b'A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWNFamily tiesGeorge, who is still with the company,the bags of sand, empty them into the hopper, began in the blasting bay but soon moved topull the lever, then sit down for half an hour the paint shop where he worked side-by-sideand watch them blast, then Id go back and do with his father for 26 years.it all again.Filling up the sand-blasting hoppers andHarry had been with the company for a sweeping up all the grit in the paint andyear when misfortune struck. He was stacking blasting shop was a rite of passage for many large steel trusses when about five tonnesof the new starters like George. Harry Wellerof steel fell on his feet, crushing them.was another. He recovered. The silver lining was that Bob discovered Harry had passed his School Certificate, so he started Harry on a GEORGE LEEFE fabricator apprenticeship under Jim Denhams George Leefe was 15 years old when he joinedsupervision.Dixon & Haddon in 1983. His father, Laurie,I think I was the last apprentice outwas a hard worker and set an example forof Dixon & Haddon, until they broughtGeorge to follow.them back years later. I enjoyed it. All theHe remembers it being old-school backold fellas looked after the young guys.then. If you didnt know what respect was youThey were the last of the old-school because soon learnt it, and got it; it worked both ways.after their generation everything changedIt was important to develop that respectHARRY WELLER with technology. I learnt a lot from them.early on to feel comfortable in the job and lookIn 1981, a 16-year-old Harry Weller joinedIn a similar vein to Jim Denham, Harry forward to the next day. Then you couldntDixon & Haddon. His stepfather, Jack McLean,was very talented. Show him a drawing andwait to go to work. You work 10-, 12-hour dayshad been with the company since 1974 andhe would barely have to look at it again.and youre winding down for Friday, and thatshelped to get Harry the job. He went on to form his own successful rigging when you have a talk and a laugh and a bit ofHarry spent the first six months filling thecompany and is still operating today.mischief. Then back to it again on Monday.sand-blasting hoppers. Well, if you could last Good times. six months at that job. All I had to do was cut 24'