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Tubes Limited

Norm Degenetais

Brummie babby
Hello again Marg. I have fond memories of your Dad, Don. He was a gem of a man. As I said, I worked in the office for over 6 years, and they where all great guys to work with, but Don was always that polite, kind and helpful. I dont ever recall him losing his temper once, and he was really good at his job. Im sorry to hear that he is no longer with us. I liked Don. Regarding the wall collapse, I too vagually remember that, but I thought it might have occured earlier than ,72. I believe there where a couple of men killed that day. It was over by the effluent plant, if I remember right. Anyway, its been great to talk to you, and as I say, drop me a line anytime you like. Not a bad site at all this is it ? Best wishes, Barry.
Hi Bazz I too worked in the foreman's office the same time as you.
I remember you leaving for Scotland. My name is Norman.
I worked with Don, George and Bill. I stayed with the forge until it's demise in the crash of 2008. After the end of the tubes business. The forge was the only thing to survive. It was never the same.
I came across this site by accident but so glad I did.
Hopefully have more info later
 

BazzM

master brummie
Well,well,well. After all these years, who would have thought ? It's great to hear from you Norman. I'm so pleased you managed to find this fantastic history site. I have been a member since Jan.20, 2003, and i look on here every day. There is so much Brum history here (as you would expect), but the members are so friendly and helpful. I don't know if you've had a chance to take a proper look around it yet, but make sure you do, it's great. So how are you, what's your lifestyle like, do you still work, or like me, retired ? I started this thread regarding Tubes Ltd on 23/1/2003, and,when you get time, go back to page 1, and start reading. For years i used to correspond with the guy called Astonian. His name was Alan, and he was a crane driver in the forge for a number of years. Unfortunately he passed away a couple of years ago, but he was a great BHF friend, and the stories he shared were brilliant. Well Norman, as you may have seen, i am still up here in a town named BEITH in N.Ayrshire. Lived here now for 43 years, and love the area. I look forward to hearing from you again soon, so we can share our memories of the good times we had all that time ago. Best wishes from Bonnie Scotland. Barry.
 

Norm Degenetais

Brummie babby
Well,well,well. After all these years, who would have thought ? It's great to hear from you Norman. I'm so pleased you managed to find this fantastic history site. I have been a member since Jan.20, 2003, and i look on here every day. There is so much Brum history here (as you would expect), but the members are so friendly and helpful. I don't know if you've had a chance to take a proper look around it yet, but make sure you do, it's great. So how are you, what's your lifestyle like, do you still work, or like me, retired ? I started this thread regarding Tubes Ltd on 23/1/2003, and,when you get time, go back to page 1, and start reading. For years i used to correspond with the guy called Astonian. His name was Alan, and he was a crane driver in the forge for a number of years. Unfortunately he passed away a couple of years ago, but he was a great BHF friend, and the stories he shared were brilliant. Well Norman, as you may have seen, i am still up here in a town named BEITH in N.Ayrshire. Lived here now for 43 years, and love the area. I look forward to hearing from you again soon, so we can share our memories of the good times we had all that time ago. Best wishes from Bonnie Scotland. Barry.
Hello again Bazz. When you emigrated to Scotland which I calculated to be about 1977/78 nothing much changed in the forge for a few years. In fact there were a couple of years when the forge were financing the whole of the TITubes site with an order for the oil industry. In fact Cheston road site was turned over to a production line for the drill rods having both an Ajax No7 and the GFM3 working virtually 24 hours. I think the foremen then were
Ginger Ford and Jim sorry forgotten his surname
I don't know if you would remember our bosses where Roy Bigland and Colin Baird. We also had a boss named Derek Garatt who came down from the drawing office. I then went into the main office to work which I think was about 1980. I actually achieved the status of becoming the office supervisor. Which in retrospect may have been a step to far for me. Because it involved giving promise deliveries
to customers. Now you will probably remember that the shop floor operated their own on time delivery system depending on how they felt. Then I'm the 80's everything started going down hill. I will leave it there for the moment because I feeling I'm ranting a bit. I will try to find some photographs and upload them on to the site
 

Andy1

proper brummie kid
Hello, just spotted this thread about Tubes Limited (TI). My Dad, William Millward used to work here many years ago (I remember it being late seventies and early eighties) not sure of the time he started. I just wondered if anyone remembers him or has any photos of him. Thank you (P.S. He would of been known as 'Bill' I'm sure). I used to look forward to and enjoy the works Christmas parties for the children - especially the present off Father Christmas.
 
