Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Abbott, William, 1918 - , Interviewee, Male, Rubber factory worker; Engineering factory worker;
Speaker: Kirrane, S., Interviewer, Female
Summary of interview item: Recalls being looked after as a small child by his grandmother. Describes attending school at St Lukes in Humberstone. Mentions father's job as an' iron dresser' or 'fettler'. Recalls home cures and catching head lice. Describes the school clinic in Christow Street and death of siblings as infants. Describes in detail the house in Elm Street the family lived in and rent. Details games played and entertainment made as children. Recalls the general strike in 1926 when he was eight and father losing foundry job, possibly due to his union activity. Describes cleaning he and sister did at home and waiting in street until his father came home. Describes washing night, pawning items and what a valuable service this was. Outlines brother joining army and other siblings working and how this improved economics of the home. Talks about Education, after age 11, and leaving school to work at John Bull Rubber Company in 1932. Describes the work and conditions at the factory and moving to engineering company four years later in 1936. Mentions abdication in 1936, being exempt from call up because of his job and start of Second World War. Mentions introduction of trade unions to the rubber company by Alderman Sydney Taylor. Details move to new engineering job and return to rubber company due to health, followed by return to engineering. Describes wedding day in 1941 and buying parents house. Talks about wages, cinema and theatre. Mention becoming a union member and union activity.
Place of birth: Leicester
Education: St Lukes school, Humberstone; Greenlane Road school;
Marital Status: Married, Children:
Father's Occupation: Iron dresser
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Recording Date: 22/7/1986
Playing time: 1 hr
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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