CWS Voices 2015
Interview with Olive Peacock Birtley Tinplates 1941-45
Interviewer Janet Medcalfe in Olive’s home 19.11.13
Location of interview recording: Tyne and Wear Archives
Olive Veronica Peacock was born on Oct 30th 1927 and lived in Birtley. Her father was in the World War and after that worked in the pits. Her brother was killed at the age of 19 in the Second World War. At 14 her mother sent her out in the snow to get a job and she went round all the factories until she got a job in the Tinplates. Her job was to clean the milk churns made by the men with a whitening powder. She did the same job until she left at 18 and a half to get married. Although she didn’t see it there was an accident when one of the men died. She wasn’t in a union but Olive remembers the foreman Jimmy Trevors who was a good fair man and a charge hand who lived in Newcastle. They just accepted the working conditions and she had friends in the factory but didn’t see them out of working hours. There was a 15 min break. She earned £2 5d and tipped it up to her mother who then gave her 6d a day for herself.