A few years ago I worked with an English guy who had migrated to New Zealand many, many years ago. Let’s call him Kiwi Dave.
One day over morning tea, we got talking about “the good old days” and he told me a bit about his early days.
In his words …
It was 1957 when I entered the Shipyard as a young Engineer. Fresh from school, enthusiastic and full of dreams. I would have been at Rolls Royce, but in those days, the apprentice paid the company for the privilege of being taught and that sum of money was way beyond my fathers means. So there I was – In the shipyard – and a few memories immediately come to mind —
I can remember that the Workshop foremen wore a bowler hat, and 3 piece suit to work , complete with fob watch – such was his esteem and authority in the workplace
I can remember fitters and machinists wearing starched collars and ties to work and their labourers cleaning and preparing the jobs for them to work on
I can remember being taught the art of drawing with ink on linen
I can remember spending hours practicing hand printing skills on a drawing board and my printing is still pretty good
I can remember the Chief Draughtsman would come around and measure the thickness of our lines using a feeler gauge. Such was the attention to detail. At the time, I hated him with a vengeance because if it was the wrong thickness – it was erase and start again.
I can remember an enormous machine shop with every machine being driven by belts from a central shaft arrangement. Quite an imposing sight
I can remember that as indentured apprentices, we could never addressed our journeyman by first name – it was always Mr. Or it was the wroth of his tongue followed by a swift clip across the back of the head
Try telling that to the young Engineers today and they would never believe you !!!
Happy days indeed – very character forming