Ford Dagenham workers reminisce

A FORD toolmakers reunion this year was such a huge success that the organisers are already planning the next one. Old apprentices and toolmakers gathered to talk about days gone by at the Basildon Sports Club on Friday May 22. This is the first time a

A FORD toolmakers' reunion this year was such a huge success that the organisers are already planning the next one.

Old apprentices and toolmakers gathered to talk about days gone by at the Basildon Sports Club on Friday May 22.

This is the first time a reunion of this nature has been attempted by past Ford Dagenham workers and its success has spurred organisers, Dave Brown and Jim Thompson, into action as they plan the next shindig.

Dave said: "It was a fantastic night. Many of the ex Ford workers who attended are in their 80s now but their memories are better than mine!


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"They would sit and talk about starting out at Ford in the 40s and I can hardly remember what happened when I started my training."

The idea to hold the get-together was sparked when Dave and Jim started asking old colleagues for photographs as many had been lost when a flash flood hit the Toolroom in the 1990s.

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They wanted to use the pictures to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of the Toolroom and the response they got was overwhelming.

Within two months Dave and Jim were sifting through hundreds of photographs, some dating back to World War II.

The duo decided that if there was this much interest in the old Toolroom that perhaps a reunion would be a good idea.

Over 200 people turned up, including four former Ford instructors; Jack Waddle, Dick Thomas, now in his 90s, Stan Woodbridge and Charlie Massie.

Over �1,200 was raised for McMillan Cancer Support and more than 1,500 old photographs were uncovered.

Now another reunion evening is being planned for next year and Dave and Jim want to hear from anyone who did not make it to the last party.

Anyone with old photographs or other Ford memorabilia should contact Dave on 0208 526 1473 or email: dbrown91@ford.com or email Jim at: jthomp70@ford.com.

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