I’m Douglas Hurd and having spent my early engineering experiences in the steelworks in South Yorkshire, I came down here to Llanidloes in 1946 to join the design staff of the John Milson Company. The annual council elections fostered immense interest and on the eve of polling day, the whole town would assemble outside the town hall in Great Oak Street waiting for the results of the election when the mayor would present himself on the town hall balcony.In those days, the town boasted its own gas works, electricity generating stations and was self sufficient in its own water supply. The Gwalia Cinema showed three films a week and the six places of worship further served the weekly social needs of the community through their individual church guilds, which encouraged and fostered entertainment by local talent, of which there was an abundance.The three prominent employers of the town of those days was GF Hamers, Cambrian Mill, The Sandringham Leather Goods and John Milson Company Limited. Was formed from humble beginnings in the village of Trefeglwys by a Mr. William Thomas who made machinery for agricultural purposes. Upon the death of Mr Milson in 1928, the firm was converted to a private limited company under the style of John Milson Company Llanidloes. At this time the tradition of using timber pit props was being phased out in favour of supporting colliery roofs by steel arches and steel pit props. Because of constant earth movements, the steel arches would be distorted and the National Coal Board called for some kind of equipment which would rectify the damaged arches so they could be used again and John Milson Company developed such a machine to rectify these items. And the introduction of the company’s first hydraulic press to this application quickly gave rise to the development of other types of hydraulic presses for various industrial applications and this was to be the demand for the next fifteen years. The manufacturing of hydraulic presses became the main production commitment and in 1953 a non-ferrous foundry department was built on a separate site. By this time the total of 230 were employed and the company had established a reputation for supplying purpose-built hydraulic presses to the aircraft industry, ship-building, electrical industries at home and abroad.