Sunday, 28 November 2010

Family Miscellany - It's off to work we go

My parents worked hard all of their lives and the family archive contains various documents which track their early work patterns from the early 1950s.

Most of us probably believe that modern life has become more bureaucratic and more obsessed with health and safety regulations than it used to be fifty or more years ago, but these two documents show how the authorities loved their forms just as much back in the early 1950s as they do today.

In June 1952, at the age of 13, my mom Joan Lawlor took up a paper round. But it wasn't a case of picking up her delivery bag, climbing onto her bicycle and off she goes, as the local authority had a few administrative hoops for her to jump through first.

First of all, the 13 year old would-be paper girl was required to pass the examination of the school medical officer, who certified on 2nd July 1952 that "in my opinion employment in accordance with the provisions of the Bye-Laws regulating the Employment of Children will not be prejudicial to his (her) health or physical development, and will not render him (her) unfit to obtain the proper benefit from his (her) education".

The certificate then had to be signed by the newsagent., Mr Clarke of 476 Coventry Road.

But not only was it necessary to get the School Medical Officer's say-so before doing a paper round back in 1952, all children between the ages of 13 and 15 wanting to get a part time job also had to have an Employment Card under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

My mom's Employment Card permitted her to deliver newspapers for Mr Clarke between 7.15 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 5 - 5.45 p.m. on School Days and a slightly longer window of opportunity on Saturdays and Sundays. Permission to deliver milk was scored out.


1 comment:

  1. Important social history documents. If it wasn't for families who kept these, we wouldn't be able to know the truth of how things were, for those of us who value herstory.