Mixed Employment

Heating and plumbing to the prison service (1955-2005)

Tony recalls how his working life took him from a wet fish shop, to No.10 Downing Street and latterly, Wayland Prison. Learning to work with fish In 1955 I was living in Hackney, London. Before I left school at 15 I had an after school job working in a fish shop doing the potatoes, chips […]

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Jill of all trades. A Norfolk girl. (1940s-2013)

Joyce started off working for the Telephone Manager in Norwich and afterwards worked for British Telecom, including on the telephone directory. In later life she became involved with Colney Wood burial park and fell into grief counselling supporting people in their bereavement. Wartime childhood and village life I was born just a few yards from […]

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Many skills, many interests (1960s-2009)

Maureen describes her incredibly varied working life, including owning a car spares shop, working in a hospital and being at the forefront of national patient information. She was also a co-ordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. I went to a new type of school. A Technical School. And coming up to the last […]

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My Odd Jobs (1950s-1960s)

David shares his experiences of earning pocket money prior to his proper job, and even during it! In order to support his interests he sang, he delivered, he waited and much much more. Church and boy I had perhaps a dozen boy jobs, or odd jobs, before a proper job. I learned at a very […]

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Short and sweets! (1970-1972)

Susan recalls working on iconic confectionery at Rowntree Mackintosh in Norwich while the smell of chocolate permeated the city. Starting on the Weekend belt I went to school in Loddon and left in 1970. I went to work at Mackintosh’s because there was a free bus service from Beccles, through Loddon, all the way to […]

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The dye house, the grocery business and nuclear fuels (1934-1985)

John’s first job was as a dyer working in the textile laboratory for Wolsey Limited in Leicester. He subsequently worked for a number of textiles companies. During World War Two John served as a wireless operator and mechanic. John later ran his own grocer’s shop. His final job was as a general operator for British […]

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The oilman cometh. Colmans and after (1945 – 2010)

After a couple of stints at Colman’s saw and flour mills, Colin enjoyed driving around the county as a door-to-door salesman and later oil sales representative for a big construction company. Colman’s sawmill I started work in 1945 at J. & J. Colman’s, as it was called in those days. At the time the War […]

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The Trail Blazer (1940s-2008)

Helen describes her impressively varied and successful working life from nursing to running a restaurant and, latterly, devising training courses. The start of a burgeoning career I left school at seventeen having done one year at sixth form and, if it hadn’t been for the war, I would have gone on to university. My mother […]

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Threads to bottles (1952-1980)

Mary worked in the thread mills and whisky bonds in Paisley. The factory work was hard and she was invalided out by the age of 50. She worked full time while bringing up her children which required a lot of strength and organisation. Her husband also worked in harsh conditions. There were good times socialising […]

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When I look back – gardening stories (1936-1990s)

When I first left school, I went straight to work! I became a gardener-porter at the maternity – the only facility we had in the city at the time – at Heigham Grove, a lovely old Georgian -Victorian building which was mostly for hospital confinements but also it had an annexe which had six qualified […]

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