BNC Text FY1

Nottingham Oral History Project: interview. Sample containing about 11012 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C149

PS25D Ag2 f (No name, age 30, interviewer) unspecified
PS25E Ag5 m (No name, age 80, retired miner) unspecified
FY1PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FY1PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 094601 recorded on unknown date. LocationNottinghamshire: Nottingham () Activity: Oral history project interview

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FY1PSUNK) [1] Can you tell me a little bit about your family?
[2] What did your father do for a living?
(PS25E) [3] My father was a miner, all his life.
[4] Well I say all his life er er early, in the early days he was er a groom to a veterinary surgeon in Manchester.
[5] And er course I I don't know a lot about his early life cos er I was young [laugh] to remember it.
(PS25D) [6] And er what pit was he at?
(PS25E) [7] He w er he was in er at Underwood.
[8] He worked at Underwood Pit when they were came to this district and then they came into the Newthorpe Common district and er and then er we moved from Newthorpe Common and he went to Williamthorpe for a short while, only from erm probably eighteen months to two years, that's as much as did there.
[9] And er we lived at a village called Homewood near Heath there, then we moved back from there He moved back to er Underwood again.
[10] And mother kept a shop, a sweet shop, on Eastwood, opposite where they eventually built the Eastwood Empire.
(PS25D) [11] And what did your Father do er as a miner, what was his job?
(PS25E) [12] He was a butty on the coal face.
(PS25D) [13] And what did that entail?
(PS25E) [14] [cough] That en entailed employing men to get the coal, and er he was responsible for the wages, he was paid by contract the amount of coal that er he produced, his stall produced.
[15] You see?
[16] And er from that he paid his men a wage and er if there was any left over, that was his.
[17] [laugh] And
(PS25D) [18] And
(PS25E) [19] and er
(PS25D) [20] S
(PS25E) [21] and on Friday, on that Friday Mother used to go to Eastwood Hall to collect the er er the wages that my Father had to pay out to the men.
[22] And then he'd bring that home, you see?
[23] She'd bring that home and er the men would all congregate then round the table at home, and he would pay them out.
[24] And sometimes he had to go upstairs to fetch some of his own money [laugh] to put to it to pay them out.
[25] That was before there was a minimum wage.
(PS25D) [26] And what sort of wages were they getting?
[27] Do you know?
(PS25E) [28] Well I I'd couldn't really swear to anything of that description, but it was it was before the er er old age pensions came out because I remember my Grandmother lived with us and er I remember the first week that she drew her five shillings old age pension.
[29] [laugh] [cough] When would that be?
[30] Nineteen eleven?
(PS25D) [31] Yeah, something like that?
(PS25E) [32] Was I think, nineteen eleven.
[33] Er that was at the time of er er King Edward the seventh,s It was time of his death wasn't it?
[34] I think.
[35] Er er At at that time too it was er we the the sinking of the Titanic.
[36] The ship within a ship.
[37] I I remember as a kid hearing of all this er how the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage, the ship within a ship.
(PS25D) [38] Yeah.
[39] To come back to your family a little bit, erm did you have any Brothers or Sisters?
(PS25E) [40] Oh yes.
[41] Yes there's a I had two Brothers and one Sisters.
[42] And of course the old joke goes like er I got two brothers and each brothers got a sister and I've got a sister. [laugh]
(PS25D) [43] [laugh] Er were they older than you?
[44] Younger than you were?
(PS25E) [45] Er no er I was the second eldest.
[46] Er my eldest brother now is eighty two.
[47] I'm eighty.
[48] My younger brother is er seventy eight tomorrow and my sister is seventy two.
(PS25D) [49] Er could you tell me a little bit about the schools you went to?
[50] What what school did you first go to?
(PS25E) [51] I started school to er Bowvale School on Dovecote Lane at Eastwood, when I was two and a half.
[52] My Brother used to take me.
[53] And er I stayed there at that school until nineteen hundred and twelve.
(PS25D) [54] And have you got any memories of that school at all, of teachers, what they were like?
[55] Perhaps?
[56] Or the lessons you had ?
(PS25E) [57] We used to On a Monday, when it was wash day, we used to have to take sandwiches for dinner and we used to have to eat it under the shed in the school playground.
[58] Can always remember that.
[59] And er I know er we used to put er i er kind of er Bit of er play on once a year, there.
[60] And er I got roped into it one year because I had to stop in for something or other that I Course I hadn't done but [laugh]
(PS25D) [laugh]
(PS25E) [61] And er I I was pulled in to take a little part in this play er I remember that.
(PS25D) [62] What play was that?
(PS25E) [63] Erm it was about It was about aeroplanes and it was when aeroplanes were in the very early stage.
[64] And there was a song I can't quite [...] Can't quite remember it now.
[65] What the song was that we had to sing on this stage, with it.
[66] [cough] And I used to go to the [...] Methodist Chapel that was opposite the school, there.
[67] And er I I joined the Band of Hope there and I signed the pledge .
(PS25D) [68] What what was that?
[69] What was the Band of Hope?
(PS25E) [70] It was a s er like a Sunday school Bible class.
[71] Er and er I say I signed the pledge never to touch intoxicating liquors, which I kept [laugh] for until I was thirty five.
[72] I was thirty five before I ever touched a drop of intoxicating liquor. [laugh]
(PS25D) [73] And erm er Have you got any other memories about your school, can you remember any of the teachers?
(PS25E) [74] Yes erm a The er headmaster at d lim at er at er Bellvale schools was then Mr .
[75] His name was Mr .
[76] He was a very strict man the headmaster, cos I remember one little incident that I thought was rather harsh.
[77] Er they used to march us round the playground you see and er I was in the back row and of course the teacher was at the front more or less.
[78] And er I was dragging behind a few paces and the headmaster was watching out of his study window you see?
[79] And er he called me in, I had the cane for that and I had to tell the mess [laugh] [laughing] boy [] . [laugh]
(PS25D) [80] And what about the kind of lessons you ha you had?
[81] What sort of lessons did you have?
(PS25E) [82] Well [...] we had slates then, I can remember we had slates and er we used to have arithmetic lessons and er history.
[83] I can remember those sort of things, what we used to have to do.
[84] But er ... it was only u until I left the school cos I was only a matter of eight when I left that school so er I wasn't in a it wasn't in any progressive sort of style then I mean we wer it was more rudiments of education that we were taught and er
(PS25D) [85] What what where did you move to when you moved from that school ?
(PS25E) [86] We moved from there to Gedling [cough]
(PS25D) [87] And why was that?
(PS25E) [88] We moved Dad came to Gedling pit.
[89] By the way they they sank Gedling pit, they cut the first sod the year I was born nineteen oh two.
