Chapter 17: Wedding Day

Well, Gill Smith and I got married on the 11th   of Feb 1967. At the church in Park North Swindon.  It was a wedding for just family and friends.  Reggie came down from London.

So there were my two best friends at my wedding. Eric and Reggie. I had Dave as the best man. I should of have had Reggie or Eric, I could kick myself for that. But it was what it was. It still burns me all these years later.  Dave was a good guy but i had known Reggie since I was 5 and Eric since just after coming to Swindon

In the photo below that’s me on the right of the picture. Just behind me is Eric my shagging partner. And next to Eric in the Background is Reggie my best friend from grade one. On my right is Best Man Dave another Swindon guy that I hung out with. Eric or Reggie should of have been in Dave’s spot. 

*Note, this Dave is not Dave Reynolds.

This the only picture that I have of the three of them. Just lucky they are all in the same shot.

Gill and I  had found a flat in an old building just off Regent  Street down the bottom of town.

Prior to getting married I put a lot of work into cleaning painting and staining the floors in the flat because at the time. Or any time for that matter we did not have a lot of money. Any money we did have went towards the wedding. Gills’ parents Jim and Phyllis seemed to be happy. Their last daughter was off their hands. I got along very well with Jim and Phyllis. They were nice folk

Jim would get a bit grumpy if he didn’t have his pint or two at his local man’s club.. occasionally I would go with Jim to his club.  they all seemed to play dominos a lot there,  If they were short a man they would ask me to play. Now dominoes is not cribbage. They guys were pros at dominos so if I ever fucked up I would get dirty looks.

The flat as I said was down the bottom end of  Swindon. It was next door to a pub and above dry cleaners.  A few days after we got married I was downtown Swindon and I bumped into of all people. Jackie.  Jackie Clissold. We stood in the street there. kinda holding hands like idiots. I made arrangements to see her somewhere. I don’t remember where. But after we parted on the street it hit me. I am a married man now and a baby on the way. I can’t carry on like I had when I was single. 

 So that was the last time that I saw Jackie. Which in the grand scheme of things, was best all around. 

The flat turned out to be a disaster as we discovered that when the lights went out at night our came the cockroaches. Hundreds of them. We did not know what they were at first. But soon realized that they were in fact cockroaches.. When the lights were switched on they would run to where ever they came out off.

This was not a healthy situation. We got on the Swindon Council about getting a flat. As soon as the baby was born or shortly after we moved out. We were given a house 40 Dulverton Ave, Park North Swindon by the Swindon Council  It was about two blocks from my mum and dads place at 31, Buckland Close  .

 

We didn’t have much in the way of material things at first. The baby boy was called Martyn born on the 7th of August 1966.. I liked the name, Martyn. I thought of Martin Ashby and what a nice young man he was. But I wanted it spelt with a “ Y “ as my name Bryan was spelt with a ‘ Y “ . At the time I thought that it could be a family trend, using a “ Y ‘ to spell the first name. 

 I did not want Martyn baptized, I thought that if he or any future kids wanted to be baptized when they were older it would be up to them. I didn’t have a problem with that at all. But as I said at the beginning ” Mumbo Jumbo ”

 Gill said that she wanted more than one child. So I went along with it thinking that she would not get pregnant right away. But low and behold, we had a baby girl the following year. Nov 14th 1968. Angela Gillian Rogers.

In this period of time, Eric landed up getting married. He married a girl named Mitch. I think that Mitch came from Wroughton. But I could be wrong on that. She was built like Mary and Kate. I can picture her face now. But here’s the thing. ( that’s what they say nowadays )

Eric was seeing two girls at the same time. Or to put it bluntly, he was banging at least these two at the same time. I remember correctly. Maybe he was banging more than these two who knows.  A standing prick has no conscience.

 Even I didn’t know which one he was going to get hitched to. For the life of me, I canny remember the name of the other girl. It could have very well of having been Mary from the Masons Arms. But I don’t think so. This girl was well built pretty but with a slightly hawkish face.

  One  Saturday morning we were at the in-law’s place. I was sitting on the couch reading one of the national papers, the Daily Mirror. . There in the ads. Was a small ad. For tool and die makers wanted in Canada. They wanted somebody with automotive experience. I said to Gill.

“ How would you like to go and live in Canada? “ she said,

“Sure.”

Next thing I know we were off to London to meet a guy named Ernie Garlicks. Garlicks worked for Fabricated Metals in Oshawa. Ontario. Canada. After about a two-minute interview.  Garlic’s said when can you start, I said properly at the end of November. which turned out to be the case. I couldn’t come any sooner because Angela was about to be born. He was good with that.

I arrived in Toronto on the 28th of November 1968.

I was met by friends of Phyllis my mother in law, Peter and Mary. They took me in their  VW beetle car to where they lived in Toronto on 2nd Ave of off the Lakeshore. I stayed with them a few days then Peter took me to Oshawa and to a lodging house where Peter had once stayed. The house was owned and ran by Mrs Eddie. I got a room up in the attic.( There I stayed for about two months until I saved enough money so we could get an apartment)

Peter then took me to the place where I was going to work, Fabricated Metals.  A small hole in the wall dies place. You could of have thrown the whole place in the corner of the tool room at Pressed Steel Fischer and lost it. That’s how big the place was.

