Plessey’s posting sparks the imagination of thousands

The photo, showing workers sitting outside of Plessey's, which prompted a massive response online.
The photo, showing workers sitting outside of Plessey's, which prompted a massive response online.

Wow, Plessey’s South Shields factory must have been a great place to work, judging by the comments posted on Facebook after we popped a photo of workers sitting outside in the sunshine.

For almost 30,000 of you viewed it, with many leaving wonderful comments about the factory and the people who used to work there.

Lynn Laidler said her mother, Olive Laidler at the time, worked at Plessey’s. “She used to drop the three of us to Laygate nursery before she went to work.

“I was only small but can remember getting dropped off and having a nap in the cots or the green floor beds.”

Deborah James told us: “My mum Margaret Billson worked there and she loved the girls and the camaraderie. Sadly she has advanced Alzheimer’s and now lives in Sussex. But I know it was a very happy time for her at Plessey’s, where she used to make resistors, I think.”

Linda Miller posted: “I worked there from 1969, I was only 15. There was Lynda Pipin, John Lees, Chris Flood, all my age. My name was Linda Harwood, then Miller. I worked with some fab people, we were like family.”

Carol Hartill took to Facebook to say: “I worked there from 1969 to 1976 (hot summer). Dot Burrel was supervisor, good times. I worked with Anne Gibson and Marje Spiller. I moved from Shields, now in Blyth.”

Maureen Glister added: “I worked there on the switch line, Iris Green was the charge-hand then had Dot Burrel. My husband Malcolm Glister worked there as well, on cable-making, loved working there.”

There was a similar reponse from Liz Wetherill, who went onto Facebook to post: “I worked in South Shields Plessey’s in early 1970s, also my brother Ken Chapman did before he went to Canada, loved working there.”

Jackie Howard stated: “Good wages, good mates and plenty laughs, Vi Deans, Gloria Manning, me, Jackie Howard used to drive the male supervisor mad, happy days.”

John Dodds explained that: “My mum worked there from around 1969 till 1972 before we moved to Australia. Her name is Edna Dodds, does anyone remember her?”

Jenny Gandy is also an ex-Plessey girl, saying: “ Worked at Plessey’s, loved it, me and my husband Dave made some good friends.”

Marion Nicholson tells how she: “Worked there six years, my husband Norman Drummond also worked there from 1973-1983.”

But not everyone enjoyed their time there, as Susan Sinclair reveals: “My sister Lesley Jobling was a supervisor there in the late 60s and 70s, I worked there for a little while, I hated it.” However, Susan seems to have been the exception to the rule, as Kathleen Hayes suggests: I worked at Plesseys, I loved it, one big family, I worked on inspection.”

Laurence Younger also has happy memories of his time there, saying: “Worked there when it became ISL, stayed for 18 years until its closure,had some good mates there.”

Marion Scott Butler posted: “I worked there til 1971, best job ever, great people to work with, salt of the earth.”

Jennie Vose revealed that: “My brother-in-law Henry Morris worked there in the late sixties, known as Gerry Monroe when he sang in the clubs”, while Carly Wilson said: “ My nana worked there in 2000, in the drill room, before it was closed.” Watch out for more Plessey memories next week.