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Margaret Mole

Margaret was born in November 1928 in Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her Father was the manager of Bamborough Picture Hall in Byker and her Mother was a housewife.

Margaret started work in the accounts department at Walker Naval Yard. After Walker Naval Yard closed, everyone was moved to Swan Hunter. Margaret started working for Swan Hunter in 1978 and was there for twelve years.

Margaret was part of the first-aid team while working at Swan Hunter.

Margaret talks about what it was like working in the accounts department, the first aid team and also about the industrial action at Swan Hunter in 1984 and 1985.

Margaret was interviewed by Alex Magin on 1 March 2007. The interview took place at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum and lasted for 29 minutes.

Margaret Mole's Memories

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What did you do at Swan Hunter then? When you started?

Well I started, not as Swans itself, but at the Walker Naval Yard, which is Swans, in the accounts department. I was on stock control in the accounts.

Can you describe what a regular day was like in the accounts department?

Well it was just a matter of filling in forms and counting up different things, but once a week we used to go – we had to pay wages, with being the accounts department, we’d have to, so many of us would go out and pay the men’s wages and some of us – we always just went to Walker Naval Yard, but I always seemed to interfere with the others. I seemed to go either to the Neptune Yard, or Swan Hunters and sometimes we’d even have to go on the ferry into Palmers and Hebburn yard, so we seen all the different yards! And it was great – it was great getting out of the office and paying wages y’know to the men. I thoroughly enjoyed that!

So you paid the men in person?

Yeah, we went to the main office and we would be allocated the dockets or the different pay stations we were gonna pay and wait for security guard to bring them in a box and the men would be lining up waiting for their pay and hand over their chits, sort of thing and they were all in little envelopes y’know ready for them and it was great!