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Underwoods apprentices 1960

Serving my apprenticeship

I served my apprenticeship at Underwoods from 1959 until 1963 and then my last year was with ITT Creed. I finished as a junior draughtsman before moving to E&P Designs in Portslade. Whilst at Underwoods they did not treat any of the apprentices as cheap labour. Every Thursday afternoon we had an apprentice meeting where we could call on any supervisor or management staff to give us a talk about their respective department how and where they operated and fitted in to the whole organisation. Creed was certainly not organised the same.

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A good working life

For those that remember Marji and I. We emigrated to South Africa in 1972 after working for myself as a mechanical designer for 2 years in UK. I have worked at most of the car plants in SA as a tool designer, self employed most of the time in 1993. I began working in the mining industry, designing heavy rotating machinery, retiring in 2009. Not a bad working life 1959-2009.

Apologies for missing names

The photograph was taken at King Alfred Swimming Pool, which was boarded over for winter and shows most of the apprentices at the time. Sorry for the missing names. L-R 1 – ?; 2 – Terry & Marj: 3 – Keith Pratt; 4 – Dave Royston & Mary; 5 – Peter Clements; 6 – Dave Finney; no names for the rest.

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Underwoods apprentices in 1960
From the private collection of Tony Burke

Comments about this page

  • I have just seen the picture of the Underwoods Apprentices Dinner and Dance. The girl sitting on my lap is Brenda Johnson my girl friend at the time and John Mathews’ (a senior manager of the firm) secretary. I will try to identify the others shortly.

    By Keith Pratt (28/04/2015)
  • Hi Dave, I worked with you at C.P. Designs in that little office in the Lanes I have often wondered where we all ended up. I too stuck with tool design up to my retirement. I am still fit and well , and hope the same for you.

    By Tony Caig (02/06/2020)

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