Top bosses and a great set of workmates at this Sunderland plant

We promised you a further reflection on Pyrex '“ and here goes with another set of great reminders of a factory you loved.

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 11:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 11:06 am
Glass blowing in action.

This was a story which attracted the interest of nearly 23,000 of you and lots of people said they either worked there or had relatives who did.

And one message which came out of the trip down Memory Lane was – what a great set of workers you all were.

The end of commercial glass production at the site.

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One of those to pay tribite to his colleagues from the time was Gary Spoors who said: “Started in 1989 and worked there until it closed in 2007. Cornings were great employers, made friends for life there.”

Richy Brown said: “Worked in the blow ware factory. Wish I was still there, made some good friends.”

Vera Young was another fan and said: “Me and my hubby worked there. Loved it. Was a sad day when it was closed. Happy memories.”

Those memories just kept on coming and others to get in touch included Neil Winfield who said: “Worked there from 1994 until it closed in 2007. Couldn’t ask for a better set of workmates.”

Demolition work starts on the former Cornings/Pyrex site, Pallion.

Sheila Jameson worked on the twilight shift in the early 70s and said: “Loved it, made some good friends.”

Neil Patrick Molloy had “some great laughs”, and Mark Patterson told us: “My first real job was in Corning. Loved it. Shame how it has all gone now. Pyrex sale day was great.”

It was in 2007 that production came to an end but the factory’s days were numbered when news broke months earlier that the neighbouring Corning plant was to close. The two factories were originally part of Sunderland Glass Works and were split in 1994 when Corning sold the domestic glassware side of the business to Newell Rubbermaid, which sold it on to Arc in October 2005.

Edith Marie Burns described her days there as “happy times with lots of laughs but hot! xx”.

The end of commercial glass production at the site.

Dawn Taylor told us: “My nana worked there for years. She loved it.”

A tradition of commercial glass making began on Wearside in the Seventh Century when Sunderland’s patron saint Benedict Biscop brought Gallic craftsmen from France to create stained-glass windows for the monastery he was building at Monkwearmouth.

In 2007, Arc Glass announced that it was to close its Millfield works with the loss of 240 jobs. The last consignment of glass came off the line in September that year.

In its heyday, it was even a factory where romance blossomed.

Demolition work starts on the former Cornings/Pyrex site, Pallion.

Denise Bailey said: “It’s where my mam and dad met. My dad was a glàss blower and my mam was in packing.”

Joanne Smith commented: “My dad Lol Doran was a glass blower there. His dad before that Paddy Doran was also a glass blower there.”

Margaret Clarke told us her dad Wes was “a glass blower for 48 years, Jimmy Hutchinson (hutchy).”

Scott Noble commented: “Worked there just before it closed, was good.”

And still the memories kept on coming. As well as reaching 23,000 people with our story, we also around 90 comments and a similar number of likes on our social media post - including from Angelika Heslop, Barry Wilson, Yvonne Gray, Jean Dawson, Michael Rayner and Audrey Rock. Thanks to them all.

Thanks also to Lynda Pringle who said: “My Mam worked there for years, Margaret Walton.”

Lynda asked: “Did any one know her x.”

If you did, why not get in touch by emailing [email protected] with your recollections.

Tom Card said: “Worked there in the transport department. Good times” and Mary Smithson Hewison’s husband worked there on the night shift in 1969.

Paul Tidey told us: “I worked there in quality control for 3 years, 1985” and Ray Briggs said: “My Aunt Ivy worked at Pyrex just after the Second World War when she got out of the ATS.”

Two others to work there were Amanda Bankswho was on line packing for three years and Steven Wright who said: “Worked in blowware ... would go back in a flash if it reopened.”

We thank Chris Honeyman Beirne who told us: “Fab picture, worked there from 1983 to 2001.”

Angie Pearn was in “decorating and packer. Had some great times” while Jimmy Annan said it was the “best job I have had.”