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Brian Taylor

Brian was born in November 1938 in Cullercoats. His father was a local fisherman and his mother was a cleaner. Brian went to Cullercoats School then aged eleven he went to Linskill High School in North Shields. At the end of 1953, he left school and went to work at Smith Docks.

Brian started working at Swan Hunter after he was made redundant in 1969. He worked at Swan Hunter between March 1970 and December 1994 as a plater and progressed to being a foreman.

Brian talks about his experiences of working at Swan Hunter and also his experience of working abroad in Japan for eight months.

Brian was interviewed by Alex Magin on 19 February 2007. The interview took place at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum and lasted for 45 minutes.


Brian Taylor's Memories

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Sounds? Oh yes! At one time they used to be horrendous! Corking machines! Painters with their rattling guns! The banging when their fairing bulkheads! Yeah you needed ear protection by the time you came out!

Did you get used to it though?
That was the problem – you did get used to it and in the early days there was never any ear protection supplied! It was only in the eighties I think when that came out.  But you were glad of it when they did come – when you could get it.

What about smells? Are there any particular smells you associate?
Grease and oil and steam! Oh you can’t beat the smell of steam!

Were they pleasant smells then?
Well to me they were! Yeah, I mean I can remember even when I was serving my apprenticeship you would be covered – your hands would be absolutely black! As if you had black polished then y’know! And you would go to the fish shop on a Friday dinner time to get your fish and chips, come back in the yard and sit in the sun and you’d eat your fish and chips with your dirty, oily fingers! Your hands would be black except for your fingers where you’d picked your fish and chips up – they’d be lovely and clean! (laughs)

Did it add to the flavour of the fish and chips?
I think so! Well it hasn’t bothered…it didn’t seen to bother us then and it doesn’t seem to bother us now, so it must’ve been alright!