Nottingham Oral History Project: interview. Sample containing about 5773 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C144

PS258 X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS259 Ag5 m (No name, age 79, retired miner, valet, chauffer) unspecified
FXVPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FXVPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 094302 recorded on unknown date. LocationNottinghamshire: Nottingham () Activity: Oral history project interview

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FXVPSUNK) [1] [whispering] [...] . []
(PS258) [2] Er, could you tell me where you were born?
(PS259) [3] I was born in , er right in the centre, Street.
(PS258) [4] And when exactly was that?
(PS259) [5] Ah ha, August nineteen twenty four, a long time ago.
(PS258) [6] And er, talking a little bit about your family,w what did your father do for a living?
(PS259) [7] Er, ex regimental sergeant major, spent his life in the army.
[8] Whole life in the army, forty years. [...]
(PS258) [...]
(PS259) [9] [...] been every thing.
[10] Boer war veteran, great war veteran and er air finished up an air-warden in the last war.
(PS258) [11] And he was retired when you were born ?
(PS259) [12] Retired.
[13] Yeah.
(PS258) [14] And so how did you er how did you manage how did the family?
(PS259) [15] Well, he had a pension ,
(PS258) [16] Oh, right.
(PS259) [17] pretty good in those days, two pounds a week which helped things out and er although we had a big family of eleven of us, including mum and dad, er contributi contr contributions from them where, well, whatever they could make, a shilling here and a shilling there.
[18] But er they grew up and since I'm the youngest, obviously they were earning a little bit of money in some way.
(PS258) [19] And did your father have any jobs at all when he was retired though?
(PS259) [20] ... The jobs they had?
(PS258) [21] What your father had?
(PS259) [22] Oh yes, father had jobs besides the army, when he finished, yes .
(PS258) [23] Yes.
(PS259) [24] Very [...] up with the county courts, with being a boxer, ex-boxer.
[25] So he got the bailiff's job, going around, which was [laughing] very necessary in those days.
[26] [laugh] And I've got to laugh [...] it [] .
[27] Anyway, he only collected all these things till they got sufficient to auction them off.
(PS258) [28] Yeah.
(PS259) [29] And then they'd have a big auction for a few pounds where Dad used to do the auctioning and since he was a sergeant major one could hear his voice.
[30] If he said five shillings he meant five shillings and not four and sixpence.
[31] His best
(PS258) [...]
(PS259) [32] times for auctioning though was er when shops went bankrupt, er especially chocolate shops, cos then we had a good time after he'd done because we usually got loads of chocolate which was a luxury. [laugh] .
(PS258) [33] Erm how many brothers and sisters did you have?
(PS259) [34] I have er six brothers and two sisters.
(PS258) [35] Now talking about your school life, erm how old were you when you started school?
(PS259) [36] I'd think four and a half.
(PS258) [37] And th what school was it, your first school
(PS259) [38] [...] .
(PS258) [39] you went to?
(PS259) [40] It was a school just at the top of the street, School.
(PS258) [41] And what was your first memory of going to school?
(PS259) ... [...]
(PS258) [42] What what what what did you?
[43] What about the teachers, for example?
(PS259) [44] Oh the teachers were very good, they usually greeted you with a big plum or something, if it was the right time of the year, which it usually was.
[45] Right time of the year, yes, with a big plum.
[46] Sometimes they did things to you though, it was either that or you were frightened to death, I'm not quite sure which. [laugh] .
(PS258) [47] Yeah.
(PS259) [48] [laugh] But you never managed to stay there the first day.
[49] [laugh] . Not for long. [laugh] .
(PS258) [50] Er did you stay at the same school?
(PS259) [51] Stayed there er until the education people obviously decided that the junior schools erm infants schools, sorry, er were going to move in into another area and so I moved up to Lane School, which was possibly half a mile from my home.
[52] And there I stayed until the age of nine, probably about nine.
(PS258) [53] And do you have any sort of particular memories about that?
[54] About the school [...] that time ?
(PS259) [55] And you see doing th er that er junior the junior school In the earlier junior school we were at the church as well, which was on the next street, St John's Church at Mansfield.
