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Stan Messinger

Stan was born and grew up in Wallsend in 1939.

He started his apprenticeship at Swan Hunter in April 1955. His apprenticeship lasted five years and at the end he became a qualified shipwright. He worked at Swan Hunter for one more year before moving to Walker Naval Yard where he worked for five years from 1964-69. He then went back to Swan Hunter in 1971 and worked there until 1984.

Stan was interviewed by Alex Magin on 21 November 2007. The interview took place at the Phoenix Centre in Wallsend and lasted for 27 minutes.

Stan Messinger's Memories

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How did you learn to do your job? You were on an apprenticeship? Is that right?

Yes, just by watching the journeymen and helping to strike the lines for lining off of the units and things like that.

And how long did you apprenticeship last?

5 years, for the first 2 years I was on the lining off, then I went to the fairing – iron work , which was a case of aligning bulk heads and stiffeners and brackets and casings and things like that which lasted for 2 years as well and then I finally went onto outfitting which was called the woodwork section by the tradesmen which I was laying wooden decks and marking seats for winches, Doors, hatches and things like that.