Gordon Clement Hobbs (1920-1999) - The Hadfield Years
Dad was to work at Dunford Hadfields for thirty two years before he was made redundant when the works closed in 1982.As far as I can ascertain he was based at the East Hecla Works at Vulcan Road and I can remember visiting him at work on a couple of occasions.
There is a photograph that was taken in the late 1950's that shows a tram unloading outside the East Hecla Works on Vulcan Road. The track was officially termed a works siding which allowed tramcars from all over the city to load and unload passengers way from the main route to Rotherham. Incidentally much of the track and crossings that were used by the trams were manufactured at the Works
The beginning of the end came in 1980 during the national steel strike. The firm being in the private sector was extensively picketed by those steelworkers who were employed by the publicly owned British Steel Corporation. The photograph below shows the extent of the picketing on Vulcan Road and the confrontation that occurred between the strikers and the police. Below the photograph is an article that appeared in The Times dated February 20th 1980 (page1 Issue 60555) that has the headline "Hadfields workers tell police of kicks and abuse from massed pickets"
After three months the strike was over and a massive redundancy program was initiated throughout the industry. The steel industry in Sheffield was decimated and two years later Hadfields was shut down .
The works was demolished soon after closure and the land was redeveloped to form part of the Meadowhall Shopping Complex. My dad along with many thousands felt bitter about the fate of the steel industry in Sheffield in general and Hadfields in particular. You work for a company for 32 years and it ends in a pile of rubble. Dad accepted "voluntary redundancy" and at the age of 61 finished his working life.
As a postscript, in October 2012 I was going through an old photo album, and I came across the following photo that I had never seen before. All it said was "Hadfields Works Outing". Looking at the photo I would date it late 1960's and possibly the location is "Bridlington"
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This page was last updated on 31/10/12 11:56