[56] And so me brother and I, who was a twin, were put into the choir as probationers, like today's police force, and after twelve months we'd passed all the necessary tests for the vicar and became chororists with the choir and graduated through it.
[57] Lots of good times with with the church and the Sunday School.
[58] Outings, in fact the choir excelled itself that much we were invited to join many others to Crystal Palace, which which well known place at that time and er it was quite exciting.
[59] Didn't start the journey very good like, on the train, trapped me finger in the door.
[60] Got a threat from the vicar, You're going back home.
[61] [laugh] . Anyway, off we got to London and er first day at the Southern Hotel.
[62] I assume that what it was and then the next day we all gathered at Crystal Palace, rehearsed ready for their Royal Highnesses to er listen to everybody.
[63] There was probably about n a hundred choirs there.
(PS258) [64] And how old were you then?
(PS259) [65] Ten, I think, might o Ten year old?
[66] Seeing London for the first time, not very impressed,I I liked Crystal Palace but tt.
[67] Well, we enjoyed that outing, er we had tea on the roof, which was all glass, never seen anything like it before and I shan't see it again since it got burnt down anyway.
[68] But it's a good memory.
[69] And then we stayed a few days in London and we went to the Baths and we went to the zoo and we went to all the science, by either the old trams or the first of the buses that Cos they [...] complete [...] with tram-riding and that was rather exciting in London, seeing the all the top hats and people in coats, tails and things.
[70] Very nice.
[71] Got back safe an safe and sound tt, was able to tell them all school about too, which really must have been an education for those since nobody had left the town, very far, anyway.
[72] Except for, perhaps, a half day excursion to Skegness which costs one and threepence and if you'd missed the train they had another one ready for you, not like British Rail today, [laugh] [laughing] enterprising [] .
(PS258) [73] [...] Er how much did it cost to go to London then?
[74] It must have cost a lot of money to go for that amount of time?
(PS259) [75] I believe it was three and sixpence, at least for children, and about five shilling for adults, return.
[76] And that started
(PS258) [...]
(PS259) [77] at Mansfield which had two stations then, Great Central and the old London, Midland, Scottish, which was one of my delights anyway, engines were, er they were to me.
[78] I spent hours watching those
(PS258) [79] What train spotting ?
(PS259) [80] [...] not exactly [cough] since I had a paper round which involved Smiths on the station.
[81] So they were there for me to see as they came in, etc.
[82] I even managed to sneak a ride on the engine, changing at one end to the other, just going out, round and coming back on then.
[83] He'd say, Come on laddie, enjoy yourself. [laugh] .
(PS258) [84] Now er just er coming back to er your Lane School, erm what what about the school dinners,y [...] ?
(PS259) [85] Oh yes, the interesting part there, in those days, was that the majority of the children were in the same boat, we were all poor and er m the Town Council had got this skating ring at Mansfield, roller skating ring, near the Gas Works, where they provided a school meal for all the children that could there during the hour lunch.
[86] So it was er hell's pells for three quarters of a mile nearly for your dinner and hell's pells back and I guess time you'd done it you'd have worn it off anyway.
[87] [laugh] . But still it was er one way of getting a good meal, everyday.
[88] And of course the same thing applied with clothes and shoes, they always inspected the cleansiness and if your shoes had holes in or anything then once in a while there were new ones came in and y you were fitted out.
[89] But where that exactly came from I don't know, the money, I don't know, poor charity possibly.
[90] I don't really know, but er they managed to keep us looking nice and clean and tidy er because one respected teachers and elders which, well, I don't think I've ever changed anyway, but today they don't.
[91] They they miss out today.
(PS258) [92] And er where did you go to after Lane School?
[93] What school did you go to then?
(PS259) [94] Yes, well, owing to the fact that we moved home from Street to Road in , which was roughly just under a mile from town, meant a change of school then.
[95] So having settled on Road, moved to Lane which was the nearest school, still in the juniors but by then our age would be nearly eleven, time to move onto a bigger school.
(PS258) [96] And what school did you go to?
(PS259) [97] And then at that time they'd just opened .
[98] And so
(PS258) [99] Have you got any
(PS259) [100] we were able to move into school, which was fantastic as a school, being new with quadrangle and different classes for every subject, really enjoyed that.
