Working Lives

The Shop Assistant (1920s)

Edith worked as a shop assistant in Southampton and was happy there.

I was born in 1911 in Southampton and went to school there. Mum was Esther Alice, but I didn’t have a Father because he was killed in the First World War. My Mum made hats, a milliner. My one brother died at 67.

My first job was as a shop assistant, at 16, still in Southampton. Well. there was no alternative in those days. There was no Child Allowance or anything like that. We just had to go to work.

I have very happy memories of working there. I was with a lovely lot of girls, that used to help me and yes I was very happy.

The first Saturday I worked there was from 1 o’clock to 9 and I came out with five and fourpence and my Mum was waiting there for me. That’s how things were. We didn’t really have any time off.

Edith (b. 1911) talking to WISEArchive on 4th March 2008.

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