[90] And er little history of that, that was sunk by some Irishmen and they reckon they sank the iri they sank that pit without the aid of a plumb-bob. [laugh] [...] how true it is.
(PS25D) [laugh]
(PS25E) [91] A German firm froze the the b the the the the b sandstone There's a er the What do they call it?
[92] The bunters the bunters [...] .
[93] That was water and the German firm sunk the Froze that while they went through it.
[94] But coming back, we moved again as I say and it was in the er winter.
[95] And it was a terrible winter that winter, there was about a foot of snow on the ground and I remember Slayney's moved us with er er a pair of horses and er and er a little removal van.
[96] And I can I can vividly remember now coming along Nuthall Road towards Nuthall from Kimberley [cough] and seeing all the telegraph wires hanging down, pushed down to the floor, broken, with the weight of snow.
[97] And that was I it was, as I was saying in early January.
[98] Er that was in nineteen hundred and twelve, that was.
[99] And twelve or eleven, nineteen elev I either eleven or twelve.
(PS25D) [100] Do you remember your school once you had moved?
(PS25E) [101] Then I moved from
(PS25D) [...]
(PS25E) [102] th er I went into er the board school at Carlton.
[103] Opposite the Blacks Head pub.
[104] Went in there and a Mr , he was the headmaster then, nice chap.
[105] But you see I I got a vivid ginger hair, real red, you see?
[106] So consequently every time I moved school, moved into different I had to fight me way there for the first week because I hated anyone to call me Ginger you see?
[107] So.
[108] Yes.
[109] And erm.
[110] I didn't stay at that school long before I moved down to erm the er Tins School on Chandler Street.
[111] That was a series of tin corrugated iron classrooms, that was, and the first The first teacher I had there was a Mr and he got a real fierce face and a fierce tash and [laughing] he [] he was a r a right lad he was.
[112] And in the He he he'd give you the thrashing if just lifted your fingers up.
[113] And we used to There at there at that school every morning we hads to line in the in the playground and he used inspect your hands for cleanliness, and your shoes.
[114] Your shoes always had to be clean, brushed, you see?
[115] But our trouble was that to get to it we had to we had to walk across the recreation ground and there was the River Ouse The Ouse Dyke it was, and w we we couldn't resist the temptation of jumping across this dyke you see?
[116] So we were always in trouble for appearing w We got dirty shoes you see?
[117] So we evolved a brilliant idea of hiding a brush in an old tree at the end of the dyke so that we could brush the dirt off afore we got there.
[118] But that was that was quite a good school, went through there via a Mr , he was a very nice teacher, very efficient, and he didn't believe in the cane, he didn't.
[119] He er he believed in other punishment Lines and that description But er I liked that chap er very nice chap.
[120] And that was The headmaster there was Mr he was.
[121] And from there we moved to the the secondary school that is now at Station Road at Gedling, it was a new school, brand new school built, er purpose built.
[122] And er we the tea the class All the boys It were all boys er we we had to carry Each carry a chair up to the new [laughing] school [] .
[123] And erm =ut er th that that was quite a quite a good school, quite a modern school but I I'd er I'd er I wasn't able to stay there long because I was approaching my thirteenth birthday you see than.
[124] I did go to night school there to to learn joinery.
[125] They used to have a joinery class there.
[126] But er I went from there er I er I was thirteen on August the twenty fifth, nineteen fifteen.
[127] That's right.
[128] And of course we broke up, we broke up on the first of August er for the er month holiday you see?
[129] But er I'd er got a [laughing] job [] .
[130] Don't know how I got it when my Father got it for me.
[131] In the offices at Gedling pit, and I started work on August the third.
[132] That was three weeks before I was four thirteen then.
[133] In the in the time office.
[134] And and er and there er I began to learn what the what what things were beginning to happen in the coal fields.
[135] From right from the time office er I used to go into blacksmith shop to mash tea because that's where we used to We used to be able to go and take the cam for the timekeeper and I was in the stores too, and er mash the tea in the forge They put the kettle on the forge you see?
[136] And I mashed the tea and made it and a fitting shop was there too.
[137] Er
(PS25D) [138] What what what did you actually have to do?
[139] When you worked in the time shop?
(PS25E) [140] Er well I was in the time office in the first place, the men used to er cl check in, they used to bring the checks you see? brass checks, numbered.
[141] [cough] And I'd got a board with all the numbers on and hooks you see?
[142] And as they came along we used to have to hang these checks on the number you see?
[143] And then the timekeeper could mark down that they were present, they'd gone to work that day you see?
[144] And of course that was the wages book, that was made up out of that.
[145] And er and they the the afternoon shift used to come on and I used to have to carry all these checks across then, the yard and take 'em and hang 'em up in the in the check-weigh on the pit top where they weighed the wagons of coals.
[146] The the tubs of coal not the wagons.
[147] [cough] And er I used to have to prepare the er the er timber er orders for the men in the stall down the er er down the pits.
[148] the the deputies had prepared er they'd er there'd be a stall say erm n n nineties or [...] like that might be, and the order for them would probably be, Twelve four foot props, and twelve bars, you see?
[149] That was a timber prop and a timber half a prop for a bar to carry the roof.
[150] but my instructions were that what the deputy ordered, and I used to make a book up for the yardmen to prepare these.
[151] And my instructions were that I I used to either let them have two thirds of that or a half, you see?
[152] T er cutting costs. [laugh]
(PS25D) [153] And what were your wages for that?
(PS25E) [154] Seven and sixpence a week.
[155] That was good, that was
(PS25D) [156] What
(PS25E) [157] g good money that was.
(PS25D) [158] What hours did you do for that?
(PS25E) [159] Er I used to get there at six o'clock in the morning.
[160] Six o'clock in the morning till four o'clock in the afternoon.
[161] Ten hours, yeah.
(PS25D) [162] And y you worked How long did you work f at the ti In the time office?
(PS25E) [163] In the time office, I worked that till I I were I did about er seven or eight months in there, and from there I went on the screens.
[164] Were the screen they call 'em.
[165] We had to pick the bind out by hand, er the coal was all er sorted on the screens and er er a u u us lads, we used to stand at the side of the belts that were travelling round and tipping the coal into the wagons down below you see?
[166] And we used to have to pick the bind out you see?
[167] Out of the coal as it came by.
[168] And er you see you weren't allowed down the pit till you were fourteen.
[169] You'd got to be fourteen.
[170] Of course the temptation er er had got to be er we'd got to earn money erm so er Father insisted that down the pit after you're fourteen.
[171] As soon as you're fourteen, down the pits you go you see?
[172] And er I went into the High Hazel seam.
[173] Which is a four hundred yards and it was an inset, the top hard seam was ninety yards lower down at the four hundred and ninety yards to the And the High Hazel used to have an inset.