[101] Big gym.
(PS258) [102] W wh ?
(PS259) [103] Enjoyed that too.
(PS258) [104] What subjects did you enjoy most?
(PS259) [105] Art, liked art very much, reading, still a good hobby of mine, er arithmetic, fairly good, stood in good stead to this day that one, don't even need a what-do-you-call-it, tape recorder, but I have one.
[106] And a calculator, I have one of those, but I still do most of it from me head, that's the old way.
[107] I'm amazed that people can't read and write today but it's true.
[108] We had good education and we had good teachers ,
(PS258) [...]
(PS259) [109] strict, straight to the point, the work went on the blackboard, you were given so long to do it, close your book and if you didn't do it you never saw the teacher, but you felt his cane on your knuckles and he knew you weren't doing your work, so you did it.
[110] It didn't take you long to learn that.
[111] Er but if you did your work they were very fair, probably ten minutes before time they would say er Righto , you can go now.
[112] So you had ten minutes' free time, a type of reward, if you like, for paying attention and getting on with it.
[113] I can't say I was extraordinarily good in the class, but neither was I bad, pretty average between one and ten and usually got a decent report.
(PS258) [114] Now er you mentioned earlier about er about a doing a paper round when you were still at school, did you have any other
(PS259) [115] Oh yes
(PS258) [116] jobs?
(PS259) [117] As I said earlier, yes, I worked at W.
[118] H.
[119] Smith on the station, well, that involved a paper round starting round about six o'clock in the morning.
[120] Well, half fiveish normally, cos because you had to make your own round up, mark the papers and then, say, six o'clock and it lasted possibly three hours, you just in time for you to get to school for probably ten past nine.
[121] And one was allowed ten minutes anyways because you had that type of job.
[122] The pay for that was sixpence a day, very good money really.
[123] [laugh] . But on a Saturday I had another paper round, from the same people, which involved travelling from to the Sanatorium on Road which is probably two and a half mile, with a cycle, advertising Smiths with the carriers on.
[124] And from there to , which was another two mile, all , over the estates towards er , to all the big houses, and then back round again, which took s from six o'clock till you'd probably get back about half past ten.
[125] And then er that was that till Saturday evening, especially in the winter, then you went back again for the evening rounds.
[126] But you had the job of selling the Football Posts and News, the local papers.
[127] So you mes you used to meet the trains that came in, you see?
[128] And running up and down the platform shouting, [shouting] Football Post.
[129] Post, [...] Post [] .
[130] And you did pretty well because you got a penny for every shilling's worth you sold.
[131] Plus cigarette cards if they'd got them in their pockets.
[132] [laugh] . Whoever tells
(PS258) [...]
(PS259) [133] you they were bad old days, they never were, they were good.
(PS258) [134] Now, did you have any other jobs besides a paper round when you were still at school?
(PS259) [135] Tt oh, yes, on a Saturday.
[136] Yes, after the morning paper it was down to the local market, er one hour with the butcher, a butcher, chappie named Welsh, two stall he had.
[137] They were all on the market at Mansfield.
[138] You'd spend one hour boning all his big bones they he'd already took the joints off and your job was to bone it right to the bone, which he sold separately, and today you would call minced beef.
[139] That's what you'd call it.
[140] When you'd done with that, went across to another chappie that came at nine o'clock, selling clothes, used to put his lines up on his stall, he had lines across his stall and for that you got tuppence or threepence, depending on his mood and by then it would be ten o'clock so you'd go to one or two more and collect them jugs up and fetch them tea.
[141] The market traders.
[142] And ac actually they got to know you.
[143] So by the end of the day you's probably earned three shillings on the local market.
[144] Tt.
[145] You had to eat yourself, of course, so there was a s You'd run up to the hotel in called the Hotel and opposite was a family butcher and he used to sell dripping and bread.
[146] His own port dripping.
[147] And for a penny you could have a thick slice of bread, about one and a half inches, loaded with dripping, so that was your meal at lunchtime, before you nipped back to do other jobs.
[148] Personally, I'm speaking for meself, not everybody could have had the jobs.
