Oral History Project

The Calver Weir Restoration Project has been researching the legacy of the weir and mill through an oral history project. The local community have been involved and many people associated with the mill have been interviewed. Click on the pictures below to find out more about the interviewees and listen to the interviews
7) The River  
8) Wildlife        
10) Colditz      
11) Secrets      

Interview 11 - Secret Machines
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Ken Campbell and Jess Oakley both worked for Sissons at Calver Mill from the 1955. Ken began at Calver as a Production Manager and was promoted eventually to Executive Chairman. Jess was a Flow Turn Spinning Operator and became a Press Shop Supervisor. Both had personal reasons for moving to Sissons.

Ken and Jess talk about the ‘secret machine’ which Gordon Sissons brought back from Sweden across post-war Germany. Jess worked on the machine in a part of the mill screened from sight of visitors. It gave Sissons a competitive edge and led to the production of thousands of stainless steel products developed at the mill.

Jess was the last man at the mill after Sisson’s move to Chesterfield – ‘turning the lights out’ as he puts it.
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Our Work
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