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Photograph of Bill Bendelow

Bill Bendelow

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.

Photograph of Bill Bendelow
Photograph of Bill Bendelow

Sounds and smells

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"Apart from the smells there were the noises as well, when the engines were running. And I think the Doxford engine went in the form of “bombedy-bom, bombedy-bom, bombedy-bom,”"

Apart from the smells there were the noises as well, when the engines were running. And I think the Doxford engine went in the form of “bombedy-bom, bombedy-bom, bombedy-bom,” that’s as near as damn it I can give you, the sound. But it was a good sound because sometimes we used to run the engines twenty-four hours a day, or maybe for a full week, or maybe more, and they used to be running through the night, and of course the people that lived local didn’t like this, “bombedy-bom, bombedy-bom,” and I’ve seen them complain to the parish priest about it. They said, “is it necessary to run these engines?” but, so we had to, you see, because they were special tests. So there was the smell and there were noises. In fact, that’s what the whole river lacks now, is the noise. It’s so quiet, you know, in the old days, riveting hammers, caulking hammers, buzzers blowing- yes, it’s gone all quiet.

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This memory has these themes:
Change | Environment | Sounds and Smells | The North East

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