[149] That's the way it is enterprising.
[150] Cos the object of the game was, that the end of the day on a Saturday, which of the brothers could earn the most to bring home to Mum.
[151] And so usually at the end of the day you you reversed your procedure and went back to the stalls and took the lines down and cleared up for the butchers and what have you, and then you usually got some meat, or perhaps some vegetables, and various things.
[152] So you went home with enough food etc., between you, to provide the meal for Sunday and Monday.
[153] And strangely enough, it worked.
[154] So Saturday evening was back to the papers and then back home, usually about seven, mostly walking because you couldn't afford the penny for the tram, no ha'penny fares, just a penny,w .
[155] Sunday morning, up bright and early for Sunday in those days, seven o'clock, out for a walk and then down to the church for choir.
[156] Sunday afternoon, remembering in between this you had a mile home again for Sunday dinner, and back again in the afternoon for Sunday School.
[157] And back for Sunday tea, which was very little, usually bread and jam, but er sometimes a little bit of fruit, tin of fruit, rather a luxury, you know.
[158] And then back for the evening service.
[159] So you your end of Sunday came about half past eight when the church closed down, cos services didn't start too early in those days, at six thirty, I think.
[160] Tt.
[161] And the vicar was the the Reverend K G , he was there all the while.
[162] The choir, and all about it, and the church I rather enjoyed because as as I were growing up most of the p people that came were the business people and the people that were conscientious towards that area, St. John's.
[163] And so as I grew up er they knew me and I knew them and I was to need one or two later on, for various reasons, but er you couldn't see it at the time.
(PS258) [164] Right.
[165] Well, perhaps we could move on.
[166] H er to, you know, from your school days.
[167] How old were you when you left school, by the way?
(PS259) [168] Well I was er Er the school days from were from er eleven to fourteen and er tt of course during that time we had the opportunity to try and pass for grammar.
[169] It's a very stiff exam I must admit, when I look back on it, and we all had a a day off to go to the at or the Grammar school, sit this exam er and since I never heard anything I'm assuming I failed.
[170] [laugh] . [laughing] But still. []
(PS258) [171] And at [...]
(PS259) [172] No loss.
[173] And I suppose they wouldn't have liked it if I'd had to stay till I was sixteen, cos th the money was needed to come in, so I don't suppose they would have liked it.
[174] Perhaps I wouldn't too, I don't really know.
(PS258) [175] Er so so when you left school how did you go about looking for a job?
(PS259) [176] Well that wasn't difficult, you had to be rather brazen, you see, and push your way through because although you knew there was a job going somewhere, you weren't on your own and there's a lot more after it.
[177] So it was it was up to Mum to make you nice and tidy and smart, like they always used to look after you, and send you down and say, Don't come back without it.
[178] And so off I went then and me first job was at the Dye Works, but just at the shop delivering, as a [...] delivery boy.
[179] Tt twelve and six a week plus commission.
(PS258) [180] And what did
(PS259) [181] [...] .
(PS258) [182] you have to do for that then?
(PS259) [183] Pardon?
(PS258) [184] What exactly did that mean, did you have to do?
(PS259) [185] Well i it it meant er Monday mornings you went out, you were given er an area in the town, and I was given the money area, as I termed it, Road and that.
[186] And you knocked on the doors and you canvassed who you were, they could hardly miss who you were since you were dressed up in this uniform showing everywhere, black and red, looked very smart, for a little chap.
[187] [laugh] . [laughing] Hopefully it was either sympathy or generosity [] , but still, they might find you a pair of trousers or a blazer, or even a tie.
[188] Did everything.
[189] And so hopefully you came back at the end of the day with quite a bou bag full on your bike, or a box it was, fitted in a carrier, full.
[190] And that happened each day till Thursday and then, by then, you were delivering what had come back from the Monday, hoping that when you delivered, and collected the money of course, that you might get something else tt, which I weren't too bad a salesman really.
[191] But there was only two of us and the firm did not want to keep you on, realizing that you could be coming up for fifteen, they they finished you.
[192] Not because you were bad but because they didn't want to pay any more money.
[193] And that was the top and the bottom of that job.
[194] Tt.
