Bill belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
Bill was born in Sunderland in 1927. He served his apprenticeship at the Doxford Engine Works, starting fifth January 1942. After five years at sea he returned to Doxford's where he worked until its closure in March 1987. Bill was the last person to leave Doxford's and was given the task of switching off the power to the works.
Bill was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 26 January 2006. The interview took place at Sunderland Museum and lasted 40 minutes and 53 seconds.
Returning to Doxford's after the merchant navy
"The fact that I was going through the same gate as I was as an apprentice, yes, I did pick up again"
The fact that I was going through the same gate as I was as an apprentice, yes, I did pick up again, but instead of going up on the engine works and the machines, or the erecting shop, I went down to the quay for the installation department. And thatís, thatís me fixed there right until 1969. But in 1969, I was, by 1969, I had gone through the stages of charge hand and, I was always a fitter at the quay in í54 to, say, í56, and then I was charge hand from í56 to í57, then I got a foremanís job from í58 to, í57 to í58.
And then I got a managerís job, assistant managerís job, and then in 1969, in 1969, sorry, before then, in 1965, I took over as manager, I took over from David Aris. I was working for David Aris down at the quay, he was the manager, I was assistant to him- he had about four assistant managers. And he left, he left about í65, round about, round about when the North Sands was coming to be built and finishing her sail and things like that.
And I took over so I looked after the North Sands being built and, and then in 1969, he had what you called a Geddes Report came out, a Geddes Report, which said that in future, engineering works will not look after the installation of their engines into, on the ships. Itíll be the responsibility of the shipyard, right. So Iím down there, Iíve always been an engine works man so I got a choice- do you want to go back up into the engine works or do you want to stay down? Well, I think the answer was, I was really, I took a hint that the best way to go back up to the engine works because they already had their own managers, you see, in the ship yard.
Bill has 13 memories in the memorynet:
Bill's memories with a The North East theme:
- First day at Doxfordís
- Staying until the closure of Doxford's
- Industrial action at Doxford's
- Sounds and smells
- What does the sea mean to you?
- First trip to sea
Bill's other memories: