There were turntables with half a dozen pre-formed moulds where we placed plastic containers (‘formings’?) to seal the cosmetics. Up to four girls would sit around this turntable and add the contents, and remove the filled plastic package. These machines were possibly called ‘Bubblers’.
Industrial staplers for boxes were very dangerous things to use. You had to hold the empty box flaps closed while pressing your foot on a hydraulic pedal, which shot a staple into the bottom of each box. I managed to get a staple through my thumb one day and was simply given an aspirin and was told to carry on working!
The factory bottled up nail Polish Remover and Meths. I did not work on those lines but you couldn’t help but smell them!
The clocking on/off machine – This was situated in the entrance to the main factory, just past the cloakroom. We would try to get to the machine as fast as we physically could as the queue was long and the buses simply would not wait.
I remember regularly being sent to get sticky labels. There was a machine in a section adjacent to the factory floor at Riverside Works where there was a chap in a wheelchair called Robert who operated the machine and who would make sure you had the correct labels for each job. We’d have to fetch these printed reels of labels and then sit there laboriously sticking them onto endless little grey boxes, all by hand.
I recall we were only allowed to have the radio on (via a tannoy) from 10am until 2pm. Somebody said it was to do with licensing. I vaguely recall it was Radio One, and one of the songs which sticks in my mind is Up The Junction by Squeeze (it seemed to be played almost daily).