Back in 2010, and as part of the Steelos Songs of Steel project I had the great pleasure of working camera on an interview with Ted Thompson, a former Rotherham steelworker, who was then in his 1990s and living alone in Rotherham. It was one of the most fascinating interviews I’ve ever watched and I could’ve sat and listened to Ted recall his childhood and working life long into the night. He recalled his school days with such incredible clarity, describing places in Rotherham that I could recognise (though only just recognise for the town – and the world – has moved on) and remember even his first day at work in the early 1930s, still a boy and barely out of short trousers.
I found out last week that Ted passed away recently and I was touched by a genuine sadness, both at this eldely gentleman’s end and at the loss of memory and history that he takes with him. The town where I live, that has such a rich, varied and interesting past, and how that place used to be dies a little more as the generations blink out and fade into memory themselves.
RIP Mr Thompson. It was a pleasure to have met and talked with you.