[195] During that time though I still kept contact with the market and the market traders on a Saturday, and a Thursday, if possible, after I'd finished, remembering the market stayed open till nine o'clock at night.
[196] In fact, they had a job to close them then, they didn't want to stop selling, you know?
[197] So there was always room to run down there and do some work for somebody else and earn a few shillings, that road.
[198] Well more
(PS258) [199] S
(PS259) [200] than likely, sixpences, but they mounted up.
[201] Anyway,
(PS258) [...]
(PS259) [202] finished from and then had to start looking again for a job.
[203] Tt.
[204] The next one was a Foundry at .
[205] Thriving business, as a foundry,
(PS258) [206] Was it difficult to
(PS259) [...]
(PS258) [207] get that job?
(PS259) [208] Well it was a matter of queuing up amongst sixty or seventy or more lads and er they managed to listen to everybody's tale and then you waited.
[209] And I was called back and they said Right.
[210] You're got the job.
[211] And I started on the Monday morning, Dad did the sandwiches, since he was head chef in the morning for the family, and off he sent me down the road, wasn't too bad it was all down hill, early in the morning it was good for you, down hill.
[212] So I was taken in and the first job I was taken, by this young fella, eighteenish, big chap to me, but he said, Come on young'un, this is what you've gotta do.
[213] And I couldn't see anything at first.
[214] He said, Look up there, and you'll see a crane, he says, We're going up that ladder.
[215] So being just do as your told, did as I was told and up we went, onto this crane overhead and the job was running up and down th er picking the boxes up, whatever the chappies want, the [...] , and lowering them and doing exactly what they wanted.
[216] I had two days of that with this lad and then off he went.
[217] He said, Right, that is yours.
(PS258) [218] And er?
(PS259) [219] Well I wasn't that nervous, but er I had a go and after an hour or so I got quite confident on me own then.
[220] Fun and games till the afternoon when we started to blow the furnaces and that was the happy time.
[221] Tap, tap, tap, sparks flying everywhere and we were just above it with the cranes, waiting to fill the big ladles.
[222] So we'd fill them and we couldn't see anyway,lookin We couldn't look down and see, we had to wait for the foreman shouting all the instructions, move left, forward or up or down.
[223] Cos the molten metal blinded you anyway, no glasses or anything then.
[224] And then we had to wait while they poured them in the moulds, but if the moulds failed, and they were rather big, they was full of air-holes and they used to turn it all into a fine just l l pebbles of molten metal, straight back up at you, and you couldn't move cos if you moved your crane then somebody would have been killed with out the ladles.
[225] So it was a matter of keeping calm, collective and getting burnt.
[226] Soon learnt
(PS258) [227] Did you?
(PS259) [228] to overcome that, though, an old overcoat to chuck over me head and just work blind.
[229] [laugh] . [laughing] But it worked. []
[230] And I quite enjoyed that too.
(PS258) [231] Er did you remember any sort of accidents of where anything was dropped, or anything like that, with molten metal?
(PS259) [232] Did I get burnt?
(PS258) [233] Do you remember any accidents at the ?
(PS259) [234] No.
[235] Very fortunate.
[236] That was the amazing thing about it, it all went always worked well.
[237] It was the chappies that got the trouble for for making a bad mould.
[238] No, we had no accidents, the only one I had was er when I'd been right to the top, with the other crane an and it was a long shop, and everyone had done with me during the morning, so I hoisted the crane up, pulled it in towards me and set myself going down the shop, put it in full speed.
[239] I knew exactly where to stop it so that I could get off and go down the ladder, sneak a cup of tea or something.
[240] So I'm zooming down, which I thought must have been fifty mile an hour, but it was probably only about five really, or ten, but er put the brake on for the platform to stop, no chance, it just kept going.
[241] Whirring away, boom.
[242] It hit then end of the shop and the wheels finished up out in the park next door.
[243] [laugh] . With this little foreman threatening fists and everybody running out of the way of the brickwork.
[244] Didn't get the sack though.
[245] No, it got repaired.
[246] Just had to leave because Dad says If you're not working there for eight and sixpence a week, when you had to leave one job at twelve and six.
(PS258) [247] Mm.
