Page 10 - April 2014
P. 10

Times was printed. I was nervous, in a strange     The summer season soon came to an end and
place, so different from the roomy, clean office      do did my engagement. I had spent a very
I had leŌ, and among silent strangers. Here I      happy Ɵme in Clacton, both at work and in the
had set, from manuscript copy, three or four       social ameniƟes—the theatre, the Opera House
sƟckfulls in brevier, in the style of the parish   in the then new Palace by the sea, moonlight
magazine I had been used to. The case was          bathing, cycle rides round the countryside and
terribly pied. The result was the dirƟest proof I  to my home at weekends, oŌen cycling from
have ever turned out and one which even now        Colchester to Clacton on Monday mornings in
causes a blush of shame to mantle neck and         Ɵme for work at 8 O’clock. Now I had made up
cheeks. However, Mr—spoke kindly to me and         my mind that, as I was always likely to remain
told me to study the style of the paper and to     poor as a compositor, I would in very deed be
take more care, in which the clicker acquiesced.   a journeyman and stay in one job no longer
My engagement was for the summer season.           than about two years, and so see as much of
My nervousness faded. I improved indeed, and       England as I could this way. Motors were just
I was put into the piece 'ship' on the paper,      being introduced, motor buses were few and
where I can truly say I held my own, though I      were always breaking down and temporarily
was no whip.' I certainly became friendly with     abandoned by the road-side, to be jeered at by
the dis-hand,9 and no doubt gained a bob or        us who cycled. Motor coaches had not been
two extra by his kindly help when sorts10 were     thought of. I was very fond of cycling and I
running short, and gratuitous informaƟon           loved the country, then so quiet and peaceful,
when a fat take11 was next on the spike.12 But     with the pubs open all day and a quart, a pot
as I oŌen bought him beer I doubt if I benefited    of two beers cosƟng 5d., bread and cheese
very much. The rate of pay was 6d. per             (real bread and real cheese) always available
thousand ens and my earnings were between          at 2d. for as much as I could eat; and real ham
32s. and 38s. per week.                            sandwiches, or real cold roast beef, and pickles
                                                   in plenty. What more did a comp want on the
Though we had no whips in our 'ship,' on one       road? Only a job in a country town.
occasion when we were extra busy a comp
from London (on holiday, I suspected) was          ٛ¥›Ù›Ä‘›Ý
temporarily engaged. He was paid daily. I have
forgoƩen his name, even if it were a false         1. A causƟc soluƟon made from ashes, used for cleaning
one. He proved to be the quickest comp I had           ink from type.
come across so far, and his celerity filled me
with envy. He was a whip! He was also arƞul.       2. A small prinƟng press.
Too arƞul for us, simple provincials. During his   3. Stereotypes. i.e. casƟngs from original type.
first week with us he did his quota of dissing13    4. A jumbled mixture of type of various sizes and faces.
as we did, but a good deal quicker. However,       5. The tool held by a compositor into which type is set.
one morning he failed to show up. On drawing       6. The charge-hand over a few men.
out the cases in his rack it was found that they   7. A size of type. Now 7-point (72 points = 1 inch).
were all pracƟcally empty. He had whipped up       8. A 'companionship'. i.e. group of men on piece-work.
as many thousand as possible during the last       9. A very fast-working compositor.
day or two, taken his pay and leŌ without doing    10. Pieces.of type.
his quota of dis, thus filching the firm of a nice   11. Copy with very short lines.
liƩle sum.                                         12. A pointed wire document-file.
                                                   13. DistribuƟng used type into case.

                                                                                               ...‘ÊÄã®Äç›Ý ěøã ÃÊÄã«

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