Retail

Starting and ending at the Co-op (1959-1990s)

Sylvia recalls a varied life, working in insurance in Birmingham, moving to Norfolk and working on the land, in a petrol station, in a hotel, selling carpets and becoming a member of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers. From office junior to chief clerk When I was 15, in 1959, my first job was as […]

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Styling hair in the sixties (1966-1980)

June talks about working in the hairdressing industry from the 1960s to 1980. She started as an apprentice and soon took on her own clients. Ways of working and fashions changed over the years from hood dryers to blow drying. Leaving school and starting work in a salon I left school when I was 15 […]

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The Butcher’s Girl (1953-1970s)

Janet vividly describes working in her father’s pork butcher’s shop in Derby before marrying and moving to Norfolk. You can use every part of the pig except its squeal! From the grocery to the butcher’s I left Derby College of Art at 15 and my first job was in my father’s grocery opposite his butcher’s […]

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The Essex Shop Assistant (1921-1950s)

Jean recalls working in a fish and chip shop in Harwich, moving to  Durham, married life in Scarborough and living by the beach in Aden. Wallpaper and fish and chips We lived in the Harwich area and my mum, Florence, and dad, Edward, used to call me Gem. I left school at 14 and went […]

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The friendly coalman (1944 – 1996)

After leaving school at 14,  Desmond worked as a coalman delivering sacks of coal to the growing city of Norwich. After National Service he went back to selling coal and delivered coal to his loyal customers for many years.  Business declined steadily as people were using less and less coal, but he carried on selling […]

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The Hand Laundry

My first job was picking carrots, at Cley, when I left school, because I used to go before I left school – I used to go strawberry picking. But my first job really was carrot picking, then I went to Nelly West’s, the hand laundry. How much did they pay you, when you were picking […]

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The Shop Assistant (1920s)

I was born in 1911 in Southampton and went to school there. ‘Mum was Esther Alice, but I didn’t have a Father because he was killed in the First World War.’ My Mum made hats, a milliner. My one brother died at 67. My first job was as a shop assistant, at 16, still in […]

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