42     www.expressandstar.com                                                                             ES              ...
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Steelway article e & s 17.01.13 page 1 carl chinn

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Steelway article e & s 17.01.13 page 1 carl chinn

  1. 1. 42 www.expressandstar.com ES Thursday, January 17, 2013 Express & Star The Carl Chinn Page Loving care and friends E arly last year we three wishes to others. One of the wishes being that Mother could walk. featured an “Sometime later Gillian received a visitor from New York, namely a Mr Joe Austin, who I under- intriguing and stand was a Blackcountry Man, originally from Bilston, who went to live and work in the USA moving story from Mike and was very successful. He had come over to the UK to see the Cup Final and called on Gillian Baker, now of Wollaston, and her family and also called to see my Mother. that highlighted the fed and washed and dressed each day. “During his visit he asked Gillian what she thought Mrs Baker would like as a present, and Her name was Martha Anne Baker, a importance and value of committed Christian woman. she said, ‘a Bible with large print, as her eyesight is not very good’. neighbourliness in the “I, being in fulltime employment had to leave her for most of the working day, and in which “Sure enough some weeks later a large parcel arrived at our flat, and upon opening we discov- midst of hard times. case my Mother depended on neighbours (God ered a Bible with large print produced by the Bless them all) to look after her needs and to Sadly when he was 18, Mike had have their daily chats and nibbles and the American Bible Society, New York, and on an inside leaf of the Bible it was labelled, ‘To Mrs lost his father and five years later, inevitable cup of tea, or two etc. Baker from Gillian’s Uncle Joe in New York’. he was living with his severely dis- Angel This Bible is still in my possession and is in pris- tine condition. Some time later an airmail letter abled mother in Horseley Heath, “A family of four lived directly above us on the arrived at our flat, and upon opening we found a Tipton whilst he was working at top floor of the flats, namely Reg and Joan Git- postcard which said, ‘Mrs Baker, I thought you the famed works of Horseley Bridge tins with their eldest daughter, Susan, aged would like a bookmark for your Bible. It was about 10 years and youngest daughter, Gillian, made by a blind girl. Sincerely Joe Austin.’- and Thomas Piggot Ltd. aged seven years. Joan Gittins spent so much Reply to J. Austin, Box 186, Bronx Central, Mike and his mother lived in a time looking after my Mother that she was NY51-USA.’ In the envelope was a beautiful cro- ground floor council flat at No. 12 indeed an angel in disguise, and of course the chet cross in white and pink, which we still have. children used to help too. “Well in May 1962, after a seventeen-week Jane’s aunt and uncle, Florence and David Webb well recall ‘Uncle Joe’ and Smiths Place, Tipton, but, as he recalls “Imagine my Mother’s surprise and my sur- period in hospital, my Mother passed away andhave kindly sent in this photo of him with Floss’s mom and Jane’s gran, Flo- “mother was 61 years old and an prise when the ‘Express and Star’ arrived on Sat- within days a letter arrived from America whichrence Hackett. It was taken in the front garden of her house in Daisy Bank, extremely severe arthritic to the extent urday July 22, 1961, and we saw on page 6 a when opened revealed a poem, written and sentCoseley. Like Jane, her Auntie Floss and Uncle David still live in Daisy Bank, that she was housebound and had to be picture of Gillian as part of an article headed by Joe Austin. With such beautiful words andCoseley and last year celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. As for the giv- ‘May Her Wishes All Come True. Gave away all Joe’s constant concern for my Mother I sum-ing Joe Austin, he became blind in his latter years and died in America lifted and carried to the bathroom or three to others.’ Gillian, in an essay at school, moned up all my very sparse poetical knowledge approximately 39 years ago. bedroom. She had to be virtually hand- was the only pupil in the class who gave away all and sent back a very simple poem in return. Steel company played major You want to buy a second-hand car. r But it has to be manual. It’s just not t Malcolm thinks that this smashing photo shows the An unknown location from about the 1930s, as much Bilston Road by the canal, and recalls that there although it may be a football stadium; Steelway used to be a junkshop in that row of buildings would have made the stair balustrade Steelway is a Wolverhampton drawn the attention of Hore-Belisha. junctions in London’. Thanks to the success story. It was founded in He had become Minister of Trans- pioneering design and manufacturing driving automatics. 1928 at the Queensgate Works site in Wolverhampton by C. W. port in the National Government in 1934 and was a man with a mission to improve road safety. During the year expertise of Steelway succeed they did, as was made plain by an announce- ment from the Minister in February Goodyear. Three years later it he came into office, 7,343 people were 1936. As a result safety barriers went merged with F. Hammond & Co, a killed and 231,603 injured in road acci- on to be developed on a large scale in noted manufacturer of handrail dents. Half of them were pedestrians London. standards. and three-quarters of the accidents Two years after the launch of Steel- In addition Steelway was the sole happened in built-up areas. way’s first pedestrian guard rail in selling agents of drop forged handrail Hore-Belisha was appalled at this London, the Wolverhampton company standards manufactured by J. Brock- “‘mass murder” and strove to end it. manufactured the sockets and detach- house & Co of West Bromwich and in His Road Traffic Act of 1934 intro- able uprights to form crowd control turn Mr. J. V H. Brockhouse was the . duced a speed limit of 30 mph for barriers for the 1937 coronation of selling agent in London for all Steel- motor cars in built-up areas; he re- King George VI – parts of which were way products. wrote the Highway Code; and he intro- used again for the coronation of Queen In 1935, this new company made its duced the driving test and Belisha Elizabeth II in 1953. mark impressively on the national beacon. He also championed the instal- A letter of appreciation from New scene. On March 19, Mr Hore-Belisha, lation of pedestrian guard rails. In Scotland Yard was sent to Steelway the dynamic Minister of Transport, March 1935 he announced that “as after the 1937 event. It read: “Now inaugurated the pedestrian guard rails part of the experiment” which he was that the coronation is a matter of his- at Britannia Crossing, in Camden carrying out with the highway author- tory, I should like to express my thanks Town, London. They were only the sec- ities, safety barriers were to be erected to your firm for the efficient way in ond such safety barriers in the country at both the Britannia Crossing in Cam- which you met the demand for barrier and they had been made by the enter- den Town and the junction with Cam- material. As you know the barriers prising and innovative Wolverhampton bridge Road, Stepney. were of unusual design, which required company at its factory on the Bilston The guard rails at the latter were special attention by you in manufac- Road. put up on March 22, 1935, three days ture. They proved most satisfactory, The order had come because the pre- after the one in Camden. Both instal- and I have not had any complaints vious year, Steelway had manufactured lations were “at the edge of the foot- regarding them. This is a matter of sat- the United Kingdom’s first pedestrian paths to prevent pedestrians from isfaction to all concerned.” guard rails, which had been installed stepping off the kerb in dangerous A pioneering enterprise in industrial in July at the busy junction of Prince’s places and to guide them to the marked access metalwork, Steelway became Square. These safety guards had been pedestrian crossings where there will well known and highly regarded for its an immediate success in stopping be gaps in the rails”. It was stated that flooring, ladders, stairs, handrails, In partnership with partnership with www.expressandstar.com/motors www.expressandstar.com/motors pedestrians walking off a blind corner if they succeeded “the experiment will guardrails, and platforms. It continues into the path of motorists and they had be extended to other important road to be held in esteem for such products.

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