When the major radiator manufacturer Stelrad made a plea locally in the South Yorkshire area to former employees who might have photographs or memories of working for the company in recent decades, Derek ‘Nip’ Denton was exactly the kind of person they had in mind!
Derek worked for Stelrad from the age of 15 in 1952 until he retired in 1995, at the age of 58. He started making stove grates in the company’s foundry, and then went on to work on boilers and then radiators. He was able to provide loads of information to Stelrad marketing department’s Lexi Kelly when she went to visit him recently including confirming many of the dates on the timeline they are putting together to cover the full history of the company: “He was great and full of information he was more than willing to share with me,” she said. “He gave me some photographs too – he was quite a runner in his early years and won a local mile race – the ‘Queen’s Foundry One Mile Challenge’ – three years on the trot.”
One of the photographs Nip provided sees him being presented with the cup for winning the mile race from Mrs Young, the wife of the managing director at the time. As was the tradition in companies in those days, when he reached his 25th year of service he was given a certificate and a choice of gift to mark the occasion. He chose a clock, and it’s still keeping perfect time to this day!
“I’d like to adopt him as my new grandad,” said Lexi after visiting him! If anyone else out there who worked for Stelrad in the last century has any memories to share, photographs of the factory or people they worked with, contact Lexi Kelly on 01709 572221.