Sunday, 22 June 2008

Page 10

Castle Market
I spoke to Mum and Dad and they said they would write to Mr Pinion again about me leaving school at 15 yrs old, which was 6months away. Talk about job`s worth, he said this was not possible, the only way it could be done was by being transferred to my local secondary school, which incidently was the school I started at at 5yrs old and Dennis was still there.

I wasn`t too sure about this, but it was the only way so we said yes. It took about 2 weeks I was very nervous, I didn`t know how the other pupils would react to me. I decided that if asked I would tell them exactly why I had been transferred. The end justified the means and I would do anything to make things easier for us. I was accepted straight away, it was very different from Woodhouse, but I got on really well with both teachers and pupils. I ended up being Head Girl and made some good friends.

Easter 1954, I left school and me and Mum started job hunting. We went to the job centre and the only job was in the indoor market in Sheffield I think it was called Castle Market. It was a general store type shop called Heathcotes, the manager seemed quite nice ,the wages were £1 .10shillings in old money, that was for a 5 and a half day week.

The following Monday morning found me a nervous wreck, I was due to start work at 9.00am. I had to catch the bus to Sheffield at 8.14am to get me there for 9am.

It was hard work, very busy especially friday and saturday. I got on very well at first. I picked things up very quickly and soon got a raise, as Mr Breedon put it, I was an asset. I was the youngest ,there were three other women, all married they seemed really nice at first but soon the bitching started , first I was working too hard and making them look slow, I was too eager for their liking, especially one lady Jean she started to cause me trouble with Mr Breedon ,she told lies and he reduced me to tears as he believed her lies.

When I went home Dad was livid when I explained why was upset. The next morning he went to see Mr Breedon and really told him a few home truths and said he would not allow his daughter to work in such an environment. So it was back to job hunting.

Next morning off, mum and I went to Sheffield - The Moor. We went to British Home Stores and they said they had a vacancy, I had to take a short test which I passed with flying colours, they said I could start the following monday. Mum and I were very pleased we needed the money I believe it was £2.10shillings a whole pound more than the market job a good rate for 1954. To make it look a little more realistic the rent on a three bedroom semi was approx. 12 shillings per week.

Monday morning soon came round , I went into the store and all the counters were covered with what appeared to be dust sheets, it seemed huge, I eventually found someone and was kitted out with a blue overall, quite fetching I thought! now came the scary bit - what counter was I going to be put on, excellent I was put on the cosmetic counter, I was thrilled the section manager said I had lovely skin I would be a good advert, I was to work with a lady called Doreen she was about 25 yrs old and her makeup was flawless I hoped I could learn from her.

I loved the job, I liked Doreen and we got on really well. Before too long I was ordering goods for replenishing, the till was always correct, bearing in mind they were not like the tills of today that do everything for you , you had to add up and work out the change yourself.

One day after about 6 months the manager asked to have a word with me, I wondered what I had done wrong but he asked me if I would like to be in charge of the biscuit, cake and sweet counter, this was a huge promotion for me, more money and status, I would have at least 4 staff under me, I was thrilled.

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