16th Dec, 2019

Former Bromsgrove Garringtons' worker makes model of the famous 'Erie' forging hammer

Harry Leach 2nd Oct, 2019 Updated: 2nd Oct, 2019

A FORMER Garringtons factory worker has built a replica model of an Erie forging hammer – entirely from memory.

For almost 20 years David Douglas, aged 84, was responsible for the maintenance of the hammers at the factory which, before it closed down, was the largest forging company in Europe and was one of the biggest employers’ in the town.

The Highfield Road resident would service the hammers – used to forge different types of metal – by taking them apart and putting them back together again.

David, who was first employed by Garringtons in the early 1960s, said: “Last year I obtained blocks of aluminium which I cut, carved, machined and built into this 12 inch model.

“I had no drawings or photographs to work with but I think just from memory alone, it has turned out to be a pretty good likeness of a 6000lb Erie hammer.”

Close to 500 people were made redundant when the factory, which later became United Engineering Forgings (UEF), closed in 2002.

Garringtons factory, which opened in 1947, supplied parts such as axels and crankshafts to Rover and Jaguar and to car manufacturers in the US and France.

Former workers are still fighting for their pensions 17 years after the closure.

They hold an annual reunion in March at Catshill Club where the former colleagues remember the glory days, meet old friends and tell jokes and raise a glass to those workers who are no longer with them.

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