Bolton Remembers the War Logo
Edith Kay née Curtis - War Worker
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Edith Kay née Curtis





Edith Kay née Curtis

1 December 2005

Edith was born in 1922 in Astley Bridge, Bolton. Her Father was a farmer, and the family lived at Hampson's Farm, Longworth Clough, where rabbits were in plentiful supply. Later he worked as a gardener at Wilkinson's Hospital. She went to St Paul's School, Astley Bridge, and then worked at the nearby paper mill. Edith married in 1942, had the reception at home, and honeymooned in Blackpool. Her husband was posted to Birmingham on anti-aircraft duties, and then was sent to North Africa, where she wrote to him every other day.

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Recycling history... mp3 sound clip - 419k Recycling history... mp3 sound clip - 419k

Make do and mend... mp3 sound clip - 260kMake do and mend... mp3 sound clip - 260k

Recycling history...

Well, I had a friend that worked at the paper mill, and I thought ooh I'd love to work at the paper mill. I thought that was going to be very, very nice, though my Mother wanted me to stay at home and help her in the house, or generally around the place. But no, I pleaded and pleaded. I wanted to go and work with my friend, and I went to work with my friend, eventually, at the paper mill. And that was sorting paper. Until we was a bit older and the War came and a lot of what we did sorting then. I suppose there was a shortage of pulp. There was bags and bags of old books came, and sheets and sheets of the very, very old letters and things from companies, sent to be made into pulp and re-used again. But they were quite interesting, because, for all we was sorting this stuff out... some medical things. I remember at one time, I actually put them in the pulp myself, was relating to, I think it was Stevenson, that built the Rocket, I'm not sure the name, but, at the time, there was envelopes turning up with Penny Blacks on and people used to tear the stamps off and keep them. But there was one relating to railways, and roads being built, which should have been kept, but they just went the way of all the rest. At one time I got Stevenson's signature, I tore it off a letter, I had it lying around for a long time and of course these bits of paper they get missed and... So that was history, and I knew it was history, but I thought, well here we are, we've got a job to do, get rid of all this stuff, it's got to go for pulp.

Make do and mend...

My income was very small at that... it was... before I had the baby, it was twenty four shillings, and when I had the baby it were a bit more, I think it went round thirty or just over thirty shillings a week. But I was lucky, as I was living with me Mother, although I had to give me Mother a pound a week out of that. She said I must pay for my keep, I had to give my Mother a pound a week out of that, so I didn't have much left, but you know, I managed. I bought wool and knitted the baby coats, but everything was so cheap, like, you'd probably get wool and it would only be pence for a ball of wool, you know, you could just knit a baby coat very, very cheaply. But everybody was doing make-mend, cut old clothes up and make something new. It was good though, and people, like I say, if they'd got a coat - but they didn't throw much away, I must say - they'd give it to you and you'd turn it and the inside was always like new, but the outside was worn, yeah. It was good.