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Driving force behind city legend

PUBLISHED: 15:42 09 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:02 02 July 2010

Proud employee: Chalky White, at work as a driver for Boulton & Paul at the Riverside Works in Norwich.

Proud employee: Chalky White, at work as a driver for Boulton & Paul at the Riverside Works in Norwich.

Derek James

The men and women who worked at Boulton & Paul held their heads high. They were proud to be a part of the jewel in the Norwich industrial crown.

Derek James

The men and women who worked at Boulton & Paul held their heads high. They were proud to be a part of the jewel in the Norwich industrial crown.

Yesterday I introduced you to John Measures, the pioneering engineer behind Jumbo, the massive steel drilling and cutting plant which was sent across the world from Riverside Works.

Today it's the turn of the drivers. The men who drove the goods produced by B&P, often huge and heavy steels girders and the like, around the country.

Look around so many places across the country and you will see buildings held up together by B&P steel and wood - a hidden symbol of a glorious Norwich workplace first established way back in 1797.

The stories and photographs have been causing a lot of interest in and around the city and across the world, among former workers and those whose mums and dads worked at the factory over the years.

Thousands of people were employed by B&P over the years and the stories and photographs have brought back so many memories of this great company which played a leading role in Norfolk life for so many decades.

These pictures have come from Stephen White whose father Ronnie, known as Chalky, worked as a driver for B&P for more than 20 years.

“He was one of the drivers on the steel side of the business and was very proud to have worked for B&P. He made a lot of good friends,” said Stephen.

The photographs show Chalky at work, delivering massive steel girders, and of the drivers all spruced up for factory events, maybe a presentation of some kind.

“My dad took early retirement in the 1960s and sadly passed away in 1994,” said Stephen.

And he would love to hear from anyone who remembers his father. You can call him on 01379 854079 or write to him, that's Stephen White at 6 Weavers Court, Harleston, Norfolk, IP20 9PY.

Did You Know?

On this day in Norfolk of 1894 the Cardiff steamer Resolven, with a cargo of 2,300 tons of coal, ran ashore on the Cockle Sand near Caister and was wrecked.

On this day in China of 1899 a new tide of rebellion organised by The Boxers aimed at Westerners and especially Christians, who were blamed for bad weather, was sweeping across the country.

On this day in 1949 actor Robert Mitchum was jailed for two months for smoking marijuana.

On this day in 1964 the US crime rate plunged as 73 million Americans cancelled everything to watch four likely lads from Liverpool appear on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles had arrived stateside. When John Lennon was asked how he found America he replied: “It's easy, you turn left at Greenland.”

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