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Oral Taping

Cyril Davenport was recorded on the 9th May 2001 by Kate Slingsby. Cyril describes his 50 years working at Porritts in Stuubbins

The recording is 68 minutes and 35 seconds and the list below has the topics and the approximate time that the topic starts

0’15”      Started working in the weaving shed

2’30”      Territorial Army

3’00”      Worked in the warehouse (15 yrs old, only 4ft 6ins, weighed 72lbs)

5’00”      products made by the firm

6’45”      Roland Spencer - visit to the factory

7’50”      The Christmas Spree

11’00”     parcelling (plaiting) the cloth

12’10”     Number of employees

13’15”     The war / the landmine at Stubbins

15’00”     Shifts

15’30”     Characters who worked for the firm including a bookmaker

16’45”     Wages

17’45”      Called up to the war

18’15”     Return to the firm after the war / Half-crown foreman /

19’00”     Wages for the big loom weavers

19’45”     Big loom weavers

21’30”     After the war - worked on the doubling machine for 20 years

23’45”     Shift work, staffing and wages (1951)

26’00”     Characters - boilerman who played the flute

                labourer who used to have a sleep in the toilets

29’45”     Management turns a blind eye

30’30”     Clocking in & out

31’15”     Promoted to assistant foreman/manager over 3 departments

32’45”     He was asked to become supervisor/foreman in the warehouse

33’15”     Changed from cotton to synthetics

34’00”     "Wet end wires" (conveyor belt) for the paper mills

35’00”     Changing the name of the firm and products moved to different factories

36’45”     In charge of 3 departments, Finishing manager- from when it left the loom to when it left the factory

37’45”     Contact with the factory in Livingston, Scotland

38’45”     troubleshooting - Assistant to the Production Director

39’30”     "The wires" - conveyor belt for paper machine. Cost up to £60,000

43’15”     Paper mills - most of them shut now

44’45”     Export of wires all over the world (inc1 Japan & Poland)

46’15”     Work study & automation - the biggest changes which have come in ; Reduction in workforce

49’00”     Waste from the process

51’30”     Changes in processes, with the coming of synthetics

52’00”     Types of synthetics, staples and filaments

53’45”     5 -A -Side football

55’00”     Safety procedures

56’00”     Accidents at work

58’15”     Family members who also worked for Porritts

              His father was a gardner for Porritts during the 1914-18 war.

              Several of his brothers & sisters worked there for over 40 years

60’00”     The Porritt family and their homes

61’45”     Strongstry houses available for workers

64’00”     Various mills owned by the Porritts

65’00”     The Porritts & Spencers who were directors

67’00”      characters, - a man with a glass eye. someone who set fire to some waste


68’35”      end  


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Oral Taping Index