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The British Newspaper Archive

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Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

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Made in Dagenham ...

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 9 Mar 2013 23:29

Just watched this film on BBC 2 about the women machinist straking for equal pay. The film was based about 1968.

So do any of you remember this? What was your point of view or that of your parents? I was just about born then, but I loved the actual news footage, shown a man saying he was unsupportive, as they wasnt the main bread earners, huhhh I wonder how many of them women was actually the main earners at that time. This is when the norm was for the man to hand over house keeping and the women used her income to top up the house keeping.

My Dad was heavily active in the Unions and I could just imagine his view and I dont think its readable on here :-D

My sister and OH work at the same place and do exactly the same job and my mum once said " What does Itsmytelly think about Our *** getting paid the same as he does, bet he doesnt like it?" Took me ages to figure out what she ment.

:-0

ChrisofWessex

ChrisofWessex Report 9 Mar 2013 23:34

It said the law was passed in 1970 - took 2-3 years as I recall for that to kick in. I had not long returned to work.

I enjoyed watching it again tonight , OH had never seen it and it started him off when film finished, on a trip down memory lane!

Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 10 Mar 2013 00:42

Did you work there Chris?

jax

jax Report 10 Mar 2013 00:53

I grew up in that area, many neighbours or friends fathers worked at Fords. I cannot remember any women working that had children back then anyway. My mum did'nt return back to work until 1971 (evenings) and not at Fords, when she could then leave me to look after younger sister.

When I can find out what my sky pin number is, I shall watch that on catch up

BrianW

BrianW Report 10 Mar 2013 05:50

I was brought up in Romford so quite a few of our neighbours were associated with Fords at Dagenham.
If I remember correctly, when they had their own ironworks there for making the engine castings, at night there would be a glow in the sky as they opened the furnaces.

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 10 Mar 2013 12:12

Great movie I have it on DVD.

If you enjoyed it try another Essex movie "Essex Boys"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTWf8MybaVM
avoid 2013 remake
this is fun too, Essex accent bang on
https://www.youtube.com/user/essexboys1994

Ah Romford, Chadwell Heath, Harold Wood, Gidea Park, Five Ways ...
Home of a large brewery, now demolished, chav UK capital. Didn't we have a luvverley day the day we went to Barking ...

The land of the A13 in 1968 ? Well first off the women at Dagenham were plumb right, doing a skilled job for basic wages. Neither the union nor the management were interested in the idea of woman being paid properly. Ford just saw it as a cash problem, the union saw it as changing the status of women which would never do.

'68 was a time of slow decay in the UK. Wilson (of the pipe ) promise of a "white hot technical revolution" had decayed into "the pound in you pocket is ok" ( not). The country was embroiled in a struggle between trades unions and the modern world which went on and on until the brutalism of Thatcher finished off the unions. As usual with wars both sides lost.

Ford had as its chief designer Rob Brown, responsible for the infamous Edsel and then the CORTINA! which pretty well defined the late 60s and 70s. Thanks to the never ending wildcat strikes build quality was terrible, same for the Austin and the fate of the industry is well known.

Despite the designer decay - steam engines had been running into Liverpool Street until well into the 60s, grotty housing, watery beer and such unemployment was low and most people had real money in their pockets. Housing policy still had some shred of common sense.

Amidst all the chaos there was one beacon of hope, Barbara Castle, who had the guts and courage to take on such neanderthals as Callaghan, later PM. She started the sort out of the carnage on the roads. Seat belts, 70 mph limit ( few cars would actually go that fast in 68 ) and the breathalyser.

She was seriously reviled as a non-driver especially in Dagenham. She made herself even more unpopular in Dagenham with a sensible reform of the trade unions "In Place of Strife". This was killed of by Callaghan and led directly to Thatcher.

There were not very many immigrants though south Essex still regarded the Welshmen who had arrived on government schemes before ww2 as such. A lot of people were more or less forced into the brave new world of Harold Wood by "urban renewal" in West Ham and East London.

TV was a curious mixture of "the Wednesday Play", Softly Softly and the White Heather Club. Color TV was still " in beta" though we had one thanks to family connections :-) It weighed a ton. It was quite common to rent the TV from Redifusion.

Nearly 50 years ago, another country.

Ind Coope John Bull bitter Eastern National, ten shilling notes, £ s d coins, Sarfend lights, Berni Inns, Ford Anglia, Cortina, Romford Market ( still going ), the Odeon (closed, sob)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABy_06p4bFI

Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 10 Mar 2013 12:52

Do you mean Essex boys and Sean Bean plays the lead?

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 10 Mar 2013 13:06

Right on.

