THE owner of a former factory which was once one of the biggest employers in Tynedale has passed away.

Tom Jameson, who lived in Haltwhistle up to his death last month, was well-regarded as the owner of Corbridge’s Jameson’s Pipe Works for two decades until it closed in the mid-1980s.

The family business was started by his grandfather John Lee Jameson in the 1880s, and the pipe works factory was handed down to his son Thomas Lee, before Tom took over the ownership in the 1960s.

Such was the positive impact the business had on the local economy, Jameson Drive, in Corbridge, was named after the family as it was the road which lead to the factory.

One of Tom’s three sons, Bruce, said family life was embroiled in the daily activities of the factory.

He said: “Even when we were children, my dad used to give us clay and moulds and we used to queue up with the rest of men and get a few pence in a brown pay packet. All three brothers ended up working at the factory at some point, and it was a big part of all our lives.

“There was a great atmosphere in the factory. It was a very boisterous place where you could have a lot of fun despite the very hard manual work.

“I remember an incident when the workers were playing cricket when they should have been working and one man put his foot through the roof when retrieving the ball. My dad gathered them and was going to read them the riot act, but he couldn’t because he wasn’t that type of guy. He was just an easy-going sort of guy and he never spoke wrong about anyone.”

Following the closure of the factory, Mr Jameson worked as a night porter at the George Hotel, in Chollerford, and at Easy Hire, in Hexham, and Potts Plant Hire, in Haltwhistle.