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cheekymonkey

Diamonds in brown paper

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when I left school I worked for a year on an yts scheme doing building work but when it finished there wasnt much work around so was forced to take the first job I could and went into the cutlery indusrty.,

I worked for many years along side the real buffer girls and little mesters learning my trade as a silver polisher.

My teacher an cantancerous old bloke called Ben was ols school mapin and webb and taught me well.

Sheffield film co-op decided to make a film about the old buffer girls and came to interview some of the old women I worked with. Then filming began using actresses but actually using hand shots of the real women working (buffing).,

It was good fun and broke up a couple of days of work for us.

We were all treat to a free screening of the film at the studio somewhere under central libary?

anyway to this day ive still got the film I was given on vhs very interesting to those who are interested in old sheffield industries.

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My grandmother was a buffer, the smell of the oil and the sand sticks in my nose to this day. I can see her now in her turban and brown paper apron.

On the occasions that a work piece got picked up by the dolly, some of the cuts she got, strap the cut up with a bit of old rag and carry on working :(

We don't know how easy our working lives are these days.

I would love to see this film if possible.

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yes ive got a MASSIVE scar on the palm of my hand that I was lucky not to lose my hand when my hand got caught on the polishing wheel using rag wrapped round my fingers to stop the knives /forks burning.

unfortunatly for me I could get away with wrapping it up and I had to have several skin grafts.

if I can get it converted to dvd Ill gladly let any one have a copy.

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you would have to mate dont even own a vhs player now.

Show off

lol

I bet you've got one of them new fangled 'tellivision' things

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Show off

lol

I bet you've got one of them new fangled 'tellivision' things

52" plasma black and white mind you!

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YES CHEEKYMONKEY, YOU WOULD NEED PLASMA IF THA CUT THE SEN ON BUFFERS. I USED TO STRAGGLE A GRINDSTONE GRINDING HAND TOOLS AND USED TO CATCH THE KNUCKLE JUST BELOW THE NAIL. DUNNIT TAKE AGES TO HEEL. LOTS WORST THAN CUTS.

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when I left school I worked for a year on an yts scheme doing building work but when it finished there wasnt much work around so was forced to take the first job I could and went into the cutlery indusrty.,

I worked for many years along side the real buffer girls and little mesters learning my trade as a silver polisher.

My teacher an cantancerous old bloke called Ben was ols school mapin and webb and taught me well.

Sheffield film co-op decided to make a film about the old buffer girls and came to interview some of the old women I worked with. Then filming began using actresses but actually using hand shots of the real women working (buffing).,

It was good fun and broke up a couple of days of work for us.

We were all treat to a free screening of the film at the studio somewhere under central libary?

anyway to this day ive still got the film I was given on vhs very interesting to those who are interested in old sheffield industries.

There was also this interesting book produced by Sheffield City Libraries!

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Nice picture of buffer girls from Picture Sheffield.

Edited by madannie77
Picture Sheffield link repaired

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Just noticed that the Sheffield Film Co-op film is on YouTube (in five x 10 minute chunks)

Part 1

Hugh

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my mother was a buffer from 14yrs t0 63yrs when she died with cancer 1988. I grew up in her workshop on school holidays between late 1950s to late 60s, just watched some of that film "girls in brown paper" to be honest it doesn't resemble what I remember at all...Reality was MASSIVE noise...a lot more graft...a lot lot more filth..and the air was contantly blue with the language from the buffers. Memories I cherish. I left school and did several heavy jobs for first 10 yrs upto 25yr old including Brown Baileys forge...Swift Bros, Neepsend and George Clark rolling Mills, Dysons brickyard, Furniture removals, Scaffolding...

I could go on and on but I can say with all honesty when My mother used to ask me to help her at work to lift knife boxes full of blades etc when I was about 15 and I spent hrs watching her work...none of my jobs came close to the 8 hr shifts she did constant piece work...(paid for what you did)...If you could hear me now mother...Big respect!, My Dad was a furnace man too at Firth Vickers and even he looked up to my ma for the work she did. Also including all my mates...She could drink pint for pint with any of us full session...what a lady she was. Bless her and all the other great lasses I grew up to know. If nothing else they taught me what graft was and how to swear! Ha

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Now that Shepherd Wheel is reopened I do the occasional turn as a volunteer. One of the best things is the occasional visitor who used to work in the industry and will tell you about how things were.

One such was an elderly lady who settled herself by the yorkshire range on one of the first days it was opened, and began, "I was a buffer girl you know", and went on to talk about her life. Amazing ladies!

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my mother was a buffer from 14yrs t0 63yrs when she died with cancer 1988. I grew up in her workshop on school holidays between late 1950s to late 60s, just watched some of that film "girls in brown paper" to be honest it doesn't resemble what I remember at all...Reality was MASSIVE noise...a lot more graft...a lot lot more filth..and the air was contantly blue with the language from the buffers. Memories I cherish. I left school and did several heavy jobs for first 10 yrs upto 25yr old including Brown Baileys forge...Swift Bros, Neepsend and George Clark rolling Mills, Dysons brickyard, Furniture removals, Scaffolding...

I could go on and on but I can say with all honesty when My mother used to ask me to help her at work to lift knife boxes full of blades etc when I was about 15 and I spent hrs watching her work...none of my jobs came close to the 8 hr shifts she did constant piece work...(paid for what you did)...If you could hear me now mother...Big respect!, My Dad was a furnace man too at Firth Vickers and even he looked up to my ma for the work she did. Also including all my mates...She could drink pint for pint with any of us full session...what a lady she was. Bless her and all the other great lasses I grew up to know. If nothing else they taught me what graft was and how to swear! Ha

You got steel in your veins popadodge! More Sheffield than I am, even though I worked at the coke ovens at Orgreave which supplied coke to the blast furnaces, thats the nearest I got to the steelworks. In the end, the muck got too much for me. I was fixing a cable to an overhead gantry one day, using a Hilti gun and everytime I fired a stud into the steelwork I got covered in coal dust. In me eyes, down me neck, in me ears. I went home, blew me nose and kept the fire in all night. I think, later that day I heard waves lapping against a distant shore, if you know what I mean. But I'll never forget who I am and why I keep coming back to this site to read stories like yours. Please keep 'em coming, they mean so much to me.

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Newspaper Apron

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