- 8 Aug 2002 (Creation)
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Subjects covered include: Clothing, First World War, Industry, Second World War, Shops and Working Life. Places mentioned include Yarmouth, Norwich and Leek.
00:00-05:00 - Gordon Berry (hereafter GB) describes his first job at a fabric mill (Grouts) in 1927. There are some disruptions to the recording. He mentions black silk mourning crepe and Victorian mourning traditions. He lists the different departments at the factory in 1927.
05:01-10:00 - GB continues listing the different departments at the factory, mentioning which stores they supplied. He describes his job role. He mentions women leaving their jobs after marriage. The interviewer asks about wages and MB provides his and his wife's wages in 1939.
10:01-15:00 - GB continues talking about different wages and job roles in the textile industry. He describes how his career continued, and tells an anecdote about a long employed cleaner. He mentions the expansion of the company. The interviewer asks about bandages, and GB searches his notes.
15:01-20:00 - GB and the interviewer discuss the bandages. The interviewer asks what happened at the outbreak of the Second World War. GB describes his promotion at the factory in approximately 1935, then continues describing bandages. He describes the fabric making process of Grouts, mentioning Norwich and Ponders End. He describes their application for bankruptcy in 1894, and purchase by local Yarmouth companies.
20:01-25:00 - GB explains Grouts' transition to a limited company and the transition from mourning crepe to bandages in 1922. He describes how the bandages were made, and Grouts' purchase of the Norwich crepe company. He mentions a letter from the air ministry in 1931 about parachute fabric. He describes the manufacture of parachutes at that time.
25:01-30:00 - GB describes an American competition to design the freefall parachute, mentioning Leslie Irvin and his 1919 parachute. He explains the British government's attempts to establish a parachute manufacture industry, mentioning Irving Air Chute Company, Letchworth and Bocking. He describes the fabric specifications.
30:01-35:00 - GB explains how the factories made their cloth distinguishable. They discuss parachute silk, mentioning raised production during the Second World War and fabric defects. He describes a contract with Barkers of Kensington to make women's underwear from defective parachute silk.
35:01-40:00 - GB describes how the factory was affected by the start of the Second World War, including government control and change of products. He mentions the fear of invasion of East Anglia, and the mill's partial relocation.
40:01-45:00 - GB continues describing the relocation of some of the mill's production, mentioning Wardle's textiles in Leek, Staffordshire and the relocation of the staff. He mentions his deferment from service, move to Leek, and relocation due to the war.
45:01-50:00 - GB describes where manufacturing took place during the war. The interviewer asks about the length of work, and GB describes how work could be disrupted by air raids. He searches his notes, explains the two different mills in Yarmouth (North and South) and shows the interviewer a painting which they discuss. GB describes the land's change of use from barracks, mentioning Lord Nelson.
50:01-55:00 - GB continues to describe the barracks and nearby properties. He mentions closure of the Norwich mill in 1890, and moving administration to Yarmouth. He describes the south mill's destruction by bomb in 1941, mentioning the loss and rediscovery of documents.
55:01-60:00 - He describes the lack of company documents due to bomb damage. The interviewer asks about MB's time in Leek. MB talks about his evacuation from and return to Yarmouth. He mentions a First World War naval veteran who remained in Leek, describing his relocation to Yarmouth, acquaintance with Flight-Lieutenant Cadbury and appearance in a book on the South Denes air station.
01:00:01-end - MB continues to describe his experiences as an evacuee, mentioning food rationing.