I think of my time there and smile!

My name is Barbara Peters (nee Duffy). I worked at Fletcher Jones from 1970 till early 1973. I left when I got married and moved to Western Australia. I loved working there. It was the first job I had after leaving school when I was 14 to help look after my ill mother.

I loved working at FJs because I loved sewing and the pay was good. My sister worked there too and so did one of my brothers. I don't remember much of my time there, just that I loved it. My memories are not good for any of my life. I think I have something wrong with my brain. I can remember parts here and there (if I concentrate) but if it's trying to remember people I worked with then I cant help at all. I remember when I first started I had to prove that I could sew. I had to sew pockets. I can't remember how long it took till I was sent out to a section.  I do remember I worked in the trouser section putting in zips. I remember we had a quota to do and I always went over that quota (not bragging). smiley I remember we used to get paid extra for any item finished over that quota and that is why my pay packet was always good. I just remembered that we had people come around and time us every now and again and we all tried to slow down so our quota wouldn't go up too much and that was sooo hard because we were used to sewing so fast!  smiley

I remember staying back and working night shift and having tea in the dining room. I remember loving that too. I used to smoke back then and we used to head to the toilets for a smoke - I don't know how we got away with it, but we never let that few minutes break interfere with the work we did. I guess that is why we got away with it.

Sometimes at lunch time, I used to rush down to the corner shop and buy a meat pie and apple charlotte (no wonder I put on weight)!  Other times I would just bring my own lunch. My sister said I used to sit outside in the gardens with her for lunch but I don't remember doing that at all.

I put a needle through my right thumb one day. I had to go to the sick room to have it removed – ouch, I can still see the scar on my thumb!

I was only 15 when I started work there. I don't remember ever meeting Mr. Jones and I guess the business was special because it was one of the largest factories in Warrnambool and it was good working there. I dunno, being a teenager, I only thought about fashion, music and boys I guess!

I was married in 1973 and then left FJs because my husband wanted to move to Western Australia. If I hadn't got married, I would have stayed at FJ's till it closed.

Every now and again I think of my time there and smile.

Barb Peters

Skirt Sewing Room at FJs in 1965.  Photo: Jones Family Collection

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