The toxic Sandwell plan and legacy- OBJECT NOW!



And so another chapter begins in the endless cycle of corruption in allowing housing to be built on contaminated land and what little green space is left in this rotten borough. The name has changed, from The Black Country Core Strategy to “THE SANDWELL PLAN” thanks to Dudley Council’s treachery costing the other local borough thousands. 

The essential essence has not changed. Pack as many houses as you can into Labour voting areas which are poorer so that the affluent scum in the “green belt” can live in splendid isolation and keep voting for Mr Street and co. The greed and incompetence of the Labour administrations mean that they require a constant stream of gentrified tax payers to prop up the lazy benefit scrounging scum that keep voting them in. It is therefore a win win for all of them, and a no win for anyone who lives in Sandwell. It is a manifesto for developer land banking  and the destruction of wildlife habitats and green open space. For wildlife, it is the end. 😥

Before I start on this, it is vital that even idiots understand that this “plan” involving the principal land interests of this website is nothing new, but a rehash of something that has been going on for over 60 years when the rattlechain brickworks conman called Sydney Sheldon started to flog off land surrounding the Albright and Wilson owned chemical waste lagoon (rattlechain lagoon) for anything other than brickmaking.

Sheldon was a crooked conman, fake “brickworks” owner and part time “builder” who owned land interests in this area, around Union Road and lately so I have discovered further afield in Romsley. It appears that the opportunity for buying land and former marl holes for tipping purposes was something that similar scum like the Richardson Brothers made a fortune out of from the 1960’s onwards, and then there were later smaller tatter fry who we will get to in this post. Of course it is the politicians who always fete such characters.

Their plan has always been to shit on this area, live comfortable lives abroad and somehow believe they are entitled to do whatever they like through the increasingly bent planning process- fixed for them by corrupt political scum, both “professional” and amateur.

Every ten years some local authority document comes out regards land for future housing and planning use, but in recent times, these plans have greedily extended this time beyond this period, thus giving lying sheisters like those involved in the land ownership around the lagoon to claim that they can deliver said housing within this time period, (right at the end of the plan), and of course this never transpires and so they carry it over into the next hoping everyone has forgotten what went before. Well sorry to disappoint fellas, but I am your fucking nemesis and will spend whatever it takes and give as much of my time as I have to unravel you, it has become a personal quest from which I will not falter, and I will not fail.

So it was in 2011 that the then  “Sandwell Site Allocations and Delivery Development Plan Document” was part of set of planning documents intended to update the previous 2004 SMBC Unitary Development Plan.  According to Sandwell Council at that time, The “(SADDPD) will guide development within the Borough until 2021. It will do this by providing allocations and local policies. “

This saw RPS planning claim that the phantom and non existent “Denver Limited” , their client, registered in Jersey could deliver housing on both the former Duport’s Tip and then Rattlechain lagoon as well. FFS!

The council believed that 411 houses could be slotted into this area.

The idea that these two separate areas of land (the two tips), could be combined into one was something that the crooked Black Country Development Corporation concluded was a non starter back in 1990, with the cost of clean up then running into several millions. It has obviously now only inflated beyond any sustainable use.

That planning enquiry in 2012 revealed the consultants to be liars, (that this could be delivered within a time period of 8-9 years), and of course we are now some time out from that period where their joke “technical consultants”, who just happened to be the same that Mintworth used throughout the 1990’s when tipping and despoiling the land with black foundry sand. They misled the enquiry and they misled the planning inspector, it is that simple, so fuck off if you want to try and argue otherwise, you have no leg to stand on and you know it. The land remains as it did then- abandoned and “derelict” but now re-wilded “private open space”. 

When during a break in the proceedings at the 2012 inquiry they walked out, the guy from the Environment Agency present actually said “what a load of bollocks” in terms of the claims of Sladen Ass- ociates.


The “misery” that Mintworth subjected local residents to in the 1990’s can be read HERE.

The tatting operation for metal after their abandonment of the land can be read HERE.

The former sewage works site, the profitable “quick” win for both Mintworth and Severn Trent Water was described as “a crap site for residential” by the principal former planning officer at Sandwell council, and yet this statement which I only found out later through planning records never made it to the inspectors attention at that enquiry, let alone the one where permission for homes was granted that would become Callaghan and Wilson Drives on the former sewage works. OH IT MOST CERTAINLY WILL AT THE NEXT ONE. 

The apparent subsequent sale of this land post the phantom “Denver” is a little murky, but not as murky as the planning history of this site. We now have a “Rattlechain Redevelopments Limited” based in Malvern claiming ownership of this site, with those environmental terrorists Severn Trent Water having a dodgy charge on the land to bank-role this shite into the 2020’s. Severn Trent largely operate through the bogus “Midlands Land Portfolio” banner, offloading land formerly in public ownership for more housing. Both of course will rely on the public purse to clear up the Mintworth  pile of mess they left behind , and why should WE have to pay for that, when STW have millions in the bank, and land bank said land hoping that they will never have to clean it up themselves?

I will look in more depth at this entity in a future post and what they have so far done on this site. It was all documented, it was all recorded, I’ve just been saving it for the right time. 😛

So it is the case that we now have this bollocks regurgitated again, only this time, they now appear to claim that 518 houses could be created on the two tips! Perhaps they believe that they can accommodate the extra capacity by floating a Bibby Stockholm barge on the lagoon itself, that after all would make it affordable though none the less absolute bollocks!


In terms of the adjacent landowners- Rhodia Solvay, in 2011 they made a belated statement only after I had drawn them out to conclude that their technical consultants did not believe the lagoon infill for housing to be technically feasible. It should be remembered that this site has not even been remediated fully either- and that the “remediation” that was carried out involved only hiding the waste and not treating it.

We then have them also attempt to build housing proposals on land embankments bordering the River Tame. They are not in this world these people! Do they want to infill the River as well and create a foundry sandwell?


Of Course, these have been objected to already by myself and The Friends of Sheepwash Nature Reserve, but it is important that as many people as possible know the score here and do the same. The area is built on unstable foundry sand, dumped by a known company and known individuals in charge of that company. The polluter has never paid and the taxpayer should not pay to decant foundry sand from one pile into a void to then leave it there for another 50 years, which is the obvious aim of the dickheads proposing this shite. The planners may be thick, but I am not.

