Alan Taylor Jackson
Born in January 1940, in my Grandparents house at 79 Lilywhite Terrace, Easington Lane, to my father George Maurice Jackson and mother Amelia Bees Jackson, nee Taylor, both from mining families. It was early in WW2 and there were many occasions when the siren sounded, and I was rushed to the air raid shelter carried in a washing basket.
My education was at Hetton Lyons school through all departments from Infants, Junior and Senior. Walking to school from Seymore Terrace past the White Gates crossing, with its Puffing Billies on the Stephenson Railway Line, often the gates were open holding up what little traffic was around at the time.
I like most boys expected to work at the coal mine when we left school. My family resisted me going there, probably influenced by my grandfather, on my dad’s side, being killed by a fall of stone. Not being very certain what I then wanted to do, at the age of 15, I started an engineering course at Stockton Technical College, which would lead to a lifelong career in engineering. I became an apprentice at Scanners on the Tyne, later Marconi and English Electric, making radar equipment. I was the boy from out in the sticks. Gaining experience working through all the workshops and offices before ending up in the Drawing Office, it was pencils and set squares then.
By the time I was 17 I had met Olive and we would marry in 1962. I now moved on to widen my experience at Gresley Machine Co., Coles Cranes, British Engines and Reyrolles. I had developed an interest in trade unions, becoming secretary of the Sunderland branch of the Draughtsman & Allied Technicians Union (DATA) acting as a Corresponding Member (Shop Steward) and representing them on various bodies.
By 1975, Olive and I had three children, I was invited to work for a Teesside engineering consultancy and now pursued my career doing plant layout, piping, production machines and many other things for many of the large and small companies, ICI, Rohm & Haas, DuPont, Hydro Polymers, etc. in 1992 redundancy loomed and with my colleague Brian Stephenson, we used our redundancy money to start our own company Pendragon Engineering Design Ltd., where I worked as senior designer and managing director until my retirement in 2007. In retirement I could now spend time with my wife who had developed serious medical problems, she sadly passed away in 2010.
Always interested in local history I would become secretary of Hetton Local & Natural History Society in time to be involved with the Hetton Village Atlas project and other projects such as the Mining Heritage Statue, as treasurer of Hetton Art Club and latterly as secretary of HCR 200.