The corner of Marshalls Row
In 1971 when I was 14 years old and living in Upper Lewes Road, I obtained a Saturday job at the butchers shop on the corner of Marshalls Row opposite Woolworths in London Road. I say I ‘obtained’ it, but it was my Dad who forced me into the shop as he thought he would get a joint of meat every weekend out of the leftovers – as it happened he did not. There is still a butchers there today and it hasn’t changed much. I had to go between that shop, and another one around the corner on the approach to the Open Market, I presume they were both owned by the same butcher.
All the horrible jobs for me
My job involved doing all the horrible jobs like clearing up in the back room after all the meat was carved up, and scraping the wooden block with a metal scrubbing device at the end of the day to get rid of the blood. I used to smell horrible and needed a bath when I got home each Saturday. All this for the princely wage of just one pound. I also had to be subject to the usual pranks from the older full timers, having sawdust shoved down my shirt and being shut in the dark freezer for what seemed an eternity but it was probably only fifteen minutes.
The last straw
On my fourth Saturday in the afternoon, the manager told me I had to get together with the other Saturday boy and stand out in the street singing ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ as a treat for the shoppers. That was enough for me; I was out of there and I did not go back. A week later I got a brilliant part-time job at ‘Foodrite’ at the corner of Lewes Road and Franklin Road. It was a lot cleaner and the pay was more; best of all my singing talents were not required!