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An office boy on this 14th birthday in the offices of the North Eastern Brewery

Office Boy in the offices of the North Eastern Brewery

1910

One day my father comes up to me and says.

“Mr Murray wants to see you up at the house at Six O’clock. There’s a vacancy in the office.”

I was not fourteen so I couldn’t leave school.

I went up to the house where J.G. had me writing and one thing and another. He asked what class I was in. “Standard Seven” I said, which was about as far as you could get.

“You’ll learn a lot more in the office.” He said. And he was right.

I started work at the North Eastern Breweries in August 1910.

I was fourteen years of age. I was on Five Shillings per week and got an annual increment of Half a Crown which was (2/6d) – 2 shillings and 6 pence (Around £11 in 2012 money)

(In today’s money, 2012, Jack  was getting around £25 a week for doing five days plus Saturday mornings.  A 44 hour week? He was only 14 though and learning the ropes).

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I walked the two miles up the hill to work.

Bill Baron, who was the cashier lived down in Shotley Bridge took me in. He’d started work as a clerk at a railway station. His mother Margaret lived in Bywell. He had two sisters. He was a bit older than me; he was 28 when I started. He walked up from Shotley Bridge which was further away still and fetched me up to the offices which were right up at the top.

Tom Young was in my class; his Family lived on Harvey St.

He joined the Consett Iron Company works as a clear. And one called Ripley, who made a fortune; his father was a coalminer and his mother was from Stanhope.

He became a foreman at the works.

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