“Regeneration Areas in Sandwell”

At 3.34 within the Sandwell plan, we get this…..

“3.34 The funding is intended to be the catalyst for wider investment opportunities within this regeneration corridor. Further employment development should be directed towards Coneygre and Vaughan Trading Estate. Whilst these sites were identified for residential development in the last Local Plan, this has not occurred. Both sites have instead delivered further employment development, indicating a need for further investment in this sector. Residential development is anticipated at Rattlechain, south of Sheepwash Nature Reserve. This would see the remediation of a long-standing problematic and heavily contaminated site, with it brought back into more efficient use and being able to assist in meeting the shortfall in housing numbers. The vision for the Dudley Port area is directed by a Garden City approach and principles, working with the area’s existing attributes, namely the green space, canals and linkages.”

How do an extra 518 plus 36 houses create a “garden city” approach? The concept is one created by thick twats in planning to assist developers with no links to Sandwell at all in the case of Rattlechain Redevelopments Limited, whose directors are in fact Irish Nationals and not even British FFS! 

The area is already swamped with housing, cannot possibly sustain this extra capacity and will destroy the only remaining green wild space up to the border of the Sheepwash Nature Reserve, In that case, it will no longer be a nature reserve, but a dog walking anti social behaviour magnet shithole.

As for the former Mintworth owned and abandoned and not remediated Coneygre site, it was RPS planning in tandem with Sladen Ass-ociates via not skintworth who proposed housing could be met on that site as well! Once again the public purse was drained with these jokers taking the residential proposals to a planning inquiry when SMBC refused permission. They even played for extra time and of course failed to ever do anything with the site, before selling it to “Coneygree Redevelopments Limited”- whose directors are the same as at Rattlechain Redevelopments Limited, and part of the wider “Corbally” group. They have been given a wedge by Andy Street’s mob at the combined authority – (our money) to now pursue business development. Name the site “CON- A -TREE” and it would be more apt.

That site within the last few weeks has started the destruction of trees in the area- so much for Mintworth’s legacy- as usual the abandonment cost is left to the public purse.

“Garden City” you say?


The identified polluters NEVER PAID!


Not content with flooding Lower Tividale with extra housing, some bright spark has also proposed more housing on the border of this Albright and Wilson/Rhoda contaminated land site that was never officially remediated.

The last disgracefully passed planning proposals at this site that I reported have yet to materialise.

A recent trip has shown that more trees have been cut down around the fake perimeter of the site, with a borehole located just feet away from housing in George Wood Avenue.

What a fucking joke!

I’m not sure how a fence and a wall stop pollution, though maybe the residents in the road named after the Oldbury brickmaker Wood will be able to play toxic volleyball with their new “neighbours” in Lower City Road over it. 😛

Object, I have already to this crap. 

Commenting and objecting.

As usual, SMBC make it difficult and off-putting for members of the public to comment on this rambling document officially known as, click on the link below

“Draft Regulation 18 Sandwell Local Plan”

There is a short timescale in which to make comments.

Ends on 18 December 2023

The best way is to create and register an account and comment using the speech bubble opportunities at the beginning of the paragraphs. In this way you should get an email back with the comments that you make, though it would be wise as I have to take screenshots of comments as you go for your own records.

The planners and the developers work side by side and are hoping that this will be the usual closed shop exercise of ticking off another stage. Please do not leave it to a few like myself to defend the little wildlife habitat that we have left. Housing is only the priority for avarice developers who are not from our area. The area has a history of cuckooing from outside agents , their legacy is one of pure greed and abandoned land banking. It’s time the polluter paid; lay your garden city eggs somewhere else!


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Bending Science- book review and 2023 perspective opinion

“How special interests corrupt public health research.”

The title of this 2008 published book drew me in, because I already knew the playbook having experienced the long denials of an multinational company spinning lies and deceit about their waste dumping activities and the principal chemical which was poisoning my environment and birds within it.

This extensively researched book may be an insight into the American state, but it is universal when applied to the UK or any other so called “democracy” where insidious forces are at work that are not on the side of the public but on protecting and lying about safety issues surrounding chemicals and drugs to shield a corporate brand.

It is particularly also relevant to the last three years of a globalist “pandemic” hoax and the vaccine fraud and cover up of harms done by big pharma in the pursuit of control and coercion that has gone with it on society by psychological actors in the field of “public” health. As far as I am concerned “social science” is no science at all.

Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner come from a law background  and examine how science can be believed when it comes to informing public policy. The idea that one should “follow the science” to use the overused phrase is laid bare in this book where this clearly has been corrupted by following the money of those who want their “science” bought and bent by advocates posing as fake scientists. The conflicts of interest and the manner in which academia has been bought to produce favourable reports has been clear to see in recent times.

In particular they point out that unfavourable studies are filtered out or supressed in the “pipeline” for new chemicals or drugs and do not make it into published scientific journals. They are buried or manipulated in the peer review stage. These conflicts of interest are usually only ever investigated by independent media or those in law who act on behalf of those harmed.

We therefore see the tactics of “spinning”, “packaging”, “harassing”, “attacking”, “hiding” and “shaping” science to bend it by corporate interests.

We are introduced to the tobacco industry cover ups and denials, as well as Rachael Carson being attacked when criticising the harm of pesticides in Silent Spring.

I have given examples of how industry actors like Peter Bloore et al supressed and covered up Albright and Wilson’s harmful chemical releases, as well as telling outright provable lies. The book outlines topics such as

  • The US Government’s suppression of information following the Manhattan Project with Beryllium poisoning.
  • Merck Corporations Vioxx was more harmful causing significant increased risk of heart attacks than they claimed.
  • The asbestos industry also followed this model when even since the 1930’s they were aware of harm done to animals. They attacked scientists who were exposing their fatal chemical.
  • Diacetyl provides an artificial butter taste in popcorn, but is responsible for causing “popcorn lung.”
  • The sleeping pill Halcion (Triazolam), and the concerns of its misuse and adverse effects being supressed.

Of course, I am fully aware that Albright and Wilson/Rhodia were well aware of the damage that white phosphorus does to animals and man, and yet they bent science by claiming that “it’s the stuff used in toothpaste” to supress the truth about their waste. Of course, this was happening back in the 19th Century when the match industry was in denial about the harm that p4 lucifer matches were doing with phossy jaw. It would of course take many years to ban this, but only then not a universal ban and one where exports abroad could continue.

