BNC Text H03

Oral history project: interview. Sample containing about 3099 words speech recorded in leisure context

3 speakers recorded by respondent number C271

PS2AL X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS2AM Ag3 f (No name, age 40+, carpet factory worker) unspecified
PS2AN X m (Ken, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 098405 recorded on unknown date. LocationStrathclyde: Kilmarnock () Activity: interview

Undivided text

(PS2AL) [1] ... feel about how the way the women are treated in B M K, do you think that, I mean is there enough provision for women,especial erm are you taking into consideration, do you feel on er is, do you feel that you're not, your needs aren't particularly catered for, I mean in the sense of, you might not have experienced this yourself but like er, maternity provisions, things like that, I mean you get maternity leave, do you feel that
(PS2AM) [2] Oh that's ok that's okay, aha.
(PS2AL) [3] that your job is safe, that you could come back or
(PS2AM) [4] It's as safe as any job is in today's industrial
(PS2AL) [5] Aha.
(PS2AM) [6] climate I would imagine.
[7] But [cough] most of the women over there they, you could say they're, they're by the age of, of childbearing
(PS2AL) [8] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [9] except for the, the ones that they've just started recently.
(PS2AL) [10] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [11] Believe or not I could be one of the younger ones in my forties, they're all kind of past that.
(PS2AL) [12] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [13] But they, they've got to start these younger people, although out there in there are a, a great number of ex-spoolers, but whether they would want to come back
(PS2AL) [14] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [15] I don't know.
(PS2AL) [16] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [17] But
(PS2AL) [18] And has the, it, technology changed a lot? [...]
(PS2AM) [19] Yeah some things has, as I said we work off these er graph papers and they, they do them now by computer.
(PS2AL) [20] Aha.
(PS2AM) [21] But the, the range of colour is sometimes so close and they can't give you a great diversity and the light's shining on it and sometimes the sun coming in
(PS2AL) [22] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [23] can give you a headache
(PS2AL) [24] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [25] whereas before they used to hand paint them all, well we know this is time consuming and expensive whereas you just program it in and
(PS2AL) [26] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [27] you've got your copies of it, if you, you happen to tear one they can give you another copy like that.
(PS2AL) [28] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [29] Whereas if it got torn in the hand painted days [...] then you're talking a long length of time.
(PS2AL) [30] Yeah, it was serious, yeah.
(PS2AM) [31] So that way the technology but the machines are basically what they had
(PS2AL) [32] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [33] from [...] nineteen twenty three.
(PS2AL) [34] Yeah.
(PS2AM) [35] With some exceptions.
(PS2AL) [36] Has that led to a reduction in the workforce do you think, do you now have machines that can do jobs that [...] too much?
(PS2AM) [37] No not, not really.
[38] ... Pre er you know how it went into the receivership
(PS2AL) [39] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [40] and the old B M K s well there was about er two hundred people in the department that's when everything was boom boom.
(PS2AL) [41] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [42] Now the there's only twenty eight, thirty cos we we we've a much smaller market.
[43] So [cough] now have to go for the contracting, the overseas jobs.
(PS2AL) [44] Mhm, I see.
(PS2AM) [45] But the domestic market people just can't afford twenty five
(PS2AL) [46] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [47] thirty pound to do out their lounge or a bedroom or whatever a square
(PS2AL) [48] That's right.
(PS2AM) [49] yard or square metre.
(PS2AL) [50] You not get any perks from working in here? [laugh]
(PS2AM) [51] [laugh] Unless you talk about cheap carpet [...] get some cheap carpet.
(PS2AL) [52] Aha.
(PS2AM) [53] That's about it.
(PS2AL) [54] That's really it?
(PS2AM) [55] Mhm.
(PS2AL) [56] No special offers? [laugh]
(PS2AM) [57] Well [...] nothing much else you can
(PS2AL) [cough]
Ken (PS2AN) [58] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [59] get when you
(PS2AL) [60] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [61] work in a carpet place the only thing is
(PS2AL) [62] Aye.
(PS2AM) [63] the end product.
(PS2AL) [64] So there's no
(PS2AM) [65] And it's it's not an item that, that you're er furnishing every two or three months, this is an expensive
(PS2AL) [66] That's true, yes, aha.
(PS2AM) [67] item.
