Wednesday, March 15, 2006
'Lone Star' (Hatfield) - A blast from the past!
"On one occasion a fork-lift truck driver was attempting to unload a consignment of caps (for cap-firing toy guns) from a van when the lifting-forks accidentally penetrated the boxes causing a terrific explosion which blew out several of the factory windows. Although some of the employees were in a state of shock, as far as is known there were no fatalities."
"After Wicke took over, one day there was a bang in the delivery yard. A carton of caps had fallen off a fork-lift truck [as she put it] while being unloaded and had exploded. One or two people were slightly injured and "Health & Safety" were [on the scene] like a flash. Pat Simmonds says Wicke did not believe a carton of caps could explode if dropped, so tried it themselves, in Germany, dropping a carton from the roof [of their main plant at Wuppertal]. It did explode and windows were broken!!"
Another interesting and unusual incident from Patrick Simmonds. It was this employee who attached a wreath to the "Lone Star" sign board above the office block main entrance in May 1988, to mark the impending closure of the Hatfield factory the following month. In hand-written capital letters on the sign board, above the wreath, were written the words: "Farewell, will miss you". A contemporary photo of this poignant scene can be viewed on: www.lone-star-diecast-bk.com/bygonelonestar.htm (Top row - right)
This is what he reported:-
"A young employee - an ex-student - was, evidently, unaware that she was pregnant! On the day in question she was in the factory lavatories and whilst in there she went into labour. The factory staff 'first-aiders' were alerted to the crisis. They were quickly on the scene to assist the young woman and had actually delivered the baby in the first-aid room by the time the doctor and ambulance arrived."