AW lied about leaks, fires, their chemicals causing eutrophication, and just about everything, and they are typical of the chemical industry at large. The environmental consultant industry is also complicit in covering up contaminated land with their whitewashed analysis of soils and other matter. It is clear to see how cheque book science can buy you what you want dressed up as “independent”. 

We have seen pesticides like paraquat banned eventually in the EU due to the clear links with Parkinson’s disease, and yet this industry still attempts to bend the science by suppressing information. The UK manufacturer that creates this brown glut of death is still exporting it abroad to do harm.


This book unfortunately despite offering shards of hope as to how science can be straightened again has only seen it now bent beyond hope in 2023. Indeed, scientists are now all so bent , they are more bent than The Village People playing twister in The Crooked House. Rather than law and law makers offering some form of buffer to stop advocates lying about their chemicals and drugs, these industries have colluded with science and big pharma to use all of the tactics expressed in the 2008 book.

I would recommend buying this book to wake up to what has happened since January 2020, and now how we are seeing the thaw of the bent bastards who signed letters in a certain medical journal claiming that talk of lab leaks from a place in China were “conspiracy theories”. Follow the money and you will find the dirty American dollars and dirty Euros that fund gain of function research, that creates unnatural harms to then milk a payday for vaccines.

The idea that young healthy people should be exposed to experimental vaccines they did not need by being coerced into doing so by the media, politicians and by public health cunts standing on podiums with three phrase platitudes is pure evil. It is the epitome of bent science; making symptoms of a cold like virus with a death rate <1% so broad that people believe they have it, and that it could kill their Gran.

We now see thankfully action being taken against AstraZeneca and hopefully the “science” as to how this clot shot fucking bile ever made it into people’s arms will be fully explored. As for those that allowed it to, one can only hope that their latter years will be filled with pain and agonised suffering, to which there is no scientific cure except a one way trip to Switzerland.

You can back the fight for those trying to seek compensation from this offshoot of ICI HERE.

When one looks at this book in terms of recent times it will serve as a prophecy one day of what the certain scientists were up to in bending science and hopefully that eventually their pure evil will be exposed and not hidden by corporate media, bought political figures and bent scientists eager to follow their bent scientific research in the same bent halls of academia from which they bent the science to start with.

Bending Science – Google Books

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The horrors of white phosphorus

It’s all very well the apologists of Albright and Wilson promoting how wonderful this chemical was when it clearly brought death and injury to the area, and if the Germans had been lucky in World War Two and hit this factory, Oldbury would have been totally destroyed and massive loss of life would have ensued. The victors of war get to write its history, and we have seen plenty of bullshit about the importance of this industrial pariah since the 1940’s.

I have covered the properties of white phosphorus in many blog posts on this website and offered rare historic evidence of how this deadly poison was misused right from the start of its finding by Hennig Brand. I have tended to stick with the industrial legacy and its effects on victims, both human and animal, and the first hand experience that I have had with it poisoning birds in my back yard.

A recent video post on youtube however is a must watch in terms of the use of this chemical weapon in theatres of war. There are some good youtube videos on p4 about properties and experiments, but this video focusses on anecdotal testimony of those burnt by the chemical weapon in Middle East conflicts, and perhaps lays to rest the infantile idea that “good guys” use white phosphorus for smokescreens, and “bad guys” use it for maiming civilians. Such ludicrous patriotism that exists in the USA and also its allies such as Israel has seen it used repeatedly illegally , caveated by semantic rhetoric and denials where the evidence is blindingly obvious that it has been used against civilians unlawfully.

Unfortunately, as we have seen very recently, the Western political class meddles and gets involved in conflicts that have nothing to do with it acting as armouring Iagos to poison the world with war and fuel their military/industrial complex, whilst also knowingly increasing the cost of oil to screw us all again as they attempt to reset the green/industrial complex that they have invested their personal wealth in.



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…..he lies and nose, it grows and grows, it grows and gro.oh.oh.oh’s


Boy, George, what are we to do with this one?

The semantic snake and phosphorus pork pie projectile vomitter known as Peter Bloore was something else of the night. Throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s his name crops up time and time again, often in a tandem double act with his sidekick straight man PR merchant Tom Tomlinson in respect of massaging the truth about what was happening at Trinity Street and with this dire polluting company further afield. Many of the incidents at these works were under his direct control and failure, and a summary of his time is given in Albright World where he appears to have succeeded the useless Pratt Day as the poison chalice works manager. It baffles me as to why some ex colleagues of his describe him as “a nice man”. I beg to differ, and I form that opinion which I will take to the grave knowing and having exposed the lies he told in an act of pure selfishness to protect the economic interests of Albright and Wilson. Did he ever help YOU in your job if injured, or did YOU get the blame? 


Bloore must have been in his element, if you’ll excuse the chemical pun when this piece of crap EU legislation took effect in 1984.

The 1976 accident at a chemical plant in Seveso, Italy, dispersed dioxin formed in the reaction making much of the surrounding countryside uninhabitable. This led directly to the first `Seveso Directive’, later updated following subsequent events from Bhopal and the Sandoz fire in Switzerland.

The UK implemented the directive through the CIMAH (Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazards) Regulations 1984 and later amendments.

CIMAH imposed a duty on all sites within its scope to identify major accident hazards and take steps to prevent them. Depending on the substances involved, and their amounts, sites were categorised into two tiers, with the top-tier sites required to produce safety reports and emergency plans and to inform the public who may be affected by a major accident.

The boffs at Trinity Street found themselves in a Top tier site with a defined area of circumference from the chlorine plant then operating.

As a criticism of this directive, it did nothing in terms of land planning in that new developments could be built alongside dangerous plants, and this eventually led to the Seveso II directive, implemented in UK law as Control of Major Accident Hazards involving Dangerous Substances’, COMAH from 1996. The EA would of course come into existence the following year. 

As a part of this new legislation, Albright World took up the story in a special double page spread, with employees of this factory expected to act as PR merchants in brainwashing their neighbours into thinking that this plant was safe.

The first line of defence for the bad doctor was trying to explain that nothing at the site had changed, (it was still dangerous), but that the law had in terms of communicating information.

How employees could lie to their neighbours more like

Of course, Bloore was front and centre with “Myra Hindley” and co forming a guard of honour.