[68] If you're doing out a lounge you're maybe talking about seven or eight hundred pounds if you want a top, top of the range carpet.
(PS2AL) [69] Aha, aha.
(PS2AM) [70] So you, you just do not do this.
(PS2AL) [71] Yes.
(PS2AM) [72] In a bedroom you're looking for something at one ninety nine or two [laughing] ninety nine [] . [laugh]
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [73] You just couldn't possibly do it.
(PS2AL) [74] Aha, so er wondering, we know there's, there's no unions any more in the factory, that's right isn't it?
(PS2AM) [75] There are unions but [cough] the m the management don't really entertain them but people
(PS2AL) [76] Aha.
(PS2AM) [77] still pay their money every week.
(PS2AL) [78] Aye.
(PS2AM) [79] I do not do this but some pe everyone's entitled to throw their money away if they like.
[80] And of course I think that maybe the electricians and the, the other tradesmen they might be in their equivalent union.
(PS2AL) [81] Yes aha.
(PS2AM) [82] But the, the Carpet Union, there is still a number of people that do believe in it.
(PS2AL) [83] Are you on any of these committees that, you know the, the organizing committees erm that are sort of built up to solve problems within the, you know, the various departments, or do you know anyone
(PS2AM) [84] They, they have a, a quality circle thing.
(PS2AL) [85] Aha.
(PS2AM) [86] Yes, er no, [cough] I'm not in that.
[87] And they have another er works' committee for the management, and representatives from each department.
[88] It's just the works like a trade union thing, they sit down and the management'll tell them, or the workforce'll say what about this, that and the other
(PS2AL) [89] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [90] and they come to some agreement and the, the management tell what's happening, how many orders they've got.
[91] Er if a department's busy or maybe need to shift personnel from here to there,
(PS2AL) [92] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [93] if that department isn't really that busy.
(PS2AL) [94] Aha.
(PS2AM) [95] So they, they have that, they, they say they don't need unions because they've got a good [...] working relationship.
(PS2AL) [96] Do you feel that works, or would you prefer a union set up?
(PS2AM) [97] It seems to work in here, because er the carpet industry, if you speak, speak to people in different ... firms, say they all work the same way, [laugh] it seems to work on a
(PS2AL) [98] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [99] shoe string er from hand to mouth.
(PS2AL) [100] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [101] Er nothing really that organized, but every carpet place seems to be the same.
(PS2AL) [102] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [103] It, it's, it's not ... you, it's not until you've probably worked in another place and come here or go
(PS2AL) [104] Aha.
(PS2AM) [105] from here, that you
(PS2AL) [106] Right.
(PS2AM) [107] would see a difference but people that have always worked in here don't notice any difference.
(PS2AL) [108] Aha, aha.
(PS2AM) [109] But is, it's a special kind of climate in here.
(PS2AL) [110] Mhm, mhm.
[111] [...] , aha, just basically I mean how do you find working and, you know rearing children, bringing up a family, and doing your housework, do you, how do you organize it, do you find that you get up early and do work in the morning, will you do a bit of work when you go home or, does your partner help out with the work?
(PS2AM) [112] Oh just everybody has to pull together, mhm.
(PS2AL) [113] Everybody mucks in.
[114] Mhm, your family'll do various things?
(PS2AM) [115] Well I've only got one daughter, and she is er extremely good.
[116] She does all the washing and ironing and that kind of thing.
(PS2AL) [117] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [118] Er, and the work just gets done, you don't need to do it every day.
(PS2AL) [119] Aha, aha.
(PS2AM) [120] I'm not a fanatic, I'm not
(PS2AL) [121] No, you can be when you're [...]
(PS2AM) [cough]
(PS2AL) [122] working full time.
(PS2AM) [123] Oh I think there are other things to do.
[124] I find
(PS2AL) [125] Aha.
(PS2AM) [126] housework depressing and boring,
(PS2AL) [127] Aha.
(PS2AM) [128] I, I mean I, I, I w I couldn't say that I would be happy being in the house all the time.
[129] I hate cooking, and I've never tried to bake in my life.
[130] I love eating by the way
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [131] but I just er, I don't see any point in cooking three meals a day and washing dishes three or four time I don't [...] find it satisfying, not that this is extremely fulfilling but
(PS2AL) [132] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [133] you seem to get a bit of everything.
