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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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So what sort of situations would you be practicing?

Well now and again we’d go out into the yard itself and set up some sort of thing that would happen – like going on board a ship, the process of a ship being built. We’d go down into the engine room or below decks to practice how we would cope carrying an injured person up the narrow gangways and things like that – that was great, I used to love that! I remember one time we were lifted off by a crane – it was like a platform and the crane had it and we were lifted off the ship and put onto the dockyards at the side sort of thing and that was great that! It doesn’t happen to people that!

Can you describe what that was like?

It was just fantastic! I loved it! Just being lifted! There was all of us there- all of the team there. There was a team of about 8 and we supposedly had the injured person on this platform and we were lowered down onto the side. It was great.

And did you practise on real people?

Oh yeah, yes – they used to be a team of people come to help us and they were volunteered and I think they didn’t only go to the Naval Yard, to Swan Hunters and that, they’d go to other factories and they were casualties – a guild of casualties I think they were called. And that’s what they did, they were casualties and (laughs) yes it was great!