The idea that the site had “long enjoyed good relations with its neighbours” is total known crap! The Oldbury smell had lasted for years, as had pollution issues, and in particular the year 1981 was a disastrous PR annus. 

His claims of having an excellent safety record are again an unfounded lie- based upon the real evidence that I have provided on this website, where his denials and lies are clearly evident.

As for the 15,000 leaflets, this appears to be the start of the bullshit biennial calendar rammed through the doors of unsuspecting locals with the same crap.

Of course, they failed to protect their own staff from Chlorine exposure, so what chance of any offsite release? It would later emerge from an ex copper about the reality of this PR bullshit exercise.

Boffin Bloore was basically a liar.


Bloore’s greatest SHITS VOLUME 1 AND 2

If his nose was a male member, he would have had a career to rival that of Ron Jeremy- but with more wood.

Mason Shakey?

Bloore’s AW PR method.

Around the same time that Iraq’s comical Ali was plying his trade, so PO Box 80’s comical alkali(e) was churning out similar pork pie whoppers.

  • Familiar themes include talking of “low concentrations”,
  • comparing dangerous chemicals escaping to things you would find in your home
  • semantic bullshit attempting to distort the truth by “bending” science to protect a corporate and commercial enterprise.
  • Using health and safety failures as an advert for their shite chemical business

Basically what the chemical industry and allied big pharma industry have been doing for years to deceive the public, hapless employees and the media in general from scrutinising their harmful activities. 


As “production manager” Bloore blamed the death of employee Tom Tolson on his failure to wear PPE, rather than the circumstances as to how a piece of equipment that HE was responsible for had gone wrong. 


Again as “production manager”, Bloore took part in a ludicrous AW exercise at Rattlechain lagoon where it was claimed to an EU bureaucrat that this method of waste disposal was “efficiently dealt with”. 

June 1986 

A worker handling phosphorus is burnt, badly I would state from the picture used in the corporate video promoting health and safety with P4. Phosphorus burns are not like ordinary burns, and burn through the flesh to the bone and require constant monitoring to address no route of systemic poisoning. According to Bloore the burns were “slight” to his shoulder, and a “thermal” burn to his head. WTF YOU FUCKING LIAR!

June 1988

A phosphine gas escape was blamed by Bloore on a “pressure surge on the reactor.” He claimed that the system shut down immediately, yet years later when the 2009 off site release and fire occurred, evidence given by Rhodia during the HSE investigation claimed that it was not possible to do this- so again he lied. 

July 1989

Albright and Wilson admitted five offences under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 due to enriching phosphorus in a disastrous “remediation” of their Portishead site- thus putting their own workers at risk with radioactive dusts. Bloore would later pour out utter bollocks about this operation in an early 1990’s piece in Albright World, where none of this was even mentioned! 

July/September 1989 Phosphorus sesquisulphide fires and releases. Bloore states that the chemical is used in making matches. In this article he blames the chemical properties rather than his shite company handling of it, but promised “an investigation”. 

November 1989

A meeting between Albright and Wilson led by Bloore and John Nicholls from the Black Country Development Corporation discussed the proposed exploration of Rattlechain lagoon. This reveals Bloore’s true fears of the pool being exposed for what it really contained- wartime relics when his company were making bombs for The British State. It is telling that he claims that AW may not have tipped certain stuff in there- well who the fuck did then given that they claim to have acquired the site in 1948- which is a lie ?

In context, in the month previous, a fire had occurred at the site involving white phosphorus being tipped into the pool, just to give the context of his fears becoming public knowledge.

It is priceless that Bloore actually thought that other fill materials may contaminate the canal given the fucking shit he knew was already going in there! Publicly, including in a phone call conversation with myself years later, Bloore would claim that the pool contained “the stuff used in toothpaste” a lie oft repeated by the likes of Tom Dutton, who was obviously a pupil of the fake “doctor”, and would become one himself.

February/March 1990

Bloore claimed that an unpleasant smell , a repeat event, was harmless chemicals, yet did not elaborate any further than “pesticides”.

The reality for those living inside the factory and the CIMAH consultation zone.



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White phosphorus misadventures #19 Who spiked The Baron’s Brew?


This early misadventure concerns another 19th Century crime involving this notorious easily obtainable poison. To Germany then with the story, as the 5th October 1861 Kent Times, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks Examiner explained.

It is stated that the case had received popular interest to that rivalling that of Oskar Becker who had recently been tried for attempting to assassinate the then King of Prussia, and later First German Emperor William 1st. 

The attempt on the life of another Nobleman, The Baron de Baumbach , not the frog from Dangermouse, was the talk of the town after his wife, the baroness had been charged and was in court for poisoning him.

Baron Greenback GIF

The story goes that two servants alleged they had found a piece of phosphorus in beer that the baroness had sweetened.

What is odd is that one of these two had put some poison down for rats and claimed that he had thrown the rest away in a glass. Sounds a bit fishy to me. 😕

It is further claimed that both the baron and his wife had drank some of the beer without being affected.

The servants were also arrested but released as witnesses, with the baroness also being bailed before the trial.

The baron it is stated did not believe the charge and defended his wife, despite the fact it seems that he was having a bit of “how’s your father” with another woman of high class. (I bet he was probably shagging the servants as well). 😆


The jury took less than five minutes to find the baroness not guilty. One can see from this how people with money are always innocent and yet no one appears to have been found guilty of this crime.

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Pondering an old Bugle Barnett’s brick works query


The above picture and article below appeared in the 12th August Black Country Bugle in 1999. It was a query sent in by a descendent of a brick worker thought to be Barnett’s brickworks in Dudley Port. The photograph and where and when it was taken were unknown, as were any of the other 18 individuals pictured. The piece speculates that it may have been taken between 1910-1920 and then details some facts about The Rattlechain brickworks and the history.

Ironically not mentioned in the piece however is the near 100th anniversary of the canal breach of 1899 involving Barnett’s Rattlechain works!


Although belated by some 24 years, 😆 here’s my take and opinion on the matter, and if the original sender of the picture would like to get in touch , I would hope that it may be of interest.

Firstly the picture. I don’t think that this is Rattlechain brickworks! The Bugle made this association and not the correspondent. I’m also not sure that the ten year period is correct either- though it would be a good estimate and I will explain why. The problem with anecdotal history is that wires can be crossed, details left out or added to and wrong conclusions made. It may well have been that the relative in question did work at a Barnett’s brickworks, but not necessarily is pictured in this particular photo at that site. Without a date, how would we know that, or how old this person was in the picture? We need something to date the picture or the person, or know more about their lifestyle through census records. Without the surname of the man “Cree”- this is impossible.

