Last Up-dated -  Thursday, 07 April 2016   Today is -

Recorded Memories

Betty Knights Interview. January 2001


Working as a flatlocker at Jimmy Bennetts and the Manchester from the age of 14 to 74:

‘Flatlocking – loved it, I just enjoyed doing it…I should love to have a go now!’

‘The lady that were over us were so strict and everything had to be perfect, every garment had to be perfect, not now – anything goes’

Betty went to work at Manchester Hosiery in 1959, she had been at Bennett’s since starting work at the age of 14 in 1937, taking four years out when her son was born and she had also worked in munitions during the war.  When she retired from Manchester Hosiery in 1997 she was presented with a ‘lovely gold bracelet’.  She had always enjoyed her working life and the only reason for leaving James Bennett’s was because of the changeover in production from underwear to outerwear.  The flatlock machine which Betty was skilled at using was not used in outerwear, the material being too ‘thick’.  At both factories people tended to stay for years but gradually over the years a lot of younger people came to work at the factory. Betty remembers that years ago the lady who taught her her job was very strict - everything had to be perfect and each girl was taught their job.  Betty gradually worked up to learning the flatlock machine after spending two years cutting straps for vests, picoing etc and it was two years before she was allowed on a flatlock machine – at present girls come straight from school and are put on these big machines.  According to Betty ‘they don’t want the flatlocking, they don’t get quick enough and therefore can’t earn ‘the money’.  It took Betty at least six months before ‘you got any speed, you were on time until you were good enough’.  Operatives in the hosiery industry work on piecerate and the faster an operative works the more money she can earn.

Betty sometimes went on something called the ‘necking’, she thinks the machine she used was about one hundred years old and it made the ‘grandad shirts’ and it had a ‘beautiful stitch’.  While at the Manchester they had a ‘rush on them’ and they sold the granddad style shirts as dresses.  The ‘grandad’ dresses being very fashionable at the time.  Betty was able to show me an example of the type of work she did by demonstrating on a vest or ‘spencer’ she still had.  The work took a lot of concentration.  The picoing machine put a silk edge on the garment but similar to the flatlock machine became defunct. 

Betty met her future husband at a party the day before she started work, he had seen her in the playground and had told a mate, ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry’.  And consequently he met her on Clarendon Road on the first morning, ‘he was leaning on a lamp post at the top of Clarendon Road’ and walked her to work.  It was also the time when the song ‘I’m leaning on the lamp post on the corner of the street…’ was popular.  They were married during the war when Betty was 19.  Her husband was in the air force for seven years and their son was born just before the end of the war.  She was able to buy her wedding dress in Leicester and because she was so tiny, just 7st, she was able to buy a ‘model’.  They had their house built in the late 1940s and it cost £1,250.  The house was built by her uncle, and her aunt lived next door and their daughter had a house built alongside.  They did, however, leave this house and went back to live at the family home after the death of her father, her mother went on to live another 30-40 years.  Betty had been just a year old when they first moved into this lovely house.  All her family had been involved in the hosiery, her mother had worked at Moore, Eady, and Murcotte Goode (now the Concordia), her father, aunts, uncle, sister and brother had worked at Bennett Bros.

At the time of the interview Bennett Bros factory buildings were in the process of being demolished and converted to business units.

Betty's Interview No2.
Run time 20 minutes & 8 seconds.

Player controls     Lt to Rt     Start/Pause   Stop     Volume       Status


Return to Top
nike shox hogan scarpe calcio Tiffany christian louboutin Scarpe Adidas superstar Scarpe Reebok Adidas Scarpe nike sb Scarpe nike air force air jordan adidas scarpe Tacchi Scarpe da donna Scarpe
Scarpe hogan oakley nike air presto new balance nike air max adidas Scarpe nike free nike blazer michael kors Ray ban nike huarache Adidas Scarpe Abbigliamento Asics nike flyknit scarpe converse Scarpe air jordan scarpe da calcio nike free nike cortez nike roshe air max new balance
Scarpe Scarpe da donna Scarpe Scarpe Adidas oakley nike air presto Adidas superstar Scarpe adidas scarpe Tacchi Reebok adidas Scarpe Scarpe Scarpe hogan nike air force Adidas Scarpe Tiffany nike sb nike shox hogan scarpe calcio christian louboutin Scarpe air jordan
scarpe calcio Tiffany Scarpe da donna Scarpe Scarpe Adidas nike air max adidas Scarpe nike air presto new balance Scarpe nike air force Adidas superstar Scarpe Scarpe nike shox hogan air jordan adidas Reebok Adidas Scarpe nike sb nike free christian louboutin adidas Scarpe Scarpe Scarpe hogan oakley scarpe Tacchi
Kleid Sportschuhe adidas schuhe adidas schuhe nike schuhe schmuck nike schuhe damen Taschen sonnenbrille Chaussure nike chaussure sport sac a main nike chaussure adidas chaussure lunette de soleil Vetement Chaussure adidas