[248] What kind of hours were you working for that money?
(PS259) [249] And the hours were half past seven to twelve and one till half past five.
(PS258) [250] Yeah.
(PS259) [251] And when I t when I got on a Friday and and paid me wages over to me Mum, which was natural for you to do, I always got th thre three pennies back.
[252] Threepence.
[253] That's very good really.
(PS258) [254] And what did you do with your spending money?
(PS259) [255] [laugh] .
[256] It was that good you daren't do anything it, so hide it.
[257] I used to hide these three pennies because er not being used to having anything for nothing, when I'd got two or three coppers, I'd d I'd find a little hiding place outside and this house had an outside wash house in the back and I used to hide them.
[258] Of course, I realize today, the place I hid them in everybody must have known where they were cos I was small and having to reach, and the large ones must have seen they were there anyway, [laughing] but er it didn't dawn on me then [] .
[259] But aft after that he made us leave and says Well,y there's no jobs.
[260] So you can up to the colliery and see if you can get one there.
[261] Lots of friends were at collieries because they were colliers's sons anyway tt and er so we went down about a job.
[262] Got set on straight away.
(PS258) [263] This is at colliery?
(PS259) [264] No, this is at colliery er which is five mile from .
[265] Get set on but er
(PS258) [266] How did you manage to get thr to that distance then?
(PS259) [267] Walked there for a start.
[268] Walked through the forest and came out right in the colliery yard.
[269] Got the job and they said Right.
[270] Start next week.
[271] There were no bass there then, no bass.
[272] And we started, they gave you a helmet, we had to buy a canteen to put your water in and a metal box to put your sandwiches in and then they took us down.
(PS258) [273] And wh what wages were they?
(PS259) [274] The wages varied on the work.
[275] Th the work
(PS258) [276] [...] at when you started?
(PS259) [277] Yeah well there was no guaranteed wage, you see, because er there was no guaranteed work.
[278] You g you could get down and just start and with the one hour the blower would go and knock you off.
[279] But it was coming up to thirty nineish and the war breaking out so the one and a half days a week started to change to five days, which gave you a w a regular wages of about thirty shillings.
[280] And er one was able to travel on the bus then, at sixpence a day, return, which is very good.
[281] The buses are that efficient, buses, that if you miss one, within five minutes there was another one cos most of them were colliers and that's where they were going.
[282] Lots of buses, lots of work.
(PS258) [283] Now what [...]
(PS259) [284] Never did you any harm but er lots of it.
(PS258) [285] What was your first job then when you went down to the pit [...] ?
(PS259) [286] Well they always started the lads right at the pit bottom and in those days ev everybody was crackers down there in those days, they were all mad, tearing about.
[287] And when it started to wind, they'd bang the coal on, they'd bang the empties off and my job was to er [cough] tt push the empties, split them, split the empties,
(PS258) [288] Into [...] ?
(PS259) [289] so many to one row and so many to another.
(PS258) [290] Yeah.
(PS259) [291] Couple them up, send them off.
[292] But being me I couldn't stand that very long, may be two or three months, and I asked to be moved.
[293] And which was termed, Going down the roads.
[294] Er because the pit bottom was lit up and it meant going down into the dark, an exciting thought for a young fella, er and so off I went and I was put down on one of the faces, as a lad, and said, Right lad, you want to be collier?
[295] We'll show you.
[296] You start with him, at that gate end, and he'll show you how to go on, that chappie there.
[297] And your job to clean the bells, keep them clear, while he's chopping his coal out and that and you'll be alright.
[298] Well I started a clear, er the chap came and showed me, he says, [shouting] You're alright lad, he said, This is how you do it [] , Ten shovels and it was clear.
[299] I thought, Oh, that's not bad at all.
[300] So I bent down to clear it and gradually it crept up me legs to me knees, [shouting] What's the matter lad? []
[301] I can't keep cope with this?
[302] He says I'll show you, give me the shovel.
[303] [...] again, There you are.
[304] Well, ten minutes later it was still up to me knees, I said, I can't keep this up and he shouted something down to somebody else, who shouted to somebody else, Put your sprags back lads.
