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WILLS GIRLS 1967- Extracts from WILLS WORLD



The kitchen staff at No 4 Factory in 1908

With their pinafores starched white and their hair pinned under their caps the kitchen hands from No4 factory lined up for the picture on the right in 1908. Mrs Daley was 19 when she joined the restaurant staff at No4 factory."I used to prepare the meals in the kitchens and I earned eight shillings a week."she told Wills World. The cost of a cooked dinner was 4d and 6d, with sweets costing a penny. The work people would also buy a cup of tea or a glass of hot milk for a penny. The girls used to come down to the factory to serve . I enjoyed it, except for the first few months when we had a new overseer. She made me nearly crazy. I couldn't stick her. She made our lives a misery. The girls were meticulously clean and had to endure inspections by matron.

Mrs Joan Daley also knows all about the Raleigh Road factories because she worked at No.3 for 30 years. Ten years ago she transferred to Bedminster cigarette making. On November 14th 1972 she completed 40 years service.

Wills World presented Mrs Daley with an enlarged photo of her original 64 yr old photo. Here she looks at it with her daughter, Miss Joan Daley [Bedminster making], who last month retired after 40yrs.


More than 20 years after leaving Britain as a G.I. bride Mrs Myra Hunkley returned to Wills on a sentimental journey.Mrs Hunkley could recognise little of the factory she knew. In her four years, she worked in the stemming room and the beating room.

Mrs Hunkley chats with Miss Doris Bell [right] the deputy forewoman, and Edna Perry, one of the instructors, during her visit to the beating room.


Pagan brown, siren green. Celtic green and witching black sound like high fashion colours hardly likely to be associated with the workaday world of industrial shoes. But these are the colours of shoes in a display which has been going around the Bristol factories showing that safety shoes can offer glamour as well as protection. Called Spellbinders they sell at 49s 11d a pair and they can be paid on very easy terms. After the display had been in No 1 factory 200 pairs of shoes were sold.

Anne Purvey tries on one of the safety shoes while Mrs Madge Langley gives a sales talk to Jean Webb [left] in a packing room at No4 factory.


A former cigar packer at No 2 factory in Bristol, 19 year old Angela Doane is now training as a hostess with one of Australia's airlines.




The BBC's Onederful radio 1 has proved less than wonderful to listeners during the music periods in the Wills factories.They find the fast talking disc-jockeys with their jokes and comments cannot be heard over the noise of the machinery and long for their old favourite "Music while you work." Until the BBC decide the factories own disc jockeys are playing extra sessionsof gramophone records to fill the gap. At the No4 factories at Ashton the regular disc jockey is 64 year-old Mrs Kate Milton, who takes over the turn table for four half-hour sessions and for another hour when evening over time is being worked.






Mrs Mary Perrett, one of the No.1 factory D.J.'s "People like something to sing to." she says



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