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BazzM

master brummie
Hello Andy1. I don't remember your Dad's name, but don't give up hope. Can you tell me where about at Tubes he worked ? Our latest bit of chat has been regarding the Forge Dept, but there are other people that talk about other departments on here too. Would be great for you to find someone here who recalls your Dad, and even better if you get any pictures. If we can help in any way, please feel free to post here. Good luck.
 

BazzM

master brummie
Hello again Norman. Regarding your first post, i too remember Don Fell,George Kershaw and i take it Bill Antrobus ? And regarding post No.2, I did move to Scotland in October '77. I still remember Ginger Ford and Jim Jeffries ?, and spoke to his brother John Jeffries on here some time ago. I also remember Roy Bigland & Colin Baird. Do youremember Jack Fairweather ? I liked Jack, a very nice man, and when he heard i was moving up here, he told me he had a brother who lived up her too, but for the life of me, i can't recall where. You say you worked there until 2008 and i'm pretty sure it was round about 2006 when i arranged to visit the old forge when it was owned by someone else. Some guy contacted me years ago to say that he had our old office in the forge, and that i would be welcome to visit whenever i wanted to, just arrange it with him, and turn up, so i did that. I got took around the whole of the forge, and the upstairs offices, where, amongst the rubbish on the floor, we came across a pile of Tubes Ltd books, of which i have one up here now. If i can find the pics i took on my visit, i will put them up for you, and i certainly look forward to seeing any that you have. Once again Norman, it is great to hear from you. Speak again soon. Cheers for now, Barry.
 

Punch

knowlegable brummie
Hello again Bazz. When you emigrated to Scotland which I calculated to be about 1977/78 nothing much changed in the forge for a few years. In fact there were a couple of years when the forge were financing the whole of the TITubes site with an order for the oil industry. In fact Cheston road site was turned over to a production line for the drill rods having both an Ajax No7 and the GFM3 working virtually 24 hours. I think the foremen then were
Ginger Ford and Jim sorry forgotten his surname
I don't know if you would remember our bosses where Roy Bigland and Colin Baird. We also had a boss named Derek Garatt who came down from the drawing office. I then went into the main office to work which I think was about 1980. I actually achieved the status of becoming the office supervisor. Which in retrospect may have been a step to far for me. Because it involved giving promise deliveries
to customers. Now you will probably remember that the shop floor operated their own on time delivery system depending on how they felt. Then I'm the 80's everything started going down hill. I will leave it there for the moment because I feeling I'm ranting a bit. I will try to find some photographs and upload them on to the site
Hi Norman I think I can remember you working for Ti Tubes. We’re you a progress chaser in the main Foreman’s office during the 1970/80s and worked with Trevor Medland who became a progress chaser after working on the Ajax’s.You must be one of the longest serving employees to have worked in the Forge.I often think about Colin Baird who I had a lot respect for because he helped me whilst I worked at Tubes do you know what happened to him.
 

Norm Degenetais

Brummie babby
Hi Norman I think I can remember you working for Ti Tubes. We’re you a progress chaser in the main Foreman’s office during the 1970/80s and worked with Trevor Medland who became a progress chaser after working on the Ajax’s.You must be one of the longest serving employees to have worked in the Forge.I often think about Colin Baird who I had a lot respect for because he helped me whilst I worked at Tubes do you know what happened to him.
Hello I do remember Trevor Medland. Very outgoing and optimistic.i seem to remember he had a liking for cars? Do you know how he is at the moment?
Colin Baird was a nice man always helpful. In the 1990s he had a spate of illness first gullstones then he had a heart bypass so I think he had to retire. No idea of his current circumstances.
I do recall after. Colin left the company the was a major change in managerial style and the beginning of the end of the forge.
 

Norm Degenetais

Brummie babby
In fact Norman, if you look on #242 you will see the pics.
Hi Bazz looked at your pictures I see dated 2006. I was definitely there then even though I know I took a lot of time off.
I wonder who the person was that let you look around?
The pictures seem to show a lot of the stocks that we couldn't get rid of. By the way the company then was called Heartlands Extrusion Forge. Did you notice that the old Tubes work site was now an industrial estate. I will add that the years 2006 to 2008 were dire. But that information is for an email rather than this forum. Speak to you soon
In fact Norman, if you look on #242 you will see the pics.
 

