Winnie Day's varied life of work

From the printing trade to the electronics industry

By John Cheves

Photo:Winnie at the street party celebrating the coronation of King George VI

Winnie at the street party celebrating the coronation of King George VI

Photo from the Heritage Plus archive

Photo:Winnie with her eldest daughter Margaret

Winnie with her eldest daughter Margaret

Photo from the Heritage Plus archive

Photo:The staff at Ferguson with a dummy model of the kit they made during Winnie's there.

The staff at Ferguson with a dummy model of the kit they made during Winnie's there.

Photo from the Heritage Plus archive

Photo:Winnie and her husband at the wedding of their son Keith

Winnie and her husband at the wedding of their son Keith

Photo from the Heritage Plus archive

Photo:Winnie at home in Rathen Court

Winnie at home in Rathen Court

Photo from the Heritage Plus archive

Winnie Day

Winnie was born in 1930, the eldest of nine children, all born at home.

Winnie's family moved to Redhill in Surrey at the outbreak of the Second World War as her father was very concerned about their safety. She left school at 14 and followed her Dad into the printing trade and  became an apprentice book binder

"We had to cycle to work and I earned less than £1 A week. I had to give half of what I earned to my Mum for my keep".

During the war Winnie met her husband Albert who was stationed at an army camp near where she lived. She applied to the Printer's Union to do piece work and got approx £2 per week. "I think my Dad encouraged me to apply as he knew that I needed to earn more money as I was getting married". This job entailed sewing up the pages of the books before they were collated, they were then sent to another factory to be bound.

In March 1949 the whole family moved to Telscombe Cliffs Way and Winnie was married in August of that year while Keith was still in the army.

During the time she lived in Telscombe Cliffs she worked for The Argus in Robert Street Brighton - "One item I helped print was an Ice Hockey programme - I earned approximately £3 a week"

Winnie's husband came out of the army in late 1951 (he had been a corporal in the Royal Artillery) and in 1952 they moved to Gloucestershire where her husband worked on a farm, they had a tied cottage and she became a housewife.  They came back to Peacehaven in 1973 and moved to Gibbon Road in Newhaven in 1975.  Her husband remained a farm worker until ill health intervened and he worked as security on the ferry until he retired.

In the 1970's Winnie worked for Ferguson on Denton Island making music centres. Ferguson was eventually taken over by the Japanese firm Hitachi.  However, this did not work out well for Winnie. "The different equipment that we had to work on affected my eyes and I had to leave. Hitachi did not last long on Denton Island and I had more bad luck as I missed out on my redundancy payment - I had left the job one month too early to qualify!"

In 1982, after thirty-four years of marriage Winnie's husband sadly died. She then worked as a part time housekeeper at Dorothy House in Peacehaven which provides sheltered accommodation for the elderly. One of her jobs was to cover for the Warden when she was on holiday.

Winnie rode a moped until she was 60 years old. "It helped me cover for staff holidays and  get around as Assistant Warden".

Winnie now lives in retirement at Rathan Court.  She still leads a very busy life there getting involved in the many activities that are organised.  She seems to have very little time for herself and was the 'tea person' for our group.

This page was added by John Cheves on 12/06/2009.

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