[174] You see the cage used to go down to that and it used to [...] you see? [...] the f the four for you to get off you see?
[175] And
(PS25D) [176] Yeah.
(PS25E) [177] get on.
[178] [cough] Pardon me.
[179] And er that's how it was when they were running the coal on, tubs of coal onto it.
[180] And er another thing that used to happen though, if anything happened to that shaft, you see?
[181] Er there used to be a a a a an inlet to the other shaft, you see there was an inlet shaft that was all boxed in, that was the top hard that went down four hundred and ninety yards you see?
[182] Now if anything had been wrong with this shaft we used to have to go to the other shaft [cough] and ride that rope you see?
[183] But there there was no facilities for running on you see and when [laugh] when we had to [...] ride that one, the chair would come down to this inset ninety yards you see?
[184] But it was about anything like two to three feet away from the side of the And they used to drop a plank down you see?
[185] And you had to run along the plank to get on.
[186] And there were a ninety yard [laughing] dr drop [] [laugh] but er Had it happen it very often of course, but it was rather unnerving when it did happen. [laugh]
(PS25D) [187] And wha what did they pay you for this then?
(PS25E) [188] Now what was I on?
[189] I wer I started on ten shillings a week there, down there, at er fourteen.
[190] Ten shillings a week that was.
(PS25D) [191] And you worked different hours?
(PS25E) [192] Yeah I worked six till ... two.
[193] Six till two that was.
[194] And I worked in the pit bottom for a start, for about three or four months, in the pit bottom.
[195] You see coal used to come down one incline and the and and it used to knock the empties off, two empties off, you see?
[196] And there was catches on the chair [cough] and you used to be ab A lad used to stand there and he used to pull a lever and he used to level these catches and the tubs would run off and then as two ran off he'd let it go and it would catch the empties you see then.
[197] And one of my jobs was to push these empties round and round
(PS25D) [198] The empty tubs?
(PS25E) [199] The empty
(PS25D) [200] Yeah.
(PS25E) [201] tubs you see?
[202] To go away off up into the workings again.
(PS25D) [203] And what was the sort of clothes you had to wear down the pit?
[204] Did you have any safety
(PS25E) [205] Well
(PS25D) [206] equipment?
(PS25E) [207] we we used to have mole skins, mother used to buy mole skins because er they wore very well they did.
[208] But er a flannel shirt and mole skins but er er [laugh] That was while you were in the pit bottom you see?
[209] And er you see the air used to come down ... our shaft.
[210] Our shaft was open all open, the other shaft was all boxed in and there was a huge fan you see?
[211] Just below the surface of that shaft and that's That used to draw the air down our shaft, all around the workings, you see?
[212] And back up this other shaft, you see?
[213] Well ... I went from the pit bottom I went er stake-ganging then.
[214] With a horse, I had a horse then, and er there u there used to be er there used to be three or four of us there with horses [cough] and we we used to The the the From the coal face there used to be all individual horses bringing odd tubs into a turnout What we called a turner which was a collection of different tubs you see?
[215] The full tubs.
[216] And then that was a short stint that was, so that one horse, called Spring his name was, he was a smasher he was.
[217] He used to bring these tubs down into a long turnout.
[218] Well our stint was a lot longer than his so he could keep three horses going you see?
[219] And there was Captain and my main horse's name was Crudia.
[220] I forget what the other one's name was.
[221] But er we used to bring these tubs then down from there on to the main road where the rope, the haulage rope travelled you see?
[222] And he'd clip them on the clip them on the rope and take 'em to the pit bottom.
[223] But er er that was happy days.
(PS25D) [224] In your er early days so you remember any accidents down the pit?
(PS25E) [225] Not er not while I was on this On that job.
[226] Except that horses used to get killed.
[227] We used to I know er old Captain he he came down as tubs came onto him and broke his neck and he er er funny part of that it was.
[228] One week he he broke the record, he pulled f He brought brought forty tubs down and then the following week he got killed and he'd only got seven on. ...
(PS25D) [229] And did it Did you move on from that job?
(PS25E) [230] I moved on from that then I was fifteen then, and me Dad was he was a butty and er so er I had to go on the face then.
[231] Cos I was fifteen you see?
[232] The coal mines act said that I shouldn't go on the face until I was sixteen but er the war was on.
[233] It was er nineteen seventeen you see?
[234] And so nobody thought about invoking the coal mines act, you just had to go, and er and I went.
[235] And er [laugh] the old man, they they used to call him the iron man [laugh] and he was the iron man.
[236] And I'll never forget him, the first shift I went on afternoon shift.
[237] Quarter to three till quarter to ten and er we came out of stall at quarter to ten at night.
[238] I'd been loading for him, loading the t coal into tubs and tramming them.
[239] And er he was rubbing the coal off his back and was stripped there, we used to be stripped to the waist then.
[240] And er he stretched his arms and he said Ooh he said my tired's come and I said, er er, Ee ee Yes I'm afraid mine's come as well, my tired's come.
[241] And that I had the nerve and the cheek, the audacity to be tired at fifteen years of age i i it it it wasn't possible.
[242] And I thought he'd have flogged me. [laugh]
(PS25D) [243] And what what did you have to do on the pit face then?
(PS25E) [244] Well you I had to load for h for him you see at first.
[245] Er he'd get the coal, you see?
[246] And er and then I'd load it up into the tubs and tram it out into the gate.
[247] And then the horse would come, bring me two or three empty tubs in you see?
[248] And take the full tubs out, you see? that's how they used to work it.
(PS25D) [249] And how how did he get the coal?
(PS25E) [250] Hand got, all hand got then.
[251] We used to hole you used hole underneath it, lie on your shoulder and er hole underneath the coal and er wedge it off. [...]
(PS25D) [252] What sort of tools did you use?
(PS25E) [253] We used to have a pick, er er that was a blade that had a slot in it and you had a pick shaft with a box and er a an iron box on the top.
[254] And you used to put the pick blade into it and it was A piece cut out of it,th the blade you see?
[255] And er then you had a cotter that you drove in underneath it, and it secured the pick because
(PS25D) [...]
(PS25E) [256] every night, you've got to take those blades out of the pit [cough] and have them sharpened, you see?
[257] And there used to be a man had a little forge on the top, a chap named , an old man.
[258] And you used to pay him I don't know how mush it was a week now.
[259] But you used to have to pay him, once a week, for sharpening your blades, you see?
[260] You used to [...] with three or four blades, in time what we see.
[261] And er er drop them in the in the blacksmith's shop, and then when he'd finished with them, when he'd done 'em, they'd all be in a tub down at the pit bottom.
[262] And you'd go and sort your bundle out you see?
[263] And carry them in.
(PS25D) [264] What other tools did you use, any?
(PS25E) [265] Hammer and wedge and shovel.
