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When I have more time to spare I'll tell a few stories about my time spent in various departments in Hilden. I started in the Examining Office when I was 20 and just newly married. (I had to leave my previous job because I was getting married). Remember those days? I'd like to see that happening now. Anyhow, I worked in that office until I was expecting my first child,. When Gregory was only about 5 months old, I went back to the same office. It was a reluctant return to work but my old boss sent for me and my mother encouraged me to return to work - she looked after Gregory and spoiled him completely. I remained there until I was expecting Coletete and once again left. After Colette was born I stayed at home for 7 years, having 2 more children in the menatime. When Trea was just 2 years (and I have regretted it at times) I once again reteurned to Hilden. This time I was successful in getting a job as secretary to the Director of Research, Dr Callow. It was difficult enough working with 4 children although I got a lot of help from my parents, otherwise it would have been nigh impossible. Unfortunately, with the Troubles in full swing, Dominic had difficulty working in the area in Belfast where he did. We moved to the South of Ireland but only stayed a year as neither of us settled. We returned to Lisburn and Dominic got a better job than he had when we left. I was spotted in town one day by a manager in Hilden who sent for me to attend an intrview for a vacancy in the front office.if I was interested. I was verey interested as I was looking for a job, or would be shortly. I duly succeeded in getting the post of private secretary to the Direcdtor of Personnel. I stayed in Hilden for a a few more years and then applied for a job in the Health Service, which I succeeded in getting. However, the memories of my time in Hilden have stayed with me. The people I met, - mill workers, managers, colleagues, the staff in the canteen, just everydone. It was almost like a family. Great times. I have other memories of my time in the Health Service, but Hilden was unique.
Beano, what I meant to begin with was that my aunt Annie was very friendly with May Teeney. May lived in Antrim Street and was a lovely woman. She worked in the Netting Dept too. She had a son Reggie and twin girls - Vivien and Beryl. I seer wee Beryl from time to time a she attends the same workshop as Rachel. I remember my aunt taking me to visit May on a Saturday afternoon. May always had sweets on the table. Her husband, Herebie, served during the war. You may know of them. I said at the beginning of this that I would tell you some stories when I had more time. I think I have told them all (while the potatoes are boiling).
Ann, Although I didn't spend a lot of time in Hilden, mostly during the war delivering the odd telegram and the only time I was in Hilden Mill was to deliver a telegram to a woman who lived in Grand Street informing her that her husband in the Army had been killed, I had gone to the Grand Street address and was told by a neighbour that she worked in the Mill, I remember going up in an elevator and waiting while someone brought the lady over, but when she read the telegram screamed and hit me I took off like a scared rabbit being all of 14 years old, maybe I have told this story before if so my apologies for repeating it. Have a great day. Mauri
Mauri, you did tell that story before, but the impact of that telegram on the woman is as vivid as ever. God help her, imagine getting that news in your work.
the first time I sat foot in the "dark satanic mill"! was the Coronation of Elisabeth 11. The workers had a "join" ( not everyone knows what that is) to celebrate it and were allowed to bring their offspring into the mill to celebrate with them. I had just turned 9 the day previous day. Later in 1960 I worked for a few months in Nr3 Winding Dept.before starting an apprenticeship in Mackies. I still remember waking up every workday in Hilden to the "tramping of feet" of the hundreds of workers marching to the mill and the horn which ruled our lives. The workers only got one weeks annual holiday then, the "Twelfth Week" and coming to the canteen on that Friday to collect their wages. No holidays abroad then, a day trip to Omeath was the limit.
Donald, we both agree that the people had a hard time then. They worked for buttons from 8 am until 6 pm, with a short lunch break. Terrible to think of all those workers shut inside the dark rooms, with no sunlight and the noise of machines forcing them to use sign language to each other. I'm always grateful to my parents for sacrificing so much so that we would have an education and not be subjected to life in the mill. Some families had no option, but I'm glad that my parents made the effort for us.