This blog is designed to record the findings of our family history, mainly for the benefit of the family, and to document the dead ends, the breakthroughs and the journey.
I’ll post the family stories as I’ve written them to now, and I’ll be grateful to anyone who can add further information or pictures, or point out errors.
Particular thanks to my sister Julia and my cousin Mandy who between them have done much more of the work than I have.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Starting Work

Dad's teenage years

So we go into the 1930’s and things were much better, for us anyway. The Carriage Works had opened up and were busy, Father , Arthur and Alf went back , Fred went to K&J’s the printers and as said earlier I was at the Cronehills Central school, and it was my intension not to work at the Carriage Works I took the Commercial course ,and when I left school I got a job as office boy at Chance Bros. The glass works down Spon Lane, the first rung of the ladder for my ultimate success. But alas it was not to be. After about six months Father said the job was not suitable for me, and I was to go to the Carriage Works with the others. I think he had the best motives, and to be fair to him I started he the best department which did the fitting out of the interiors of the coaches, a clean job, we wore a white apron and a collar and tie. And when we were lads you were expected to have a clean apron on a Monday morning, sometimes sent home to get one if you lived near enough which most did in those days, but I soon settled in and was reasonably content, with my pocket money and my golf money my teenage were pretty good. Except for one thing, The political and the diplomatic scene was pretty dire and everyone expected that there would be a war, which there was in September 1939. Fred was called up very early in the war, Arthur and Alf were in reserved occupations, and I not quite old enough. I was not very happy with my job in the early part of the war, So I left the Carriage Works an got a job at Harris and Sheldons a firm of shop fitters in Birmingham, nobody would believe that a Hamilton was leaving. The word went round, ’young Hamilton is leaving, and when Father knew when I got home with my tool-box, the heavens opened up, I had committed the gravest sin. But time is a great healer, and I settled in to my new job very well making parts for aircraft, which was a reserved occupation, for now I was military age.
About this time A young lady from Stourbridge named Betty Billingham, did the same as me, left her job against her parents wishes, went to the Ministry of Labour in Birmingham and they sent her to Harris and Sheldons and that is where we met. Although quite young twenty two, I was put in charge of a section making disposable petrol tanks for spitfires fighter planes, really content. That was until I got home from work one teatime and Mother handed me a buff envelope with my calling up papers inside. Ha well I had had a good run, it did not bother me greatly everyone else of my age had gone, so be it. Next morning I had a lie in and got to work late, when I arrived the foreman came over pointing to his watch where have you been etc, and I handed him my calling up papers. He was not pleased saying I was not going in the xxxxxx army, and rushed of to the office to get someone to clear it with At the Labour exchange to cancel it. But it was not to be. I reported to Norton Barracks Worcester for training, and irrespective of my experience in industry, I was assessed to be a wireless operator driver in the Royal Artillery and I was posted to Whitby in Yorkshire for training

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