[266] Hammer and wedge and shovel. [...]
(PS25D) [267] And it nev never had any shot firing?
(PS25E) [268] Oh ye i it all depended if you needed er shot firing.
[269] you see coal used to lie in in er er different slines what we called slines white slines and yo you had to get your coal line what we call half and half running in half and half.
[270] If it was head on, it was hell's delight to get the coal, you see?
[271] If it was flat on it was the same because he's got to go right through to the sline before he could get anything you see?
[272] Oh we used to hole underneath the coal and er and then er Oh oh we used to have a ringer That was a long steel ringer that you could put behind the slines in the slines and lever the coal off you see?
[273] With it.
[274] There's an art in getting coal.
[275] But er aye it was very very much an art.
(PS25D) [276] What about things like lighting in the pit, what did you do for lighting?
(PS25E) [277] We had oil lamps then, we only had oil lamps, they hadn't invented electric lamps, [laugh] then.
[278] [cough] And you I mean you're gonna get you're only about four foot high you see?
[279] And you had to carry your lamp in your teeth, you see?
[280] [...] And on your belt, when you're walking and you had a a lamp hook, which was got a very sharp spike on it you see, and when you was working er shovelling, [...] you'd stick it in a prop you see?
[281] And they'd hang up, you see?
[282] Erm that's how we used to work that is.
[283] And it all depended on where you were, now I remember one time we were working and er both ends were in [laugh] You won't know what that meant.
[284] But you see the We'd got no stall that end open to us and no stall that end, and the gate was down but we working to breakthrough to get some fresh air through from there.
[285] And er I remember we used to get the gas then, and er that was at a time they were used have an electric lamp [...] we had had one in the stall, you see?
[286] One electric lamp the others all be the the butty would have the electric lamp, and he'd also carry an oil lamp for testing for gas, and er I can remember going nearly a whole shift having to carry this lamp right down on the floor, carry it up into the heading you see?
[287] And when you got into any gas, a blue flame used to come on the top of your lamp ... pop, gone.
[288] Back you'd go then to the We used to have a a a a machine then, an electric box affair, that used to put your lamp in, it would set your wick at a certain angle that there wo made a spark and when you'd close this up, it caused a spark that would light your wick again you see?
(PS25D) [289] And what about Was there safter safer ways for testing for gas?
[290] For fire damp?
(PS25E) [291] Only canaries.
[292] [laugh] But we didn't have any canaries.
[293] [laugh] No, they only had them [...] the the er rescue operations, rescue men.
(PS25D) [294] Did you have any safety equipment?
[295] At all?
(PS25E) [296] Ooh no no no.
[297] No we didn't have any safety equipment.
Unknown speaker (FY1PSUNK) [...]
(PS25D) [298] Now [...]
(PS25E) [299] I remember being in one time, with both ends in, like I were talking about, and we haven't got a road out,we Matter of fact we were trying to break through to another district.
[300] And er the gate end came in, that's where the gate men And er we were trapped in there, there were three of us, and we couldn't get out, and we were there ooh about twelve hours before they managed to get us out.
[301] And er I remember [laughing] one [] one chap [cough] he were a bit scared, very much so, and oh dear dear dear, he'd only been within [...] other bloke, a chap A chap from [...] , what was his name now?
[302] I don't know.
[303] He [...] [laugh] .
[304] So of course I had to take my lead from him, I was only youngster then.
[305] But er we got out eventually, and they managed to get a road through to us, and but er [...] And er I remember another time where a bank came in and they were one man trapped in the far end and there were another man trapped on this end and my brother and me we we dug round to him, we got to him, we got him bared so far and what To his waist, and it was still bitting and we got hold of his belt, [...] right, ready?
[306] Now, pull.
[307] You see?
[308] And we'd pull and his belt broke, you see?
[309] And we shot backwards and down [banging table] it all come again, killed him.
[310] If his belt hadn't broke we should have got him out.
[311] But er The other chap at the other end, his his name was , Bob .
[312] Er they managed to tunnel in for from the other end [...] to him, and er his hairs gone white.
[313] [laugh] Oh er.
(PS25D) [314] Now what about the trade union, were you involved in the trade union?
(PS25E) [315] Well we we had
(PS25D) [316] Miners' association?
(PS25E) [317] Notts Miners' Trade Union then, and a matter of fact me dad was o on the committee, he was a committee member of that, on that.
[318] But erm we used to have a little shed, a little hut in the pit yard, where we used to go and pay our dues, every week [...]
(PS25D) [319] How much were the dues?
(PS25E) [320] Only thruppence a week, dues were [cough] scuse me [cough] .
[321] And er another thing we had as well, that the union had ar had er [cough] fixed for us, and that was a family doctor.
[322] And we used to pay The old man used to pay thruppence a week for the family doctor, you see?
[323] So we never had any doctors' bills.
[324] [cough] The man used to come round and collect that, a chap named .
[325] He used to come and collect that, and er But er ... the union ... well we were alright A chap named he was the secretary and er and Jack he was the president and me Dad were on the committee, there were several of on the committee.
[326] And we did get on reasonably well with the management then,u until we used to run into trouble of course, and er the er nineteen twenty one strike, I can vividly remember that, it was a glorious summer, dead against us nobody wanted any coal and it You had the It gave th the management the opportunity of selling all this All the old stock all the rubbish and everything.
[327] Clean the There used to be huge stocks leading right up to Mapperley Pit, of this slag and stuff, and they sold all that off, and er that was the year that fought and Al broke his thumb on him.
[328] And y that was the year I met d th I met the wife in that In June of that year.
[329] But er it was a tough struggle that was.
[330] We did get a bit of u of er union pay then I I couldn't tell you how much it was but it wasn't very much, but er
(PS25D) [331] And why did you go out on strike in the first place?
(PS25E) [332] Well [cough] you see I was nineteen and er really I don't really know why the nineteen twenty one strike was.
[333] Except that is was for money, I know it was for money but er I don't know the exact er [cough] Because I think I think in that year, we got what we called the Samuel award, that were three shillings a day, basic, you see?
[334] If you only worked half a day you got the three shillings Samuel pay you see?
[335] We got that.
[336] I were I were er We won that.
[337] [cough] It was quite a a long strike them was.
[338] Two year three or four months, that strike lasted.
[339] While they got cleaned up.
(PS25D) [340] And that strike was lost?
(PS25E) [341] Pardon?
(PS25D) [342] Wo that strike was lost was it?
(PS25E) [343] It was a it was lost er No I don't think it was entirely lost, not the twenty one strike, wasn't entirely lost.
[344] Did we go I er I'm now I'm pretty sure we went home for a seven and a half hour day in twenty one, pretty sure that's what one of the things that we did.
[345] Seven and a half hour day, that was the idea.
