EARLIER this month we shared the history of Warrington firm Thames Board Mills.

It was based on Arpley Meadows and employed thousands of people in Warrington.

Here reader George McKie shares his memories of the factory.

A family affair

Just to add some more to the history of Thames Board Mills, our family worked there from 1935 on construction of the mill with at first my grandfather, William McKie. 

He travelled with two other men from South Shields on bikes (long before Norman Tebbit’s “get on your bikes and look for work statement”).

To get work on the construction gangs. I remember one was called Tommy. It soon followed that with the help of my father and uncle Bill, that enough money from selling fire wood etc., that the rest of the family moved down with my grandmother Annie McKie.

My grandfather, father and uncle bill all started work for Thames Board itself. My dad got his job by saying he was 16 but actually 15. Uncle Bill a bit later.

Warrington Guardian:

War came and my father went into the Royal Navy and was stationed in Hong Kong on mine sweepers and Uncle Bill the army, I think on tanks. After the war they both came home and continued with work at the mill. I started there in 1972 and finished up when it closed.

My grandad was a beater house foreman, dad was a machine tender running one of the four paper machines, Uncle Bill was in the power station (we generated all our own electricity) and I finished up in production planning looking after stock levels and order accounting.

It was a great place to work with good pay and good mates.