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Description

The speaker and her family were evacuated from London during the war. She left school at 15 (1951) and started in Webb’s, making shoes. Doubled up on annual leave wages. Piecework. Variety of tasks – men's (army) shoes. Her job was beading. They did the upper parts – finished in Northampton factory. She notes different types of shoes: oxo, derby, chukka. Later (c.1964) she and her husband emigrated to Australia. When she came back she went back to Webb’s part-time. Music from radio, singing. Smell of glue was awful. Manager timed their toilet breaks. No talking. Later working for M&S (c.1968-72) – fussy. Very cold in winter. Chewing gum. Could have pair of shoes cost price every three months. Oiling and cleaning machines. She left when pregnant in 1959. When she returned part-time the factory had an extension and better machines. Made redundant after 2 years. She worked in factories (ammunition / shoe and lawn mowers) in Australia too. Later she was a home-help.

Interview with the speaker re. her work in Medicine Factory - Bridgend, George Webb Shoe Factory - Bridgend

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