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Wyndham Jones – Gilfach Goch

14.22K Views3 Comments

Wyndham Jones grew up in the small coal mining village of Gilfach Goch in what was West Glamorgan. He left school in 1951 when he was sixteen and there was no question that I would work in the collieries and, after fi...

Win Currie | Hebburn, Tyne and Wear

1.71K Views0 Comments

Win was married to a shipyard worker for 40 years. She recalls the hardships and uncertainties of living through times when the shipyards were declining and there was a constant threat of unemployment. I was marrie...

Willie Rae | Cambuslang, Lanarkshire

6.49K Views0 Comments

Willie recalls moving to Cambuslang from the south side of Glasgow when he got married. I was born on the south side of Glasgow in a street called Fond Street. I moved from there to a new housing scheme after the w...

Wendy Sims | Merthyr Vale, South Wales

2.62K Views0 Comments

Wendy recalls growing up in a large family in a South Wales mining community. I was born in 46 Bryntaf on 11 July 1940. I was one of seven children, four girls and three boys. We were ten in all at home as my gran ...

Vin Malone | Sheffield

4.10K Views5 Comments

At one time there were hundreds of little cutlery workshops all over Sheffield. Mechanisation eliminated all but a handful of them, but some small family firms remained to carry on the centuries old traditions of Shef...

Tony Cummings | Burnley, Lancashire

2.35K Views0 Comments

As well as the weavers the mills provided employment for thousands of admin staff, designers, engineers and labourers. Tony Cummings worked in personnel and production control before leaving the textile industry to wo...

Tommy Procter | South Shields, Tyne and Wear

2.89K Views0 Comments

A river like the Tyne brought a wide range of jobs to the communities that had grown up along its banks. Tommy Procter was from South Shields. He grew up by the river and from an early age he set his sights on getting...

Tom Minard | Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales

10.09K Views2 Comments

Tom started underground at Merthyr Vale Colliery in 1939 when he was fourteen. At that time he remembers they still had over 300 horses working underground. He was a face worker until 1948 when he was diagnosed with t...

Tom Jackson | Durham

1.57K Views1 Comments

Roof falls were always one of the biggest dangers miners had to face and the men who had the expertise to ensure that the roofs were safely supported were important members of the mining community. Tom Jackson got inv...

Terry Sargeant | Merthyr Vale, South Wales

22.73K Views1 Comments

Terry Sargeant grew up in Merthyr Vale. He was a miner all his working life, starting at Treharris in 1950 as a trainee when he was sixteen. Two years later he moved to Merthyr Vale and worked there as a face worker u...

Stanley Bolton | Horwich, Lancashire

1.88K Views0 Comments

Stanley Bolton grew up in Horwich in the 1930s and remembers it as pretty drab place. Nearly everybody then had a big family and with so many mouths to feed and so little money around times were hard. As a child, Stan...

Ruth James – Gilfach Goch | Rhonnda Cynon Taff, South Wales

2.06K Views0 Comments

Ruth and her husband Wyndham were both born in Gilfach Goch and have always lived there. She recalls what it was like living in a close knit mining community. The houses we live in were built 1913. They were built ...

Roy Lancaster | Wigan, Lancashire

1.45K Views0 Comments

For some people the war brought opportunities they would have had to wait a long time for during peace time. One of them was Roy Lancaster who got a job on the railways. My father was a driver and I started on stea...

Ron Jenkins | Dowlais, South Wales

1.58K Views1 Comments

Ron started at Dowlais Ironworks when he left school in 1959 as a metallurgical assistant. He became a superintendent in 1976 and manager of the general castings foundry two years later and was there until the works c...

Ron Grey | Brandon, Co Durham

1.49K Views0 Comments

Brandon is in the heart of what was the Great North Coalfield, just a few miles south west of the city of Durham. Ron Grey was born among the pit heaps of the colliery in 1939. His dad worked down the pit for fifty ye...

Robert Hunter | South Shields, Tyne and Wear

1.57K Views0 Comments

The banks of the Tyne and the Wear were dominated by the shipyards and Robert Hunter remembers vividly his first impressions of the River Tyne and the approach to it. Although he spent all his working life in manageme...

Reg Sawyer | Hereford

1.16K Views0 Comments

Reg worked on the railways. He was based at Hereford and worked on the goods trains from Birmingham to the Welsh border. I left school in Hereford in 1937 when I was fourteen and there was a vacancy in the locomoti...

Ray Barrett | Aston, Birmingham

1.32K Views0 Comments

Ray Barrett was born and brought up in Aston close to the centre of Birmingham and lived there throughout the war. After a number of jobs in small engineering workshops he went to work in the motor industy at BMC’s Lo...

Peter Phillips | Cambuslang, Lanarkshire

2.55K Views1 Comments

In 1967 the British Steel Corporation was established under the Iron and Steel Act, which gave the nationalised company the shares and assets of the fourteen major steel companies in Britain including Hallside and Cly...

Noel Evans | Ebbw Vale, South Wales

3.99K Views0 Comments

Noel was born in Ebbw Vale and went to work at Ebbw Vale Steelworks as a clerical apprentice in 1964 when it was still Richard Thomas and Baldwins. He was there until 2002 working mainly in Production Planning and Con...

