Roy's story is spread over two pages. For part two, including Spicers "banging in" ceremony click here
SO WHERE do I start? Well my first insight to the printing game was at secondary modern school when the teacher asked if anybody was interested in joining a printing class that was being started. My hand went up basically because a friend of mine had volunteered.
Come the time to leave school and having written to umpteen numbers of printers, in and around London, I was still without any firm offer of work. The one firm that I did get a little bit of joy from was "Ede and Townsend" who were near Finsbury Square I think.
They had said in a reply that there may be a vacancy in the composing room and would let me know at a later date. So off I went to my scout's summer camp hoping that when I came back I would be in the trade. However the letter that was waiting for me gave some excuse which I cannot remember, all I do know is that there was no job for me.
One of my uncles was in the trade; in fact he was an overseer at Spicers in Union Street just over Blackfriars Bridge. My parents did not really want me to ask him to try and get me in at Spicers as they thought "they would always be beholding to him and that he would not let them forget it" in actual fact I never found uncle Fred anything like that, but maybe my parents knew different.
In the end however my parents said go ahead and ask Fred if there was any chance of a vacancy in any department at Spicers. By this time I had written to almost every printer in and around London, so I guess they thought there was no alternative.
Whilst I was waiting for a positive answer from Fred or Spicers, I got a job at a piano factory that my father had worked in before he started working for himself as a French polisher. I was only there for two weeks when I got the necessary letter I had been waiting for, an interview with the personnel officer at Spicers. The interview went well and I think I started work about the following Monday in the printing machine dept.
Click here for Part Two of Roy's story, including Spicers apprentice "banging in" ceremony.