Ex-ICI workers invited to picture display

EX-employees at the ICI Hilllhouse site in Thornton will have a chance to re-visit the past next month.

Fleetwood Library is staging a display of old photos of the giant chemical site from March 1 to 28.

The presentation will introduce a much larger display of old Hillhouse photos which will go on show in the ICI room at Fleetwood Museum starting this April.

The displays at the library will include photos and information of the old ICI boats, such as details on crew members receiving the George Cross medal for bravery.

Leo Johnston a Fleetwood man who worked on the boats, helped put the exhibition together and provided names of other seaman.

It all began when Leo said was contacted by Hertforshire publisher Bill Forster whose father worked on the ICI boats and who had a great deal of information about them.

Bill also contacted Danny O'Neill, the retired ICI Hillhouse Public Relations Manager, who suggested to Leo that there was scope for an exhibition.

Also on show will be photos of Fleetwood's Alkali works and employees, ICI's work within the community and photos of the Preesall salt mines, featuring the miners and ladies packing Fleetwood salt. The only surviving pure white salt crystal from the Preesall mines will also be displayed.

NPL Estates Ltd, the company which is developing Hillhouse International Business Park, has sponsored the exhibition.

Leo said: "They are fascinating pictures, it's just like going down Memory Lane."

And Danny commented: "This is a great opportunity for retired employees and the local community to revisit the past and maybe even see some of their relatives on the photos. Also, copies sold will raise funds for the Fleetwood Museum Trust."

Lynn Aghar Assistant Museum officer said: "We hope the prelude of photos in Fleetwood Library will lead to a great deal of interest in the future display at Fleetwood Museum."