The Gloster Getter

The Gloster Getter was a coal cutting/loading machine invented by  W Vic Sheppard. It was presented to Jack as the future of colliery mechanisation and Jack saw promise in the initial design.

With the need to increase coal production for an energy hungry post war Britain, Jack put forward the case for trialing the new machine and to build new workshops dedicated to the trial and to support the development.

Maybe because of the proximity of Jack's office at the No.1 Area headquarters, Bolsover Colliery was chosen for the project.

New workshops were soon built and promptly christened 'The Gloster Shop', although later when I worked at Bolsover the building was known as 'Ray Webster's shop'. 

As well as the new workshops Jack imported some trusted old colleagues from his old collieries in the Hardwick group including Ramcroft, Williamthorpe, Holmewood and Grassmoor.

Two essential personnel of Jack's were Lew Bower, his assistant and Mike Cowley, his draughtsman. Having an idea for a new piece of equipment means nothing until you can build it and test it, and in order to build it you need to produce detailed drawings to manufacture the parts. Jack realised how key it was to have a gifted draughtsman on your team. Lew Bower was also a gifted engineer and he would later go on to design hydraulic rams and chocks for Dobson's new owners, FHW.

Other members of the team were David Jackson , Des Heeley , Ernie Goodwin , Lew Gee,  Alan Rimmington, Bill Mills, Les Rowley, Don Jackson, Les Winson. Harry Bradshaw, Harry Lowe, Ernie Holland, Miles Saxton and Don Featherstone.

A special word of thanks goes to a young apprentice of the Gloster shop, Keith Wagstaff.

Keith very kindly put some of the names to the photos in Jack's papers. He remembers being tasked to wash Jack's car on a weekly basis, which seems like a misuse of a nationalised industry's funds :)

Here he is , jumping from a tub outside the Gloster shop. The photo was taken by Jack's right hand man, Lew Bower, a keen amateur photographer and also the man responsible for taking the other photos in the following gallery.

The Gloster shop staff

Albert Owen (Turner)

Unknown Suit, David Jackson (foreman), Des Heeley (welder), Ernie Goodwin (fitter), Lew Gee (fitter) and Alan Rimmington (apprentice).

David Jackson (foreman), Des Heeley (Welder) and Ernie Goodwin (fitter)

David Jackson Gloster shop foreman

Unknown Suit, David Jackson (foreman), Des Heeley (welder), Ernie Goodwin (fitter), Lew Gee (fitter) and Alan Rimmington (apprentice).

Mike Cowley was Jack Mawson's draughtsman and played a key role in Jack's inventions.

Lew Gee Gloster Shop fitter posing

A view of the No.1 Area Headquarters, Bolsover taken from the colliery towards the rear of the Gloster shop.