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Andy Masterman

Andy was born in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1930 and he grew up in Wallsend. He went to school in Wallsend and left when he was fourteen years old in 1945. Andy first worked at Parsons and joined Swan Hunter in April 1947 when he was seventeen years old. His training lasted for five years and at twenty-two years old he became a qualified plumber. Later on in his career he became a foreman and later an area manager and then Senior Area Manager. Andy worked at Swan Hunter for forty-six years until 1992.

Andy was interviewed by Laura Brown on 2 March 2007. The interview took place at the participants home and lasted for 54 minutes.

Andy Masterman's Memories

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How did you come to be at Swan Hunters?
I was working, I went to Parson’s first as a lodge boy.  Then I left there and went to, because I wanted to be an engineer and I didn’t agree with Parson’s engineering because they made turbines.  I went on to North Eastern then I had an accident.  I was off work 2 years alright and when I came back I applied for a job and I had to go to Swan’s as a plumber and that’s how I can to Swan’s in 1947, the 14 April 1947.  I was 17 then.

So you’d been working in the Shipyards since you left school.
Yes.  14 year.

And what sort of training had you done?
Just at Swan’s.  When you started at Swan Hunter you started working with another tradesman.  And when you become 18 they give you a labourer and they get you to do a man’s work but because I didn’t start until I 17 I had already done a years training then I was given a labourer.  The labourer’s knew more than the apprentices, they’d been there a long time.

So how long did the training take?
5 years.  So I was 22 when I came out of my time.

And then you were a qualified plumber?
Qualified plumber, yeah.