of aircraft production to Ashton - anyone subscribing?
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Albert on July 01, 2018, 08:49 PM
Hi Joyce I don't know much about Northern Aircraft except my uncle worked there he walked with a limp I think that's why he was not called up his name was Eric Saxon and lived on Mossley rd  Also you mention the air raid on Coventry my dad was in the fire service and he went from Stalybridge to Coventry he was there about 5 days from what I remember a long time ago
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Fudge on July 02, 2018, 11:08 AM
I don't think it would have been mentioned  in the papers due to keeping everything  hush hush   Fudge
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Son of Nomad on July 02, 2018, 03:43 PM
Mmmm yes ... good point Fudge.
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on July 02, 2018, 05:50 PM
Hi Albert ... I wonder if I knew your Uncle Eric Saxon...although as very young girls (14 and up), the older ladies watched over us quite diligently so we didn't get into any trouble or mischief!   ;D   It seemed to me to be a very busy place with the Works Stores and where they anodized and dyed Rivets, etc. in huge vats on the ground floor - where they also had the big boss's front offices. and Personnel.    We used to clock in and out by going in  by the large bay door at the far end of South St., but there was also another small door almost as soon as you reached the mill itself.  So many memories of starting to work there.
My first job for about a month (before the office work and working for Mr. Gascoigne) was dipping narrow felt strips into a tub of lanolin and using a hand-wringer clipped onto the tub to squeeze them out, before they were folded lengthwise and then glued into brackets to be used in the wings, etc.   I can still smell that awful-smelling yellow glue (Bostick) where about 12 ladies sat around a long wooden bench to work.  (How on earth did we win the war with such highly-efficient equipment????). 
I don't really know much about any aircraft that might have been downed around there - I think Woodhead Tunnel was the only place I remember any big bombs being dropped in that area but that was before I was 14 and still evacuated in Hollingworth.    From what I've learned on here since then, I think it was a quite industrialized area, but for me the Odeon Theatre that was across the road and facing South St. was my big landmark, with all the new coloured pictures (Dubarry was a Lady, etc.), when I first met my husband who was a Firefighter in the RCAF stationed in Yorkshire and visiting his relatives in Tameside, but that's another story all by itself, which then brings Ashton Palais into the story.   Great and wonderful days even though it was Wartime.     8) :) :)   Joyce
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Albert on July 02, 2018, 09:18 PM
I see your husband was a fire man in Yorkshire so was I for three years at Driffield East York's 1950-1953  small world Albert
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Kiwi on July 02, 2018, 10:55 PM
I don't think it would have been mentioned  in the papers due to keeping everything  hush hush   Fudge
My thoughts exactly, loose lips sink ships and all that  ;)
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on July 03, 2018, 03:18 AM
I see your husband was a fire man in Yorkshire so was I for three years at Driffield East York's 1950-1953  small world Albert
Sorry, Albert.... Art was with RCAF 427 Squadron stationed at Leeming and Skipton-on-Swale, in Yorkshire from 1942 (not 1941 as I said) until 1945 with No. 6 group, Bomber Command..  He arrived back in Canada on VJ Day.   It was in May 1944 he was blown off his crash truck and very badly injured as they were going to the rescue of those from a Lancaster Bomber that had crash-landed with a full bomb-load on board.   

Sorry I've gone "off-topic" folks, but in those days, one thing seemed to lead to another!!  And it was all too true, Fudge and Kiwi, that everyone at that tme was discouraged by big posters on bill boards from talking or reporting on such goings on as to where things were or events taking place.   I've often wondered what would have happened if everyone would have had today's technology, such as cell phones and the internet prevalent now and with all the current "social media"!  WOW!!  :o    Joyce
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: KENNETHO on July 03, 2018, 05:52 AM
we  had a close  friend that was in the bomber  command  as a rear gunner but poor guy never  got back from the dam buster raids. he just lived a few doors from us in hope  st.  my 2 brothers and i played football or cricket with him  on the street or cedar  park almost  daily he was just like a brother  to us.                                                                                   
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: greeny on July 11, 2018, 11:23 AM
hi joyce in canada its that time of the year again ,have a happy birthday 21 again enjoy the day  :D best wishes greeny x
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on July 11, 2018, 12:36 PM
Thank you so very much, Greeny, for remembering!!   It's still only 7:30a.m. here and already it looks as though it's going to be another lovely sunny day, as it usually is on Jully 11th.    I'm so very thankful for my reasonably good health at this old age, and just got my car plate sticker renewed for two more years, so here's hoping it wasn't a waste of good money!   ;) ;)   I have my niece and her husband visiting for today, with another niece from Edmonton, and they're taking me out for a lovely dinner.   Then they're going home (long distance).    It should be another great and happy day for me.   :) Joyce
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Kiwi on July 12, 2018, 02:21 AM
A belated many happy returns  :)
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Son of Nomad on July 12, 2018, 10:15 AM
Well done Joyce and “Many Happy Returns" from Son of Nomad. I’m reminded of the old BBC radio programme ‘Have A Go’ with Wilfred Pickles (anyone else remember that?). Whenever the programme visited a town where there was someone of good age, he would always ask them for their secret of a long life. They often said something like “A tot of whisky every day”. I don’t know what your secret might be Joyce but being an Ashtonian must have helped – my theory anyway!
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Joyce_in_Canada on July 12, 2018, 02:29 PM
Hi Kiwi, and to Son of Nomad!  Thank you so much for your nice birthday wishes!  I had a great day.   Funny you should mention the secret of longevity though SON - when the eye Doctor. (doing my cataract surgery this last Feb) asked me what I thought was the reason for my longevity and still looking so good (his words not mine!).....I just blurted out..."well, of course, being born in Ashton in the U.K.!!!!!"  He hadn't a clue where Ashton is, but he said he wished he could find some of whatever that was and use it for himself!  True story - I kid you not!!!    ;) ;) ;)  Joyce
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: KENNETHO on July 13, 2018, 02:52 AM
happy  birthday  Joyce a little bit  late but  all the best it"s  just  a number anyway  cheers
Title: Re: Guide Bridge Mill
Post by: Fudge on July 13, 2018, 11:17 AM
Hope you had a great Birthday Fudge