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nHORT.What you call the IMAGE HOUSE.

According to my late mother,we had extended family living there years ago.

I did ask our genealogy experts on this site for info about it.

I  was interested about the area for such a property as none of the properties each side dont really fall in line.

It does seem out of place.

I was hoping to use the census etc but got sidetracked since the Gamble closed.

I wondered if i was related to a LORD.But we did have a Mayor of st.helens on another bit of our extended family.






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I spent my last school holidays there labouring on the 5th and 6th floor construction barrowing concrete in 1960 before I went off to university. Weekly wage was more than my dad was earning at the time

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I entered West Park grammar school in 1962, and each day, we could see the building of the office block progress, as they put big placards on the side indicating the floor number. Could have sworn that the floor numbers went up to 14 - perhaps there were 14 floors - ground floor and as Hort says, 13 upper storeys.

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one of the main contractors building HO went bust and quite a few lost jobs.My uncle was a joiner on site st the time.He went self employed afterwards.Sadly the whole building outer is in need of a complete overhaul.or demolish.

Its typical of the 60s setups.A bit like the employment offices etc in college st.Lincoln house and Century house.

All looking worse for wear.



added 4 minutes later

Alan regards those nice houses as you comment.

1.The big house opp bird in hand  on same side on dunriding lane.It used to belong to Middlehurst Plumber. They were one of the plumbing co used by the corpy.

2.Those multi storey  block of houses along prescot road.We had a relative living there many years ago. We wondered how "posh" they really were?


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M job on the concrete gang building Pilks new Head Office:

Before University and leaving St Helens, there was the issue of another summer job to give me a bit of financial resilience before I received my student’s grant (in those happier days, all tuition fees were paid by the government. The government also gave you, subject to parents’ income, a grant to cover your subsistence costs). As we were effectively released from school straight after the “A” Levels in early June, I was looking for a job to last for three months until the term started at Sheffield at the beginning of October.


In the end I applied for a job with Holland, Hannen and Cubitts who were the building contractors responsible for building Pilkington Bros Ltd new multi-story HQ just off Prescot Road in St Helens. I got it without even the formality of an interview other than a five minute cursory looking over from the Senior Foreman over the concreting gang, a huge affable Ulsterman called Danny O’Sullivan.


The job was the polar opposite to the previous summer’s job with the Council. I had to be there at eight am and was told I’d be fired if late more than once. We were allowed just 30 minutes for lunch, which with the site canteen being at least five minutes walk away meant just twenty minutes to queue up and get the food down me.


My job entailed endless wheeling of barrow-loads of concrete onto a hoist to take it up to whichever floor we were working on, rushing back to the huge mixer to get another one filled up in time to reload the hoist when it descended with an empty barrow. If I wasn’t ready immediately with a fresh barrow-full I was roundly cursed by the men up above who were on some sort of bonus scheme.


At the end of the first day I could barely stand up, let alone walk the couple of miles back to Harris Street. My palms were a mass of bleeding blisters too. Thankfully Dad was able to provide a pair of work gloves and some plasters as without them I wouldn’t have lasted another day, let alone three months.


After the first two weeks, and doubtless soothed by the bumper £18 a week pay-packet (including 3d an hour for having to wear and provide my own wellies), the job started to get easier as I started to get fitter and stronger. Foreman Danny O’Sullivan took me under his wing a little bit and showed me easier ways to do the job and I started to really enjoy the life there despite the appalling safety record of the place.


One moment lives on in my mind. The canteen was little more than a large prefabricated building with a flattened hard-core floor. The favourite food was chips and two fried eggs with two huge doorsteps of bread. This pleasant Irishman who’d sat next to me and to whom I was chatting, made a huge butty of the two rubbery fried eggs to go with his plate of chips. As he bit into it one of the eggs squirted out onto the mud and hardcore floor. He just cursed, picked it up, wiped it on his filthy work-wear, re-inserted it between the rounds of bread and carried on eating and chatting.

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6 hours ago, Alan said:

One moment lives on in my mind. The canteen was little more than a large prefabricated building with a flattened hard-core floor.

On the top floor of the tower was the executive canteen, which was a restaurant. That whole floor had very thick carpeting and its own reception. Spectacular views of course.

added 9 minutes later

Pilkington Brothers Limited head office, St Helens, Lancashire: the  directors' dining room | RIBA pix

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8 hours ago, Big_Jeff_Leo said:

On the top floor of the tower was the executive canteen, which was a restaurant. That whole floor had very thick carpeting and its own reception

Talking about pampered senior executives, here is another excerpt from my book, Head Cook and Bottlewasher.

"For the summer of 1959, I applied for and got a temporary position with St Helens Council as part of their pavement flag-stone laying team for six weeks, official title was Temporary Flaggers Labourer or similar.

I still get pangs of guilt when I recall that summer. The entire team from Foreman down to us students were just milking the rate-payers of St Helens. I ended up totally bemused at the culture there. Every time it rained we stopped work and retired to a portable cabin whilst the full-time members of the gang retired to the nearest pub and only reappeared to tell us we were to knock off for the day.

The culture seemed to be one of entitlement. There was entitlement to stop work if it rained; entitlement to have 13 weeks a year off sick, or “on the club” as it was referred to; entitlement to a brew every morning and afternoon, plus a one hour break for lunch that usually lasted at least an hour and a half.  .

The manager responsible for the pavement works used to drive past at the same time each morning. He never seemed to stop and query progress, just a perfunctory wave to the ganger who immediately relaxed once he’d passed by. I don’t know if that culture was endemic within the Council or “Corpy” as it was usually called in those days or it was just the flag-layers. Whatever the case, it made me determined to never work for a council again, anywhere. Those six weeks seemed to last six months.

It was, looked at in hindsight, an example of all that was wrong with industrial relations in that era. Cosseted managers who got where they were by “knowing somebody” and without a clue as to man-management skills being exploited by workers who knew “their rights” and who had a militant union to support them. In short, it was a total abuse of the hard-won post-war brand of British socialism."


Edited by Alan
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