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

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VSW020 Rita Davies & Meirion Campden, Croydon Asbestos, Milford Haven;Myfanwy Products, Gorseinon;Glanarad Shirt Factory, Newcastle Emlyn

Rita and Meirion left school at 14 (1945 and 1949 respectively). Rita started immediately in the shirt factory and left to get married (1954) but returned after three years and Meirion joined her (c.1949-1995). The boss was Johnny Morgan, brother of the owner of J T Morgan’s warehouse, Swansea. The first job was hemming woollen shirts. They had pocket money from their pay packet. The boss would tap them on their heads or pinch them if they talked. Rita worked on the button machine and Meirion made shirts. They had a book to record their work. The factory was taken over by Myfanwy Products, Gorseinon – they made dolls’ clothes and shawls for 2-3 years. Then by Croydon Asbestos making leather gloves (Heavy work) with industrial machines. The older women were kind to them. They had a piece of clothing from the J T Morgan warehouse as a gift every Xmas and a trip to Llandrindod in June. The workers’ numbers were put on each shirt. Meirion had to go to hospital after sewing her finger. Rita went to work in rollers and a turban. Croydon Asbestos closed c.1996.
Rita and girls on Glanarad trip to Llandrindod Wells, 1950. © Rousham RobertsJT Morgan Staff, Glanarad Shirt Factory, © Harold Squibbs