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It doesn’t rain until it pours …

April 4, 2019

I stayed at Swan a Rent Car almost 5 years.  I married, my husband; not able to find work as a marine engineer unless he was prepared to travel to the middle east to work the new industry in the oil business or for Monsanto.  Followed his father into the docks to become a stevedore (another bag of political unease). I too, was made redundant when Swan Rent a Car became Swan National; but found work in the Ship Builders as a wages clerk, I would have to read the worker’s clock cards and prepare the data (work out the wages due) for the punch card operators. It was a bit more interesting, if not stressful as each tradesman, welders, fitters, caulkers, riggers, draughtsmen and painters etc. had a different hourly rate. It was not a pretty sight when already an underpaid man was given incorrect wages or his overtime overlooked.  I didn’t want to cause a strike or get a black eye.

We had to be good at mental arithmetic, adept at good old mechanical calculator or find my way round a well thumbed ready reckoner  although now we had decimals currency by then.  It was nice to see a ship grow at the end of our street even it was a warship or see to see ‘Queenie’ or Princess Anne when she came to ‘name this ship’

So I was now married and a fulltime mother mending and making do and an active member of the Labour Party, and we had the winter of discontent, electricity cuts, three day week, bakery strike, African boycotts it was a hideous time and by 1979 I was single and homeless … a lot more worldly (I thought) but now able to get by with my limited creative skills. I could cook,knit and sew and inclined to get politically agitated.  So what next … ?

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