Starting Work at Nelsons
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Starting Work at Thomas Nelsons

 

Listen to 'former employee from Nelsons starting work in the industry' (1:34 min - Transcript below)

'In actual fact in those days, it’s like the shipyards, you had to have somebody to speak for you. Eh, very, I mean fathers got their sons in, and eh, or your uncles got their nephews in and that kind a’ thing. I was very lucky because my, a cousin of mine was eh union steward for the lithographers, and he was able to get me the forms and able to get me the, em, em, get into the entrance exam and that kind of thing. And of course you had a very serious entrance exam to pass in those days. It were, eh, it was for colour-blindness, deafness and all sorts of things, and plus there was a sort of a IQ test as well. I’m not sure how they judged that, I think, you know, but there was a kind of a multiple choice question paper, you know, ‘2, 4, 6, 8, what’s the next number?’ kind of thing, you know? And ah, so once you made ‘em, you, you satisfied them in that you were compos mentis, I think, to go into the trade, ah, you never got in right away because in actual fact what happened then of course, there was a very strict rota for apprentices. It was one apprentice for three journeymen tradesmen, two apprentices for seven, three for nine, and five for eighteen and things like that, you know? So you had to wait a wee while till s-, not dead man’s shoes, but till somebody graduated, and ah, when somebody graduated and got that out, then they were able to take on another apprentice, or if they were taking on two or three more men, they were allowed to take on another apprentice, I think. So it was very, very strictly controlled, and the printing trade was very strong in those days, very strong'.