Peter Barker – Western Avenue Pt 2

Initially, it was a bit challenging for me coming into the world of work, because I didn’t know anything about it or the politics.

In addition, coming from a private school, working on the shop floor was a new experience and meeting people from all walks of life was “interesting”. During the skinhead era, many boys that I met at college had to talk tough and use the “f word” in most sentences. There were also several physical disputes . All good practice for my rugby. However, after a few months, I grew to appreciate most of my colleagues and I learnt a lot,  both workwise and socially.

I recall that as soon as it was lunch time, we would get into cars and rush up to a park near Hanger Lane to play football and then rush back again. When in the office, I would play darts at lunch time with the older people.

At the end of my apprenticeship, I worked for Maurice Whitting as an assistant Technical Adviser to the dealers on service issues. He loved the programme, “It ain’t half hot Mum” as he had been in India during the war. He told me that if they wanted to eat fish, they just chucked a grenade into the water.

Just before I left Western Avenue in 1975, I brought a cheap Polaroid camera into work and took a couple of photos of my boss, Maurice Whitting, Technical Manager…

His secretary was called Faye, a nice lady.

…and his/my secretary, Faye … Both are on the phone talking to dealers/customers. Now, I am sorry that I didn’t take better photos.

In 1975, I transferred to Leyland International and, after six months, became a Sales Executive for North East Africa. I was sad to leave many friends at Western Avenue, but I got to do a lot of traveling.

Part 1