Lathes and Metal Work
Lathe and metal work training gave the blind veterans a chance to earn a good wage.
Metal work was introduced to St Dunstan's during the Second World War.
A machine shop was set up at Church Stretton to train blind veterans and the industrial hut included a capstan lathe, a router and an outfit for upholstery. Those with a higher aptitude learnt to operate the lathers, drills and presses with something of a normal factory atmosphere and background noise.
Most blind veterans that received lathe and metal work training often had a job lined up before they finished. The men not only earnt a good wage but enjoyed the camaraderie and social activities that came with working with sighted men.
Some men had the advantage of previous experience, for example Stoker Petty Officer Richard Dufton. He was blinded in action just as he was completing a special two year Mechanicians Course but that didn't hold him back. He went on to become the Chief Designer at Miles Martin Pen Company and produced the 'Biro' ball point pen.
He worked with a braille dictionary of metals and a set of special precision instruments that St Dunstan's supplied. In 1960 he gained his Associate Membership of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and in March 1961 was appointed Director of Research at St Dunstan's.
Over one hundred men were working in factories by the end of 1942 and the number steadily increased as the war went on as did the range of jobs taken on.
A novel written by blind veteran,John Healy.
Many blind veterans turned the trade of basket making into an occupation.
Blind veterans designed and produced intricate rugs.
The beginning of St Dunstan's Amateur Radio Society
A short film showing life at St Dunstan's.
A special gift item to celebrate 100 years of Blind Veterans UK.
To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Great War, 'My War Diary' details what life was like during the First World War.
The first edition of the Review, Blind Veterans UK's monthly magazine.
The story behind the iconic drawing of Little Ruby.
A painting of one of St Dunstan's most treasured matrons.
A sculpture to commemorate 100 years of Blind Veterans UK.
A candy recipe book from New Zealand donated to St Dunstan's.
A badge made from wood which was recovered from a bombed building.
A special Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey to celebrate 100 years of Blind Veterans UK.
Cuddly toy dogs created by a blind veteran with the help of his family.
Golf has always been popular with blind veterans, and some have achieved national success.
An unfamiliar object in the archives of Blind Veterans UK.
Blind veterans at our Brighton centre created some artistic Christmas cards in 2003.
Many blind veterans enjoyed the various ski trips organised by the charity.
This book explores the history of the charity's founder, Sir Arthur Pearson, and the impact his ideas have had on veterans with sight loss over the last 100 years.