George BUCKLEY C.1940

 

 

George BUCKLEY 1916 - 1989

 

 

George, the second son of John William and Florence  was born on 12th January 1916 at 57 Gill Street, Hoyland and christened at The John Knowles Memorial Church, Hoyland Nether on 27th February 1916.

George BUCKLEY, Cobcar St,Elsecar C.1925

 

He had an older sister Edith Annie (Nance) born on 30th December 1910 and also an older brother John William born 9th January 1913
In  the autumn of 1917 his younger brother Cyril was born.

 

 

 

 

 

George attended King Street School in Elsecar and then  Barnsley Mining and Technical College from 1934 to 1936 and obtained his National Certificate in Building Construction, Building Science, Building Geometry and Mathematics, which he took at Wombwell King's Road Evening Institute.

On 24th December 1939,  whilst living at 43 Cobcar Street, Elsecar, he married Rose HEDGES of 28 Windmill Road Wombwell  at Wombwell Parish Church. The couple moved to Luton, Beds, where George worked as an Engineers' Draughtsman with George Kent, designing such items as the 'Kent Clear View Screen' used on virtually every British ship during the war. He became a member of  the 'Home Guard' during the 1939-45 War.

George BUCKLEY About 1935

George BUCKLEY, Home Guard, Dagnall, Beds

Rose HEDGES, Wombwell About 1935

George BUCKLEY & Oliver DAWSON, Dagnall. Late 1930's

George and Rose were living at at 'Edenhurst', Dagnall Road, Studham R.D, when in 1945, their  son, Martin Howard BUCKLEY was born.George BUCKLEY with Martin & Bernice in Delamere Forest About 1952

 

 

 

 

 

BUCKLEY family, Scilly Isles About1958

 

Their first daughter, Bernice Rose BUCKLEY, was born  in1949,
By 1950, George was  working for Laporte Chemicals, Luton and when the company opened a new factory  in Warrington, the family moved north and lived in Baronet Road, Lower Walton, Warrington.

In 1953 George was awarded the Intermediate Certificate in Management Studies at Warrington Technical College and two years later he gained the Diploma in Management Studies at City of Liverpool College of Commerce. of which he said " The best thing it did was to teach me the quickest route to Liverpool" 

In 1955 their second daughter Alison Lindsay BUCKLEY was born at Warrington General Hospital.
Martin BUCKLEY, Bernice & Alison About 1960In the late 1950's he designed and built a sailing dinghy in partnership with Eric Johnson, the  postmaster at Preston Brook Post Office. He took an active part in his children's education; building exercise frames for Daresbury Primary School, and installing a radio system for use in any of the classrooms.  He helped with both cub and scout activities and was instrumental in installing the power supply when a new scout hut was built. At home he built several 'collapsible' canoes for family use on the Bridgewater canal.


The Laporte Chemicals Baronet works was opened in March 1950 to produce Hydrogen Peroxide by an electrolytic process. The plant "was probably the most modern in the world for technical design and configuration" Power for the huge batteries was produced by steam turbines and the electrolyte flowed down a cascade of levels to produce 35% Hydrogen Peroxide.  The powerhouse furnaces and steam turbines came under George's responsibility and were key  to the functioning of the plant.  At this time the Government were considering High Test Peroxide (HTP) as a potential fuel for submarine and rocket propellant. A German HTP submarine had been  built by1940 and in 1946 the scuttled  U-Boat, 1407, was salvaged and  commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Meteorite. This provided the impetus for the building of two British HTP submarines, HMS Explorer and HMS Excalibur which used an HTP and diesel mixture to achieve greater endurance and speed whilst submerged.

These ships  visited the Baronet works in about 1960 and this photograph shows George escorting a group of crew members at the plant.

Known to the ratings as the "Blonde" submarines and nick-named "Exploder" and "Excruciator", alluding to several incidents with the new fuel, these boats were only really successful in proving that HTP was not suitable for use in submarines. One RN submariner is quoted as saying "I think the best thing we can do with peroxide is to try to get it adopted by potential enemies". Both submarines had been decommissioned and broken up in Barrow by 1970

However demands for Hydrogen Peroxide were growing in textile industries, the production of "perborate" in washing powders and HTP trials as a rocket propellant spelled the end of the electrolysis production in favour of a new higher volume  auto-oxidisation process which was installed at the Baronet works in 1958.  

Spare electricity from the electrolytic plant had always been supplied back to the National Grid and this continued for some time.  George however with a reduced workload, found himself tasked with purchasing a new Corporate sign for the exterior of the main building, a massive structure of 3 vertical diamonds bearing the initials L I L (Laporte Industries Limited).

George was finally made redundant in about 1970 and moved to live in Worceter. As Georges's health deteriorated they moved to Stanion to live near their younger daughter Alison and on 16th July 1989, George died in Kettering Hospital