freckles

Marathon Knitwear (aka Beales)

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When I first started work it was called Beals and then Marathon Knitwear,does anyone have a photo of the factory frontage ,I am trying to organise my photos into albums and have a few pictures of girls I used to work with and would like one of where we worked.I have had a look round but haven't come up with anything anyone help or point me in the right direction.

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It was on Peveril Street.

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i worked at J Beales & son, Marathon Knitwear, when i was about 17, 1961-3, used to go round the machinists collect the fabric and take it to the warehouse to be sent to dyers, we were eventually transferred to Boulevard Works on Radford boulevard, best memory was working saturday mornings and at about 10.00am having a break going down Peveril ST. to the cafe at the side of Bentinck Rd School and having mug of coffee and sausage cob with tomato, one of the happiest of my memories at that time.

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Our paths might just have crossed,not very often machinists worked saturdays but when we did it was bacon cob for me top half dipped in tomato juice.

I left school in xmas 1962 and started working new year 1963.

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your making my mouth water, can smell the bacon now, remember the Scientific exchange shop across the road, by 1963 was already down at Marathon boulevard works, left about August 1963 to be a conductor on buses.

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Where I worked was on Peveril Street ,I found a photo that shows looking down from Alfreton Road but the factory had been demolished.

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CliffTon #8, yep that is Boulevard Works, looking past the concrete awning and past the iron gate that is where the warehouse was, my workplace

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It was a good firm to work for, works dances and outing where they would hire a train we went to llandudno another year it was Blackpool.Because there was dust from the fabric when machining we would have a chest X-ray every year organised and paid for by the company and transport provided.One winter when the miners strike was on my coal man couldn't get coal and my mum who also work for Marathon asked if I could get some coal slack and bits that couldn't be used in the furnaces as my first baby was only two months old not only did they say yes but they also brought it for me they also did it for a couple of other workers as well.Like to see it happen today.Ah them were the days.

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went on a Blackpool trip by train with Marathon, had a big sign on front of the engine, also had an empty carriage we used to dance all the way to blackpool, arrived at blackpool central, now a car park, i bought a cowboy shirt, red and silver with tassels, bloody silly in those days, but brilliant day out.

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Thats the picture I've seen can just see the factory.

I was on that Blackpool trip !

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Freckles wonder if you knew my mum, she also worked for years for Beales, her name was Grace Allen, recognised easily by the 4 inch boot she wore on her left leg, had her knee removed in the 1920s, she was an overlocker/lockstitcher.

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Cant seem to place her ,I was a flatlocker so probably in a different room.

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Freckles, you are quite right. In it's day Marathon was a good place to work. The trips were great too. Went to Scarborough once, Blackpool, where I went to see Cliff Richards and The Shadows, London, can't remember the others. The Christmas dance, and the Miss Marathon contest equally memorable. I remember some of the bosses went to the dances, especially the Littlefairs who put in an appearance, and Ken Varnam. Worked warehouse, and yarn stores mostly, 1960-1963

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The old factory is now student accomodation. Opposite was Players factory. The factory covered five floors, and an underground yarn store to supply the knitting room on the ground floor. During it's last years of production it was taken over by Bentwoods, a not very popular move at all. So many skilled workers displaced. Made underwear and outerwear for M&S mainly, but also other chain stores. Where did all the workers end up?

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I left after a year of Bentwood, having been at Marathon since 1960, Boulevard works. knew a lot of people from those days, any more info?

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My B I L was electrician at the Boulevard works from leaving school,I think he's retired now,all his working life for the same company great achievement

 

Rog

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I worked at Boulevard works from 1977 to 1980.  In the department most of you loved to hate - Work Study.  I had a spell at Harvester Works in St Annes and also went to the factory down near Swansea a few times.

 

Got made redundant along with 900 others, early 1980.  Saddest day of my life other than when my parents died. Loved working there with a great team.  When alcohol tax went up, we all started making our own wine and beer.

 

Cursed M & S ever since, as they never allowed the company to make enough profit to invest in new technology, to improve efficiency.  Still boycott M & S whenever I return to the UK, as ha I stayed in the UK, I would have been made redundant a second time - another M & S supplier. Not funny with a mortgage and  a newborn baby. 

 

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