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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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It was really the main part of your life. It was your survival. I mean a lot of my mates served their time there when you’re an apprentice – when you’re a tradesman you knock around with people. You went to dances and there’d be electricians, there’d be joiners, there’d be plumbers, there’d be a fitter, maybe a couple of boilermen. You’d be around in a big group – you all went around together. But when you come on your time you could be working in the shop on a Friday night and the foreman was a chap called Sellem – he was about 90 odd! Maybe 100 odd! And he would come around and he would sack every other person. No reason – “your finished” -  he’d walk past you and “your finished!” That’s what they would do and it would all happen at Christmas time or their summer holiday times so they didn’t have to pay holiday pay and you would feel sorry for them I mean it never happened to me and I was single, but my mates were married and they had children and they are out of work and that really hurt me y’know, but it never ever happened to me, I was lucky y’know.