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#532405 - 13th Jun 2011 11:06am Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd *****
cameraman Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Mar 2011
Posts: 147
Loc: Tranmere
Finally starting to get around to scanning some negs from the 80's.I'm having trouble uploading the images so have made a set in one of my flickr accounts. Sadly, the foundry is now long gone, another British Industry lost to the far east.If I have got any names wrong then I'm sorry as it's been nearly 30 years. Got loads more to scan (Yours will be in the next batch Phil ). Hope they bring back some memories. Just follow the link below
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birkenhead339/sets/72157626825840187/

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#532412 - 13th Jun 2011 11:36am Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
zigzagwanderer Online   content
Addict

Registered: 23rd Jan 2011
Posts: 293
Loc: Wallasey
Good pics Mike - & a good memory for names !
Looking forward to the next batch .
You in touch with anyone from back then ?

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#532415 - 13th Jun 2011 11:43am Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15987
Loc: New Brighton
I'll checkout the pics later, love to see what it used to be like.

One thing I will say though is it's still here, I'm here right now as this is where I work laugh
They're knocking one of the buildings down as I write this, the site has changed a lot over the 4 years I've been here.
They still refurbish the proppelers.
_________________________


http://www.youtube.com/user/stetopop

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#532416 - 13th Jun 2011 11:44am Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9875
Loc: Birkenhead
Fantastic - thanks for sharing thumbsup
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#532421 - 13th Jun 2011 12:06pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: zigzagwanderer]
cameraman Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Mar 2011
Posts: 147
Loc: Tranmere
No mate, I bumped into Georgie Weeks jnr, Jackie Hill and Wagger at my Auntie Jackie's funeral a couple of years ago.All the SMM directors turned up as well. What made me laugh was that Stone Marine, as they are called now, have a web site and have been using one of my photographs for the past few years without my permission. I still have the negatives so I think I will drop them a line with regards breach of copyright haha . The photographs so far are from the book I had printed about SMM that won the Runner up prize in the Short article competition at the British Foundry Industry awards in the early 80's.
Used to see Jackie Hill a lot when he was on the Taxi's and I used to see Frankie Proctor in the Wallasey RNA club when I used to pop in for a drink on Monday nights but that was a few years ago

Originally Posted By: zigzagwanderer
Good pics Mike - & a good memory for names !
Looking forward to the next batch .
You in touch with anyone from back then ?

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#532449 - 13th Jun 2011 12:58pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
Stegga Offline

Addict

Registered: 28th Feb 2009
Posts: 261
Loc: woodchurch
When I was a young'n, must have been aroung 81-82 I worked on the S.M.M. site. It was for the building firm that did the work to expand the pit to fit the prop in the last picture on the flikr page. While working on it we were told it was to create the largest prop in the world. Glad to see it came to fruition, even if it has been beaten since. It facinated me at the time to see how the props were made.

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#532490 - 13th Jun 2011 3:03pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
cameraman Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Mar 2011
Posts: 147
Loc: Tranmere
Added a few more to the original

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#532617 - 13th Jun 2011 6:39pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
I used to work on the furnaces in there as a sub contractor.
Always fascinated at the guys hand making the moulds and casting the props.
I also worked on the demolition machines when they pulled the place down. spent a fair bit of time on that site.
I remember one of the guys showing me the `mix` for the furnaces. It was to produce an alloy, not brass as some people think. There were copper water tanks and various different metals mixed in. Once, just after the first Iraq War, they had tea chests FULL of silver coloured coins about the size of a 10p. They were all mint and never issued....WITH SADDAMS FACE ON THEM!!!
I grabbed a handful, still got them somewhere. Wonder if worth anything?


Edited by hoseman (13th Jun 2011 6:40pm)
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IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

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#532651 - 13th Jun 2011 7:52pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: hoseman]
5020Chris Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 11th May 2008
Posts: 20
Loc: Moreton
Cameraman, great photo's. My great aunt worked at SMM in the late 40's as a metallurgist (spelling) and after she died a few years ago I called in and spoke with a Dr. Patience who is currently looking fo any old records of her working there and ther exact dates.
Cheers Chris.
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#532667 - 13th Jun 2011 8:34pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
CVCVCV Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
I remember my parents (Dad I think) telling me that SMM was one of the loudest places in the world to work, somethng to do with hammering on castings (propellers)? Does that sound right?

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#532668 - 13th Jun 2011 8:35pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
cameraman Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Mar 2011
Posts: 147
Loc: Tranmere
I remember when the 1/2 pence went out of circulation. We got millions of pounds worth in and melted them down.The Iraq money was typical at SMM. Everytime a country had a political coup the coins ( That are made in the UK ) used to come in to be melted down. I remember when the CEDI pieces came in to be melted down. They were the same size, shape and weight as a 50p. Shed loads went missing and ended up in the fruit machines and ciggy machines of New Brighton. I remember the Police got involved in that one.

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#532676 - 13th Jun 2011 9:02pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
free_spirit Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 19th Apr 2009
Posts: 452
Loc: wirral
my grandad worked there for years, untill he passed away around 1981, was only 56.

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#532709 - 13th Jun 2011 10:12pm Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: CVCVCV]
cameraman Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Mar 2011
Posts: 147
Loc: Tranmere
Originally Posted By: CVCVCV
I remember my parents (Dad I think) telling me that SMM was one of the loudest places in the world to work, somethng to do with hammering on castings (propellers)? Does that sound right?


Thats about right, the props used to ring like bells when the machine shop trimmed them with the chipping hammers. There were a hell of a lot of claims for vibratory white finger due to this as well. I used to stick my fingers in my ears when I walked past the sheds.Imagine hitting a bell about 6 times a second non stop. This only happened on the Manganese bronze and nickalium props. The secret stuff such as the submarine props we used to call clunk metal. When you hit them they used to sound like hitting lead. No ring at all. The alloy was a special blend that reduced cavitation and noise.

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#532791 - 14th Jun 2011 2:43am Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15987
Loc: New Brighton
Amazing, yes somewhere in the photo gallery on here I put photos up of one of the pneumatic hammers used, the warning signs outside the building it was in (hearing protection should be worn) and the building being knocked down.

The hammer was the last thing to be removed as the building around it was demolished the huge machines they used couldn't pull it out the ground, they had to cut it up with oxy acetylene then dig 6 feet into the ground to remove the very heavy base.

I'll put some photos up of how it looks now for you.

Oh, they used to use a really old red truck to transport the propellers around the site but I haven't seen it for a while, do you remember that? I'll have to dig my photos out.
_________________________


http://www.youtube.com/user/stetopop

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#532796 - 14th Jun 2011 4:16am Re: Stone Manganese Marine (SMM PROPELLERS) Ltd [Re: cameraman]
CVCVCV Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
All such skilled stuff and so sad that we let it that skill come to nothing and all kinds of manufacturing go abroad. I cannot fathom how UK has lost so many industries - from Motors to this. All gone. And I see the USA doing the self-same thing. Pretty soon we won't be able to make anything at all for ourselves. What will happen when the nouveau-riche Asians need to find somewhere cheaper to manafacture stuff? They'll probably eventually come back to us because by then, we will probably be happy to work for peanuts!

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