I was 14 years old when I left school. And I got my first job at Cousins Fish Shop on Drayton Road in Norwich. And I was there for a good while. I used to work with a girl next door. We were friends and used to have a laugh and one thing and another. Then as time went on he gave up the fish shop. So I left there and went to Edwards and Holmes factory and that up Drayton Road way.
Ah, that might have been Wensum Park. And what did they make in that factory?
I was on the machine doing linings for shoes, but after a little while I didn’t do it anymore because I didn’t do it right, I made a mistake. I didn’t like to be on the machine in case my fingers, you know the needle. I was there a good while and then I thought oh I‘ll change my job and I’ll go somewhere else.
So I went to the Swan Laundry, that’s where I worked. I was there a good while, I don’t know how many years, but we had a laugh there; that was alright. And you know the Americans when they were here? Well I got to do their trousers on the press because they said I was the one who could do them better and so I used to do them. I don’t know how many years I was there. And then as time went on I met my hubby. I think I was 16 at the time. That was on Prince of Wales Road I met him. We got together, he took me out, and later on we got engaged and we were married at 19. Princes Street Church. Reverend Myers is the one who married us. Then where we went to live, we went to live with his mum and dad, in a flat, Bargate Court. We lived there for a long while. After a little while we got our flat up South Park Avenue and then I thought I gotta find a job, you know get a little money in. So I went to Jarrolds. So I got a job at Jarrolds and that’s where I stayed.
Was that the store or the printing works?
The printing works. We had fun there. I was on a big machine cutting out books in Jarrolds.
So that’s the printing works near Barrack Street?
Yes. That was my last job.
So you were born in Barrack Street and so you were in the printing works in Barrack Street.
Yes. Then I kept there and then as time went on I left to have my daughter. So I didn’t do any more work after that, when I had my daughter.
So the printing works, when did you have your daughter? So how long were you at the printing works?
Oh that must have been over 10 years I should think. A good while because we kept trying to have my daughter, kept trying for her. ‘Cos she came along.
And what did they print at the printing works?
They done all books and calendars and all that sort of thing. My hubby, he got a job there on those trucks, fork truck driver. He was on one of those. So he finished up at Jarrolds.
Did you go to lunch together?
We had a good life together me and my hubby. And then as time went on, as we got older, my hubby he weren’t very well. He got what they call cancer of the lymph glands. So I had to give up work and he was taken into the West Norwich Hospital. And there I stayed with him until his time came. And that’s a funny thing, I’d love to tell you this, the same day my hubby passed away my daughter phoned and said she was having twins. On the same day, I couldn’t believe it.
So you had your 10 years in the printing works and you enjoyed it, you made friends there?
Oh I did, we used to have a laugh.
Was the pay good?
Well that weren’t too bad, I forget how much we got. But that weren’t too bad. Cos we had to manage in those days didn’t we? But I did have a good life.
And you made lots of friends?
Oh I did, I did. Cos I used to go dancing with them.
Where did you go dancing?
The Lido, the Samson and Hercules. I’ve had good times, I really have.
And you’ve told me you’re doing a pantomime here [Ashby Court]. Did you do drama things with them? Did they have shows or Christmas party shows in Jarrolds?
No, they used to have Christmas, you know, we used to have a party yes, Christmas time. Cos we used to dress up.
Did the big manager come? Is that Mr. Jarrold in those days?
He was very good. I did really like being there at Jarrolds. Made all my friends. Cos then I mean, I’ve now got back with my sister D. Because she had her family earlier on in life and I had mine. And she lost her hubby. And somehow we got together and we’ve been together ever since. We love one another, I love my sister, she’s lovely.
And we did her interview didn’t we last week? [see Entertainer and all round worker in the Entertainment catalogue].
Marjorie (b. 1929) was interviewed at Ashby Court Norwich for WISEArchive on 19th November 2014.