Merlin

Merlin Report 10 Mar 2013 13:38

Ah, the days of the faithful "Dagenham Dustbin" when delivery drivers dreaded the thought of going to the Ford works. :-( :-D

Bobtanian

Bobtanian Report 10 Mar 2013 13:52

Days of CB..............A dagenham dustbin with twin twigs........ ;-)

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 10 Mar 2013 14:34

Romford Rap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u6ygwphGeY

DazedConfused

DazedConfused Report 10 Mar 2013 15:19

Thanks to the Suffragettes women got the vote

Thanks to these wonderful women at Dagenham women eventually got equal pay.

Women have had to fight to get anything remotely like equality with men and even today women still do not always earn the same as men in the workplace.

I would imagine that those men who said that men were the main breadwinners would soon have noticed the difference in their lifestyle if their working wifes stopped at home and brought no money in. :-)

Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 10 Mar 2013 15:25

Absolutely PP :-D

ChrisofWessex

ChrisofWessex Report 10 Mar 2013 16:24

No Hayley - but also for a large international co. until 1972 and then joined another large international.

Both of them had men and women working on the factory floor but I seem to relate 'equal pay' coming in when I was with the latter co.

It covered the offices also and women everywhere. I reminded OH I went on strike once!!!!! Factory floor got a huge pay rise and they offered offices a pittance.

My boss, the Chief Engineer met me heading out and was squawking 'you can't go'. Me laughing and saying 'I am off to the market'.

Four hours later I returned and he said think of money you have lost. I told him that they had paid the factory when they went out, so they would pay us. Anyway I had saved a lot of money on pjs and shirts for my son!!

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 10 Mar 2013 18:51

A lot of businesses are missing a trick with the still-alive-and-well discrimination against women. In my experience they are more reliable, more focused and far better at networking, leading a team then men who prefer empire building. Best of all they listen.

You may like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XElGDuCUUd4

The downside of course is the kids ... My experience is that organizing a creche, flexible working with overlaps and so on is well worth the trouble and pays off on the bottom line. It is sad that with the current "austerity" mania that stuff such as flexi working is being junked and any working from home disparaged.

One of my nieces is an architect and worked for a top firm. Within a year of baby no.1 she was eased out ... some things never change.

Right now there is a hard hitting French crime / political series on Channel4 "Spirals" (En Grenages or wheels within wheels). The heroine is a tough French police woman. The program is no.1 in France. Even if you don't know French the sub titles are good, just the (very) bad language is watered down somewhat. It is much better than the Killing.


BrianW

BrianW Report 10 Mar 2013 20:49

Memories:
"Ind Coope John Bull bitter Eastern National, ten shilling notes, £ s d coins, Sarfend lights, Berni Inns, Ford Anglia, Cortina, Romford Market ( still going ), the Odeon (closed, sob)"

Ind Coope generators originally supplied the electricity to the house where I was brought up. The brewery has its own siding with a little shunting engine that took the trucks to and from the main line on the viaduct.
I went to secondary school on Eastern national.My parents' first two cars were Anglias, one 1949 vintage and the reverse slope back window 105E next about 1962.
My first car was a side-valve E93A Popular (or was it an Anglia?) which used almost as much oil as petrol and had as much fibreglass in the bodywork as steel.
I then had my dad's Anglia and then progressed to a Cortina. Neither of those were not actually bad cars for the money.
Romford market used to be a country cattle market but when the Harold Hill estate was built that closed. Romford is now just an extension of the East End : rubbish.
The Odeon and Gaumont cinemas were regular haunts: Odeon mainly with parents as a treat, Gaumont for Saturday morning flicks.

RolloTheRed

RolloTheRed Report 10 Mar 2013 21:19

My mother was an SRN nurse with the maternity unit at Oldchurch hospital for some years. She may have met some of the people here in their early days lol.

FIO those who do not know Essex the old place has been trashed and replaced with a shiny new PFI hospital called Queens. Just like in Nottingham. Very long waits, just like in Nottingham.



Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 10 Mar 2013 21:26

My Dad had a ford Pop infact I watched the programe after the film which gave a history of the Ford Dagenham plant and I squealed with delight when I saw the ford pop :-D

jax

jax Report 10 Mar 2013 21:36

There were two cinemas when I lived in Romford ABC and the Odeon...Oldchurch hospital was about half a mile from where I lived and the new Queen hospital looks like it is on the land where Oldchurch park was, where I spent much of my childhood playing.

Rush Green had the maternity unit from the late 60s another good playing area demolished and replaced with houses

KenSE

KenSE Report 10 Mar 2013 21:49

Only two cinemas for Romford, Jax? That doesn't seem enough to me.

At Southend I can remember ten, not including Shoebury and Leigh), they were Odeon, Gaumont, Ritz, Civic, Metropole(Essoldo), Mascot, Garons, Plaza, Rivoli and Strand.