VSE066 Alice Jill Baker, St Margaret's Clothing Factory, Aberbargoed
Jill left school at 16 (1953) and started in the garment factory, making clothes for M&S. They made blouses, men’s pyjamas and liberty bodices. She discusses the different jobs. Jill had polio as a child and in the factory the treadle of the machine was adjusted for her. Piecework, - collars would be 2/6 a dozen. She was good at collars and zips. She could do 10 dozen zips a day. She explains the intricacies of working for bonuses. Time and motion. The buyers for M&S were very thorough. She enjoyed the company but hated sewing. Although some were rough and swore they would help others out if necessary. Other factories in England and there would be a beauty queen competition in Bargoed itself. They also had a newsletter. Wages - to mother and pocket money. Not on board and lodging until 18. She talks about the new fall-back rate which meant less money and she walked out because it was unfair and because the supervisor was rude to her. She had worked there for 10 years. She returned part time later but by then, things weren't the same. Factory work was an experience for her.