[East Midlands Oral History Archive logo]

Working in a shop


Weighing the Tobacco and Snuff

[Sound clip on the Bedaux strike]

Weighing the tobacco.wma

2.22 minutes

[577 kb]




What was it like training to work in a shop, and learning about tobacco, and...?


I think I learnt from the customers you know. Because they'd come in for an ounce of Bruno, and they'd say I don't want it in a packet, I want it out of the tin, 'cause see we sold it loose as well as packed.


These were, would they be sealed packets?


Sealed packets of tobacco. But certain amount of different tobaccos you sold loose, and they'd tell you which they wanted, and it was a lovely smell to open a freshly opened tin of Bruno, eleven pence an ounce, I don't know what it is now. And then of course there was the snuff. Well of course, I'd no idea about snuff, and it was in, I should think they were two pound tins, and it was loose. This particular snuff, this SP that we used to sell; we sold various snuffs but a lot of it was packed, but then we sold quite a lot that wasn't packed. And this SP, we used to have a policeman come in, well he was my first customer, and he asked for these quarters of snuff because he took them for the police at the police station, and he always demanded to have it weighed up while he was there. So of course, I, he said quarters of snuff you see, so of course I went on measuring quarter pounds of snuff, and he stopped me on the third pack, and I remember it was the third quarter, and he said, "I think you're wrong." So my boss came in at that particular time, so she said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm measuring up the snuff for Mr Sheppard", the policeman. So she said, "No, not quarter of pounds, quarter of ounces."


And he let you get through to the third?


He let me do the third, he was enjoying it wasn't he? Pulled my leg, many years he pulled my leg over that...

Having trouble hearing the extract? Our technical statement should explain the source of common problems.

Home>>Community>>Resources>>Shop work>Weighing the tobacco

Last updated: 5/12/03
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.