Last Up-dated -  Wednesday, 28 October 2015   Today is -

Recorded Memories

Harold Cash Interviews. October 2000 & 2001.

‘The foreman in the warehouse (Moore & Osborne’s) a smashing chap…

he taught me a lot not just about my job but how to conduct yourself in your job…

he put me on the right track for my future life in the hosiery’

Harold came to live in Hinckley with his family in the late 1930s and describes his father as a ‘fantastic man’

He started work at the age of 13 and had various jobs finishing up as a grounds man for Hinckley Cricket Club.  Harold goes on to describe the foreman at Moore and Osborne’s as a ‘smashing chap’ and felt that he put Harold on the ‘right track’. He remembers the ‘sumptuous’ offices.   He became, he thinks, the youngest fire warden for which he received about 3/6d.  One of his first jobs was to store the boxes supplied by Vestey’s, the box people, and the apprentices had great fun with these boxes, which were used to pack up all the finished stockings.  The young apprentices also pushed each into the skips and were sent down in the lift. At Bird and Yeoman’s he remembers how they played a practical joke on ‘Shirl’ – he never used the concrete steps but always used the lift until one day when some of the knitters decided to hi-jack the lift when he was in it! While working on the Mellor Bromley machines which were enclosed in a glass petition to keep in the heat the knitters would often throw empty bobbins at each other – this one time, however, one of the men got stuck with his legs dangling through the ceiling! – they always had lots of fun. 

Harold does, however, recall a serious injury when he first started working as an apprentice at Atkins – he went to pick a piece of lint (cotton) off one of the fully fashioned knitting machines and the carrier took his thumb and ripped his nail – he was sent straight down the hospital and had 14 weeks off from work and it took six weeks to get the machine back into operation.  He didn’t go on ‘his own time’ until three months before leaving for National Service when he was 18.  He looked after a set of Blackburn machines but another knitter was designated to keep an eye on him and also received part of his wage which was normal practice at Atkins.  In the ‘early days’ factory floor workers didn’t talk to the bosses, things did become more informal over time.  Manufacturer’s sons often followed their fathers into business.  Harold also recalls the various factories in Hinckley, Burbage and Earl Shilton. 

He gives a good description of the technical aspects of operating a Mellor Bromely fully fashioned knitting machine and describes the ‘old split English foot’ – on the old fully fashioned knitting machines the foot was knitted separately and on a Saturday morning they did something called ‘running-on’ using up all the old bits of yarn.  Atkins was very strict on time keeping and on a Saturday morning you could not get out of the building – the gates were kept locked until clocking-off time.

Harold's Interview No2.
Run time 28 minutes & 13 seconds.

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