Struggling by on just 33p an hour

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Last Monday I published the going rates for the building trade in 1946.

Jim Kellaway, of Ingledene Close, Bedhampton, recalls pay in 1962.

He remembers as an apprentice carpenter working for JH Day in 1962 and building private houses at Aldsworth Close, Drayton, Portsmouth. Facing the site there were shops with flats above being built.

The site agent came to ask Jim’s boss, Joe Day, if he could hire his carpenters to finish one of the flats as his chaps had gone to work at a site in Cosham .

The rate for chippies then was 6s 6d (33p) an hour. They had been offered 1/2d more! They finished the flat and the next week they all came back from the Cosham site as they had been offered 6s 7d an hour. Yes, just one penny, half of a modern penny.

Being self-employed then still meant chasing the next penny. We are not talking 1862 here but 1962.

Jim wonders what they would think of today’s rates as he hears most carpenters are on £180 per day.

Jim can still remember his first week’s wages when he was 15 – £2 0s 9d.