Industry: water, steel & energy

Mate, Derek (2 of 9) National Life Story Collection: Lives in Steel

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  • Recording date

    1991-11-1; 1991-11-11

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cleveland

  • Interviewees

    Mate, Derek, 1926- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dein, Alan (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: Lot of people at matches, not cricket matches - 'wars'. Played football for traffic dept. Dancing - local Stocksbridge dance. No booze. Local bobby on rampage. Thump your earhole. Good hidings from father. Home for 10pm from dancing, until 16 (10.30pm). Navy, 18, got papers on New Years day morning. Didn't go in Air Force, two brothers died during the war. Radar Mechanic, trained at Royal Arthur, Skegness. Manchester Tech. College. Radar school, Fareham. Two months in Glasgow. HMS Fame, Feb. 1946. Demobbed 1947. Responsible for radar and operative on the destroyer. On exercise, anecdote - both operators asleep and big echo on screen. Swore at them, intercom was on and everybody heard 'bollocking' on the ship. Comparison of discipline in Navy and United Steels. Discipline as apprentice - ?hr of snooker during the day if you could get away with it. One bloke kicked out for boozing. App. A, Good enough B, school certificate, C. family in industry. Went to Sheffield for interview. Started Aug. 17th, 1942, "it's all happened since then". Write reports on each dept. Practical, learned about people. Understood industry, types of people. Only asked for promotion once in billeting finishing - didn't get it. Traffic dept at 28, youngest manager in United Steels. Responsible for road and rail transport, yard dept., raw materials stockyards, 400/500 people. Steam locomotives, 'bloody awful' to work with. Diesels much better/efficient. Completed end of 1960's. [Major changes in industry - manpower/technology, 'getting rid of black art', better training and Trades Unions.] 'The day I grew up.' Had been Traffic Manager for a few weeks, problem over demanning a loco, four work days instead of six. Traffic dept. on strike. Kicked door open of cabinet and said "who's your spokesman". After five minutes, back to work. Never forgot that. Self-induced pressure, never totally happy person as can't relax

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