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Saturday jobs

Robert Ensor (bob)

master brummie
Just on another thread and it bought back one thing I that was a Satuerday task for my mum, slice the bacon middle, streaky and smoked looking back on it its a wonder I have all my fingers, I could get that slicer jumping I would turn the handle so fast WOW.
 

Edifi

master brummie
Johno,.Spud picking was great when you started on the outside of the field.But was a bit ectic when it got towards the centre:):sob:
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
I used to fetch errands for two women on a Saturday morning that was from about the age of ten , both paid me half a crown for my services , occassionally there were errands to be fetched during the week . I also used to help load coconuts onto two lorries belonging to two brothers commonly known as swagmen , they used to supply the nuts and goldfish and cheap packets of sweets to the fairs . There was no wages involved here but come the summer holidays, we would go with them and travel around places like Stroud and Hereford and Gloucester . My last year at school would find me Monday to Sunday each week loading a coach owned by the local grocer , he had converted it into a mobile shop and travelled around Sutton Coldfield a £1.00 a week I got for that . The only bug bear about it was the hours by the time he got back to the shop it was 8.30 , then he had to have his dinner which worked out I couldn't get to load the coach till about 10.00pm so most nights was midnight finish
 

JoeF712

New Member
My Saturday job was working for Corona pop from their depot in Kings Road, Tyseley. That would have been about 1970/71 when I was 15/16.

You started off canvassing door to door and got paid for every household you signed up - I don't remember how much. If you stuck with this (and plenty didn't) you got "promoted" onto a round delivering the pop. For this you were paid £2.50 per week with a bonus if your round took over a certain amount. This was considered good at the time but we also got to drink as much pop as we wanted on the round; we would call the half-drunk bottles "leakers" when filling in the paperwork back at the depot. I seem to recall that our competitors, Alpine, only paid £2 and their pop came in much bigger bottles so the work was harder.

I really took to it and ended up working in the school holidays and particularly at Christmas when things were really busy.

Like a lot of other people have said, I got more from it than just my £2.50. It was an introduction to adult life. This involved quite a few surprises for a lad who had been brought up by his widowed mother. I particularly remember being surprised by the behaviour of the drivers when they met first thing in the morning in communal room in the depot. I was genuinely shocked by the language; every other word seemed to be a swear word which was something I was not used to and certainly not expecting. There seemed to be a lot of "horse-play" as well which, like the swearing, was something I didn't know grown men indulged in. I got used to it though and was able to take part and became accepted as "a good lad" I think I got to like what I would now call the camaraderie that existed.

All in all it was a good experience for me and something I have always been glad I did when I was young.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Have to agree about the swearing. I started work for a Garage in town when I was still 14 and the behaviour of the older mechanics really surprised me. Being paid 1/6d per hour, of which bus fares etc had to come out of, left you little to hand over to your Mother in the unopened pay packet.
 

mbenne

master brummie
My Saturday job was working for Corona pop from their depot in Kings Road, Tyseley. That would have been about 1970/71 when I was 15/16.

You started off canvassing door to door and got paid for every household you signed up - I don't remember how much. If you stuck with this (and plenty didn't) you got "promoted" onto a round delivering the pop. For this you were paid £2.50 per week with a bonus if your round took over a certain amount. This was considered good at the time but we also got to drink as much pop as we wanted on the round; we would call the half-drunk bottles "leakers" when filling in the paperwork back at the depot. I seem to recall that our competitors, Alpine, only paid £2 and their pop came in much bigger bottles so the work was harder.

I really took to it and ended up working in the school holidays and particularly at Christmas when things were really busy.

Like a lot of other people have said, I got more from it than just my £2.50. It was an introduction to adult life. This involved quite a few surprises for a lad who had been brought up by his widowed mother. I particularly remember being surprised by the behaviour of the drivers when they met first thing in the morning in communal room in the depot. I was genuinely shocked by the language; every other word seemed to be a swear word which was something I was not used to and certainly not expecting. There seemed to be a lot of "horse-play" as well which, like the swearing, was something I didn't know grown men indulged in. I got used to it though and was able to take part and became accepted as "a good lad" I think I got to like what I would now call the camaraderie that existed.

