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A collection of interviews and photographs recorded by Women's Archive of Wales in 2013-14

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VN013 Gwlithyn Rowlands, Laura Ashley, Carno;Laura Ashley, Newtown

When Laura Ashley opened in Carno, Gwlithyn went there to work in the office, doing the wages. This was 1964. She left to have a baby in 1966 and then did outwork for the company until her son went to school, at which time she went back into the factory as a machinist, working 9am-3pm. Laura Ashley was adamant that the mothers were able to take their children to school and collect them again. Gwlithyn learned how to do clothes like dresses, skirts and blouses in the factory and had taught herself to do ovengloves and tea towels doing outwork. She describes her years at Laura Ashley as the happiest ones. Many members of her immediate family worked there and her brother Meirion went from the factory floor to company director. Gwlithyn worked as a machinist at Laura Ashley until she was made redundant in 1990, when the factory changed to making curtains. By this time, she was a supervisor. She got a call from the factory asking her to come back, which she did, firstly at Carno then later at Newtown and retired in 2011.
Part of this interview is available as an audio file
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Carno Show, Gwlithyn as the baby, c.1980.Laura Ashley, 'It's a knockout' with Gwlithyn in pink. Laura Ashley's son Nick in the background, 1970s.Gwlithyn's birthday in the factory, 1970s.Laura Ashley, 'It's a knockout' with Gwlithyn in pink, 1970s.Laura Ashley girls, with Gwlithyn bottom left, 1960s.