G Alistair Dudgeon

1999/114 G Alistair Dudgeon interviewed at his home by Dr Heather Holmes on 2 July 1999
000 Starting Nelsons; change of management at that time
013 Six year apprenticeship
015 Seeking work and getting into Nelson's
035 Printer's exam; location; nature of exam
049 Six year apprenticeship; shortened to five years; moved to W & A K Johnson when Nelson closed
058 Went to Nelsons straight after leaving school; job on co-op vans
067 Started in litho plate-making; first jobs; range of skills taught; move into plate-making
084 Few changes in plate-making; changing technologies; methods of plate-making
106 Work conditions; lighting
111 Skill of plate-making and film assembly
118 Touching up plates
129 Size of plates
140 Handling plates
151 Metals for plates; changing metals
171 Plate storage and methods; preparing plates for storage; job of plate storer
182 Plate store; remaking of plates; classification and storage of plates
206 Number of plates for jobs; plate-making ran into weeks
226 Purchase of damaged books
230 Obtaining books and damaged copies
241 Apprenticeship training; classes at Heriot-Watt and Napier colleges
259 Classes at Heriot-Watt; principles of lithography
279 Relation of Heriot-Watt to current print methods
284 Moving around journeymen during training
288 Training for plate-making; relations with Bob MacHardie; rigour of the training
305 Journeymen had differences of opinion of the best way to do things; basics of printing remained in the trade
315 Nelson's used metal plates; no stones; small accidents with fingers; litho men could be identified as they lost the tips off their fingers
324 Cuts from metal plates
327 Measures for protective clothing
334 Health and safety precautions; milk for bronzing or spraying
339 Do not recollect health and safety notices
347 Keeping work space tidy
357 Cleaning; apprentices cleaned
365 Litho printers also trained as platemakers; made them self-reliant
374 Litho-presses; makes and jobs; problems with presses
387 Changes and modernisation of machinery
394 Introduction of new machines; building up presses; running of new machines
411 Honour to be asked to work on a new machine; jockeying for positions
422 Litho chapel strong; payment of dues; status of unions
422 Holding of meetings; frequency; time of meetings
442 Shift working; length and time of shifts
453 Shift work hours of apprentices; move into shift hours
458 Wage rates for shifts
464 Changed shift at mid week; days of shifts; changeovers
479 Saturday working; Sunday worked if a pig push; AA Atlas fastest produced road atlas
492 Character of Fraser Hopewell
500 Contact with Fraser Hopewell; sayings
508 Old time status of printing; highly regarded
519 Hierarchy within the firm; competition between letterpress and litho; status of the two print methods
527 Reputation of bindery
534 Man from London on training lost his braces in the bindery
543 Press room quieter than bindery; reputation; control of women in bindery
552 Rituals at end of apprenticeship
565 Subscriptions for marriage; people leaving
576 Plate-making a male occupation; segregation of males and females in the factory
595 No distinct language
605 Nicknaming; names in litho department
617 Way of addressing gaffers and managers; changes between apprentices and gaffers
633 Relations with gaffers; nature
643 Time sheets; nature
650 Times for undertaking jobs
660 Bonus scheme
633 Social activities by chapel; drinking; drinking places
687 Annual outing; died out when Thomson took over
693 Christmas dance; family orientated firm
701 Sports clubs; range and extent; membership
721 Location of home residence of employees
726 Good place to work; ill feeling in late 1960s
739 Closure; uncertainty at who would be employed
745 Work at Johnsons; moving Nelson machinery to the firm; comparison of factories, including size, extent and production
764 Contact with other departments; nature and extent
778 Size of plate-making department; apprentice numbers
793 Apprenticeship and length; turnover in labour with apprentices
804 Plate-making in Johnsons after Nelson workers arrived; work system transferred from Nelsons
823 Other departments went to Morrison & Gibb; takeovers at Morrison & Gibb
841 Replacement of Nelsons by Standard Life/Scottish Widows
847 Closure of Nelsons; shock of closure; morale
866 No change in work towards end of Nelsons; more commercial work
881 Splitting of the company; impact on work; changing print markets and competition; difficulties of competition; aware of contracts when you got older
917 Hearing about old times in Nelson; nature of stories
934 Lot of stories unrepeatable
994 Work entrances and location
954 Modernisation of the factory; unchanging nature of factory


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