Oral History Interviews

Disability and free time in the 50s

Mr John Steadman left school at 14 in the mid 50s. He’d had meningitis and was unconscious for a year and this had put him back at school. He ended up going to several different schools. When he left school he went to the Labour exchange and they found him a job offer at a rubber stamp company, who he ended up working for 14 years. He come to Dorset as his parents used to have their holidays in West Bexington.

When his dad retired from the police force he’d invested in the only shop in West Bexington. His dad also joined the Fire Brigade, who he worked for seven years. Their new neighbour turned out to be the manager of Tesco’s and he offered John a job there, which he then worked at for the next 15 years.

After retiring at Tesco’s, John was offered a job in the hospital. At the hospital he was told about disability club that was opening which he has helped out at. He was also in the British Red Cross as well.

He liked to draw and write letters to the family. And started writing his life story when he was young. He also used to really like making model aeroplanes.

We move on to talk about Sunday school where they’d sang and said prayers for people.

We talks about working at the rubber stamp company in London, where one day he lost the top of this finger on a machine. He got this job through the Labour exchange.

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