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Recorded Memories

Bert Hall Interview. November 1997 & March 1998.

From the hating industry to thirty-five years as a Master Dyer at Bennett Bros late 1940s-1980s:
I got the firm to realise that you couldn’t learn everything in Hinckley or Leicester…’

‘We had no choice, well I didn’t with my father – ‘you’re going to the factory’ –
deemed as a good job and it was…’

Bert and Anne talk about the huge numbers of Nuneaton girls coming into Hinckley to work in the factories, the Nuneaton girls, Anne felt were rougher and allowed to do what they wanted - a bit like the Mafia.
Anne only stayed at Bennett’s a short time much preferring the strictness and discipline of Flude's.
She also related how she was dressed up before she married and tied to a lamp post and also spoke of other ‘hi-jinks’ that went on in the factories.
Bert was involved in the establishment of the Textile Society and discussed the negotiations which took place in setting a price for ‘pre-boarding’. Bennett’s, according to Bert, was responsible for the break-up of the counterman’s union.
Anne remembers as a young girl, in the late 1950s, being star struck by the Hosiery Queen and her boyfriend, a local singer. They both talked about the factory dances which were put on at the George Hotel – singers and musicians such as Harry Roy, Ivy Benson and Jack Parnell.
They had Music While you Work, Workers Playtime, and days out on the company. At Bennett’s they had a Gardening Club.
Anne related that she didn’t have any choice but to work in the factory but felt that it was a very good job and good money could be earned. She also referred to the fact that in the early days it was expected that a factory employee attend the same church or chapel as their employer.

Bert's Interview No3.
Run time 31 minutes & 52 seconds.

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