Bad timekeeping was a major crime and using green ink was even worse

CLOCKWATCHING A worker waits for the clock to hit 6pm before clocking out
CLOCKWATCHING A worker waits for the clock to hit 6pm before clocking out

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Gift of life put on ice – surgeon preserves transplant organs

0
Have your say

The recent furore over Mike Ashley and Sports Direct’s treatment of its workers was described as Victorian by a committee of MPs.

And reader Eddy Amey, of Fareham, says the timekeeping rules enforced were almost identical to those for the industrial workforce in Portsmouth dockyard until the 1970s.

PAIGE GIRLS The picture that prompted Joan Murphy to recall her days in the 1950s and 60s working in the Paige shop, Commercial Road, Portsmouth. It was taken by Chris Brunnen in 1977 and features two men selling the Socialist Worker. But behind them on the right is Paige, the womens fashion shop.

PAIGE GIRLS The picture that prompted Joan Murphy to recall her days in the 1950s and 60s working in the Paige shop, Commercial Road, Portsmouth. It was taken by Chris Brunnen in 1977 and features two men selling the Socialist Worker. But behind them on the right is Paige, the womens fashion shop.

He says: ‘I remember in the 1950/60s bad timekeeping was treated as a major crime. One minute late clocking-in cost a quarter of an hour’s pay, 16 minutes late was a half-hour deduction. Three ‘lates’ in one month and you were put on PM (prohibited muster) for three months.

‘This meant any occasion you were late you were sent home and lost a day’s pay. Clock queuing just before out-muster time was discouraged by forcing people to clock out immediately thereby losing a half hour’s pay. In addition, although paid leave was granted for medical appointments, a D4 pass had to be obtained for stamping time of leaving and returning to work plus a hospital/surgery stamp with time of arrival and departure was required. ‘

Eddy adds: ‘An obscure rule I fell foul of was in regard to signing for one`s wage packet on the previous week’s clock card. One week I signed my clock card with green ink.

‘I joined the queue and on reaching the recorder was refused my pay packet because it wasn`t signed in black ink. I had to go to Main Office for a dressing down and to collect my wage packet where I was informed that only recorders and auditors were allowed to use coloured inks.’

- Joan Murphy (née Ford) was delighted to see the picture containing the front of the Paige shop in Commercial Road, Portsmouth.

She was a ‘Paige girl’ there from 1955 until 1962 – a cashier/bookkeeper where she was known as ‘Fordy’– no first names were allowed on the shop floor.

Joan, of Drayton, says: ‘Our manageress – Mrs Caplin – was firm but fair with us all.

‘The shop was very fashionable and the window dressers changed the many windows most days – not only the front of the shop but all along the Arcade.’