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Letter: In a hot fix at old mill
2:27pm Monday 20th August 2012 in Opinion
READING about the closure and ultimate demolition of Hollins Mill, Darwen, reminded me of when I worked there in the 1980s as a ‘gofer’, fetching tools and parts for the fitters, scraping crusty hardened stinky woodpulp off machinery in the cellar, dropping blocks of size into vats, checking dials and gauges, painting, fitting motors with new motors, replacing bearings and fitting new kit.
One job involved climbing in and out of the steam rollers on the production line to replace caked-up steam valves during shutdown.
I got a bit of a fright when I couldn’t get out through the tiny access hole because my body had expanded because of the residual heat inside the cylinder.
I had to be hosed down like a rioter with cold water so I could eventually squeeze back out through the pelvis-width gap.
It was like being reborn. I was high as a kite when I eventually got out!
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