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A collection of interviews and photographs recorded by Women's Archive of Wales in 2013-14

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VSE082 Mary Patricia (Pat) Howells, Dunlop, Rhigos, Hirwaun estate;Lastex Yarn and Lactron Threads (LYLT), Rhigos, Hirwaun estate

Pat recalls her working life on the Rhigos Trading Estate and how her father was an engineer at Dunlop's on the estate. She left school at fifteen to work in Dunlop's too where she trimmed mattresses and cushions etc. She handed her pay docket over to her mum. As a family, they lived in houses built for the estate workers. The workers didn't talk, it was work, work, work. Then she moved to Lastex Yarns and Lactron Threads (LYLT) - better prospects. She became a supervisor and then a forewoman. She remembers losing the top of her finger in Dunlop's. As supervisor helped with personal problems e.g. pregnancy. They used lots of French chalk which had to be blown off their overalls every evening. One hour of radio a day. Sports and Social Club - they played netball, and did archery. Also there were plays in the canteen. There was an annual Miss Dunlop's competition. She married a miner and left the factory when she was pregnant.
Dunlop workers in canteen 1950s: speaker, Pat Howells second from left  supervisor.Dunlop beauty competition 1950s  Pat Howells second from rightMiss Dunlop 1957 Contest in Dunlop Canteen. Pat Howells 4 th from rightMiss Dunlop 1957 line-up in Dunlop Canteen. Pat Howells 4 th from left.