Engineer's Teesside chemical works photos snapped up at auction

ENGINEER Mike Satow spent decades contributing to industrial and heritage successes in the North East.

Installation of hydrogen compressors and steam engines at Billingham Nylon Works

ENGINEER Mike Satow spent decades contributing to industrial and heritage successes in the North East.

He played a key part in setting up the ICI Nylon Works on Teesside in the late 1940s and ’50s, while much of his retirement was devoted to helping to launch Beamish Museum in County Durham.

He and other volunteers built the museum’s working replica of the historic Locomotion steam engine.

Yesterday, two albums of photographs he took documenting the construction of the Nylon Works were sold by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson and Garland for £100.

Included were pellets of the raw material for the first runs of nylon ribbon produced by the works, which are currently being dismantled.

Mr Satow’s daughter, Clare, a producer of printed fabrics based in Bill Quay in Gateshead, said: “The albums are important material for historians and it is better that they are in the public domain rather than sitting in an old chest.”

Her father later spent 15 years as a manager for ICI in India, where Clare spent much of her childhood.

She said: “My father was part of the ICI team that built the Nylon Works in 1947 and gathered this collection of images. He stayed at the works until 1956, when he was transferred by ICI to India, with the family following a year later.

“He was very public spirited and came back to the North East on his retirement with the aim of celebrating the region’s industrial heritage.

“He helped build the replica of Locomotion housed at Beamish – scrounging most of the materials needed – with the volunteers involved with the museum.

“He was passionate about railways, especially Indian railways, and would rescue engines deteriorating in fields.”

Fred Wyrley-Birch of Anderson and Garland, said: “The Nylon Works dominated Billingham’s skyline and employed hundreds of local people.”

V A collection of scores of deer antlers built up by Northumberland-based Henry Tegner, featured in The Journal on Tuesday, sold yesterday for a total of £2,530.

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