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121115 | Bridge tribute to Hayle employer | This is Cornwall

From The Cornishman Thursday 15 November 2012:

Bridge tribute to Hayle employer

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cornishman

THE significance of one of Hayle's biggest historical employers has been celebrated with a bird screen installed on the town's new bridge.

The screen, on the eastern side of the bridge spanning Copperhouse Pool was part of the mitigation works agreed with the RSPB, who own the pool, to get planning permission for the bridge.

The new bird screen on the bridge spanning Copperhouse Pool.

The new bird screen on the bridge spanning Copperhouse Pool.

But Hayle Town Council and Cornwall Council, who carried out the works, have worked to ensure the screen also has another purpose.

The screen, which is a perforated wave pattern, has been manufactured by Ash and Lacy – the company that took over J&F Pool, a Hayle company that employed 350 people in its heyday.

Cornwall Councillor for Hayle North John Pollard came up with the idea as a "tangible tribute" to all those who worked for the company, including his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins.

"(The screen) was added to the scheme at the insistence of the RSPB as a means of ensuring that the birds on Copperhouse Pool are not disturbed by traffic on the bridge. I know of no one else who thought it a good idea," he said.

"However, as we had to have it I suggested that it be perforated in a pattern to reflect the work that J&F Pool produced throughout most of the 20th century.

"J&F Pool's significance is much more relevant in terms of employment over the second half of the 20th century than that of Harvey & Co, yet we seem to make less of its history and that of its predecessor, The Cornish Copper Company."

The screen was manufactured by Ash and Lacy of West Bromwich, who bought J&F Pool in 1995. The company was founded in 1848 by James and Frederick Pool and work in Hayle continued under their name until 2000.

Most of the company buildings, with the exception of Old Market House (now Down The Line surf shop), are now gone.

Brian Pascoe, who worked at the company for 46 years, ending his career there as sales and marketing director, said: "If you look around Hayle now, you would never know that J&F Pool existed, so something to commemorate what happened is worthwhile."

He helped come up with the design for the new bridge and there will be a plaque on the bridge telling the story behind the screen.

Cornwall councillor John Coombe, who worked for J&F Pool for 39 years, said: "Pool perforated most of their metal in great big coils that came down from Wales. It costs so much bringing it down so when Ash and Lacy bought it out we knew it was going to be the beginning of the end."