Neville Wilkinson | Halifax, West Yorkshire

1.45K Views0 Comments

In any industrial area there was a lot of work making small tools and pieces of machinery or doing repairs for local mills and factories, so every industrial community had its blacksmiths. Neville Wilkinson from Halif...

Mike Lomas | Sheffield

48.70K Views0 Comments

The steelworks were Sheffield’s biggest employers, providing work not just for the steelworkers themselves but for joiners, electricians, blacksmiths and all the trades that were needed to keep these huge plants runni...

Michael Cowdrey – Gilfach Goch | Rhonnda Cynon Taff, South Wales

1.48K Views0 Comments

Michael worked at Coedely Colliery from leaving school until it closed in 1986. He was a first aider and had to deal with many accidents. He remembers fondly the community spirit in the valley when the mines were stil...

Mel Warrender | Ebbw Vale, South Wales

2.00K Views0 Comments

Mel started at Ebbw Vale Steel Works in January 1955 when it was still Richard Thomas and Baldwins. He worked all over the plant and finished up as technical manager liaising with customers, suppliers and plant manage...

Marjorie Dunne | West Bromwich, Black Country

1.20K Views0 Comments

Marjorie was born and bred in West Bromwich and she remembers it as a dirty place to live in with a lot of employment. She worked for George Salter’s the spring makers who also made bathroom scales and kitchen scales....

Margaret Taylor | Rochdale, Lancashire

1.88K Views0 Comments

The extent of the textile industry itself in Lancashire and Yorkshire was wide ranging. As well as the basic preparation and spinning of textile fibres, the weaving of these fibres into fabrics and a wide range of ble...

Mabel Ryding | Horwich, Lancashire

1.17K Views0 Comments

During the Second World War Horwich Loco Works became a munitions factory and nearly 500 tanks were built there. Many of the local women were taken on for the war effort. Mabel was one of them. After the war she worke...

Lyn Humphries | Ebbw Vale, South Wales

1.67K Views0 Comments

Lyn Humphries started his working life as a miner before getting a job at Ebbw Vale Steel Works, where he became a union official. I left school at fifteen and went underground because it was the only place you cou...

Les Dunn | Ebbw Vale, South Wales

1.39K Views0 Comments

Les Dunn worked in the office of a forge called Brock House where they made trailers and road sweepers. “There was a machine shop” he recalls “and a shop where they just made heavy axles and a place that made windscre...

Kenneth Moore | South Shields, Tyne and Wear

25.00K Views0 Comments

On leaving school in South Shields many local boys gained employment at John Readheads ShipYard. Kenneth Moore was one of them. After completing his apprenticeship he worked there as a shipwright. It was a steady job ...

Ken Goss | Jarrow, Tyne and Wear

3.29K Views1 Comments

Ken got an electrician’s apprenticeship at Palmers shipyard in Hebburn when he left school and was there until the yard closed in 1982. I was born in Jarrow and when I was two year old we moved out of the town....

Ken Findlay | Jarrow, Tyne and Wear

6.12K Views0 Comments

Ken started work in the drawing office at Palmer’s ship repair yard in Hebburn in 1951 and was there until the yard closed in 1982 when he got a job with Lloyds register of Shipping. Ken Findlay & Ken Goss | ...

Ken Berry | Horwich, Lancashire

19.23K Views1 Comments

Ken Berry was born in Horwich in 1930 and started work in the telegraph office at the Loco Works near the end of the war in August 1944 when he was 14 years old and worked his way up to the position of works manager j...

Kathleen Boyle | Wigan, Lancashire

1.85K Views0 Comments

The decline of the textile industry that had started in the 1930’s meant that by the Second World War many of the mills had been converted to other commercial and industrial uses. As the cotton mills closed throughout...

Kath Dunne | Moston, Manchester

2.37K Views2 Comments

Kath lived in Collyhurst before her family were moved to a new council house in Moston., where she got a job at a local cotton mill. She recalls the war year when she worked in an electronics factory. With its mi...

Jim Bottomley | Salford

6.21K Views1 Comments

The Ordsall Triangle in Salford where Jim was born and brought up housed 88,000 people in the little two up two down houses that lined its cobbled streets. He went to work in nearby Trafford Park, the world’s biggest ...

Jack Procter | Near Burnley, Lancashire

1.59K Views0 Comments

Jack Procter was born in Higham. His mother and father both worked as weavers and for many years they sat next to each other. Jack left school at 14 in 1946. He had originally wanted to be an electrician but one day h...

Ian Richmond | Sheffield

1.35K Views0 Comments

Ian moved to Sheffield from the small market town of Oswestry in Shropshire when he was twelve years old and went to live in a pub in the heart of the steel producing area of the city. Following a spell in retailing h...

John Williams – Teddingtons Aircraft Controls | Cefn Coed, South Wales

2.54K Views0 Comments

John Williams is from Cefn Coed in South Wales. He got a job as a management trainee at Teddingtons Aircraft Controls in Merthyr Tydfil and spent most of his working life there before moving to Rolls Royce. When ...

Irene Wharton | Hunslet, Leeds

2.16K Views1 Comments

After the War As well as engineering Leeds was also home to the readymade clothing industry. Companies like Burtons and Hepworths, which were household names, were based there and there were hundreds of smaller clo...