This summer, St Helens folk will be treated to an exhibition that tells the story of the great industries that were born in this small town.
Held in the ex head office of Pilkingtons, the exhibition looks back over the past couple of centuries at how local pioneers, inventors and industrialists built up successful world class businesses and how their employees and unions drove them out of town.
We spoke to one ex employee of Pilkingtons from the 1970s known to his friends as Jack Sicknote, he told us “It wasn’t as easy as people thought working at Pilks, If we were on night shift we’d be lucky to get our head down in the rest room for a full eight hours, we’d usually only manage six hours sleep before having to get up and press some buttons. There was one night when I got some dirt on my overalls. My wife went bloody mad! Ravenhead was loads easier though, you could clock in an’ fuck off home.”
The exhibition named ‘The Art Of Doing Fuck All’ will cover the golden years of St Helens industry telling the story of how the big players such as Pilkingtons, Ravenhead, Beechams and Greenalls helped to make the town prosper. It also covers the dark years when councils, unions, unrealistic wage demands and piss poor productivity drove the firms to downsize, sell up or relocate.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to take part in reconstructions to see what working in St Helens was like back then, They’ll have the opportunity to have two hour breakfasts, sleep for a few hours undisturbed and play a fun game called bribe the gateman where they steal things without getting caught. The exhibition organisers promise it’ll be a nostalgic day out.
Entrance is free and parking is ample.