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Changes 1950s-1970s: night shifts

In fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-nine, when we started this, I was landed with four Pakistan boys and I was told within a couple of months a night-shift had to be developed. And that’s how it started. Now once the extra production was seen to be coming through, this took a couple of years of course to build up from zero to ‘X” amounts. New machines were coming on the market, machine exhibitions were being held all over the world, and other people were, other people than the people we knew in England, the Germans, the Italians were developing – French, were developing textile machinery, and so the company then because it’s always been a progressive family firm, and planned for the future, it was natural that they would go for the high-speed machinery as well. And so it started with the labour-force changing, the hours of work, the conditions in that – when I say conditions, we then tried not just to work around the clock on a five day basis, we then started working a seven-day basis, which was a part of my managerial life is – you know, I’d rather forget about it because it was murderous.


Source A foreman in the drawing department at Wyke talks about changes in methods of production and workers hours from the fifties.
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