(PS2AL) [134] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [135] [cough] And I need the money to finance my, my climbing [laugh] , and other kind of things that I do.
(PS2AL) [136] Mhm
(PS2AM) [137] But I don't see this as the be all and end all,
(PS2AL) [138] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [139] I couldn't possibly stay in the house,
(PS2AL) [140] No.
(PS2AM) [141] impossible.
(PS2AL) [142] No.
(PS2AM) [143] I'm, I'm, I'm not er highly domesticated, and I don't er ... feel the need to produce children.
(PS2AL) [144] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [145] I'm not a wonderful mother.
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [146] Because erm my daughter's at the stage that she's probably
(PS2AL) [147] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [148] looking after me.
(PS2AL) [149] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [150] But I'm not the least bit maternal.
(PS2AL) [151] Right, so erm
(PS2AM) [152] I'm probably a bad example, [laughing] I'm [...] what you're wanting to find out [] .
(PS2AL) [153] [laugh] No, not at all, not at all .
[154] ... So do you feel that erm ... I mean I know that you've been here twenty one years, and do you think women are more important or less important in the factory than they were?
[155] I heard, when I started looking into the project at first that erm, the women used to do most of the weaving but you don't actually do the weaving now, and they used to basically you know make up the, the larger part of the work force, is that the case now?
(PS2AM) [156] Well that's in relation to the, the, the weaving that they do.
[157] Years ago they had all these narrow looms, about this size, and this is where women worked, they called it the narrow section, and maybe mostly for hotels or you know, in the olden days they had stair, your mother'll probably, stair runners or holes and the, the carpet just went like that and there'd be a piece of lino up the side,
(PS2AL) [158] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [159] well there was a lot of call for that.
(PS2AL) [160] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [161] And women worked in that department, whereas the men worked at the huge broadloom
(PS2AL) [162] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [163] looms which are very heavy, very heavy, and through fashion, fashion changing and I mean people don't have these things any more.
[164] A lot of pubs and hotels will do the the their places out in these narrow sections so if one gets worn they can lift it up and
(PS2AL) [165] Mhm, yeah.
(PS2AM) [166] replace it.
[167] But houses, when you're doing a house you, you don't tend to do that now, you just have your broad loom
(PS2AL) [168] Mm.
(PS2AM) [169] and fit it in.
[170] So in that relationship
(PS2AL) [...]
(PS2AM) [171] the d the, the women are redundant as it were.
(PS2AL) [172] Yes.
(PS2AM) [173] There only is two, well there are two, one, they do shiftwork.
(PS2AL) [174] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [175] And the they'll turn a week about.
[176] But the the there's not the call in this er place for, for women in the weaving department.
(PS2AL) [177] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [178] But our department hasn't changed, the women are just doing the same job as they did sixty
(PS2AL) [179] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [180] years ago.
[181] And probably in the picking as well.
[182] In the winding it's just ... their lot hasn't changed a great deal.
(PS2AL) [183] Mhm, mhm.
(PS2AM) [184] Except I would say the winders are [laughing] worse off cos they're doing three shifts [] .
(PS2AL) [185] Right, mhm.
(PS2AM) [186] And I just couldn't hack that I don't think.
(PS2AL) [187] Aha.
[188] Mm.
[189] So, erm have you got, do you have a lot of friends through work do you find, I mean do you sort of organize things after work, do you ever go for a drink [...] ?
(PS2AM) [190] Well a lot, a lot of people er er do er ju just about three weeks ago two women from our department retired so we had er we had a night out up in , that's where they live, so there is that kind of thing,
(PS2AL) [191] Aha.
(PS2AM) [192] or if on the few occasions that someone gets married, they hold a night.
(PS2AL) [193] [...] , aha.
(PS2AM) [194] Er and some of the girls do like make-up parties and things like that.
[195] Some
(PS2AL) [196] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [197] of them go to the weight training at .
(PS2AL) [198] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [199] But as I say I don't do that kind of thing, I, I prefer to go away to the hills,
(PS2AL) [200] Aha, are you a keen climber?
(PS2AM) [201] and, and do my thing.
[202] Mhm.
[203] My daughter thinks I'm mad. [laugh]
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [204] When it came to my fortieth birthday she said, what would you like for your birthday?
