Snippets and Recollections
I started out as an apprentice at Robert Jenkins, to whom we were related, on 30 shillings a week. Afterwards I moved to Parkgate Forge and then to Beatson Clark.
There were no plastic bottles in those days, they made hexagonal poison bottles - all bottles for the pharmacy trade, including scent bottles and large Winchesters.
Inside, on the top floor, were two large pottery shaped bottle kilns, each with six small furnaces. To each of these was pushed a machine staffed by three men and a boy.
The first man, the gatherer, took molten glass on the end of the iron on which there was a blob of fire clay. He dropped it into a mold. The next man, the presser, put a little compressed air in the shape who put it into the mold of the third who blew it up full size then stood it up for the boy. The boy had to walk to the lehr between twenty and fifty yards away. The glass was still hot, if it cooled too quickly before it got to the lehr the boy would catch it. You got burnt often, you licked your wounds until the pain went off.
They talk about asbestos today. The place was loaded with it, massive curtains sheilded you from the heat of the furnace stands, paddles the boys carried flaking asbestos.
If you were a spare boy on nights you got hidden and got your head down. On the same floor was a place that ground up broken glass. They only worked days so I slept on the sacks of glass at night. I moved down below into the mixing shop after a one boy strike, I had a long way to run and the bottles were cracking off and they would not give me a spare boy, they beat me up and sent me to work in the mixing shop.
In the glasshouse stoppers were piecework a good job. Winchesters were made in holes in the floor hand blown - the blower put his mouth to the tube and blew in air. The mixing shop was where all the chemicals were added to sand and glass deadly poisons arsenic went in white glass.
The Crossland's came to Rotherham in the 1500s and intermarried into various business in the town. The photo of the Crown Inn riot; the barber in the apron is my great grandfather Henry Jubb who wed Sarah Jenkins of Robert Jenkins and Co
They have done that much messing about with Rotherham I do not know the place now. Where the Bridge Inn stands was Rawmarsh Road parallel to it this side of the canal was Greasbro Strreet, a row either side of terraced houses on the corner, a few shops then Jacksons bakery. Then the Waggon and Horses, a Crossland pub. Down the street was Bentley's Brewery - I remember it and the smell of the hops brewing. The fire station was on the same street; a primitive place.
I worked for Davy's, the high class grocer before supermarkets. I also worked at the Co-op warehouse before forklift trucks. I had a live grenade thrown at me at Rotherham Forge. I am cousin to the now defunct Crossland Foundry Parkgate.
I am interested in Heatons - they made baths which was hard work and mucky. And Isaac and Israel Walkers, the blacking factory, in the fifty,s the lads were as black as the fire back from head to toe.
E. J. Crossland, January, 2008
There are further references to Henry Jubb in Reminiscences of Rotherham