Working Lives

Jarrolds of Norwich (1943-1960s)

Location: Norwich

Marjorie recalls her working life, pressing American trousers at the Swan Laundry and cutting out books at Jarrolds.

Fish and shoe linings

 I was 14 years old when I left school and I got my first job at Cousin’s fish shop on Drayton Road in Norwich.  I was there for a good while and worked with my friend Molly, the girl next door. We used to have a laugh and one thing and another.  When he gave up the fish shop I went to Edwards and Holmes factory, up Drayton Road way. I was on the machine doing linings for shoes but after a while I didn’t do it any more 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 decided to change my job and so I went to the Swan Laundry. I don’t know how many years I was there but we had a laugh, that was alright. When the Americans were here I got to do their trousers on the press because they said I was the one who could do them better, so I used to do them.

Married life and working at Jarrolds printing works

As time went on I met my hubby. I was 16 at the time. I met him on Prince of Wales Road. We got together, he took me out and later on we got engaged. When we were 19  Reverend Myers married us at Princes Street Church. We went to live with my hubby’s mum and dad, in a flat in Bargate Court, and were there for a long while. Later we got our flat up South Park Avenue and then I thought I’ve got to find a job, get a little money in.

I got a job at Jarrolds printing works, near Barrack Street, where I was born, and that’s where I stayed. We had fun there. I was on a big machine cutting out books. I stayed there until I had my daughter, Julie. I didn’t work after that. I think I must have been there over ten years, a good while because we kept trying for my daughter. Jarrolds printed books and calendars and that sort of thing. My hubby got a job there as a fork-lift truck driver. We enjoyed working there. The pay weren’t too bad, I forget how much we got. We had to manage in those days, didn’t we? I made friends there and we used to have a laugh and  go dancing at the Lido, and the Samson and Hercules. We had a party at Christmas time and we used to dress up and Mr Jarrold would come. He was nice, yes, very good. I really liked being at Jarrolds.

We had a good life together, me and my hubby. As we got older my hubby wasn’t very well. He got cancer of the lymph glands. I had to give up work when he was taken into the West Norwich Hospital. 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!  I’ve now got back with my sister, Dot. She had her family earlier on in life and then she lost her hubby. We love one another, I love my sister, she’s lovely.

Marjorie (b. 1929) talking to WISEArchive on 19th November 2013 at Ashby Court, Norwich

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