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Anne Murdoch


Wartime work for women

Colour photograph of the head and shoulders of Anne Murdoch.
A final handshake between drivers on the Millhouses and Woodseats routes, on the last day that the trams ran on those routes, 1959. Anne is standing on the left hand side. © Carl Rose

I was sixteen years of age when the Second World War broke out. I worked at a printers called Jepson's which was situated on Wellington Street in Sheffield city centre where I camouflaged helmets for the Forces. When I had been painting them for quite a while, the spray from the paint began to affect my health. So I left there and went to work at Strong's Twist Drills. At the age of eighteen, if you were not in a reserved occupation, you had to either go into the Forces or the Land Army, or you got sent away to work. As I worked in a warehouse, I wasn't classed as being in reserve work. So I was sent to a factory in Baldock, Hertfordshire, where we made parts for wireless sets in aircraft.

When I came home to Sheffield, I went to work on the trams as a conductress for the last year of the war. I had intended leaving the job as soon as the war was over but in fact I stayed for seventeen years and I worked on the last tram to run along Abbey Lane in 1959, I think.

Written by Anne Murdoch (born in 1923), Pitsmoor resident and member of Firshill and Pitsmoor Local History Group, January 2006.