Foundry workers are often forgotten in the industrial history of the Forest of Dean, since many of the iron works were closed and eclipsed by the growth of coal mining. The tinplate industry persited for many years afterwards, with the last tin plate works in Lydney fighting for survival in the 1950s. In the post war years the smaller and older Forest tinplate industry and coal mines were fighting to compete with imports and larger plants by being more productive.
In our third podcast we heard how Norchard colliery broke productivity records. In 1950, the group of tin platers in the photograph below were rewarded for their productivity. Tin platers worked in blazing hot conditions, hence the neck scarves to soak up the sweat. You will also see the tools used to throw the red hot steel through rollers. It was dangerous work. The photograph, from left to right, includes the under manager, Mr Davis the Works Manager, an unknown person, Harry Hinton, Jack Hammond, Mr Skelton, 'Chunky Mike' and two more unknown people. We would like to know the names of all the tinplaters in this photograph, so we would be grateful if you could share this post and let us know if you recognise any of them.
There were tinplaters in Lydney in the 1820s and the Lower Forge site was fully established in 1844. With the nationalisation of steel in 1951 the works became part of the Steel Co. of Wales. Being part of a larger industry meant that 'rationalisation' was inevitable and the plant closed in 1957.
If you want to hear what it was like to work in the tinplate works, then listen to Mike Hinton who worked there with his father in our third podcast you can find through this link: