RSS Feed


Diagnosed with Lung cancer at 88 years of age I have decided to start a belated diary, linking my actual and virtual lives? It’s a little late but it’s purpose is therapeutic more than anything else. It can be easily added to edited and improved and I may well contact others in it’s construction.  I will try to link and comment about anything of interest that I recollect or find. For a start drop down to 1983 for the start of my computer experience.

So far so good the link works. I must try to see how easy it is to link directly to this page.  It would seem that there is no way of hitting the page direct it has to be done via the home page.


1927-Born Dec. 24th.  Country in recession.

My mother and father were living with my grandparents. Next door their new home was being built, I was born  before that new home was finished and the family moved.

1928 – As the Steeper family we  are now living  with the Gilbert’s, my mothers side of the family and grandma Gilbert had a strong influence on my life. This was to be my home until  I married Bet and moved into our present home.

I was a single child until the age of 25 when my brother was born. Father was a builders labourer working on the bridge on the A18 (Kingsway), crossing over the Grimsby to Doncaster railway. I was married with two sons before my brother was born. So he too was brought up as a single child. Unfortunately my father died at the age of 54 and my mother a widow (A true single parent) brought up my bother. Working as a shop assistant at several local stores in Ashby. (Judge the Grocer and post office, Holme and Colonial and Franklin’s the Taylor.)

1927/32 – I have vague memories of seeing dad at work on the bridge.

1932 – Started school (Ashby Infants – Still standing 2016)

1934 – Transferred to Ashby Junior School (Demolished)

Games in the Street. Cars were few and far between. buses and horse and cart deliveries. Whip and top, Marbles, Fag Cards, Roller skating, Football and Cricket with a few broken windows. The local ‘Bobby/Policeman’ walked the streets.

Ashy Junior School Football Team image

1935 – Snack  (Ken Snaith old Friend) Remembers :  You are going back to the mid-thirties now!  At that time I used to be very friendly with Gordon Franklin and more often than not played with him in Smithfield Road. At that time there were lots of others in that road around our age…the Cowlings, the Roberts,the Keys,the Harrisons the Bloggs and others and of course you..So it was playing and larking about in the ten foots and Smithfield Road,when we were 8 years old.That is a long time ago ,when it was safe to play in the streets and although we didn’t have much,we had great fun.We were just part of one happy gang,who got on well with one another. I hope this brings back memories of those “roots”,80 years ago.  Ken.

1937 – I took what was then known as ‘The Scholarship’. Results in this examination determined whether or not you won a place at a Grammar School, a Secondary Modern School or a basic Secondary School. I won a place at the Scunthorpe Secondary Modern in Cole Street. (now demolished).

1939 – Start World War 2 :

1942  – Left school 1n the Easter.  Started work as an office boy at the Appleby Frodingam North Ironworks (near Lower Santon Dawes Lane) wage 14/- (70p) a week, I gave my mother 10/- of it until I reached the age of 16 and became an apprentice fitter and turner (Engineering). It was then that things began to change as  I grew up and started to think about the future. Cycled to work.

Started Night Classes at my old school (2 years). Later given day release from work to attend Gainsborough Technical College Ordinary National Certificate Course in Engineering.

Leisure Activities :-   Ashby Institute : Ashby St. Paul’s Church Boys Club : Scunthorpe Youth Centre : Scunthorpe Intermediate League Football (Sea Cadets up to age 18) : Appleby Frodingham Sports Athletic Club (Brumby Hall-Football, Tennis and drinking) : Dancing – Campbell’s (top floor the old Scunthorpe Conservative Club). Baths Hall in winter, Ashby St.Pauls Church Hall in the summer. Proper big band dancing. It was in the course of these activities that I first met Bet. Jackie Marriott who worked with Bet the in the offices of the Firth Brown Foundry introduced her to me. It was not a case of ‘love at first sight’. When we did decide that we were meant for each other and agreed to get married, it was a marriage as intended, a marriage of love, joy and sorrow, work and play, in sickness and in health until death us do part.

1945 – May 8th – End of War in Europe. My first official date with Bet. I was 2 hours late.

On reflection :- A little too young to fight for my country and beliefs but old enough to remember.
Germany with French help basque in the glory of loosing two world wars. Was the rebuilding and reuniting of Germany a good thing for Europe ? 
 The U.K. as the ‘winners’ had to honour their debts :- See History of British National Debt.
Whilst Germany as the ‘losers’ got rebuilt :- See  Reconstruction of Germany

1948 – The H.H.S. is born

It used to be that when we were ill we went to see the doctor. If we were very ill he (there were very few lady doctors) came to see us. My tonsils were taken out at home, the doctor used a bottle of chloroform and a mask. At the age of 11 I was treated at home for “Lock Jaw”, the doctor pinned me to the bed with a “huge” injection in my chest. For years after that it seemed that the first thing he did when I went to see him was was give me a tetanus injection.
How has the N.H.S. got to where it is today ? Everything is great when you get to where you want to be, it’s getting there that is the problem. Moreover how did my parents ‘organise/pay’ for me to have my tonsils  taken out at home ?

1949 – My cousin John Gilbert (Gilly a keen motor cyclist) started coming to live with us during the winter. Much nearer for him to get to work at App.Frod. We became close friends, much to the delight of grandma Gilbert. (Learn something new everyday,  buy your own home and don’t ever buy anything on the “never never”)

1952 – Got married and lived at home for about 18 months until we had saved enough and  our home was built and ready for occupation. At the time my wife Bet was’t sure that we could afford to buy a house. I told her not to worry because I would be earning £1000 a year by the time that I was 30 years old. The golden rule of the day was do not let loan repayments, exluding mortgage, exceed 25% of your income. We were able to buy the land and save an acceptable deposit before committing to a mortgage.

1954 – Moved into our new home. Bare minimum furniture, no TV, no telephone, no garage because no car.  Started to pay ‘Rates’ on my property and have paid Rates, Poll Tax, Counil Tax in one form or another ever since. Plus of course any other form of tax demand since I started work. At the age of 88 I  am still paying P.A.Y.E. And expect to do so till the day I die.

1957 – Eldest son Michael born on Bet’s birthday : 5th. Sept.

1960 – Roger born : 29th. Jan.

30th.July – Father died age 54. At this time our mother became the main  career for Steven (my younger brother) she remained his career until she died. When Steven started work as an apprentice pipe fitter at App. Frod she lost child benefit and he became a liability to any housing benefit she had. She continued to work until she reached retirement age and continued to work part time for some time after that.

1983  – Retired and got myself a computer. An Acorn BBC  Beeb. Click here

Joined Holme Hall Golf Club.

Reflection on Appleby Frodingham, the Scunthorpe steel company that I spent the whole of my working life with. :- When I started with the company as an office boy in 1942 Appleby Frodingham was an integrated iron and steelworks. It’s name has been stamped on structural steel products used in many icon constructions, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Jodrell Bank to name just two. Frodingham produced the iron and Appleby made the steel. When I joined the industry in 1942 App. Frod., as it was known then, was self sufficient in energy and in fact supplied power to the grid. Waste heat and gas bi-products were the source of that power. My father worked in the Frodingham Power House. The company took energy from the grid in an emergency and there was a time when in order to maintain production, an emergency supply independent from the grid, was considered.

British Steel Corporation  It was government involvement that started the rot in the steel industry, and in fact the ruination of the British heavy industry in general. They should have taxed the profits of those industries, leaving those who made the profits to continue to do so. That way the industries would have moved with the times.

In 1979 under the tenure of Sir Ian MacGregor government proposals for four steel making areas, 2 in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales, each capable of producing 10m. Tons/ annum was questionable from its inception. The Anchor Project was born and Scunthorpe’s target of 10m.tons/annum was trimmed to 4m.tons/annum in the design and construction stages. In the event even that was far too ambitious and demand could have been met with significantly less capital investment. The old industries were build upon providing quality products they were strong and capable, after all they had served two world wars, providing the steel for ships, tanks, and the general steel demands of a country under siege.  Our steel was based on local coal and local ore,  ore that was rubbish in itself but the iron and steel makers of the day learned how to use it competitively, effectively and efficiently and left to their own devices, would have continued to do so. Instead the government went for quantity rather the quality and as such moved over to imported foreign ore

Within The United Steel Company   App. Frod. were known as the Clog Iron makers, making a ton of slag for every ton of iron they made. That slag went to Tarmac for road building and surfacing and was put to good use in flood defences following the East Coast flooding of 1953. Of much more value than that however was the value of our steel crop ends, off cuts, and scrap. It was clean steel, no tramp elements, and utilised in the other United Steel Companies for the making of stainless and other high quality steels.

Steel and coal were an integral part of British Industral  Manufacturing that had grown to meet the requirements of the nation. Satisfying the home market and able to sell abroad and to the commonwealth.

1987 – Onset Bet’s arthritis. Started in hands, within a few months full blown rheumatoid arthritis.

2000 – Set up a hand coded Web Site :

2004 – Hawaii – Bet beats her arthritis:- Monday, November 15, 2004

Diamond Head Summit Club MemberPosted by Hello : imageDiamond Head rises 760 feet above sea level and 560 feet from the crater floor. To reach the summit you must ascend the 0.7 mile long trail which is unpaved and has an uneven rock and dirt surface that is loose and slippery in places. It leads through a dark tunnel and involves climbing 271 steps through a narrow spiral staircase inside an unlit bunker. The entire hike takes about 1 hour and a half. The reward for accomplishing this feat is a panoramic view of south Oahu from Koko Head to Barbers Point. This picture was taken from the summit in the background is Honolulu and the famous Waikiki Beach.

2009 – Bet’s 80th. Birthday. Roger set up party at Bawtry. Handy

for Scunthorpe, Scotter and Sheffield.


2016 – Two sons to be proud of :-


This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: