Thursday, 22 January 2009

Talking of Worcestershire...

Shed heaven for enthusiast Tony

From the Express & Star - one of Britain's great regional newspapers...

' An Englishman’s home may be his castle, but a man’s garden shed can be an even bigger source of pride.

Wolverhampton electrician Tony Levy has decorated his with more than 150 machine makers’ plates salvaged from derelict factories, foundries, mills and furnaces that once churned out the products that made the region famous.

His impressive collection, which adorns the shed at the bottom of his Wednesfield garden, includes name-plates from firms long gone and are a reminder of the Black Country’s great industrial past. Father-of-six Tony says: “Some are quite ornate and very old, and more than a few bear the town of origin.

“In essence, it’s a history of metal-bashing at its best. I come across them in my job and cannot bear to see them lost forever. Some people think it’s on a par with collecting manhole covers – but we’re all different.”

Included are a Cradley Steampacket boiler plate, two signs from Federal Electric, in Dudley, and a Bentley sign from a 20-ton press in a Pelsall car components factory.

Tony, aged 58, says: “When I pop my clogs, this lot is going to The Black Country Museum.”

The shed is also Tony’s bolthole, both as an office and a sanctuary from “the wife”, Angela. Tony has furnished it with an old black and white portable TV, writing desk, worktop and cosy chair, and says: “Women have kitchens, men have sheds.” '

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