[346] And the same wages.
[347] [...] I think you'll find that that was the twenty one strike.
(PS25D) [348] And do you remember the general strike?
[349] Do you remember the nineteen twenty six miners' strike ?
(PS25E) [350] Oh yes.
[351] Vividly.
[352] I vividly remember that.
[353] There were no strike pay, you just had a promissory note that er [laugh] if ever they got any money they'd pay you, you see?
[354] But er course we n n never got any money because we er m it more or less disbanded the Notts miners' union that did, it er it took everything away was That was when we were er er s the Spencer union was formed more or less by the management. [recording ends]
(PS25D) [355] And so you were telling me about the twenty six strike.
(PS25E) [356] Well it wasn't a strike really, it was a lock out.
[357] We were At that time of day the minima the minimum wage was fourteen shillings a day.
[358] And they er locked us out until we'd go back for ten and thruppence a day, so of course we didn't go back.
[359] And it was a great tragedy cos er it did i i it did cause the general strike and er we had a week of the general strike.
(PS25D) [360] And do you remember how that affected Nottingham? ...
(PS25E) [361] Not really we It wasn't.
[362] We weren't really interested, particularly in Nottingham, it was the general strike but what we were going to do I mean we'd o er we we'd er already formed, more or less, a government of our own, if you understand me, to take over, you see?
[363] If the general strike had lasted, we could have took over, but er Jimmy stepped in and er he was the er he was the er general secretary of the N U R, National Union of Railwaymen, and er [cough] he stepped in and persuaded the government to more or less step in and take over and arbitrate with the miners.
[364] Well that was a foolish thing, really cos there were four hundred and forty coal owners in the government, and what they were going to arbitrate in our favour for we couldn't see.
[365] But er that is what actually happened and er Jimmy Thomas sold the pass, he was the biggest traitor we ever had.
[366] Well from there, that, was evolved the Spencer Union, the [...]
(PS25D) [367] This er After the strike was defeated?
(PS25E) [368] At The strike We we didn't go back.
[369] We didn't accept the arbitration, you see?
[370] We still stopped locked out.
[371] [cough] We were getting no money from anywhere and you had borrowed [...] , you had to pay it back when you went back to work, you see?
[372] Anyway er it The outcome of it was that the Spencer Union was formed, George Spencer, er i in collaboration with er the mine owners, you see?
[373] And he accepted the ten and thruppence, you see?
[374] And we had to go back, you see?
[375] Because one reason in Nottingham why they went back was the fact Blidworth Pit was starting to turn coal.
[376] They'd just sunk that pit and they were starting to turn coal and the the the miners were straggling back to the new pit you see?
[377] And it more or less made it that we'd got to go back for the ten and thruppence.
[378] But er we didn't I didn't go back, we'd already we'd we'd got some land and er and we'd set up er pig breeding and er we'd got about a hundred and twenty strong store pigs at that time.
[379] And er a horse and dray and float.
[380] [cough] Id' er er g got married in er twenty five and er agreed to buy a house in twenty six, January, moved into it and er So er I took over the t horse and dray and er opened the front room as a a shop, a greengrocers shop.
[381] We used to grow quite a bit of stuff on the land and er we lived.
[382] The wife used to wait for somebody coming in the shop to buy something and then she'd go out and get a a bit of meat and we'd have a dinner, and er we had seven months of that before I was eventually more or less forced to go back.
[383] Actually I was flitting people from Gedling to Blidworth with this horse and dray.
[384] And er so of course there was no future in it really, so I went back.
[385] Me brother was deputy in at the time erm
(PS25D) [386] What When did you go back?
(PS25E) [387] Pardon?
(PS25D) [388] When did you go back?
(PS25E) [389] I went back in er in the November, just before Christmas.
[390] [cough] That's about it isn't it?
[391] Seven month.
[392] May June July August September October, that's right.
[393] And erm I went back but er I we I we I went back er daitling and er I got er a daitle contract.
(PS25D) [394] And what did that mean?
(PS25E) [395] That meant that er we were maintaining the roads, you see?
[396] And and enlarging gates er main roads and that sort of thing.
[397] And I I used to have er I u I used to have men working for me, you see?
(PS25D) [398] And you were a butty at that time?
(PS25E) [399] I was I was er er we we weren't butties because butties worked on the face, you see?
(PS25D) [400] Yeah.
(PS25E) [401] We were daitlers we worked on the In the stone, you see?
[402] Butties worked in coal, daitlers worked in stone, you see?
[403] And er I er carried on with that, going on very nicely, until they decided to mechanize Gedling, you see?
[404] And brought the coal cutter in and they they put brought the pans and The shaker pans they used to wear belts then, for shaker pans you see?
[405] It used to shake the coal down the b banks.
[406] [cough] And they were diffic To start them off, we went in on the Thursday, Thursday morning, and we had to fit all these things together and make 'em work, you see?
[407] And it was Sunday afternoon when I came out the pit the next time.
[408] [laugh] They used to send us bread and teas down from Chase Farm.
[409] [laugh] And erm we eventually got these things working ... and er I got the contract along with Jack to turn these pans over, you see?
[410] As they got one face off we'd turn them, over, the pans had to be turned over and backs built you see?
[411] And road ripped ready for the next day you see?
[412] And er I got the contract for that.
[413] And then when I was about twenty four, twenty four or five I'd got twenty men working for me, so er we weren't doing so bad.
[414] And er ... then I had trouble with the er with the er afternoon gaffer, chap named .
[415] And er we fell out over ... a fall really or whatever it was.
[416] And er I was informed like that er I I had d stop till six o'clock at night, that night, and I was informed that er I'd got to come back at night and bring me men.
[417] So I decided that it was time to pack up I decided that the nights were made to sleep on n n n and I was going to sleep on them you see?
[418] So I came out the pit and went into Cripps and bought a lorry.
(PS25D) [419] But while you were still a miner did you have any trouble being in the miners' association when the Spencer Union was [...] ?
(PS25E) [420] Never joined it.
[421] We never joined it.
[422] We still maintained the remnants of the Notts Miners' Association.
[423] We still maintained that, because er
(PS25D) [424] Were you victimized
(PS25E) [425] It
(PS25D) [426] because of that?
(PS25E) [427] Oh we were victimized alright, oh yes.
[428] Yes we had all the dirty jobs.
[429] All the dirty jobs and the tough jobs to do.
(PS25D) [430] What sort of things were that ?
(PS25E) [431] [...] Well i if if there was er any new er wanted opening up, which was always a minimum wage job, you see?
[432] We had those sort of jobs to do.
[433] Like when we opened opened a ninety Z up and we couldn't open that face up, it was hell.
[434] They You used to go [laughing] and [] walk on the face in a morning an and you'd rap on the face with your pick and [...] buggers are green,ther they're not ripe yet.
