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Oral history interview of Mr and Mrs Irons. Interviewed by Karen Fielder (Sainsbury's Archives) at the interviewees' home. Topics include work at Sainsbury's, previous work, Second World War and rationing at Sainsbury's, training, butchery at Sainsbury's.

Marjory Irons (nee Sullivan) - joined Sainsbury's at Peckham Branch in September 1939. Relief butcher at 18 different branches including Lewisham during Second World War.
William Irons (born 1924) - Worked initially at a corner shop grocer, joined Sainsbury's in 1938. Was at Peckham Rye Lane, moved to Sydenham branch. 1948 handed in notice.

Summary of content:
5_A Mrs Irons, nee Marjory Sullivan. Born in Peckham and joined Peckham Branch in September 1939. William Irons joined Sainsbury's in 1938. Second World War men were called up to services, women brought in. Taught Miss Sullivan. Married 50 years. Mrs Irons was 15 when she started. Left school at 13 due to illness. Mother took her to Rye Lane Branch and applied to Blackfriars. Sainsbury's was the high class shop in Peckham. Manager Mr Hinson (?). William's first job local corner shop grocer. Next job at Lipton's in Bromley Market Square. Describes bad working conditions at Lipton's. Salary 15 shillings a week. Sainsbury's Rye Lane salary £2/5 in 1939. Not allowed to join Trade Union. 1938/39 Christmas week shop opened until 9/10pm, double week pay for overtime due to plucking poultry in the shop. Post 1945 overtime was said to be introduced but never paid. 1948 daughter born and Mr Irons handed in his notice. Sainsbury shops were cold. Rationing. William worked on bacon counter, an ounce and half of bacon rationing introduced 1947. Customers attempts to bribe the staff for more. Wooden drawers under the counter. No need for cash registers as Sainsbury's trusted their staff. Mrs Irons relief butcher, main shop Lewisham. Tea on Saturdays when Manager available for staff grievances. Marjory started on Monday, by Thursday she and William were courting. Spotted by member of staff. Staff members of the same branch were not allowed to "get friendly", so William was moved to Sydenham branch. Training: Marjory started on butter counter with 11 staff. Details role. Proficiency test on each counter. Training at Blackfriars in butchery when meat was rationed. Boning joints. 1 female butcher to a shop. Red apron. Rabbits frozen from Australia. Fair idea of rationing offal and sausages not rationed. Lewisham not many men worked in shop during the Second World War. Rye Lane 32 staff when first opened. Boys trained from Dr Barnado's Homes. Hostels. Not allowed to eat lunch in a cafe. Went to British Home Stores for a cup of tea. Description of burgundy uniform. Male staff uniform. Staff ID numbers visible. Complaints. Peckham Market. No Greggs where a Sainsbury's was. Competition between branches. Marjory was a dispatch rider. Christmas 1938 bad weather.
5_B Cheese. Danish butter. Scales and weights in monetary prices. Monthly stocktakes. Explains short-stocks. Family members worked at Sainsbury's. 5 weeks training at Blackfriars. Shop at Savacentre today. Communication with Head Office. Special Bulletins delivered with deliveries. Delivery of frozen eviscerated turkeys. Rationing. Lee Green Branch provisions only. Own brand products. Brand slogans. Lipton's. Sainsbury's in Scotland. Cold store and refrigeration. Tubby Taylor.

6_A Mr Irons recalls the Sainsbury haircut. Smokers not allowed to smoke during tea breaks. Building next door to Peckham branch was bombed. Lewisham branch. Free breakfast if you started at 7am. Christmas time, staff would sleep in the shop. Early closing Thursday afternoon. Preparation for next day trading.