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HuwG BS: Rocket Science??? (126* d) RE: BS: Rocket Science??? 18 Jan 08

Reading JohnInKansas's tale above reminds me of a story told by a late business partner of my father's, who was working as a chemist or analyst at Yorkshire Imperial Metals in Leeds, UK.

One day, the foundrymen at YIM contrived to make a mess of a casting operation, and found themselves with a gigantic ingot jammed into a mould. They could have course cut it out with oxy-acetylene torches but the foundry floor workers reckoned that it would be as quick to sit down and wait till it rusted through.

YIM hired an acknowledged "expert" in the field of explosives and demolitions - Blaster Bates. Bates proved that bravado and after-dinner repartee are not necessarily a recommendation. Examining the cast and calculating it was about "three tree roots' worth", Blaster packed several sticks of gelignite around the casting and fired. With the rest of YIM still working!

The results were several minor and one major injuries, the latter to John Jones from who I heard the tale, who was handling glassware at the time. The mould was distorted beyond repair, and there was a casting-shaped hole in one wall of the foundry. Lugubrious Yorkshire foundrymen retrieved the smashed casting on a fork-lift truck, saying expressionlessly to the foreman, "Can we 'ave a chit to put this in t'arisings bin?" (Losses during the casting process could be a disciplinary matter.)

John and my father were in business together for some years until John died in a car crash.

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