All in all it was a good experience for me and something I have always been glad I did when I was young.
I did a couple of days canvassing in the school holiday around Acocks Green . On the third day I decided not to turn up. Having signed up several new customers I went back to get paid but the manager refused. Despite hanging around for several hours he still refused and I gave up. There was no official contract and nothing I could do!
 

mbenne

master brummie
My first Saturday job was at Turners in Sheldon - https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/sheldon.22415/page-18#post-606510. I got £1 but as my Mom had bought me a new bike she took 50p per week until it was paid off. When I left I got another Saturday Job at the Co-op, Tile Cross. I had to go to town for an interview and do a few tests and then make a trip to the employment office at the Yew Tree to get a NI number. The pay was a little better at 30s for a Saturday and If i worked a week I got around £13. I cant say I liked the job as it was mainly filling shelves. The welcome break was burning all the empty cardboard boxes on the waste ground out the back. I was too young to use the bacon slicer but was allowed to cut blocks of cheese but only with a cheese wire. On one occasion, when I was doing a full time stint in the school holiday the walk-in fridge/freezer had broken down in the run up to the weekend. An an engineer couldn't be found so the manager had had to leave the door open - apparently it would keep the food cooler until it could be repaired?? Well, I arrived early on the following Monday morning to find the manager scraping maggots off the bacon. I couldn't understand why he was doing it as it would have been easier to just drop it all in the bin. Then I saw him place it all neatly on the counter!

For several years I also had an evening job, of sorts, at Solihull Ice rink. My friend and I spent so much time there that we became unofficial ice stewards. We were never paid but as long as we were seen to be preventing people from sitting on the barriers,skating in the wrong direction or causing a nuisance the Manager, Walter Allen, was quite happy for us to enter anytime without paying (apart from Figure skating evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Though I was under age most of my Saturday pay was spent in the bar - I'd order half of bitter and keep one eye on the entrance for unexpected police visits. If the police entered there would be a mass exodus from the far door leaving lots of empty tables and unfinished drinks. Most of us were under age but as long as we could pay no one seemed to care!
 
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jmadone

master brummie
My first Saturday job was at Turners in Sheldon - https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/sheldon.22415/page-18#post-606510. I got £1 but as my Mom had bought me a new bike she took 50p per week until it was paid off. When I left I got another Saturday Job at the Co-op, Tile Cross. I had to go to town for an interview and do a few tests and then make a trip to the employment office at the Yew Tree to get a NI number. The pay was a little better at 30s for a Saturday and If i worked a week I got around £13. I cant say I liked the job as it was mainly filling shelves. The welcome break was burning all the empty cardboard boxes on the waste ground out the back. I was too young to use the bacon slicer but was allowed to cut blocks of cheese but only with a cheese wire. On one occasion, when I was doing a full time stint in the school holiday the walk-in fridge/freezer had broken down in the run up to the weekend. An an engineer couldn't be found so the manager had had to leave the door open - apparently it would keep the food cooler until it could be repaired?? Well, I arrived early on the following Monday morning to find the manager scraping maggots off the bacon. I couldn't understand why he was doing it as it would have been easier to just drop it all in the bin. Then I saw him place it all neatly on the counter!

For several years I also had an evening job, of sorts, at Solihull Ice rink. My friend and I spent so much time there that we became unofficial ice stewards. We were never paid but as long as we were seen to be preventing people from sitting on the barriers,skating in the wrong direction or causing a nuisance the Manager, Walter Allen, was quite happy for us to enter anytime without paying (apart from Figure skating evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Though I was under age most of my Saturday pay was spent in the bar - I'd order half of bitter and keep one eye on the entrance for unexpected police visits. If the police entered there would be a mass exodus from the far door leavning lots of empty tables and unfinished drinks. Most of us were under age but as long as we could pay no one seemed to care!
I worked weekends in the Skate Hire at Solihull Ice rink. Can't remember what the wages were but was great for meeting girls.
 

mbenne

master brummie
I worked weekends in the Skate Hire at Solihull Ice rink. Can't remember what the wages were but was great for meeting girls.
I think my first visit was in 1966 but you must have worked there before I started going regularly in the late 60s. In the early 70s there was an oldish lady on skate hire by the name of Nora. My uncle also had a part time job there too, sharpening ice skates. The general manager was Walter Allen and the man in charge of preparing the ice was Ron Harvey. Having become a member of the Solihull Ice Speed Skating Club I continued as an unofficial ice steward long after leaving school. My connection with the ice rink also led to taking paid evening work, sharing alternate evenings, with my mate, as a spotlight operator at the New Cresta Club to boost my income. Yet another place where I could get in for nothing whenever I liked - but that's another story and off thread!
 
