One of the interesting accessions received at Archives and Collections, Library of Birmingham, back in 2013 was papers and photographs about William Robert Mackenzie (b. 1920) and his working life at Parkinson Cowan, (formerly the Parkinson Stove Company), later Thorn Gas Appliances Ltd. [Accession 2013/167 MS 4647]
William Robert Mackenzie (left) [MS 4647]
The factory was on Flaxley Road, Stechford, Birmingham, and Mr Mackenzie worked there from 1935 – 1983, beginning as tea boy and finishing as Departmental Manager for the Spares Department and Sheltered Workshop.
Mr Mackenzie was an active member of the Association for Research into Restricted Growth, advising on employment, and he helped to develop a Sheltered Workshop for people at Thorn Gas Appliances Ltd. who became disabled after joining the firm.
Article from the collection recognising the ‘Fit for Work’ award. [MS 4647]
Here at The Iron Room, we are celebrating our 200th blog post today! The first post on The Iron Room was on 4 October 2011 and was an introduction to what we hoped to achieve with the blog – to highlight events and exhibitions, to showcase our collections and to provide advice for researchers.
We have continued to follow this ethos to this day and are proud to have supported important issues, as we are doing here with Disability History Month. This year is of particular significance as Disability History Month examines the theme of War and Impairment: The Social Consequences of Disablement as the First World War led to an unprecedented number of soldiers returning with a disability.
The Gymnasium. Birmingham Hospitals, Highbury, First World War.
The Voices of War and Peace programme of events includes a First World War Study Day this coming Saturday (6th December), examining the war in relation to injury, medicine and disability. For further details and to make a booking for this free event, which is held at the Library of Birmingham, please visit the Voices of War and Peace website or the Library of Birmingham website.
The Voices of War exhibition also addresses the issues of disability in Birmingham as a result of the First World War and includes fascinating exhibits relating to the employment of disabled servicemen.
Poster asking employers to employ or train an ex-service man [MS 4383]