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Shirley Copeland

Shirley was born in Wallsend at the GB Hunter Memorial Hospital on The Green in 1952.

Her father was a Commissionaire at Swan Hunter and the family lived in the ‘Big White House’ was at the top of Swan Hunter’s bank. Shirley talks about her memories of living in the “Big White House” and some of the launches at Swan Hunter.

Shirley was interviewed by Alex Magin on 24 November 2006. The interview took place at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum and lasted for 33 minutes.

Shirley Copeland's Memories

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Well, in it’s day it was a big influence.  It was probably the biggest working environment then.  Everybody knew somebody who worked there, or possibly every family had one, or even two or three sons, or even women worked down there.  So most families had people who worked in Swan Hunters, so that was a big effect.  And as the years have gone on, it’s slowly lost it’s will to live really, hasn’t it.  They’ve done everything they can to keep it open and it’s just one of those things – times change.  But yes, in the last twenty years it’s sort of lost its big influence in the area.  Big impact, yeah.