[305] And apparently these other lads further down, to the tune of about a hundred and fifty yards, had all lifted the boards up on the belt and so all their slack and that was coming to me.
[306] And since it was the end of the belt I couldn't get i go by anybody with me, I had to move it.
[307] tt So I chucked the shovel down, and climbed out off the face and sat in there and cried and cried and cried.
[308] Backache, despondent and everything else but the comfort of the chappie that was training me, he said, Come on lad, you'll be alright.
[309] And he was right, I was, I mastered it.
[310] I'd learnt me lesson with the others, they didn't work it on me again like that.
[311] So I stayed with him for quite while until I was able to tackle my own half a stint, not a full stint, which was nine yards.
[312] Four and a half yards, which you could tackle as a lad and then they er paid you for what you did.
[313] Which was interesting at that time, since it came out of a tin and not out of an office.
[314] Er the butty paid you, you see, out of his tin, what he thought fit and he gave me ten shillings for the first one I done, [...] first day I done, and I told me Dad when I got home, he says, Ten shillings?
[315] What have you been doing? and I explained.
[316] And he said, Right, I'll come with you.
[317] Next Friday when you go to get your money, cos I wasn't always with the collier, mostly I was on the day work.
[318] They were supposed to be doing me a favour, giving me that work, four and a half yards.
[319] But anyway, he came up on the Monday er sorry, on the Friday when they was paying out, he said, Which chappie paid you?
[320] I said He's down there, paying those That's him.
[321] So he tapped him on the shoulder and Dad being a big chap with big chest just said er S Do you know my lad?
[322] He said, Yes, I know him.
[323] He says, Did you pay him last week for what he did?
[324] He said, I paid him.
[325] He says, How much did you pay him?
[326] He said, Ten shillings.
[327] He said, How much did you pay the others?
[328] He says, What's that to you?
[329] He said, Look, I'm his Dad, what did you pay the others?
[330] He said, Two pounds.
[331] And he says, Right, pay him two pounds.
[332] And I mean it.
[333] Well he had second thoughts and then he changed his mi , he put his hand in and said, There you are.
[334] Unfortunately I lost me job then on the face, having done that to the butty, I didn't get back four yards, or whatever it was.
[335] So then I decided I would like to be that I knew there was a job going on the electricians, so I thought well I'll I'll go in for the electrical side.
[336] Which involved going to evening classes and er then back to work and this involved nights regular, so it was a bit a bit of a dash, sleeping, evening class and then catching a bus which the first one, nine o'clock and to the colliery and starting.
(PS258) [337] And what hours were you doing then?
(PS259) [338] Well they were nine till seven, really six, but mostly seven o'clock before you got away and it involved wiring er coal cutting machines.
[339] You worked with the electrician as his mate, very interesting work.
[340] Unfortunately it came to a sudden stop, got too efficient at it, you see, and er got done too early.
[341] And where the electrician's shop was wa was the stables for the horses, nice, friendly animals they were too.
[342] Well We came in one morning, the electrician and I, about five instead of seven, because we'd done and er we used to nip in and kip down with the horses for ten minutes which was forbidden, to sleep in the colliery.
[343] [laugh] . So at seven o'clock we're asleep with the horses when the day shift come on, couldn't find us.
[344] Course one of the problems was you were checked in and checked out and if er you hadn't come out there was a bit of a panic, Where is the person?
[345] Where is his er number like?
[346] But anyway, reprimanded for that, didn't get sack but er had to [laughing] move on to other things [] and that meant to me decided
(PS258) [347] What?
(PS259) [348] to become one of the cutting team.
(PS258) [349] Yeah.
[350] And w how much were you getting as an electrician then?
(PS259) [351] Oh, it's a basic wage but it increased to about two pounds fifty or something, because of the status of the job.
(PS258) [352] And how long did you actually do that job for?
(PS259) [353] Oh, it was eighteen months I should imagine, I was doing quite well, I'd been praised by the head electrician and everything, for further advancement till er that particular incident stopped it.
[354] [laugh] . And this is why I choose the cutters because it was mechanically and er I I was quite with it, I was able to sort of get it going if it stopped, one road or another.
[355] Perhaps n not quite orthodox, but it went. [recording ends]