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jmadone

master brummie
I think my first visit was in 1966 but you must have worked there before I started going regularly in the late 60s. In the early 70s there was an oldish lady on skate hire by the name of Norma. My uncle also had a part time job there too, sharpening ice skates. The general manager was Walter Allen and the man in charge of preparing the ice was Ron Harvey. Having become a member of the Solihull Ice Speed Skating Club I continued as an unofficial ice steward long after leaving school. My connection with the ice rink also led to taking paid evening work, sharing alternate evenings, with my mate, as a spotlight operator at the New Cresta Club to boost my income. Yet another place where I could get in for nothing whenever I liked - but that's another story and off thread!
The only name I remember from the workforce there was a guy named Harry. He worked in the skate hire and came from a fairground family. He ran a swingboat ride but that's all I can remember. I think I was there around 1964/65 and from there went to work for a friend's dad who had a fruit stall in the Bull Ring outdoor market.
 

JohnJames

master brummie
My first Saturday job was with Corona Pop in Tysley during 1969/1970. I went out on a lorry delivering bottles of pop door to door around Longbridge and Bartley Green. This was a paid job at a rate of two pounds ten shillings for a nine hour day. Back in that time when a pint of bitter was two shillings and large fifteen year olds were served in pubs, you could have a very good night out on this amount and still have enough left over for fish & chips on the way home. Other jobs at Corona were also available where gangs of youths went around sitting on crates on the backs of lorries (no H&S then!), trying to sell pop door to door and getting weekly orders, paid on commission. I started out this way before being promoted to a paid job riding in the cab. Great days really!
 

Richarddye

master brummie
My first Saturday job was with Corona Pop in Tysley during 1969/1970. I went out on a lorry delivering bottles of pop door to door around Longbridge and Bartley Green. This was a paid job at a rate of two pounds ten shillings for a nine hour day. Back in that time when a pint of bitter was two shillings and large fifteen year olds were served in pubs, you could have a very good night out on this amount and still have enough left over for fish & chips on the way home. Other jobs at Corona were also available where gangs of youths went around sitting on crates on the backs of lorries (no H&S then!), trying to sell pop door to door and getting weekly orders, paid on commission. I started out this way before being promoted to a paid job riding in the cab. Great days really!
Congratulations...……...That was a pretty good gig! 10 years earlier I made less than half of that and bitter was 1/6....
 
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mcarter32

New Member
In 1968 I worked as a house porter at the Midland Hotel. I polished brass everywhere and vacuumed half a mile of corridor carpet (yes I actually paced it out one day). In addition to that I had to vacuum the downstairs Neptune Lounge and sweep the staff spiral staircase that ran from the lower level to the top floor. Happy Days...
Do you have any images or old newspaper articles from your time working at the Midland? I currently work at the Burlington (the old Midland) and would be great to share with my colleagues.
 

Harry Flashman

knowlegable brummie
Do you have any images or old newspaper articles from your time working at the Midland? I currently work at the Burlington (the old Midland) and would be great to share with my colleagues.

I'm afraid not. All I have are the memories of a 17 year old, working during the summer holidays. There was a broad range of characters working at the Midland Hotel at that time (1969); everything from the lowly house porter (me) to the very affected general manager (let's call him Mr. Smith). In between were the chamber maids, the porters, the housekeepers, the engineers, the restaurant staff and banqueting managers. I may have missed some of course. I do remember getting lost during my first days at the Midland and ending up in the Burlington which I remember as very upscale. Naturally the word reached 'Mr. Smith' who gave me a apoplectic telling off for taking my lowly self to such an august area. Some years later, I was the sales manager of a Birmingham company and was in charge of the planning for a large event, which was to be held at the Midland. During the planning sessions, I interacted with 'Mr. Smith' on several occasions and found it amusing that he was, "yes, sir, absolutely, sir", to someone he had many years earlier derided and bollocked for getting lost in his hotel. Happy days.
 
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