Punch

knowlegable brummie
Hello I do remember Trevor Medland. Very outgoing and optimistic.i seem to remember he had a liking for cars? Do you know how he is at the moment?
Colin Baird was a nice man always helpful. In the 1990s he had a spate of illness first gullstones then he had a heart bypass so I think he had to retire. No idea of his current circumstances.
I do recall after. Colin left the company the was a major change in managerial style and the beginning of the end of the forge.
Hi Norman thanks for the information about Colin I know what it’s like to have gallstones and it’s not very pleasant.
Don’t know what become of Trevor but I remember his Dad Jack past away during the late 1970s of a heart attack.
In my opinion the Forging Department started its decline in the 1980s when Ti Desford took it over due to there poor management skills in the Forging industry.You must have experienced a lot of changes during your employment in the Forging Department.
 

BazzM

master brummie
Hello Punch. Just read your reply to Norman, and didn't realise till now, that Trevor Medland is the son of Jack Medland. I don't know why seeing the name Medland didn't ring a bell with me ? I worked in the foremans office alongside Jack, and the other guys, but just can't realise why the name Medland didn't come to me straight away. I was in that office for 7 years, and thoroughly enjoyed working with those great men, and must say, Jack was a real gentleman. Sorry to hear he passed away in the '70s. I hope my memory wakes up again if i see more names mentioned, that i should recall.
 

Punch

knowlegable brummie
Hello Punch. Just read your reply to Norman, and didn't realise till now, that Trevor Medland is the son of Jack Medland. I don't know why seeing the name Medland didn't ring a bell with me ? I worked in the foremans office alongside Jack, and the other guys, but just can't realise why the name Medland didn't come to me straight away. I was in that office for 7 years, and thoroughly enjoyed working with those great men, and must say, Jack was a real gentleman. Sorry to hear he passed away in the '70s. I hope my memory wakes up again if i see more names mentioned, that i should recall.
Hi Bazz Jack worked on the Ajax’s upset Forging machines and was made up to Supervisor working with Jimmy Jeffries another Gent I must say , but how strange both died of heart attack Jack in the 70s and Jimmy in the 80s.
Here’s a few names you may recall Ronnie Evans brilliant all rounder,Billy Weir a bit accident prone,Billy Latham worked at Tubes for decades but never late,Big Dave Millard always reading a news paper,Bill Silvester such a gent,Chris Lowe manager before Colin Baird.Albert Porter senior Foreman production main office.
So these few names should wake up some brain cells Bazz
 

BazzM

master brummie
Hi Punch. I remember most of the names you mention, plus others like Don Fell, Bill Antrobus, John Jeffries, Bill McCool, Ted Bilston, Ginger Ford. I agree about Jimmy Jeffries, he was great, always there to offer help, and big Dave Millard, he was a great guy too. It's great to remember people like these, i really enjoyed my time, knowing, and working with them. Pity we can't turn back the clock, but at least we still remember them.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Hi Punch. I remember most of the names you mention, plus others like Don Fell, Bill Antrobus, John Jeffries, Bill McCool, Ted Bilston, Ginger Ford. I agree about Jimmy Jeffries, he was great, always there to offer help, and big Dave Millard, he was a great guy too. It's great to remember people like these, i really enjoyed my time, knowing, and working with them. Pity we can't turn back the clock, but at least we still remember them.
Buzz, you are so right! We can’t turn back the clock but we can still enjoy the memories of the folks we were associated with, good & not so good. I have a friend here in the US who is a manufactures agent (his fathers business before his) that I have known for about 45 years. We talk everymonth or so and have dinner around Christmas time and a couple of other times during the year. The memories and conversations are “feel good” times for both of us!
 

BazzM

master brummie
Richarddye, I know what you mean too. That's really good that you keep in touch with a friend after all those years. In fact (i don't know if you recall), but back in the '60/'70s, there used to a lot of people having Pen Friends. Well i had a pen-pal over in the States named Rosanne, and would you believe it, we are still pen-pals to this day. Rosanne and i started writing to each other in 1966, and still chat regularly. That's 54 years (and counting), and i was really lucky back in 2015 when she and her husband actually managed to fly over here to Scotland for a holiday with myself and my family. We have been through a lot of things together over the years, and we wouldn't change a thing, and are both grateful that we connected all that time ago. Well my friend, you keep that connection with your friend going, and all the best to you.
 