[205] I said, I'd like a really good pair of trainers.
[206] And I'm no good at tying laces so she got me a pair of Adidas you know with the velcro,
(PS2AL) [207] Aha.
(PS2AM) [208] she said, why can't you be a normal mother and just want chocolates or perfume?
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [209] I said, well that's not much good when you're hanging from the end of a [laughing] rope [] .
(PS2AL) [210] [laugh] And who do you go with?
(PS2AM) [211] I go with my husband.
(PS2AL) [212] Your husband?
(PS2AM) [213] Mhm.
(PS2AL) [214] And whereabouts do you go, just
(PS2AM) [215] Oh [cough] Glencoe, Skye, Aran, you know just
(PS2AL) [216] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [217] up there.
(PS2AL) [218] Do you, do you stay up there, do you have
(PS2AM) [219] Mhm.
(PS2AL) [220] a caravan.
(PS2AM) [221] No, a tent, or we've got an estate car if it's just a weekend jaunt, and it's maybe wet, we just sleep in the back of the car [...]
(PS2AL) [222] [...] aha.
[223] So [...] complete change from this place anyway, [...]
(PS2AM) [224] [...] aha, and you meets up with so many wonderful people.
(PS2AL) [225] Aha, aha.
(PS2AM) [226] It gives you something else to talk about.
(PS2AL) [227] That's right, aha.
(PS2AM) [228] Instead of just, [...] going to Tescos for some groceries or
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [229] I mean I, I, I don't drink a lot, I mean maybe after I've been out in the hills you have got to drink something to replace the sweat, but I'm not a great drinker and I don't, I don't smoke and I, I don't like discos or anything like that
(PS2AL) [230] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [231] so you've got to find something else to do.
(PS2AL) [232] That's right, a healthy pursuit. [laugh]
(PS2AM) [233] I used to play a lot of badminton and swimming but I've got bored out of my ears so it's something to keep fit.
(PS2AL) [234] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [235] So I bought myself a bike, and I've been popping backwards and forwards to my like
(PS2AL) [236] [...] [...] [laugh] How about
(PS2AM) [237] Ah but as I say my daughter thinks I'm mad.
(PS2AL) [238] how about nicknames?
[239] You have a lot of nicknames in the factory?
(PS2AM) [240] Er ... well er the just these two people that retired there, er they used to come [...] this man in a car from , that was their lift to their work.
[241] And it was the days of the C B
(PS2AL) [242] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [243] and he had this handle,a and er they were saying, we'll need to get ourself a handle,
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [244] ah, I said, well what about the Dolly Sisters?
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [245] So that stuck and eventually when that place folded and we came over here, er we just called them the Dollies and that was, they were referred to, everybody knew who they were,
(PS2AL) [246] Aha.
(PS2AM) [247] the Dollies.
(PS2AL) [248] Aha.
(PS2AM) [249] So that, that's a bit of it in there.
(PS2AL) [250] Aha.
[251] So you just basically, you all
(PS2AM) [252] A and, and [...]
(PS2AL) [253] know each other by your ordinary names?
(PS2AM) [254] Mhm.
(PS2AL) [255] You don't shout nicknames
(PS2AM) [256] Mhm.
(PS2AL) [257] at each other, no?
(PS2AM) [258] Well not in our department anyway, I don't know, I can't speak for anybody else.
(PS2AL) [259] Aha, right.
(PS2AM) [260] Although I've worked in nearly all the departments you don't really get to know the people that well.
(PS2AL) [261] Mhm.
[262] [...] have we missed out anything, is there anything
(PS2AM) [263] I don't know.
(PS2AL) [264] you'd like to tell us?
[265] [laugh] Cos we're novices at this.
Ken (PS2AN) [266] Och aye.
[267] I mean er does it bother you at all that ... well I mean are most of the men managers?
[268] Managers men? [...]
(PS2AL) [laugh]
Ken (PS2AN) [269] Er the management
(PS2AL) [270] Where's the opportunities for like female apprentices and things like that?
[271] Nowadays I mean I know there never used to be apprenticeships for women but
(PS2AM) [272] Well I don't know if there are any women, I couldn't tell you whether any girls have applied to be like trainee tenters, that's people that sort
(PS2AL) [273] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [274] the looms.
