Found this over the summer in the Local History section in Billingham Library. Stories from the ICI.

My lasting memory of Oil Works is having to descale the Preheater Elements. These elements were long hairpin tubes about 40 feet long, with a bore of about 4“. These stood vertically in the Preheater and numbered about 28. After removing the top bends the unlucky fitters who had been selected for the job; had to clean out the elements with a marvellous piece of modern technology called an iron ball and pneumatic turbine. This piece of space age apparatus weighed about 20lbs! The practice was to push the ball and turbine down the elements in an up and down motion, removing the scale and crud in the process. At regular intervals the scale and other matter were blown out with compressed air. On the occasion in question the ball and turbine became well and truly stuck. After several attempts to blow it out with compressed air, the then foreman of the stalls maintenance squad, the late Lesley Broadbent, said “I will get it out with high pressure hydrogen!” The Next morning the whole of the maintenance squad were positioned around the stall to keep away sightseers. At a given signal the late Harry (Smudger) Smith opened the HP valve very carefully and closed it again. Nothing happened. The foreman said, “I will show you how to do it!” He opened the valve all the way!
For a few moments nothing happened. Then there was a roar like thunder and the sky over 6 stall went black!
After a short interval the foreman shouted “Has any seen the ball and turbine?”, but nobody had.
After about 10 minutes, a fitters mate from South Circulation came along the Titan track pushing a barrow with a ball and turbine on it and said, ”Does this belong to you?; it came through the roof a few moments ago!”
South Circulation was on the other side of Road 100 and about 200 yards of 6 stall!

I spent 5 days at ICI Billingham fire station on my works experience. After talking to the rest of my friends at school, it turned out I had the best experience out of everyone.

Probably convinced me to do my apprenticeship in the chemical industry.

I've never been back on ICI Billingham or Cassell works since. Spend time on the Wilton Site but not for ICI. I do remember the ICI Wilton canteen on my first visit it was mega, my last visit was poor.
My dad was a brickie in there for a while when I was 5 or 6 year old. He was never good at getting up on time, ICI had a bus/van going round picking the latecomers up, early 60's. He soon called it a day and worked for himself.

His older brother was killed in an industrial accident, crushed, in the 1940's on the Billingham site.

My grandad worked on the Billingham site, came from Jarrow originally, one of thousands of economic migrants that made up the town.

I spent the first six weeks of my working life in Chilton House in the 70's. Worked on more plants than enough but never employed by ICI.

I thought the company treat the town shabbily when they pulled out.
Instrument Apprentice 1990 to 1994 - Water Treatment, Procom, T7 & T8, WEC & Teesport and Prop 5. Then various contracting roles on Nylon works, Ole 6 and now on Ensus.

Wilton was a great place to work it is a shadow of its former self but investment and building is starting to increase. Long may it continue it has everything it needs to be a massive site still.