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CliffB
Coventry
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151 of 162  Sun 6th Dec 2020 3:17pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2020  Total posts:65

On 8th Jun 2020 4:54am, mcsporran said: I used the Honeywell computer at Courtaulds several times. I worked at Unbrako in Burnaby Road 1969-73 on their Honeywell 200 machine. On a Thursday it was payroll processing day and if there was a maintenance problem with the machine that day, we would rush the magnetic tapes over to Courtaulds to run the payroll there. I think there was a reciprocal backup agreement but I don't recall the reverse operation. I think the Honeywell maintenance engineers had an office/parts store at Courtaulds or somewhere nearby to minimize any unscheduled downtime. It's hard to believe now that even a large company would have a single computer; but it would fill a room and needed scores of staff to keep it busy. Edited by member, 8th Jun 2020 5:29 am
Hi mcsporran, I wonder if you recognise these Smile Cliff
Courtaulds
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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152 of 162  Sun 6th Dec 2020 9:05pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1946

That takes me back, my first job at the EMEB in 1963. A punch card was produced for every bill sent out. When the bills were paid the cashier tore the stub off the end. I had the stubs from various showrooms and had to "pull" a card for each one, then put the cards in a machine that added them up and they had to balance to the stubs. Eventually what was left went to be debt collected. Loved that job, I was just 16 at the time.
Courtaulds
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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153 of 162  Thu 9th Sep 2021 8:42am  
Disabled: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3407

Courtaulds Little Heath spinning factory, entrance off Foleshill Road, next door to Dodds, delivery entrance in Old Church Road, built in 1925. Played a great role when Foleshill men lost pit jobs in 1927, its waste sent to waste ground at Sutton Stop, its chemicals trickled into streams that fed the Slough, killing birds, fish and plant life. Its polluted air was dangerous to workers, they built a large type greenhouse in the middle of the factory, put pipes in with nozzles that sprayed water, pumped the polluted factory air in, and that cleaned the chemicals - or that was the idea. It came to world fame in 1941 when it spun nylon thread, the great breakthrough.
Courtaulds
Helen F
Warrington
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154 of 162  Thu 9th Sep 2021 10:26am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2945

Yes that's where I worked. It was a fairly whiffy site when I started but that was due to the Flake plant - the initial stage of acetate. It combined acetic acid (vinegar) and wood pulp to produce a white plastic like powder. That was then used to produce yarns, clear coloured pellets (for use making things like toothbrush handles) and Filter Tow (cigarette filter material).
Courtaulds
argon
New Milton
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155 of 162  Thu 9th Sep 2021 11:22am  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:363

I have a lasting memory of playing in a football match at the ground that must have been near that plant in the 50's. Every breath was like drinking vinegar. We all played most of the match sucking boiled sweets.
Courtaulds
bk
Coventry
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156 of 162  Fri 7th Jan 2022 8:00pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2021  Total posts:18

Dear all My name is Ben Kyneswood. I run the Coventry Digital site and also a small arts organisation called Photo Miners. Through Photo Miners I have been digitising the archive of Richard Sadler. We've been given some funding to exhibit his post war Coventry work. There will be three exhibitions. One on the city centre, one on Courtaulds and one on art and the cathedral. The Courtaulds exhibition will be from mid March. Before then I really want to capture some stories of working there and in particular want to know if anyone knew Vera Furness or any of the women chemists. Any help or willingness to speak will be most welcome. To help with thinking, I've put this together. I'd appreciate anyone willing to explain what is going on in any of these images. Best Ben
b p kyneswood

Courtaulds
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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157 of 162  Fri 7th Jan 2022 8:16pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3749

Hi Ben, I was an accountant with Courtaulds Engineering, a subsidiary of the Courtaulds group. Over the years I did come into contact with some of the chemists, those working on carbon fibre, also Courlose. The name Vera rings a bell, as does Jeff Branston. My Courtaulds main works contacts were very scant, except for those directly involved with finance, as most of my activity was with external clients all over the UK. Sorry not to be of help. My post training years were from 1971. I started with the company as a trainee in 1965.
Courtaulds
Midland Red
Cherwell
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158 of 162  Fri 7th Jan 2022 8:40pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4956

Ben. I had two spells at Courtaulds late 1960s / early 1970s and certainly recall the name Vera Furness, but not with any detail which might help you. I wonder if Coventry Archives have copies of Rayon News, which might help you?
Courtaulds
bk
Coventry
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159 of 162  Sat 8th Jan 2022 10:46am  
Member: Joined Nov 2021  Total posts:18

Hi Phil and Midland Red Thanks for the help - I'll certainly check out Rayon News. I've been in touch with Jeff and Roger Medwell but am looking for more voices to explain the photographs and add some local flavour to the exhibition. I have some info on Vera Furness, from the Wiki but also from the Women in Science books, where she gets a few pages. No photographs sadly. She might even be one of the young women in the Sadler images - joined post PhD in 1951 as a young woman and rose to manage the research. Ben
b p kyneswood

Courtaulds
Helen F
Warrington
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160 of 162  Sat 8th Jan 2022 1:10pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2945

I think that some of the images are guessable - one looks like it's a power station (is that still there)? Weren't they going to turn it into a museum? I recognise the lab... although there may have been more than one. It was one of the few places that was still recognisable as it looked a lot like my school chemistry room. Enamel sinks embedded in wooden worktops and high arched taps. I seem to remember the window with shelving on the left as you looked out. I only saw the place after it was empty and gutted (well half of it, as one part was still working). We could hear the machines behind a fire escape door. We were there to do a massive safety audit because we had been given responsibility for it when it shut. It was a worrying place, to put it mildly. Much to my relief the place was soon sold to a window company.
Courtaulds
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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161 of 162  Sat 8th Jan 2022 3:24pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1946

Hi BK. There is a picture of Dr Vera Furness in the Coventry Evening Telegraph dated 23rd November 1972, in an article that says that Dr Vera Furness headed the Courtaulds research team which after 5 years work has come up with Kesp, vegetable protein food which may be used instead of meat. I could put it on here but I did not know if that would be correct, or if you contact me and send me your email address I can send it that way (I have found several more now).
Courtaulds
bk
Coventry
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162 of 162  Mon 10th Jan 2022 6:57pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2021  Total posts:18

Hi Annewiggy. This is wonderful news. Any info most welcome. I'll be chasing MirrorPix for this one. Best Ben
b p kyneswood

Courtaulds

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