Saturday, 31 August 2013

31st August - More job nostalgia in B&W

Today it is Peter's turn to tell you a little of his family and their working lives

Peter does not know who his father was. His mother was on;y 16 in 1935 when he was born. Thankfully he wasn't adopted and until the age of 19 lived and was brought up by his grandparents.
His grandfather was a fishermen well known in the local fishing industry and in the old town of hastings as 'Quiddy' Mitchell, All the fishermen had nicknames.
Life was hard and rough and when there was fish caught there were pennies to be spent on ale. Peter at 6 would be sent with a jug for the ale for his grandmother and she was frequently drunk and when Quiddy came home drunk from the pub, the couple would physically fight while Peter hid away. His grandmother would take in washing to was and iron for extra money!
Quiddy in the Royal Navy Reserves
Quiddy with other Hastings Fishermen
Whilst Peter was doing his national service his grand mother died and a few months later so did his grandfather. 
Peter left school at 15 and started his 5yr apprenticeship as a printer locally. After his national service he joined the largest printing firm in Sussex. He worked on the Goss headliner (3 unit printing press) until the firm was bought out in1985 and he had to train to use Web- offset machine with colour. His wage started at 1pound   30 shillings and when he retired at age 57 he earned £350 a week and could also buy shares in the firm EMAP

Life with his late wife was comfortable they both worked for the printing firm until their children were born, then she worked later at their junior school as a dinner lady. They started married life in a flat which cost 24shillings a week (Peter earned £10 a week in 1969.) They bought their first house in 1962 it cost £2,500!
Both these photos were in colour and I have altered each into B&W The photos were taken in1984 and 1988
Peter working on the Goss at FJ Parsons Hastings
 Working for a subsidery of EMAP at Burgess Hill on web-offset machine
When he retired he thought about another job until he received his state pension at 65 and wanted to be a traffic warden. He didn't get the job and ended up taking over his step dad's job as a part time filing clerk in a small family solicitor firm....... 21 yrs later he is still there working 3/4 mornings a week at the minimum wage per hour!. He loves going in and shopping for the 'girls' (the secretaries),  walking his boss's dog Lister on the beach,( he is a real 'goffer')   He can take holiday whenever and always has one morning a week off for us to have a day out....the perfect retirement job. He has tried to leave several times when we have been away for very long holidays (eg 3 mths in N Zealand) Always his job and work was waiting for him on his return


  1. The Goss machines were made here in Preston. It was a great firm to have an apprenticeship with at the time as it was a large firm.

  2. lovely story and pictures.

  3. Great learning more about Peter. Love the pictures as well. Thadd says he is never working again unless he has to!LOL