Tipping up a portion or the full amount of wages to their mother to cover board and other items was a very common experience for a lot of young people in the postwar period.
Carol Hinde started work in Harvey’s of Coventry in Cox Street just before her fifteenth birthday in 1957. Click the play button below to listen to Carol recall how her and her mum negotiated the arrangement:
Length of audio clip 1 min. 28 secs.
Carol: Well used to give it mum to help with the food. But I can’t remember how much. I think I only earned two pound something a week, two pound five shillings a week, so probably ten shillings in old money we would have probably and I probably had it all back by the end of the week.
Hilary: What do you mean?
Carol: Well I worked, Harvey’s of Coventry was a huge warehouse that supplied the retail, the shops and they sold stationary, grocery, furniture, jewellery, drapery, uhm, so if I saw something there like a new set of saucepans I’d buy them and me mum would obviously give me the money back for them, so I probably wouldn’t pay any board that week. She never expected us to but uhm I can’t, I cannot remember actually saying, “oh here’s your board mum”, but I obviously used to give her something so. Yeah.
Hilary: And how did that start? How did you decided to do that?
Carol: Well, because we went out to work and I think it was expected of you, you gave, you gave your board up but it wasn’t all, I mean I know some girls had to give all their wages up and mum, their mum gave them pocket money back but I never had, I didn’t have that, we just contributed I think when we felt like it [laughing].
Hilary: How did it make you feel?
Carol: Well I was quite happy to do that, yeah, yeah. Because it was just helping mum kind of thing.