Many steelworkers will recall the ‘wet canteen’ on the Lysaght’s works.
The wet canteen sold alcoholic refreshments to steelworks at Lysaght’s to quench their thirst and re-hydrate them after their laboursome toils whilst at work – the amount of beer each man drank was strictly rationed however.
The wet canteen was affectionately known as Sheardy’s bar after Edwin Sheard who worked and ran the bar, with his wife Constance, for more than 40 years.
Mr. Sheard left school, aged 13, and became an apprentice moulder at the Scunthorpe Foundry Co Ltd until September 1919 and then a stocktaker and weighman at Lysaght’s until the general strike in 1926.
He married Constance in 1926 and started work at the wet canteen from it first opening around 1926 and ran it until he retired in 1967. He initially worked under Wilfred Homes and then took over as chief steward for a considerable number of years.
Edwin Sheard always ran a tight ship, the amount of alcohol consumed was strictly monitored and rationed. If he felt men had been there long enough and had adequately quenched their thirst he had a whistle, which he would blow to send the men back to work. He was very well known and very well respected on the Lysaght’s steelworks.
Mr Sheard was also the secretary to the Scunthorpe and District Clubs Association for many years and also a representative for the Barnsley Brewery.
Close inspection of the board behind the couple shows rum and whisky were priced at 1s 8d each and gin priced at 1s 7d.
The wet canteen closed with the closure of the Lysaght’s steelworks on 13th March 1981