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

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VSE010 Brenda Mary Farr, Thorn Electronics, Hereford;Dressing Gown factory, Blaenavon;HG Stone Toy Factory, Pontypool

Mary left school at 15 (1956) – didn’t want to work in factory – wanted work in an office. But she found herself in HG Stone factory making soft toys - teddies and pandas etc– she worked on the line as a machinist. Piecework. Very big, noisy and dusty. Stuffed with straw or flock. Time and motion pricing time on each toy. Worker’s Playtime on the radio. Finished there in 1964. The women producing teddy bears got more than the others – specialist job. Wasn’t promoted because she talked too much. Also made dolls – plastic bodies and stitching on hair. Also dogs on wheels. Needles through fingers. Men’s work – on plastic and machines. Xmas dances with band. After 8 years in HG Stone spent 6 weeks in dressing gown factory in Blaenafon – couldn’t bear the smell of candlewick. When married she moved to Herefordshire – worked in Thorn Electrics making street lights. Lots of families in HG Stone (later Chad Valley) factory.
Part of this interview is available as an audio file