Oral History collection: John ('Jack') Morris Davis (born 9 Feb. 1911) interviewed by B.C. Fagg about (Cont. from TH27): School experience: Manselton, Swansea Grammar (Side 1). Early work experience; British Mannesmann Tube Co., 1920; industrial relations; history, processes and layout of works; Technical College. (Side 2 - poor quality recording).

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 TH 29
  • Dates of Creation
      19 Jan. 1976
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:00:33] Education: Honours boards up in Manselton boys school, subjects and learning at Grammar School, attendance, Scholarship Class. [00:06:37] Education: Scholarship Class Exam, Dynefa School, School books, teachers' dedication. [00:12:47] Education: Pupils who failed the Scholarship Exam, apprentice jobs. [00:14:44] Education: Getting to the Grammar School and back. [00:17:08] Education: Grammar School uniform, classical education at Swansea Grammar School, Swansea Grammar School. [00:24:46] Education: Grammar School entry, detention - punishment drill - the remove. [00:32:30] Education: 6th form of Grammar School. [00:33:35] Education: Prefects of Grammar School. [00:34:58] Education: Teachers at Swansea Grammar School. [00:42:47] Education: Reports at Grammar School. [00:43:25] Education: Punishment at Swansea Grammar School. [00:50:27] Education: Break time in the yard at Grammar School, spare time, physical activity. [00:52:08] Community: Punishment outside of Grammar School.

Track 3. [00:00:19] Education: Discussion of qualifications (Welsh matriculation) and employer demand for it. [00:02:15] Industry: Starting work in 1928 as a Junior Clerk in the British Mannessman(?) Tube Company in Landore for 12 shillings a week. [00:03:10] Community: Pursuit of 'health and strength…physical culture', practicising weightlifting and running. [00:03:40] Transport: Describing journey to work on foot from Robert St, Manselton to Landore, how popular it was with men working in that area. [00:05:15] Industry: Brief description of a typical day for a Junior Clerk in the Stores of British Mannesmann Tube Company. [00:05:55] First World War: Discussion of tensions of a German owned and managed company operating in Britain before, during and after First First World Warncluding renaming of the company. [00:08:10] Industry: Discussion of worker / management tensions and frequent strikes attributed to the autocratic management of Manager Herr Lowtenschlager a.k.a. 'Bonzo'. [00:11:50] First World War: Description of worker tensions and resentment at Germans post-First World War, links to Dusseldorf, reparation payments and poor management practices stressed. [00:14:30] Industry: Description of how Herr Lowtenschlager demoted the artisan Blacksmith Dai Williams to the stores after an argument. [00:15:45] Industry: Description of working in the Drawing Office, drawing up plans for orders and estimate costs for the orders. [00:17:27] Industry: Description of the wider British Mannesmann Tube Company, including the site in Newport and its eventual takeover by Stewart and Lloyds. [00:18:06] Industry: Description of the physical building of the factory and how this contributed to inefficiency of the factory. [00:20:29] Industry: Description of organisation and type of products that British Mannesmann Tube Company made. [00:22:43] Industry: Description of manufacturing process of weldless tubes. [00:23:33] Industry: Further description of products made and their uses eg oil pipelines, lamposts, shipbuilding, gas mains, water mains. [00:26:27] Industry: Description of 2 processes that applied either a gloss or matt finish to the tubes. [00:27:30] Community: Discussion of how fall in demand from other industries, such as shipbuilding and mining, had consequences for the tube works in Landore, leading to closure during the 1930s and re-opening as Stewart and Lloyds just prior to Second World War. [00:28:43] Community: Discussion of workers coming from across the Swansea valley and the cultural exchanges as a result, especially Chapel concerts in Cwm and Bonymaen, etc. [00:30:33] Transport: Discussion of how the lack of road access contributed to closure of British Mannesmann Tube Company. [00:33:52] Community: Discussion of studying at night school after work and passing qualifications. [00:34:40] Community: Memories of wages and former colleagues, including Dai Thomas of Ynystawe, Arthur Jones and Edgar Jones. [00:36:22] Industry: Bryn Abram of Spencer St Brynhyfryd rose from Drawing Office to the Manager of the factory immediately prior to its final closing. [00:37:29] Community: Recollections of worker 'camaradarie'. [00:39:36] Industry: Discussion of unofficial workers' facilities inside the British Mannesmann Tube Company factory, including fires for cooking and visits on Fridays by Cockle-women from Penclawdd selling laverbread and cockles to the workers. [00:42:45] Industry: Recollection of how the next manager after Herr Lowtenschlager, Herr Wellmann, took out all the unofficial fires and 'shanties'. [00:45:44] Community: Description of losing job at the factory, and following the advice of Dai Thomas of Ynstawe to go to university and become a Teacher. [00:47:05] Community: More recollections of Herr Lowtenschlager and Herr Wellmann. [00:50:53] Education: Discussion of getting into Higher Education whilst on the Dole.