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Oral Taping

The Ramsbottom Heritage Society has always been interested in recording memories of residents, and there are now over 60 recordings on cassette tape, which will be converted to digital format in 2017 and made available on the website, where the interviewee has given permission

This page will be the index of the recordings and as each recording is converted, a link will be given to a description of the recording and the recording can be downloaded for personal use. If a recording is required for business or commercial purposes, please contact the Society. We are looking for volunteers to listen to the tape and produce a synopsis, so if there is no description, get in touch and we’ll let you know if anyone else has been allocated to the tape

Table of recordings

Recording IDSubject MatterName of the IntervieweeDate of the interviewRecording
T01Mills from Summerseat to StubbinsMrs Florence Scholes1987/ 1988Yes - Side 1

Yes - Side 2
T02Life in RamsbottomMr Charles HallOct-87
T03Life in RamsbottomMrs Ellen Mills1987-88
T04Life in RamsbottomMr Joe BarlowSep-87
T05MemoriesMr Harry Archerly
T06Life in RamsbottomClara Booth4403/195
T07Memories of RamsbottomElsie Baker13/01/1988Yes -
T08Memories of RamsbottomAmy Greenhalgh17/01/1988Yes -
T09Frank Galpin
T10Memories of Shuttleworth & DistrictWildred Beswick JP23/08/1988
T11Grant Family AncestryMrs Constance Whittam17/10/1990
T12Eric QuinnYes -
T13Housing WW2 EvacueesMrs P Rodwell21/08/1989
T14J Crabtree
T15Mrs Edith Duckworth26/08/1997
T16aMr Thomas Wightman08/09/1997Yes -


Duration 90 minutes 19 seconds recorded on the 8th September 1997

Thomas talks about  ( approximates times when the topic starts)

               Moving from Kent to Lancashire
3 minutes Rowland Methodist School, Summerseat - 1919/20
9 minutes  Ocean Chemical Co. Ltd. First Job paying 17/6 a week
19             Joined the Army for 6 years
25             Back to work in Ramsbottom - describes the houses he lived in
28             Ocean Chemical Co. Ltd.  - Names of Directors and description of                 various processes
43             Driving wagons
44             3 brothers, 1 sister
45 minutes Eldest Brother, Harold - from a ‘Two Bob a day Private’ to a Major
48             Cottage in Sumerseat - Children’s games
51             Christmas
53             Pace Egging before Easter including song
56             Holcombe Hill - Good Friday, Whit Walks with Primitive Methodists
61             Social Live at the Primitive Methodists
66            Mr Pearson Headmaster - Motor Cars
68                Review of places of employment
                1929 - 1952 Ocean Chemical Co Ltd
                 6 months Kirklees, Tottington
                 3 and an half years - Ramsbottom Paper Mill
                  22 years Porritts
76            Courtship and Marriage
78            Driving and Travelling
80            A good night out - Cinemas in Bury, Bolton Grand Theatre
84            Setting up home near Hark to Towler on Walmersley Road
86            Knocking up neighbours


T16bMr Thomas Wightman01/06/2001Yes -

Duration 26 minutes 06 seconds recorded on the 1st June 2001

1955 Started working at Porritt's. Early retirement 1977.

About 700 employees

Cotton side

Woollen side:

Different departments; warehouse, blending, felting, maintenance, main office, devilling hole, card rooms, weaving, spinning, washing & stretching,
drying, finishing, winding

Mules & old carding engines in 1955, line shafts

1957-5 New machines - independent motor drives

woollen bales - sorting

Synthetic fibres - staple

Change from wool to synthetic

Carding & scribbling

New carding engines & ring frames

Harold Robinson - manager

William Goodwin - supervisor

Spinning

weaving looms' widths, Lancashire loom

Felts - paper making trade

Filter cloths - printing trade

Processing felts: joining (endless), drying, stretching

Cotton felts, & later, wires(synthetic) for paper trade

150 year Anniversary formation of company.. -.presentation blankets to workers

Employees - maintenance 24hr
lots of job changing
accidents
female workers} skill

Canteen

Coach transport

Decline of trade

Carpet yarns

c 1975 Factory unsafe for heavy new machines

Carding engines & ring frames moved to Bury

Transportation of goods

Carriers - I .C.I.

