Daily Mirror Foundry, 1980s

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Many thanks to Ken Flemington for getting in touch with the site and sending these photographs in. Some pictures include Ken’s son!

General view of the foundry with (L-R): Brian Chalker, John Wakefield (chargehand) and Bob Teasel.
General view of the foundry with (L-R): Brian Chalker, John Wakefield (chargehand) and Bob Teasel.
Daily Mirror foundry
General view of foundry with autoshaver in foreground, conveyors to machine room on left, spare plate racks in middle, autocaster 1 far left, Wood 4/60 number 2 caster, and Wood 4/60 number 3 caster.

American Machines

Ken says: “The Woods were American machines which were only used as a last resort as they were extremely unreliable and difficult to fix when little things went wrong.”

Plate casting
Plate casting with Dave Webber operating number 5. The usual crew was an operator, one to remove the plate, one to remove the tang, one to keep the metal pot at the right level, and one to operate the shaver.
Autoshaver No.6 and a plate
Autoshaver No.6 and a plate.
Autoshaver
Another view of the autoshaver used to plane the plate to correct thickness and to mill grooves for gripping onto the press cylinder.
Autocaster
An Automatic Autocaster with a plate in the cast eject position. The core of these casters was cold water cooled, and rotated through 180 degrees one plate being cast while another was removed, and could cast 4 complete plates every minute. The usual run was around 36 plates with a further 2 spares.
Automatic Autocaster 4 with Les Floyd operating and Dave Large removing the plate.
Automatic Autocaster 4 with Les Floyd operating and Dave Large removing the plate.
Automatic Autoplate
Automatic Autoplate 4 with shaver in the foreground. In the rear right is the pot used to melt down the shavings and cast them into ingots for re-use. This was done on the day shift.
Plate casting
Plate casting, Les Floyd operating, Dave Large waiting for new plate to be ejected, Tom Harrison in foreground operating shaver, and Alan Hart on right keeping the metal level steady.

Says Ken: “This was my “crew,” the dwarfs, so called because we always worked a man short. The metal pots were electrically heated and held 7 tons of printing metal.

Holborn machine room showing the Goss Headliner presses.
Holborn machine room showing the Goss Headliner presses.
Daily Mirror mess room
This is the foundry rest room, or booby, in the summer of 1986. Reg Barber drinking from cup, standing (L-R): Tom Hatton, Roy Clark, Roy Tomlin, in striped t-shirt leaning forwards Dave Sherwood. Back to camera with bald spot Bob Venison.

Was the writing already on the wall when this photo was taken? The poster on the notice board at the back urges union members to attend a picket at Rupert Murdoch’s “Fortress Wapping.” – D.H.

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