The only true picture of Rattlechain brickworks that is known from the period in question was taken in 1912, as part of the article I covered in THIS post from The American Brick and Clay Record. This appears to be an entirely brick built structure.

The people in the photograph are standing behind a wooden panelled fence as a backdrop. Take a look however at the picture of The Stour Valley brickworks from the same article in 1912.

This site we know from a 1907 piece in The British Clay worker had been commenced in 1894, and is visible five years later in the backdrop of the rattlechain canal breach. I believe that the picture was taken at this yard and not Rattlechain.

And I think it was taken somewhere around here.

If it is these works then we know that they were “disused” by 1919 so that would be in the right timeframe as suggested.

As for the individuals in the picture there are 12 males and 7 females, (at least I think so as a couple of them look like Etruria Marlons rather than Etruria Marleens). 😆

It is clear that most of the males are under the age of 18 and are ragged clothed, dirty with sleeves rolled up having been recently at work. If this is the case, then if this was a picture taken by anyone in any official capacity at the brick works then they would have incriminated themselves for breaking the law. We do know however that this company illegally employed young boys and were prosecuted for doing so. 

We also know that the dodgy Patriarch and sons ran a works where men had died erecting and chimney before this photo was thought to have been taken in 1906 , and another was to injure himself badly, after this picture was taken in 1927. Clearly, this was not a safe working environment. 

It is interesting to compare the guy on the extreme left of the picture on the back row with the individual on the extreme right in the mincing pose. The former appears to have walked into the picture at the last moment, perhaps having been invited to do so still holding a shovel. The latter appears like he has never done a days work in his life or got his hands dirty, and I very much doubt that he worked in any capacity doing physical work at this site. I do wonder if he is the offspring of one of the Barnett family? There is a regimented feel with the crossed legs and folded arms, which suggests an older person in authority standing behind the camera directing the posture of the younger subordinates.

I do not know what women would be doing at this site, though certainly not any physical work from the way that they are dressed. It could even be that this was a wartime photo taken when others had gone off to war, with vacancies filled by them and younger males? They appear to be in their best frocks and unblemished. One may speculate that they were not employed at these works at all, and may have been some relation to the workers. But why were they there, and what would be the purpose of this photo? I would say that an ad hoc photo would have been unlikely in those days, as you wouldn’t just be able to whip out a polaroid. It must have been planned, but was it with management approval, as I would have expected the pompous Barnett’s (Samuel still alive to 1918, and son William some time after that) to have been centrepiece if so- after all, they were councillors you know!

It also cannot have been all of the workers at this site producing all the bricks claimed at several tens of thousand per week! A selection of a few therefore suggests something else was going on here, not connected to the work at all.

All this of course is speculation, but when I see photos like this the look on the worn faces leave an impression of the times and the hardships they brought- though of course, not to anyone by the name of Barnett. I look at their faces and feel their pain. A war was possibly coming which probably would see many of them die in a foreign land, (even a son of Barnett’s did not escape that fate), or if not that war, the next one after that. This was definitely not a good time to be alive.

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Out of time- The Black Country Living Museum visit and review



This site is one of the most well known tourist attractions in the region and offers a fascinating window into the soul of an area that has since perhaps lost its identity. I say this obviously because of the decline of industry, but also feel that there are well meaning people who wish to keep alive the spirit of the “black country” but end up becoming ridiculous caricatures, putting on forced dialects of how they believe that people spoke in the area and then reverting privately to posher tones when out of earshot.

I discovered by accident through old planning records from the 1950’s that this site may well have been built elsewhere, and on the doorstep of Rattlechain Lagoon itself! A letter from Staffordshire County Council concerning one of the most important planning applications (216), concerning the former brickworks spoke of the potential establishment of a “Black country cultural centre” being built on the extensive open land in a post war development. Unfortunately however the conman Sheldon got his way and the fake brickworks operation continued with a pit dug that would become an industrial waste filling zone, and then a foundry sand dump “supporting” housing and swingers pampus grass “private open space” 😆 .

What a missed opportunity, and in some parallel universe where Jersey tax evasion and hiring someone to burn down historic buildings doesn’t exist, we may have seen a preserved old rattlechain brickworks operation , a restored canal basin that The Barnetts would have known and a canal museum quarter. Alas, instead we got wall to wall houses and toxic waste dumps instead, and Albright and Wilson continuing their shit tipping into the old marlhole. 😥

The current site in this universe was established much later , in 1978. Sandwell’s loss was to be Dudley’s gain. I’ve visited this site twice before when it was just known as “The Black Country Museum”. The first time I must have been about eight, and I remember it being an uncomfortably hot day, and at that time bored shitless about all around me. The canal boat trip was the most memorable part. It would be some time later for a second visit, this time as part of a school project about old kitchens. This time I was more studious and alert to my historic surroundings, and felt more of a connection with the environment. This was around thirty years ago.

What then had become of this site and the new additions that made it a “living” museum?

My first impressions, and that which remain after this excursion is that it didn’t feel like a “living” museum, instead more like looking back through a window or room left vacant. The odd clanking sound playing in the background doesn’t bring anything to life at all, more like a “don’t touch” postcard with sound effects. There should be opportunities for touching old objects and learning what they were used for through interactive devices. Other sites I have visited, such as the museum at Silverstone and also the Aerospace museum in Bristol employ such MacGuffins to good use.

My favourite vista at the site remains the canal side ensemble. A number of historic boats are present.



I also was on the hunt for old stamped bricks, and found a few new names that I had not seen before on my travels along the canals of the area, though alas, no holy grail, Barnett rattlechain blue bricks.

I was surprised however to see Hannibal Lecter lying around conspicuously in a pile. I wonder where he came from?

Closer please……. CLOSER!

Hannibal, Red Dragon | Filmes policiais, Vilãs, Cicatrizes

Possibly a similar operation to how the Rattlechain brickworks ran into the pit?

One very disappointing aspect was the fact that there were no visible demonstrations of any of the crafts and trades that made this museum. On my previous visits, I very much recall that this being one of the highlights. I remember people being taught and then being able to blow glass and keep the rubbish distortions they made, as well as how chains were made and forged.

