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  • Newcastle BHP Family History, 1915 to 1999
    Home :: Media Gallery :: Newcastle BHP Family History, 1915 to 1999
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    Aubrey Brooks BHP 1961 to 1999.

    Aubrey Brooks BHP 1961 to 1999.

    It was a rainy night on Feb 12th 1961 when Dad arrived home from the "Mad Miners Pub in Wickham,"Aub he called" I was talking to Employment Officer today,you start tomorrow in the Waggon Shop tomorrow,be ready we catch the 103 bus at 7.00.No more no less you never spoke back to Dad in those days, things for boys of fifteen were different than boys of fifteen today.The next day we caught the bus at Datie's pub,every one the bus new Dad and he told them I was going to be a RivetCook,When I asked whats that "you will see" was the answer,the date was 13th Feb,1961 my life at Big Harry's begins.The first week was very interesting,I was the first junior on the plant,and the Waggon Shop was full of people who wanted to teach me the ropes,like Aub go to the store and get me a left handed ring spanner. Aub get me some Ferocraft Wooden Welding Rods.Aub go to the store for a Long Weight. Aub clean the Forge Chimney so the smoke would go out easy,Aub have you had your Iron Ore Dust Needles yet? and of course there was the shower where every one liked to pat you on the bum.There were 3 unions in the shop F.I.A,Vehicle Builders and A.M.W.U. The Boilmakers were from the old school and if you were cheeky or smart mouth them you soon found a Ball Payne Hammer coming your way. There were many tasks carried out in the shop in those days,to list a few........ The building of Rail Waggons,Waggon spare parts,welding riveting,oxycutting and general fabricating that Boilermakers would carry out.The Vehicle or Woodbutchers as they were called,worked with timber and bolts they oxycut but did not weld and were not[at that stage] tradesmen,the Ironworkers were trades assistants. Nick names were very popular,Zeke the Wolf,Bones, Narragut,Tubby,Slim,Diamond ,Pothole,Bluegum,Walkie,Shotgun,Jungle im,Greenie,Dinkie,Picks Starting times were 7.30am to 4.00pm and Clipper Clive the Boss would dock you if you were a minute late. [6 minutes]Showers were to about 10 men to the shower,if you were there early get wet ,stand back and soap up wash off get dressed and run for the 400 bus home,My wage was Four Pound Three Shillings per week ,Mum charged me Five Pound a week board [I could never work that out]There was lots of overtime about in the 60's and Friday was mend your "work boots day" In those days work boots were not supplied and we used to glue Nylex on the soles to save money put them in a vice all weekend good as new on Monday [Nylex was a nylon /plastic cover that covered large elect cable]There was many strikes in the 60's and 70's looking back some were just for a day off but on the other hand as unuionist, we fought for many conditions,

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