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MEMOIRS 1939 to 1945 - Stacey Simkins


On one occasion I was home on leave at the same time as Charlie Griffiths. There wasn't a great deal to do as you can imagine, so he suggested getting a temporary job in the factory where his brother had got some work when he had been home. You got paid for it, cash in hand of course, so we went over to this wheelbarrow factory called Westovers in River Road, Barking.

Westover catalogue, 1945

Sometimes you had the job of putting sheets of galvanised steel in to a machine, which came down, crunching the metal into a shape and cutting bits out, then you passed them on. Another time, you had the job of putting those bits into another machine which crunched them into the shape of the actual wheelbarrow itself. Having done that, you passed them up to somebody else, and they were spot-welded where they folded together so they didn’t fall apart.

Then they were attached to the other bit where the wheels go, but they didn't put the wheels on until they had been dipped into a vat of black paint - a whole line of them all hung up on a series of hooks. Fortunately I never had that job because it was a pretty filthy one. I didn't do that job for long because you only had a week's leave, but it was a bit of useful cash.

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