People at Work

Riggers splicing a steel wire rope at Cammell Lairds in 1957    No. 150


There's not much evidence of the "Elfin Safety" squad in this photo, apart maybe for the obligatory steel-capped boots. - No protection for the hands from that raw oily steel wire, and the boiler suits are worn to keep clothes clean, - not for personal safety. Most thermo-plastics had still to be invented in 1957, so no orange safety helmets either, - how did they manage to survive!
Of course the fact is the accident rate in factories was very high, with very few of the comforts and rights which modern workers enjoy.
These men had probably worked in the Shipyard since leaving school at the age of 14, forty years before. They would have learned their skills during a long apprenticeship to a man who lived through the reign of Victoria. All their skills would have been handed-on to the next set of apprentices in the 1950s and 1960s, but then the chain was broken with the closing of Cammell Lairds in the 1990s. Can you "Google" how to make a splice in a steel wire rope?