Working for BHS in Hull by Jackie Owsnett

Went to work for British Home Stores in Hull as a Saturday job when she was 15. Started helping on children’s clothes. There was a counter rectangle. The clothes were laid out on the counter and folded up according to size and age. There were no hanging racks then instead shelves of nicely folded clothing. There was also no changing room, People just put the clothes against them. Jackie was put in charge of the children’s clothing i.e. T-shirts, long trousers, shirts, vests and shorts. Young children wore shorts until they left school. Long trousers were very unusual. had to make sure the stock was folded properly and look after the till. The till was made of brass just like the TV programme Open all Hours. She found herself in charge of a part-timer and the Saturday girl. Had add up the purchases yourself in your head and work out the change. She worked at BHS as a Saturday job until she left school at the age of 16 1/2.

Jackie then  joined the WRAF for a life of adventure. She was stationed at RAF Stanbridge and RAF Abingdon. She trained as a teleprinter operator, a forerunner of the typewriter and computers. The information came out as tape. Fed it into another machine and transferred was transferred to another station. Similar to morse code. the machine at the other station had a code breaker which was able to decode the message. Messages could involve troop manoeuvres.

Memory contributed by Jackie Owsnett from Fochabers

Additional Information
BBC article about the closure of RAF Stanbridge in June 2012RAF Stanbridge closed in June 2012 and the personnel were moved to RAF Wyton.


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