When we went there were no chain makers in sight. Perhaps it is not woke anymore to make them, or maybe they were having a chain makers strike. 🙂

No there were not


Indeed, the people dressed up in old clothes were more like Poundland Cosplayers than active participants or guides, and may as well not have even been there. This is different to say the experience at Blackpool’s Tower Dungeon where actors although pantomime get into the roles and bring the experience to life by winding up and talking to people as they experience the rides and special effects. We could for example see a 19th Century black country family gathering sitting down to dinner and how hard that might have been. We could see a crystal maze type experience where people have to solve puzzles being guided by black country characters and trying to evade a villain.

How about a talking heads style story monologue of a day in the life of a black country housewife, a child in service, a schoolteacher, a boatman, a miner trapped underground believing that his fate was sealed, or any of the other types of trade at the museum which would bring the action to life, even if they are presented as ghosts of the past? What did they do, how did they live, what are their memories, and even how did it end for them? The characters could even connect to tell a wider story.

There could be a police station where people are locked up and booked in. A fire brigade demonstration. These are just some ideas off the top of my head, but it would be better than the current wander as you go vacancy.

I was also struck by the too close proximity of the new 40/50’s zone to the older 19th Century areas, which appear to be like walking off one filmset and onto another. It looks like this is going to be an English homage at Back to The Future but on a less grand scale. A post office, television shop and building society are already there, with more to come this Autumn.

A 40’s/50’s house

This unfortunately is where I see this museum starting to unravel into “wokeycokey” land, where the history of the area itself starts to be replaced and eroded instead by the contemporary history of the people who made it their home many decades later. The area does not need a flag, and nor does this need to be a sale item- it never existed in the time itself and serves as a latter day invention, usually being touted by some politician for self promotion pretending to be interested in the area on a named “black country day”!

There are other museums and exhibitions dedicated with lottery funding to immigration and culture, but this is not a place that should be celebrating that. There is no getting away from the fact that this area was forged by its white working class, and the hammers that banged on metal would be white phallus shaped implements, the women women and the men men.

More coke, less woke!

The proprietors of this museum should not attempt “inclusiveness” and wokery to reach out to a different audience. They should not apologise for chain- making or anything else due to it no longer being politically correct. Any attempt to do that is to erase the history of the area which made it, for good or for bad.

It was Mr Smith and Mr Jones that went down the pits and not Mssrs Singh and Khan. The black country was made so by black and white and red all over scenes, and not by rainbow flags. Equally, it was a time when Arthur knew his purpose in life and so did Martha, and they didn’t require gender identification symbols, badges or pronouns as they all used the same brick shithouse. 🙂

The brick shithouse

Just to say, that as I have written elsewhere on this website, I have a big problem with the white Victorian industrialists being praised for their “generosity” and fake philanthropy. The people who lived in poverty did so holding a false awe about the upstairs class, including the absolutely pointless figurehead at the heart of the evil Empire, the fat old bitch herself. Her remarks about wanting to avoid the area do not support her place on any mantlepiece within it, though inadvertently, she probably named the region itself, and perhaps condemned it with that name thereafter forever more. 

Piss off Londoner!

The other problem with this site is that the popular tours and attractions- the mine trip, the fish and chip shop experience and the canal tour, now run externally by The Dudley Canal Trust are heavily populated and you would be queuing for a very long time to get anywhere. This needs to be sorted out by bookings in the case of the mines.

The anachronisms of different eras unpartitioned also give the impression that this site wants to be used as a film and television studio. Maybe that is how it will make money to expand, but this also means that it will become less “black country” and more Hollywood in the form of garbage like Peaky Blinders. Such distortions and fake history like this show may well bring in the punters who clamour for wearing flat caps and neckerchiefs like their fictional anti-heroes  but this doesn’t honour the black country, and was never a part of its cultural identity at all. Unfortunately most of the items for sale in the gift shop are advertisements for this BBC show. 😥

I was also very dismayed to see amongst the substantial collection of books and booklets ones concerning the terrorist and fake women’s vote winner Emmeline Pankhurst. This is another example of where elite political class history has been written by those wishing to portray the version that it wants and not the real version of events. She has no connection to this area at all and it is difficult to see why it is included here, other than catering for some rewriting of history because the name is famous, but nonetheless one that has had greatness thrust upon them.

In conclusion, I would say that pulp fiction and modern history are replacing real history at The Black Country Living Museum. The area is not really one to “celebrate” in terms of its industrial legacy. One is reminded of real first hand accounts of the area such as the Oldbury historian F.W Hackwood in the volume Oldbury and Round About published in 1915.

He spoke of the corroding gases “emitted from chemical works in the heart of the town so completed the blight that even grass and the hardiest of plants failed not to succumb. Not by incessant labour could Oldbury housewives keep fire-irons or other utensils of bright steel in any desirable condition of cleanliness; metal tarnished in a single night, and in process of time faded away as they had been petals of a fading flower.” 


Perhaps people visiting this museum should be reminded of how grateful they should be that they did not live through such times and no longer have to today. 

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A man that time forgot- Dugdale Houghton- A chemical arm mystery solved


The entrance to the private “chemical arm” or Houghton Branch

The ghastly “chemical arm” at Trinity Street for decades served as a waste graveyard for Albright and Wilson’s toxic trade as well as that originally for Chance and Hunt which later became ICI. I have looked at some of the history of this HERE. 

A first hand account of one of the last people to transport the dumped waste from this arm and carry it by boat to Rattlechain lagoon can be read HERE. This toxic trail polluted not only the final destination, but also a large section of the BCN itself along the way evidentially.

The Houghton chemical arm from Albright and Wilson on right crossing underneath the M5 motorway

What I was not certain of however until recently was how this terminus branch, originally in two sections got its official name “The Houghton branch”. There are now many infilled basins and branches named after long dead people who are totally unknown today to those whose footsteps tread over those that have gone before. But who was “Houghton”? I have not previously read or seen any explanation in any local history books on the matter. 

My best guess is that from research, it was named after a canal surveyor called Dugdale Houghton, born 1799, died aged 77 in 1876. As with many things, I came across his name looking for something else, and so here are a few articles which explore the activities of the man in question.