[435] [laugh] You've got to earn your living out of that.
[436] But er we eventually beat it though and as I say a good colliery you could er you could beat 'em to it.
[437] Matter of fact Dad, he agreed with the management for er er er You see the management never wanted anybody on the minimum wage, never wanted to be on the min, so he agreed with 'em f for a special price for our coal we got out.
[438] And er within a few months we'd got the thing going till they were blowing out, and we were making it hand over fist you see?
[439] And [...] [...]
(PS25D) [440] What sort of money were you making on that then?
(PS25E) [441] Oh were making twenty five bob a day then.
(PS25D) [442] And this was after they tried to victimize you ?
(PS25E) [443] That's right, [laugh] yeah, yes.
[444] We booked ten pound a week.
[445] What we were getting then.
[446] And it were a lot of money, a a lot of money, and they pay a lot of benefits out of that now because the old man used to have it you see?
[447] And you have to pay them board.
[448] [laugh] They wouldn't let us pay our board you see, used to ha used to have twenty five bob spending money [...] then.
[449] And w
(PS25D) [450] Did they try to victimize you in any other way? ...
(PS25E) [451] Well er n no, not necessarily, I mean that was the worst way they could have victimize you by er making things damn awkward.
[452] that was the top and bottom of it, but er the er, the worst jobs we used to have you know, was digging dead 'uns out and Actually I remember seeing one chap, he got his leg in a coal cutter and got his his foot cut off.
[453] U and of course the There were things that er y you got used to, you see?
[454] And we just pulled his Shove a bit of bind back of his leg, tied it up together, stopped the bleeding, shoved him out.
[455] Now I remember another chap [...] [cough] , he got done with a pothole.
[456] That were of piece of bind that come out and it was shaped like a pear, 'bout a ton in weight, easy.
[457] And er that poor devil i i it hit him and I know wen we got him out, one eye was about an inch lower than the other.
[458] It'd split his skull.
[459] [laugh] He died on the way down while we were carrying him to pit bottom.
[460] Where that was er ... But er I remember I er I broke a collar bone while we were down the pit, down there.
[461] And er we were coming out of We were getting the tub out an and er me brother was at the front end of th It went off the rails and er as he pushed it back, I was at the back and it jammed me again the face, and broke this collar bone.
[462] About twelve o'clock.
[463] But you weren't allowed to come out the pit, I mean you had to wait until knocking off time you see, before you were come out, Anything like that I mean er unless you've got broken legs or anything like that.
[464] So I had to s stop in the gate and mark tubs for [...] two [...] .
[465] And then I had about a a a two mile walk to pit bottom, you see.
[466] And this thing was just dragging me down you see?
[467] And then when you got home er had me dinner you see?
[468] But you couldn't go to the doctor's until surgery time, that were six o'clock you see.
[469] So off I went to the doctor's, six o'clock, and he examined me shoulder.
[470] Aye it's broke broke there, just there.
[471] [...] spot.
[472] He says er And he lifted me hand up, here and bound it tight and bandaged across it.
[473] He says, Now, when it gets slack, tighten the bandage up, you see?
[474] And come and see me again in a month.
[475] That was the therapy, that was what we got.
[476] And I saw him in a month, and he took the bandage off and me arm flopped of course.
[477] Aye we'll see you in a fortnight and you'll be ready for work.
[478] I said, Well what do I do with the arm, like?
[479] With this?
[480] Had [...] well he said, Just get on with it and keep pushing it up the wall, just keep pushing it up the wall, just come back.
[481] That was the doctoring that we had for a broken collar bone you see?
[482] I mean nowadays you'd have a Thomas splint on it you see? [laugh] [...]
(PS25D) [483] So
(PS25E) [484] I remember the the spanish flu, this was the kind of doctoring we get if you don't mind this little These little incidents?
[485] When the spanish flu was on they were dying like flies.
[486] And they used to let us come out of the pit at three quarter time, there were six of us, all of a size, strong as young bulls and er [laugh] we used to have to i if the body was within less than a mile from the church, you see?
[487] You weren't allowed to have a hearse, you had to carry them to the church, and er er we used to b bury them by lamp light.
[488] We were allowed to come out a at er twelve o'clock you see?
[489] And we got payed seven and sixpence for each body we carried, you see?
[490] That was something to make up the quarter of your shift.
[491] And er I remember going to the doctor's with me Mother and where as we sat in the surgery which was packed, eventually the old doctor come out of the door old .
[492] He says, There, he says, You can all go home and die now, all I've got left is Epsom Salts.
[493] [laugh] Oh
(PS25D) [494] And so what did you do?
(PS25E) [495] We had to go home.
[496] [laugh] We didn't die though, erm
(PS25D) [497] Did you have some sort of treatment at home?
[498] Did you have some sort of recipes?
[499] Home-made reci
(PS25E) [500] Oh erm my moth mother had it, she got but she got better with it.
[501] But er er er this this old doctor, I remember the wife, she had an ectopic that was er a er conception in the fallopian tube, you see?
[502] And er the chap that tended her was er a locum, he were only a young chap, and er he says, Oh oh I'm sorry, he says, I'd better get me old man to come, he said I don't suppose I'll ever see another of these in my career.
[503] [cough] He got the old man to come, old the same old bugger.
[504] And er he went up and examined the wife and he come down stairs and he said to me [mimicking] Are you the husband?
[505] [] .
[506] [pompous tone] That's how he used to talk.
[507] Er yes that's me doctor.
[508] Well he says, I might as well tell you, he said.
[509] Your wife could go out like the snuff of a candle.
[510] and he went.
[511] [laugh] Er the young chap then came down stairs and He's says, I'm having dinner with er I forget what the surgeon's name was now, he says er, I'll have a word with him about it.
[512] He says Come down to the surgery in the morning.
[513] And I went down and he gave me a letter, he says Take your wife in to the general hospital with this letter.
[514] Took her in the next day.
[515] And waited for her and brought her home again.
[516] And he removed it.
[517] Mm.
(PS25D) [518] So [...]
(PS25E) [519] But that was the doctoring that we had in those days.
(PS25D) [520] With all this er trauma, did you have er Wh what did you do with your leisure time, what did you do with your free time out side of the outside the pit?
[521] Did you play football [...] ?
(PS25E) [522] Oh yes er oh yes er.
[523] Er er always played football or [...] tennis and I I played all sports that I could get hold of.
[524] Cricket and er yes I er Matter of fact I was selected to play for Notts once, er er a one Thursday afternoon.
[525] And er, when I went to me I found out it in the post It was in the post, that I was picked.
[526] [cough] So I went down to see the secretary who I found out was in the flying horse and er told him who I was, Ooh yes, ooh yes, you're playing this afternoon, aren't you?
