Michelin Memories is an opportunity for our ex-employee volunteers to share some of their stories with you. In this series we’ll feature recollections from the team alongside images of the documents that sparked these memories off. We’d also be interested to hear about personal memories from our readers – get in touch and we’ll include them here. We’re looking forward to uncovering these stories hidden within the Archive on a regular basis – enjoy!
Michelin apprentices who represented Great Britain internationally
Memory contributed by Les Woolley
Early in 1961 competitions were held, by the City of Guilds examination board, to select apprentices to represent Great Britain in the International Apprentice Competition. Having been selected from the Michelin apprentice group, test pieces were submitted to find out who were the best in Staffordshire. If successful, a national selection was the next stage. Clive Barker, Les Woolley and Michael Mothershaw were chosen to represent Great Britain, Clive (senior apprentice) and Les (junior apprentice) in gas welding and Mike (senior apprentice) house wiring.
All three were invited with the rest of the British team to the inaugural meeting of Commonwealth Training Week at the Guild Hall, London where the Duke of Edinburgh made the opening address. All three then attended the Commonwealth Service in St Paul’s Cathedral. The welders Clive and Les undertook a three week training course at the British Oxygen Company training centre in Cricklewood, London. The International Competition was held in Duisburg West Germany between June 30th and July 16th and consisted of one week of competition and one week of culture and site seeing visits in Germany.
The competition was tough and although all three Michelin representatives gave great performances, they were unfortunately unplaced. Of the 191 apprentices from eleven countries taking part, Germany won the team prize with 16 first placings.