Houghton was obviously a well respected “independent” witness at trials involving land ownership disputes- particularly involving the Birmingham Canal Company. A publication called The Aris’s Birmingham Gazette edition of 18th January 1836 relays such a dispute between the canal company and Thomas and Jesse Moore. The area in question is of importance to this blog as it involves the area which became Rattlechain Brickworks- and of course all that followed that. The Moore’s owned a sand mine in the Rose lane area, and with the construction of the canal around this time, had sold the land, but the dispute was about how much it was worth. Bizarrely of course, it would return to being a foundry sand minefield which caused misery to local residents. 

Houghton was a key witness for the Company, and yet his estimation was considerably less than that which was arrived at by the jury. We see then how people such as this operate when they are employed by large organisations.


A later article from the same source dated  25th October 1852 reveals that Houghton handled considerable wealthy sales of land and machinery, in this article the works of several collieries in the area are touted as being up for grabs, with further information available from his Birmingham office in Paradise Street.

The money made from such ventures obviously gave this man a taste of the high life, and an escape to the country away from the ghastly emerging Black Country. His personal belongings were put up for sale as evidenced in the 24th May 1854  Wolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser.

Houghton had obviously set his sites on the country life and fancied himself as a farmer and horticulturalist. His move to Wales was to be an interesting venture, though untimely when his wife snuffed it as the  31st March 1855 Staffordshire Sentinel revealed.

Despite playing at farming, he obviously kept interests in the West Midlands area, as the 9th June 1858 Wolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser reported when he was moaning about sewage in a property he owned in Union Street West Bromwich.

Shit in your own hands Duggie boy. LOL

A further mention in the same publication from 29th August 1860 links him to Oldbury and we start to get closer to the location of the blessed chemical arm too. Unfortunately, it is another example of the Oldbury mafia getting some form of commemorative piece enshrined in a building or place. It is revealed that Dugdale had dedicated stain glass windows in the church in memory of his father, John, who lived in The Park House, Oldbury.

The Park House is shown in the map of Oldbury from 1857 below. Park House Lane was renamed just “Park Lane” at some later date most likely when the house was removed. The Houghton “Chemical” branch is marked in blue. At this stage, it did not carry this name though you can see how the Park House itself was at the end of it.

Oldbury was a terrible place to live in with the Alkali works of Chance and Hunt and then Albright and Wilson as neighbours

The thing that I have found with characters like these Victorians and later still into the 2oth Century is their absolute fucking hypocrisy, as well as likely trouser leg rolling funny handshake crooked old boys network shit. Two events contrast the polluted thought process of hypocrite Houghton; the first involves his escape to the country away from the ghastly polluted Black Country. The following article is of very interesting reading on learning of the character of Dugdale Houghton.

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This legal case centered around a complaint made by the Birmingham surveyor about The Red Jacket copper works run by Frederick Bankhart near to land in Swansea , Wales where he began farming in 1853. Houghton alleged that the smoke from the process had seriously harmed crops and killed animals in his possession. It was a new form of manufacture that had allegedly caused the harm. Houghton observed that his crops “withered” due to the smoke , (now where have we heard that one before) ;-). It was argued by the defence if Houghton was an experienced farmer and the issues of loss were down to his poor animal husbandry and lack of care?

It was stated that gases given off in the copper smelting process were sulphuric acid and arsenic. Obviously, I would not argue against the idea that this works were having injurious affect on any life around it.

It was however argued in the defence that Houghton had walked into the smoke with “his eyes open”, and should have known about such matters, particularly coming from a area where industrial grime prevailed with wind blowing smoke across individual interests. Should the needs of individuals outweigh the needs of commerce, it was pondered? It was also wondered if the works had been built in a fit and proper place, next to a river a canal and a railway? 

Houghton called expert witnesses who had monitored the smoke, and it was also claimed that particles of toxic material associated with the works had been found in remains of horses and other animals. Houghton claimed enormous damages of over £5000, but the defence offered a poor case and in part lost the trial resulting in only £150 of damages for the “farmer”. The jury did however consider that the works were a nuisance, and further that they were not in a fit and proper place. 

Contrast all of the events here with a piece which took place AFTER this in The Birmingham Daily Post  9th May 1864. This little gem involved a discussion about the Albright and Wilson phosphorus works and the extension of its phosphorus production. The issues surrounding the expansion are quite incredible when you read the statements made in the earlier case involving Dugdale Houghton. 

AW had arrived in the area, and had not submitted plans concerning the phosphorus building which it was alleged would be injurious to public health! AW stated as these people always do to basically prove that this was the case.

It is quite extraordinary that the bearded £unt himself, John Wilson is quoted as saying this before this board.


“Mr Wilson produced a certificate from Mr George Shaw, a practical chemist , which stated that the health of the people employed at his works could in no degree suffer from the manufacture, and that consequently, the people living in the neighbourhood could not sustain any injury” (WTF!!! ED) 


Lying Quaker bastard

This lying Quaker bastard was only outdone by his lying chemical pal who was either one of his own wierdo cult or had been paid handsomely to come out with this “expert” fucking untruthful bollocks and easily refutable pack of lies.

  • We know that white phosphorus caused the ill health of those who handled it, an Act of Parliament would ban such matches being made.
  • We know that workers at this site contracted phossy jaw.
  • We know they were burnt by P4 and died.

Was this “George Bernard Shaw” I wonder, as what a fictitious fake expert this Queens College liar spun. It is therefore easy to see how people like this, “scientists” and academics have for many years been bought by people to make up fake and knowingly false statements presented as unarguable “fact”, to lie under oath and it is still going on in the chemical and pharmaceuticals industry today to try to spin their way out of litigation and the harm that they are doing to people with their drugs, vaccines and chemicals!

It is quite right but something omitted by the AW historian cocksuckers of Oldbury that one board member stated

“These works have been the ruin of Oldbury” 

It would be the case that the descendants of Wilson would get into politics and get places on boards of health to attempt to rub out the outcry that their polluting filth factory was causing in the area.

The interesting part of this is the intervention of one Dugdale Houghton, who just happened to be at this meeting allegedly on other business. What a fucking coincidence eh when he was supposedly a farmer in Wales? He contested the view offered by the board member who had stated that the phosphorus works had ruined Oldbury. Houghton claimed that he owned property in the area and that a number of people had enquired about living there. Wowzers, old Dugdale must have had some form of ology eh? Did he not ponder if these works had been built in a fit and proper place? Was he not concerned or did he not ask local landowners if their animals had suffered any ill health? 😐 

  • It appears that the public gallery was not happy about the nuisance that Albright and Wilson was causing.
  • I wonder how many cattle and crops had died?
  • I wonder if they ever brought a case for damages?

