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

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VSW010 Phyllis Eldrige & Olga Thomas, Cardwells, Lampeter;Cardwells, Machynlleth

Phyllis left school at 16 (c.1959) and stayed home on the farm for 3 years before replying to an advert in the paper for a machinist at Cardwells'. A bus took them to Machynlleth. Stayed in lodgings. Olga left school at 15 years (1959), worked in an egg packing factory and then in Cardwells' Machynlleth. They also travelled by train. They earned £4 a week + lodging + travelling. Stayed there one year, until the Lampeter factory was ready. The factory was closed for weeks in 1963 - snow but no pay. Girls came from the outlying villages. They made women's dresses mainly. Can't remember a union - just 'grin and bear it'. They had the off-cuts. Needles through fingers. Sewing was skilled work V ironing. They spoke Welsh mainly. They left when expecting baby. Phyllis bought a machine and worked from home. It gave them satisfaction to see women out in clothes they had made.