[275] Or, the trainees in our department would be female anyway.
(PS2AL) [276] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [277] And the way the management work in here, [...] I can say is they,aim they're promoting anybody to a chargehand they usually promote somebody that's actually no threat to themselves.
[278] There's a kind of yes man, that, that's the way the carpet industry works in general.
(PS2AL) [279] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [280] They don't promote somebody that's gonna shimmy past them up the corporate ladder although [laughing] you couldn't
Ken (PS2AN) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [281] say this place
(PS2AL) [laugh]
(PS2AM) [282] is a, a giant corporation [] .
Ken (PS2AN) [283] Mhm.
(PS2AL) [284] Aha.
(PS2AM) [285] But sometimes I, I do feel that the girls, I, I know a couple of people in other departments that you could say would do the job equally well as the man they've put in, they probably
(PS2AL) [286] Aha.
(PS2AM) [287] have bu be a better grounding.
Ken (PS2AN) [288] Aha.
(PS2AL) [289] Yes.
(PS2AM) [290] But I saw that in the glazier and [...] when I worked in there, they would bring people in.
(PS2AL) [291] Mhm.
[292] ... Oh
(PS2AM) [293] M
(PS2AL) [294] they wouldn't promote?
(PS2AM) [295] No, er, if you had a degree,
(PS2AL) [296] Aha.
(PS2AM) [297] and you absolutely no knew nothing about producing plain bearings you were sitting in the chair and probably a guy that worked his way through the factory floor who knew the job inside out, he was still
(PS2AL) [...]
(PS2AM) [298] a deputy.
(PS2AL) [299] Aha.
(PS2AM) [300] but because er you maybe had a degree well you get in there and you have to start
(PS2AL) [301] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [302] learning all this but you didn't know all the
(PS2AL) [303] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [304] the ins and outs.
(PS2AL) [305] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [306] But that happens all over.
(PS2AL) [307] Mhm, what's the pay like compared to other factories in the area?
(PS2AM) [308] It's quite low.
(PS2AL) [309] Is it?
(PS2AM) [310] Mhm.
[311] Because er ... how many years ago is it?
[312] Seven or eight years ago we, we, we're on piecework, we made our own wage.
[313] Er and most of us had in excess of a hundred pound, maybe a hundred and six, a hundred and ten pound, but when this guy bought place over, there was a kind of flat rate, and we'd to drop sixteen pounds to ninety
(PS2AL) [314] Mm.
(PS2AM) [315] pounds.
[316] Well at the time you're thinking, God that's better than twenty or twenty five pound if you were unemployed,
(PS2AL) [317] That's right.
(PS2AM) [318] on the brew, kind of thing.
(PS2AL) [319] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [320] So you jumped at the chance, but it is, I think th th poverty wage in Europe is it not, not about a hundred and forty, a hundred and forty five pounds?
[321] Well we're nowhere near that, nowhere near that.
(PS2AL) [322] Mm, that's right, mm.
(PS2AM) [323] That's why when I hear my daughter talking about getting fifteen or twenty K a year I'm going [...] it would pay me two or three years [...] for God's sake.
(PS2AL) [324] [laugh] You can look after me then.
(PS2AM) [325] But saying that if you want a decent wage in here you have to work a lot of overtime.
(PS2AL) [326] Yes.
(PS2AM) [327] And most people do.
(PS2AL) [328] Mm.
(PS2AM) [329] Because er i from the management point of view if you have got four hundred people and you work a lot of overtime that saves you having six or seven hundred people.
(PS2AL) [330] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [331] And if you want to cut back you can either cut down on your workforce or you can cut down in the
(PS2AL) [332] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [333] overtime.
[334] In my department just now they're working seven days a week,
(PS2AL) [335] Mhm.
(PS2AM) [336] and four, four nights overtime.
(PS2AL) [337] Mm.
(PS2AM) [338] I couldn't do that, not that I want to.
(PS2AL) [339] Do you think the conditions make people kind of like-minded in like the respective politics and things like that?
[340] Do you think it's sort of, you know, do you hold a lot of views in common with people you work beside or?
(PS2AM) [341] Not, no, not really.
(PS2AL) [342] Not really. [door knock]
(PS2AM) [343] We've got quite a mixture.