I bet they did not because they had no means to do so, unlike the wanker Dugdale Houghton who defended chemical polluters in an area he had forsaken himself, but still expected others to live in, whereas an area he had chosen to live in to escape, he himself had claimed damages against a similar operation.

How amazing that it was alright for him to seek compensation from an industrial polluter when it inconvenienced him, yet praised AW for their pollution grime. This just once again shows how if you had money and connections you could buy justice or evade it.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those in power in the rotten borough of Oldbury obviously decided to name a street after this man at some point after death and the canal branch as well. There’s another Houghton Street in West Brom too, though I’m not certain that it was the same bloke. The Oldbury Houghton Street is not far from the chemical arm, and is a dead end industrial stubber. An old map shows either a marl hole or pool in the road, which I believe to be a remnant of the former Whimsey Colliery, and I wonder if this was also used ironically to infill with chemical crap too?

Survey that Bitch!

For all the praise he gave Albright and Wilson, Dugdale Houghton got little back in terms of legacy with poisonous toxic chemicals dumped in his branch. This would of course pollute the canal system where he was employed. Oh the true irony of how this branch was named after him!  He is a forgotten opportunist grifter and total hypocrite. Tramp the dirt down on the soiled industrial grave named after him and shit on his name as well for good measure as a boundary post.

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Albright’s toxic archives #45 1981- an annus horribilis for Trinity Street

Or Pratt Day’s year off 

The context of Albright and Wilson’s cheapskate cost-cutting, see last post, is revealed in the Hugh Podger Book “The last 50 years”.

The Thatcher Government began to privatise industries and the economic recession bit hard.

“During this period the price of oil, which averaged $13 per barrel in 1978 , rose to $19 in 1979 and $32 in 1980, peaking at an average of $36 in 1981.

“The impact of the recession at Albright and Wilson was felt from mid-1980 , alongside the impact of higher oil prices which affected trade around the world.”

This should not be taken as an excuse to the costs at Trinity Street being cut , when this company had nearly gone bust in the 1970’s due to abysmal management decisions such as the Long Harbour pollution scandal, and were bailed out by American firm Tenneco in 1978.  In 1981, Podger claims that AW made £503 Million in sales, so they were hardly as piss poor as some companies that went under during the early days of the Iron Lady. 

At this point in time the works manager was called Pat Day, who would have been ultimately responsible for all that went on in the works- including all the cost-cutting and health and safety corner cutting going on.  From what we saw from the last post of the thousands of pounds claimed to be being saved by his foremen lieutenants, there is no doubt to anyone of sound mind that there was a direct correlation between consequent “accidents” , leaks, spillages and fires. And these are only the reported ones. When it is further learnt in the 1997 audit of this factory by the newly created Environment Agency that managers bonuses were linked to environmental performance, you can see that reporting such would put managers at considerable disadvantage. An example was cited in this later report of a chlorine leak at the factory which was a notifiable release.

Pratt Day

The 6th March 1981 Sandwell Evening Mail kicks off a round of misfortunes at phosphorus towers. The article states that a “phosphor vat” had filled a process unit with dense smoke. I take this to be white phosphorus, and the “dense smoke” phosphorus pentoxide exposed to air. Day is quoted in the piece with suitable lamentable excuse.

A couple of weeks later, the 24th March Mail reported another Trinity Street fire on Day’s watch, in the same fucking plant! What warnings were given out to the community were probably none existent , and the air raid siren would be unlikely to have been sounded. Water is also not the recommended method of tackling a phosphorus fire, FFS!

In May, on 23rd, the same paper reported another fire, in the named “phosphorus refining plant” had broken out. I’m not sure if this is the same place as the previous two, but it shows that they obviously had a major failure of systems in this unit at this time, and inadequate foremen managing the operation.

The fire broke out at night when three people were on duty. As for the “mopping up” operation, we all know to where the dross of this incident would have been taken- in drums to rattlechain lagoon and dumped there.

I had to look twice at the next article to make sure that it wasn’t the same fire, but it isn’t. Just two days later, another fire befell the works. This time firefighters were directly involved in fighting the serious chemical incident and had to use breathing apparatus to extinguish the flames in the pentasulphide plant. Hydrogen sulphide gas was evolved, and there is no doubt that this was a direct risk to offsite receptors even if those at Trinity Street would try to suggest otherwise.

At what point the fire service were involved at least politely in saying “what the fuck are you doing here?” is unknown, but surely by now the local community were beginning to see the cuts biting. A theme appears to emerge of night shifts and low staffing when these incidents were occurring- all involving fire crew call outs from numerous local stations, putting other members of the public at risk. 

999 was again the number dialled on 22nd October, and again the SEM reported the news that another chlorine leak had occurred. There had been another leak of this chemical of course in 1974 where several staff had required hospital treatment. 

And so to the 30th November Evening Mail and yet another works fire. This would be a laboratory one and to say that “safety experts” were investigating this in reference to Albright and Wilson’s own useless staff is like The Pope looking into the dealings of a johnny factory.

Again we see the blame on technology, and yet the weekend had seen nobody present to monitor what was occurring- another clear indication of staff not being around and a cost- cut in doing so. In this same month the phosphine NO1 factory at this site was commissioned, and that too would end up as a total fiasco.

I would say that every experiment that this company did went wrong- the most obvious one being cutting corners in health and safety matters, and employing idiot managers who could not manage the piss in their own catheter bags.


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Albright’s toxic archives#44 The costcutters aka The Albright cheapskates

You would have thought that with a string of accidents at Trinity Street that the works management would have pulled out all the strings with spending more on processes to ensure the safety of workers and the outside public- but not so!

The article below from Sandwell Evening Mail of 13th June 1981 shows what a cheap skate firm this really was.

I’m not sure how saving money and “efficiency” made the works safer. Indeed, as I will look at in the next post, 1981 would be a year of multiple incidents of failure of a management to do just that. Going forward, as I looked at in the last post, a man died working alone, and another lost a leg. I’m not sure what this bollocks story was really about, but no doubt cutting costs would not help matters.


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