Emotional moment for daughter after Doncaster landmark created by her dad is saved

Susan Stephenson knew her dad was a talented man.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 2:39 pm

A constructional steel engineers at H Binghams, one of the engineering firms that once graced Wheatley Hall Road, Doncaster, Stanley Copley’s work was well known as part of the factory’s gates.

He had created a panel depicting workers at the business.

After he died aged just 53, nearly 40 years ago, Susan felt sad that she had none of the many things he had made to remember him by.

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Brendan Carty, Harworth Group project manager, Duncan Armstrong, Harworth Group Associate Director and Richard Blakey, VHE Contracts manager, pictured presenting Susan Stephenson, with the restored gate panel. NDFP-08-10-19-RiverdalePark-3

Stanley had spent all his working life at Binghams, except for two years in the 1950s when he served with the RAF during his national service.

But she was choking back tears of joy – as she was handed one of the two works of her dad’s art from the Bingham’s gates.

They were given to her by Harworth Estates after she asked what would be done with them after the old industrial site was redeveloped. A second panel he had made at the same time had not survived well enough to be kept.

Susan, a retired teacher from Bessacarr who worked at Mallard Primary School in Balby, said: “The original gates were horrible, so they got dad to create something to decorate them.

Stanley Copley, who created decorative artwork on the gates of the Binghams metal works on Wheatley Hall Road

“Binghams had a foundry and a fabrication side, and made conveyor belts.

“Now dad’s work has been cut out of the gate, and it looks beautiful.

“I was driving past one day and wondered what was going to happen to dad’s gate. I asked them if they were going to incorporate it in the new houses that they’re building there.”

After hearing about her connection to the gates, Harworth Group, which is developing the site, cut the panel her dad had made out, had it sandblasted to remove any rust, and put a coat of paint on it to restore it.

Susan said: “I have pictures of my dad, but I had none of his work. It was quite emotional to see it restored and now to own it. I feel a real like to me dad. I’m thrilled.

“I used to come down here quite often as a child. They had cats here and we used to feed them.”

She said the panel would be given pride of place in her garden.

The site is currently being redeveloped as housing, car showrooms, and employment land.