VSW039 Sylvia Poppy Griffiths (Poppy), Flax Factory, Milford Haven
Poppy left school at 14 (1939) and went to work on a farm, then as a potato picker and then she worked in the flax factory during the war (c.1942-8). She was afraid of the big machines. She found she was still moving as if on the conveyor belt when she went home at night. Moved to the seed room. The flax was used to make parachute harnesses. She helped harvest the flax too. She was caught smoking in the toilets – told off because it was dangerous. Huge factory – after being in the seed room, her work was to keep the sheaves on the conveyor belt. Very dirty – dust like fog. Given head-scarves to protect their heads. Accidents – one of boys lost an eye, her friend's arm ripped by the machine. Singing all the war songs. Lifting heavy bales. Highest paid job – dressing and grading the flax and she moved on to this. Went to King’s Lynn to be trained. Helping the war effort. Factory closed 1948. Went off to Berkshire to work in a canteen. Dismissed because she spoke up during a strike. Back home.