Les Hodge’s Photos of ‘Operation Sunrise’

Sun etcher and overseer Les Hodge photographed the expansion project from 1954 to 1957 and a selection of his excellent pictures is shown here, with more to come. We would like to thank Alan Hodge for giving us his father’s original negatives.


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June 1954. The site of the new Process Block. This picture was taken outside the Sun Machine Room, looking towards Sydney Road. Whippendell Road is to the left, with the Rembrandt building just visible over the rooftops of the houses on that side. On the right is the Engineering “Top Shop,” so called to define the shop from the “local” engineers in the machine room and because it was up the yard, away from the presses.

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May 1955. Work starts on the foundations for the Process Block.

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Mid-1955. The foundations take shape.

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October 1955. Overview of the excavated site as seen from the Sydney Road works entrance by Whippendell Road. The girders for the new Process Block are going up against the old Machine Room, at the far end of the excavation. On the left is the Engineering “Top Shop” (backing onto the boiler house, which is adjacent to the railway line).

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October 1955. The Process Block under construction, with the Machine Room in the background.

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October 1955. A closer look from a different angle (#1).

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October 1955. A closer look from a different angle (#2).

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Early 1956. The view towards Sydney Road as the Process Block takes shape.