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Image: Michael de Greasley

Dave Shaw speaks to Harold Garrard, who recalls that after starting his first day of work at Salts Mill 1935, where he stayed for 50 years.

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I started at Salts mill in 1935, they told me I was going into the twisting department, when I went there, I was flabbergasted to find the noise, that was coming from the machinery, but once I got used to it, it was alright, they said, now then, when you start, you will be bobbin ligging, he says that’s the first job you will get, it says it’s the lowest job you can get, but it won’t be long before you get higher up, anyhow I started bobbin ligging, and the machine I started bobbin ligging on, I was only small, I couldn’t peg the bobbin at all, on the railing, I was too small, they had to get me a box to stand on, to bobbin lig, and that’s how I started. They used to be one of the blokes there, I knew him, I knew when I was at school with him and he lifted me up to peg bobbins on rail. He said you'll have to grow Harold, I said yes I will, I don’t know how long that will be. There was some machines which weren’t as tall as them, I was bobbin ligging there for about 15 months.

How much were you getting?

About 10 shilling a week, 50 pence. About fifteen months later they then said one of them is leaving. I started half past six in the morning working until quarter to six at night. They were very busy, and that’s the hours I worked, and I was only 14. Five days a week, plus Saturday morning.






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