VN016 Susie Jones, Cookes Explosives, Penrhyndeudraeth
Susie began at Cookes Explosives in 1933 at age 14. The factory was in two parts then, Mining Safety Explosives and Cookes. The youngest workers were in the detonator department, not handling the dets but preparing something for them, and this work wasn't dangerous. The girls moved up according to their ages and Susie moved afterwards to the wiring and then the sheathing departments. When the war came she filled hand grenades, working three shifts, and making lots of friends. After the war, she stayed at Cookes, firstly in packing and finishing in the lab, where they tested the powder and where she was the only girl. This was in the 60s and 70s. Susie worked at Cookes for 46 years, minus two days. If she'd stayed the extra two she would have got her full pension but when she went to ask, they refused. She retired in 1979.