[527] Yes I Oh yes I remember now.
[528] I says, it all depends, [...] How much er do we get like?
[529] Cos I was on the afternoon shift and as I told you I was getting twenty five bob a day.
[530] [cough] Ooh he says we can only pay you your travelling expenses.
[531] Oh, I says, that's four pence, tram fair.
[532] I said I'm sorry but you'd better pick somebody else.
[533] [laugh] I'd rather have the twenty five bob.
[534] [laugh] But er sport played a big part in our lives, you see er then.
[535] Because we'd nothing else to do, I mean really.
[536] Er you see the the wireless that we'd got was the old cats whisker on a crystal, you see, and a pair of earphones that we used to And if anybody rustled a paper [groan] , you see?
[537] [cough] So th the pictures, you could go to the pictures, but er Pearl Light and the Clutching Hand and and M Mary Pickford and [laugh]
(PS25D) [538] How much was it to go to the pictures?
(PS25E) [539] Well i it all depended the er When you'res a school er at school you see?
[540] It used to be a ha'penny on the front row, you see?
[541] And a penny for the back.
[542] And the first three rows used to be a ha'penny and the the others used to be a penny.
[543] [...] see better, you was looking up it on the front rows you see.
[544] But er ... yeah.
[545] And I remember the first talkie I ever heard, I walked in the elite one night, with the wife and er as we walked in we hear a chap says [mimicking] I'm I am [] . [laugh]
(PS25D) [laugh]
(PS25E) [547] That were the first words I ever heard on
(PS25D) [laugh]
(PS25E) [548] and that week, Al Jolson was on the hippodrome with Sonny Boy.
[549] They were the first
(PS25D) [...]
(PS25E) [550] er talkies that came to Nottingham, they were.
(PS25D) [551] Now you're you're telling us that you left the pit and you bought a lorry so could
(PS25E) [552] Yes.
(PS25D) [553] you move on about what you did then as your next
(PS25E) [554] Yeah.
(PS25D) [555] job?
(PS25E) [556] Well.
[557] We bought this ton lorry.
[558] Morris tonner from Cripps and er I said I'd buy the lorry off 'em if they'd find me some work.
[559] So they sent me to Morbry's Lane Wharf, Colliery Wharf.
[560] And er it was the time as they were there were popularizing a a scheme From mine to your cellar, M I N E, mine to your cellar, you see?
[561] Which meant that we had to cart this coal from the wharf, take it to the client and put it in his coal house, you see?
[562] Otherwise he used to just shoot it up, you see?
[563] But we had to go and take it into his culler I had one day at that [...] , I thought [...] I thought I'd had enough coal.
[564] So I went and saw a building contractor, friend of me Dads and er he welcomed me with open arms, he'd just got a contract for building council houses down Dunson Street at Netherfield.
[565] And er I got going with that, carting bricks and timber and all that sort of thing for him, got really going and er fetching ballast from train concrete.
[566] And er within eighteen months I'd got three lorries running.
(PS25D) [567] How much were you earning?
(PS25E) [568] Well the earnings of course went into the business we'd er There was Dad, he'd retired then out of the pits, early.
[569] He'd retired at fifty five, to run this er small holding we'd got you see?
[570] And help with the lorry business [cough] and er I used to get three pound a week out of it.
[571] And er Camel Lairds I er cleared a lot of stuff from Camel Lairds.
[572] Terrific lot of stuff from there.
[573] Paint, red paint that they used to paint railway wa er railway carriages.
[574] They used to make railway carriages down there, you know, then?
(PS25D) [575] Where about's is that?
(PS25E) [576] Camel Lairds on n Kings Weather Road erm It's the government, R O F, there.
[577] They took it over.
[578] It were eleven acres there under one roof.
[579] And er I know I cleared a lot of er fire bricks.
[580] There was a range of er forges and I I car i o Everything had to be cleared for when Camel Lairds finished with it.
[581] And I cart a lot of these bricks, fire bricks, up to this land that we've got and er This was in nineteen thirty seven.
[582] Nineteen thirty seven.
[583] And I I built er a bungalow for the old folks, all all interior were fire bricks.
[584] [laugh] The outside was of course was facing bricks but er
(PS25D) [585] How did you manage to do that then?
(PS25E) [586] Well I [laugh] I was a collier.
[587] [laugh] You did anything when you was a collier, you see?
[588] And I'd been to As I tell you, I'd been to night school, joinery classes.
[589] I'd tiled it, the er Oh it er Yeah.
[590] I did
(PS25D) [...]
(PS25E) [591] all this work, I took that out the door, out of there and built all this and built me garage and You see?
[592] You can do anything if you try you know.
[593] If you try hard enough.
(PS25D) [594] Mm.
[595] How long we
(PS25E) [596] And then after about eighteen months er Sterk came along with the Road Traffic Act, you see?
[597] And you had to have licences for your lorry then.
[598] A B and C licences and er it got so complicated that er I er eventually drafted in by virtue of er being able to sell firewood, er drafted into the C I S, the Co-op insurance.
[599] In nineteen thirty two.
[600] May nineteen thirty two.
(PS25D) [601] And how did you come to get that job?
(PS25E) [602] Well my brothers was er He was er an [...] agent for them and er i in the country area, Burton Joyce, Lowdham and all round there.
[603] [cough] And er and er he got to take his boss down to er Burton Joyce Lowdham sorry, Lowdham, one afternoon on a case, [...] case.
[604] Would I take him in the lorry? [...] yes I can do that for you.
[605] So I took them in the lorry.
[606] And while I was waiting for them I I went into a little shop and For some cigarettes, and er me brother y Oh younger brother, we'd started him up er f he was a plumber.
[607] And more y o out of work than in them days.
[608] And we'd started him up with a little donkey engine and a saw bench, started him up making bundles of firewood up.
[609] [cough] And er so while I was in this shop I I sold this chap five hundred bundles of fire wood you see?
[610] And i thought, right, I think I've just about got time to nip home and fetch that fire wood and pick them up when they [...] you see?
(PS25D) [611] Mm.
(PS25E) [612] Low and behold when I got back they were waiting for me you see?
[613] And I apologized for what I'd done, sold the firewood, took 'em home again.
[614] And er about a month later, this chap sent for me.
[615] Er he wanted to er see me, his brother had got promoted and was Half of his book was come vacant, would I have half the book?
[616] He says er an er a while after he said to he he said, Did you ever know how you got on here, at agency?
[617] No and I certainly would.
[618] [cough] He said, Well I thought to me self well the bloke that's co just walk in the shop and sell five hundred bundles of fire wood, he could sell insurance.
[619] [laugh] Oh.
(PS25D) [620] And what what wages did you get for that then?
(PS25E) [621] The first We didn't get any wages.
