When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Holiday club for workers
3:10pm Friday 20th April 2012 in Nostalgia
Malcolm Wheatman, aged 81, of Kendal, recalls life as an apprentice at a Kendal printers in the 1940s
WORKING at Bateman & Hewitson, Printers, in Stramongate, when I was about 15 I would sometimes return to Stramongate from delivering small parcels of printed matter to Gilkes’s or Samuel Gawith’s at Canal Head when the canal was really there.
I would go round by Thorny Hills to enjoy a most beautiful branch and something of a backwater of the River Kent.
In those days this picturesque curve meandered its lazy way round all that now remains of its route, the line of poplar trees on Gooseholme.
The water was quite deep and hardly moving. In the summer I remember seeing swimmers enjoying it.
Used by the Carpet Mill this backwater eventually reappeared beside the main river alongside Wilkinson’s Organ Works on Aynam Road.
Alas, these stretches of water and the canal have now disappeared and only remain in a few photographs and fewer memories.
I was always hearing my colleagues complaining of shortages of money, especially at holiday time.
Our annual break was only a week. As a result I decided to start a Holiday Club and bought a supply of blank club cards.
Some people were eager to join and soon I went round collecting weekly amounts on payday, usually about five shillings (25p), which I entered on to their card and put the money into the building society.
The week before each person’s holiday, I would withdraw the money and pay out their 51 contributions in a lump sum, which amounted to probably about £12 or more.
This does not seem much now, but it was probably more than three weeks’ pay, today, something like £600.