Richarddye

master brummie
Richarddye, I know what you mean too. That's really good that you keep in touch with a friend after all those years. In fact (i don't know if you recall), but back in the '60/'70s, there used to a lot of people having Pen Friends. Well i had a pen-pal over in the States named Rosanne, and would you believe it, we are still pen-pals to this day. Rosanne and i started writing to each other in 1966, and still chat regularly. That's 54 years (and counting), and i was really lucky back in 2015 when she and her husband actually managed to fly over here to Scotland for a holiday with myself and my family. We have been through a lot of things together over the years, and we wouldn't change a thing, and are both grateful that we connected all that time ago. Well my friend, you keep that connection with your friend going, and all the best to you.
Bazz, I do remember pen friends or pals and had a couple. Unfortunately I was not very good at writing, the engineer in me wanted me to print everything and I just stopped. I have rekindled a few old friends in the US but non at home in Brum. I have tried to re connect to no avail. As we get older there are fewer and fewer folks to make connections with.
Congratulations in keeping the connection with Rosanne and her family!
 

Norm Degenetais

Brummie babby
Bazz, I do remember pen friends or pals and had a couple. Unfortunately I was not very good at writing, the engineer in me wanted me to print everything and I just stopped. I have rekindled a few old friends in the US but non at home in Brum. I have tried to re connect to no avail. As we get older there are fewer and fewer folks to make connections with.
Congratulations in keeping the connection with Rosanne and her family!
It's nice to read that others had good memories of their time working in the forge. And remembering the decent hard working guys who made the forging department a pleasant place to work,
Do you remember in the forging office we had that production board that supposed to track the jobs from beginning to the end. Well in from the late 80s thru to the 2000s we had academics , university graduates to whom it was total mystery of how it worked and how in the previous decades the forge had survived. Little did they know we who worked in the forging office didn't know how it worked either but relied on Bill Antrobus and Jack Fairweather to teach us how to make the forge work. It make me smile when I think of the guys and their unique way of working.
But unfortunately it makes me sad when I think of the final 3 years that turned working there into a nightmare.
 

Punch

knowlegable brummie
It's nice to read that others had good memories of their time working in the forge. And remembering the decent hard working guys who made the forging department a pleasant place to work,
Do you remember in the forging office we had that production board that supposed to track the jobs from beginning to the end. Well in from the late 80s thru to the 2000s we had academics , university graduates to whom it was total mystery of how it worked and how in the previous decades the forge had survived. Little did they know we who worked in the forging office didn't know how it worked either but relied on Bill Antrobus and Jack Fairweather to teach us how to make the forge work. It make me smile when I think of the guys and their unique way of working.
But unfortunately it makes me sad when I think of the final 3 years that turned working there into a nightmare.
Hi Norman
It's nice to read that others had good memories of their time working in the forge. And remembering the decent hard working guys who made the forging department a pleasant place to work,
Do you remember in the forging office we had that production board that supposed to track the jobs from beginning to the end. Well in from the late 80s thru to the 2000s we had academics , university graduates to whom it was total mystery of how it worked and how in the previous decades the forge had survived. Little did they know we who worked in the forging office didn't know how it worked either but relied on Bill Antrobus and Jack Fairweather to teach us how to make the forge work. It make me smile when I think of the guys and their unique way of working.
But unfortunately it makes me sad when I think of the final 3 years that turned working there into a nightmare.
Hi Norman isn’t strange in life there’s things you never forget like your moms Co op number or the old customer job numbers Vauxhall 13996,Rolls Royce 12701,Salisbury 13655/56,13622and the oldest I can remember is Morris 900.I bet you and Bazz can remember a few as well.
 
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Richarddye

master brummie
It's nice to read that others had good memories of their time working in the forge. And remembering the decent hard working guys who made the forging department a pleasant place to work,
Do you remember in the forging office we had that production board that supposed to track the jobs from beginning to the end. Well in from the late 80s thru to the 2000s we had academics , university graduates to whom it was total mystery of how it worked and how in the previous decades the forge had survived. Little did they know we who worked in the forging office didn't know how it worked either but relied on Bill Antrobus and Jack Fairweather to teach us how to make the forge work. It make me smile when I think of the guys and their unique way of working.
But unfortunately it makes me sad when I think of the final 3 years that turned working there into a nightmare.
Norm, I am one of those university graduates but came up the hard way. Apprenticeship for 5 years while going to school etc. Unfortunately what you describe is still alive and well today! I recently experienced this before I retired so I know for sure!
 
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