(PS25D) [622] Or commis
(PS25E) [623] It was all commission you see?
[624] Never worked for wages in me life, after I was sixteen.
[625] But er me first week's commission were two pound twelve and sixpence.
[626] And I'd got ten and four pence more we used to pay twelve and fourpence monies I had to borrow to buy the book.
[627] A wife and a new baby, so er you had to work.
[628] [laugh] In
(PS25D) [629] And
(PS25E) [630] other words I had to get on my bike. [laugh]
(PS25D) [...]
(PS25E) [631] I'm sorry Mr but [laugh]
(PS25D) [632] [laughing] We well []
(PS25E) [633] [laugh] Ah
(PS25D) [634] Wha what sort of er things did you have to do then?
(PS25E) [635] Well I used to cycle from Gedling to Apsley, me debit was at Apsley and I used to have to cycle from there to Apsley and I used to take bit of food an and bread and cheese and pieces of anything I could pick up in me pocket, and I daren't come home till I'd got some business.
[636] Use to have to get a new business canvassing.
[637] We used to get help from the Co-ops because they used to give us lists of new members and we used to be able to canvass those.
[638] But er within two years I'd doubled me book and I was averaging over five pound a week, then.
(PS25D) [639] What kind of hours did you work the [...]
(PS25E) [640] Ooh Aye well Ha.
[641] You didn't consider that.
[642] You didn't consider that, you er i As I say you'd go out in the morning.
[643] If you had a good day you'd probably come home for your tea, you see?
[644] Otherwise you'd be out more or less into the night because you got to go and see the men at night you see?
[645] [...] And you imagine in the nineteen thirties, selling insurance.
[646] It was hell selling insurance then.
[647] I mean i i if you could get in for a penny a week that was alright because when things got better you could build on a penny a week, you see?
[648] If you was greedy and went for a shilling you lost it after a week or two you see?
[649] But er [cough]
(PS25D) [650] And were you involved in a trade union at all?
(PS25E) [651] Oh yes, oh yes.
[652] It er We had to be it was a closed shop, that was, and er I er I was the er I was the secretary for er for our Chairman rather for ou our er local local branch, for the Nottingham area branch of er USDOR you see?
[653] We
(PS25D) [654] And how did you come to be that?
(PS25E) [655] Oh I I was elected
(PS25D) [656] u
(PS25E) [657] I could talk.
[658] [laugh] I'd had I'd had schooling you see?
[659] From the old man, you see he'd always been an old I L P man and er I remember when Harris put up for parliament in the Rushcliffe division.
[660] He er he was strong enough man to put fifty pound down for his deposit, towards his deposit of a hundred and fifty you know?
[661] And er they reckoned he were mad but er he got it back.
[662] Aye so of course As I say er i i we were more or less grew up with it.
[663] It er it grew into it.
[664] And then when I got promotion I got promoted to dif district inspector.
[665] [cough] Then we had to change the Unions to Newsize [cough] and er I er I became National President of the Newsize er district inspectors branch of Newsize Yes I was president till I retired. [cough]
(PS25D) [666] And did you e ever remember having any trouble?
[667] Any industrial trouble?
(PS25E) [668] Er no, not Never had any industrial trouble while I was in.
[669] I I I'll never forget I er I used to try er You see we used to have three sets of commissions.
[670] Twenty five percent, fifteen percent and ten percent, you see?
[671] Well the twenty five percent was whole life business and fifteen percent was a commission er a term endowment and the ten percent was endowment, you see?
[672] But the the results for the ten percent were were better than is had nothing for me.
[673] [...] I think it's next door The te er the fifteen percent was less than the ten percent, you see?
[674] Less er less for the c for the customer.
[675] [cough] Well up in Scotland the main er er er was twenty five percent.
[676] I mean the Scottish boys I mean they always wanted the big end of the stick you see?
[677] They didn't believe in selling endowments, they only sold whole life you see?
[678] A lot of them did.
[679] Anyway at one of the branch meed Er E C exi er executive meetings.
[680] I I I er put forward the idea that twenty five percent was dying out, [...] this.
[681] Can [...] switched off a second?
[682] Anyway You see the trouble was that the twenty five percent business was falling, falling fast.
[683] People were getting educated to endowment assurance you see.
[684] So I I I start to put it across to the to the [...] Why not try and negotiated one commission, fifteen percent, you see?
[685] Cut your ten percent out, cut your twenty five percent out and accept ten Fifteen percent you see?
[686] We used to have three lots of entries in our collecting books you see?
[687] I said, it'll cut all that out, chief office'll welcome you because it'll save such a lot of But er the Scottish boys, Oh no, oh no he'd never accept that, you see?
[688] I said, Well the men with the bigger books of twenty five percent, we could compensate them, you see?
[689] But er no they wouldn't wear it.
[690] Consequently Eventually the twenty five percent went all together.
[691] And they'd still got a majority of ten percent, you see the fifteen percent went as well, you see?
[692] They [...] accept the deal, [...] ?
(PS25D) [693] Now
(PS25E) [694] Another thing er While on union business er I used to go up on negotiations, you see?
[695] And er I er I went up on negotiations, we used to get a small a small basic wage you see?
[696] And erm I I w we went up on er To try and get the basic wage increased [cough] and er I know Mr he was the er general manager at the time.
[697] I er I tried to tell him He he tried to point out to me, he says, That er the average earnings you see of district inspectors you see?
[698] Was I think he said it were about twenty six pound a week for that time you see?
[699] But you know Mr I I don't believe in these average earnings, average business, Oh yes there is correctness [...] the accountants will vouch for it you see?
[700] Yeah but I I'm not talking about th being correct I said.
[701] I said, You see the point is that the temperature the temperature at the north pole is a lot lower than it is in th on the equator I said.
[702] But you can't con you can't persuade those chaps at the north pole that they never get any frost you know, you see?
[703] Course the average temperature is no degrees centigrade you see.
[704] So they don't get any frost on your argument.
[705] I said the same [...] I can't persuade our chaps on the Yorkshire Moors that they are getting twenty six pound a week, when they're not, you see?
[706] But according to you they are, you see?
[707] That's why I say let's have an increase in basic wage
(PS25D) [708] Yeah.
(PS25E) [709] you see?
[710] I'm saying this today.
[711] Instead of talking about an average twelve percent or thirty percent, you see?
[712] Go for a basic.
(PS25D) [713] Now erm let's come on to er the last war and er I'd like to know what what you did as part of your war effort.
(PS25E) [714] Well I was in the insurance then, of course, you see?
[715] And er I was too o old for call-up at the beginning of the war, well we had a car so er we were asked, anyone that had a car to volunteer for er A R P services you see?
[716] So erm the first week of the er [...] of hostilities I I went and volunteered to for the A R P. [tape change]