Bad weather failed to dampen spirits

(bottom: left to right) Denis Hart, Denis Bowman, Dave Forder, Richie Hall, Steve Johnson, Les Hardman and Robin Popplewell
(bottom: left to right) Denis Hart, Denis Bowman, Dave Forder, Richie Hall, Steve Johnson, Les Hardman and Robin Popplewell

HARDY colleagues braved the elements to make sure a works reunion was a success.

The yearly Foster Wheeler Power Products reunion, held in The Clarendon pub in Tower Street, Hartlepool, went ahead despite torrential rain and flooding one blustery Friday night last month.

The get-together usually attracts between 40 and 45 people. But 14 of the former colleagues of the now-defunct Brenda Road-based firm managed to make it along.

Reunion organiser Ian Campbell said: “The weather was horrendous that night. I had a few phone calls from people in the collieries and Billingham saying they couldn’t come.

“Fourteen of us turned up, but we still had a good night, we didn’t let it dampen anything.”

But despite the weather, Les Hardman and Dennis Hart did make it down the A19 from East Durham.

Ian, who worked as a turner and later a shop steward for the firm from 1980 to 1990, the year it closed, said among those who turned up was George Cooper, who reckons he is probably the oldest of the remaining lads left at 85.

He added that there was a new face at the reunion – Bob Hodgeson, who worked in the boiler room.

The firm’s former quality manager Eddie Johnson attended in 2011 and 2012, but sadly passed away in March, aged 82.

Eddie’s son, Stephen, who also worked for Foster Wheelers, went along this year.

Grandfather-of-two Ian, from Queensland Road, added: “Quite a few spoke about Eddie.

“I’m glad people came along. We have got to keep it going.

“Hopefully we will get more next year.”