Water supply - moors, reservoir

Col. Porritt, Lieut. Porritt - Territorials

Harold ? (stayed with Lieut. Porritt after he was shot in France)

Workers' profitable sidelines at factory - washing overalls, hairdressing, thieving

Dispatch department

Line shafts, ring frame & carding engine motors
Moving machinery

T17aMargaret Nolan01/10/1997
T17bMargaret Nolan01/10/1997
T18Mrs Edith Robinson15/04/1996Yes -
T19aGeorge and Margaret Kay27/11/1997Yes -
T19bGeorge and Margaret Kay27/11/1997Yes -
T19cGeorge Kay27/11/1997Yes -
T20Jim WeldingYes -
T21Mrs Doris Hillary01/03/1998Yes -
T22Mr Keith Bradbury28/05/1998
T23Jennie Johns16/12/1997Yes -
T24Aliice O'Donnell16/12/1998Yes -
T25aHarry Beech16/02/1999Yes -
T25bMrs Marion Beech16/02/1999Yes -
T25cMrs Marion Beech16/02/1999Yes -
T26Mrs Irene Green and Dorothy Farnell05/07/1999
T27aFrank Warwick Hall08/11/1999Yes -
T27bFrank Warwick Hall - continued08/11/1999Yes -
T28aHarry Hoyle05/07/1999Yes -
T28bHarry Hoyle - continued05/07/1999Yes -
T29Margaret Hammersley18/01/2001Yes -
T30Miss Joan Barcroft24/01/2001
T31Jack Holden07/03/2001
T31bJack Holden07/03/2001
T32John Lomax02/05/2001
T33Brian Lamb26/04/2001
T34Cyril DavenportYes -

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

T35Mrs Marion Beech
T36Edith Wood
T37Coronation and Childhood MemoriesMrs Doris Hibbert09/12/2002
T38Edwin Longworth
T39WW2 and General Memories (NWSA)Lorna McTintosh01/06/2001
T40aFred Entwistle1990 and 1994
T40bMrs E. Moore26/08/1990
T40cMr Chapman02/06/1990
T41James Davenport01/03/2005
T42Evacuation from Guernsey, and Ramsbottom MemoriesElizabeth Haworth30/06/2001
T43Memories of EdenfieldFrank Woods30/06/2001
T44Reminiscences of RamsbottomDorothy Moss30/06/2001
T45Childhood in Bolton, and RamsbottomJohn Maude30/06/2001
T46Ramsbottom Library ServiceBill Bennion23/07/2001
T47Childhood play, teenage leisureBarbara Southern20/06/2006
T48Ships, Gas Mantles, Tippler's, Soundscape, 1950'sEddy Chatwood20/06/2006
T49Violet Gregg23/06/2006
T50Father Ramsbottom Police Sgt., 1931-39; Amateur Dramatics (Summerseat Players)Leslie Richard Norris05/03/2006
T51Recollections of Grant's TowerDorothy O'Reilly and Emily Bellenes05/03/2006Yes -
T52Miscellaneous recollectionsBrian FarlowMar-06Yes -
T53MD of Sims WireworksDenis Frearson03/02/2206
T54
T55Grandmothers memories of NuttallNorma Mills22/11/2006Yes -

T56Turnbull & Stockdale, coal dealers in Ramsbootom, house at Bolton Road North, Rostron Plumbers, Smithy Brow, Turn school, Ramsbottom buses, linking Stubbins/Ramsbottom, churches, shops, politicsPhillip Dunne29/08/2007
T57Geraldine Mercer2003
T58Richard, Irene and Frank Hall2003
T59Tony Ashworth2003
T60Jack Isherwood2003
T61Doreen and Fred Bardsley2003