Ivy Parker

Scope and Content

Cherry Blossom factory: Choice of CB or Hogarth Laundry. Interview with Miss Milne. strict interview, medical with Dr Shuler. went in the filling room. Had to sort out the damaged tins. 5 hrs in the morning, 4 hrs in the afternoon. After a few weeks had to sweep up the room. Set out the cups for morning drink. Had a 10 mins break for dring & roll. At 18 you got a piece work job. Worked & fed the machine with empty tins, polish would come down, cool & set & then up to the topping room. Timed themselves on how many tins they could fill - 1000 gross of small tins. More you did the more you could earn. Most you earned £2 - £2/10. When Ivy started 14 yr wage was 13/7 for 44 hr week. By 15 yrs earned 15/7, at 16 earned 33/- then move on to piece work. If you couldn't work you got 1/2 hr waiting time at 9d hr. At the end of the day the machines had to be cleaned & room swept. would sit at machine & talk & tell stories. 1.00 went home or to Boston House. Back by 2.00, tea break in afternoon. Tea was free. Very generous. Sat morns was overtime at double rate for 8-12. 2 weeks holiday with pay. Sick pay. Belonged to day school at Boston House. Sewing, knitting, PT. Go one day a week, day off work when she was young. Dancing classes. Tennis, hockey, football, good facilities. When you got married you lost your job. Wedding present of 10/- for each year you had worked. Ivy got £3/10 & bought a canteen of cutlery. Some old workers recalled during the war for evening work. Ivy became a charge hand. Went back to work during the day - mostly mornings & stayed for 24 yrs. Ivy gets a pension/ Miss Milne - prim and proper lady. Couldn't fool her. Disapproved of make-up, short skirts. Attention to safety - floors kept clean 7 clear to prevent accidents. Employees suggestion scheme to improve safety & receive 10/- if the idea was accepted. No mixing of jobs between men & women. Had to stand at the machines all day. Plesed to sit down. Sat on wooden packing boxes. Overalls - supplied with 2 sets & every friday a lady would take one overall for laundering & give you clean one. Girls washed their caps. Could buy polish - 'Polish Day' once a month. Hear the hooter at 8 mins to 8. If you were late you had to wait 1/2 hr & lose 1/2 hr pay. If you were after 8.30 got sent home. Allowe 5 mins leeway. Enjoyed working there. Lunchtime / 6.00 couldn't move in Devonshire Road for girls walking home in their overalls. Hundreds of girls. Girls in the factory - men machine operators.