Retail

Starting and Ending at the Co-op

My first job was in 1959 and it lasted a week. I hated it. It was a job as a junior short-hand typist at a stockbroker's in the city centre of Birmingham. I was 15 years old. The reason I left was because the staff were mostly older women and they were very, very unfriendly, […]

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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

My first job when I left school was in a green grocery and grocery shop opposite the butcher’s shop and I went into there because I wanted to be an occupational therapist and I wasn’t old enough because I left at fifteen. I was at the Derby College of Art and I left at fifteen […]

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The Essex Shop Assistant

Jean, while we’ve been chatting we’ve heard that you lived in the Harwich area and that you had a mum, Florence and a dad, Edward. My name is Gem, they call me Gem. I want to take you back to when you left school and you tell me what you can remember about the times […]

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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

E was born 21 July 1911 in Southampton and went to school there. “Mum was Esta Alice, oh I forget her names but I didn’t have a Father because he was killed in the First World War.” Her Mum “made hats, milliner. … One brother but unfortunately he died at 67.” What was your first […]

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