Now get this. The first morning that I walked into Fabricated, of all the people I bumped into was Danny Ridley who had been working at Pressed  Steel Fisher in Swindon.  Danny had been working in the smaller tool room there that’s where they did all the die repairs. I had been working in the larger tool room where they built the dies.

Fabricated metals was a small tool and die shop with two or three presses.  we built small to medium size dies.

I stayed at Fabricated Metals .for about a year or so. Then I moved on.

I  went to Toronto was interviewed for a job in Detroit at  Republic Tool and Die. the biggest independent Tool and Die shop in the US.

The guy that interviewed me was from Birmingham in England. After a few minutes of chatting, He said . ” When can you start? ”

I told him an estimated start date and he was happy.

Before you knew it we were on our way to Detroit, and I was off to work at this huge tool room on Van Born Road Michigan.

Once in Detroit, we rented a  corner of a fourplex in Dearborn just off Dearborn Avenue.

As I already said I was to be working for one of the largest tool and die shops in America It was as tool rooms go a pretty big place. the dies we were working on we were finishing up. I recall  one die being a large Cadillac die..

There were a few things that I still  remember from Republic. There were a few guys from England working there. We were the only ones that appeared to do any work. The Americans that worked there were extremely lazy. A few months before I started there at Republic there was a number of Brazilians hired on to work there. They were from  VW in Brazil.

So, Republic ran a two-shift system. Days and Afternoons, the Brazilians that were hired on most of them were on one shift and there was just one that was put on the opposite shift than the rest of them. it did not take long for all those Brazilians to start to visit the wife of the lone guy on the opposite shift to them. So, he found out that they were all banging his wife. On finding that out and went into work, pulled out a gun. and started chasing his so-called buddies that were fucking his wife around the presses, and the machinery, and firing his gun as he ran. When I was at Republic I don’t recall seeing any Brazilians there. So I guess he scared them off.

I was only there for a few months when I along with other tool and die, makers, I was laid off.  It goes without saying that if I knew that I was going to be working for only a few months I would not have gone to Detroit in the first place.

Right away after getting the heave-ho at Republic, I went to General Motors and I was hired on there. It was at G. M.’s spring and bumper plant, in Livonia, Michigan. I was happy because as long as GM was making vehicles I would have a job. Well, that was my thinking at the time anyhow.

I was only at General Motors for a short time when directly west of Detroit we found a plot of land on the side of a lake. A lake called  Silver Lake. There on Silver Lake, I got a builder to build us a raised bungalow.

Shortly after that G. M. was struck by the UAW. strikes in this part of the world were a regular occurrence. Ever since we were in the States it seemed like it was one thing after another…

At that time I received strike pay from the Union and food stamps.  Then we moved into the new house on Silver Lake. and because we moved to another district we were given another load of food stamps we had so many I didn’t know what to do with them. We were not about to become hungry any time soon.

At the end of Nov 1970 beginning of December, the strike at  G.M. was over and we went back to work. I was only back at G.M. for a few days when my boss John a real nice fellow came directly up to me and told me that I was going to be laid off. He didn’t have to tell me that but I guess that he knew that I was in the US on my own.

Having heard that from him I phoned Gill and told her that I had been Laid off. Being as I had been off work and on strike, for 3 months I knew that there were no jobs available. At that time it was not for the want of looking. So, I did not want to be left destitute in the US so I told Gill to phone Detroit airport and book us 4 seats back to England. I called her back about an hour later and she said that there were no vacant seats as it was Christmas time and the planes were all booked up.

So I said call Toronto and get us four seats from there. I called her back and she said we were o.k..The builder was good enough to give us back our deposit so we were OK for  money. So around the 16th of Dec, we drove up to Toronto, left the car at the airport boarded our plane and flew home to England.

I would guess that we took a train to Swindon from Heathrow Airport. So we spent six weeks at Gills parents place. Then we spent six weeks with my parents. Meanwhile, I had managed to get a job in Marlborough at a company called Avco Engineering. Marlborough was 12 miles from  Swindon and the company laid on a bus from Swindon To Marlborough and back again every day.

One good thing about working at Avco was the fact that my friend Eric Heaton, Yes Eric from our shagging days worked there. He was the foreman on nightshift.  Now Eric was married and had a family little Eric and I can’t remember if he had any more kids. That was just a lucky coincidence that I landed working in the same place as Eric. Of all the places that he could have been, he was at Avco.

While I was working at Avco I bought a brand new semi-detached brick house on the Nythe Estates in Swindon.  Eric lived not too far away in a house with Mitch his wife.

living next to Eric there was an RAF pilot and his wife. I think that they had one or two kids. Well, she was really built and pretty too boot. Whenever I was over Eric’s she would pop up with her big breasts and short skirt.  I always remember her boobs always looked like they were straining to get out of her bra. It was tempting, I guess she could feel that I would love to hit on her. But I had unfortunately reformed since I had got married. That is to say, I found her a very tempting proposition. But it was a” No go”.

Meanwhile, while I was working at Avco. I hated the fucking foreman there. Brian Eastwood. I would be working on a surface grinder making these close tolerance gauges. They had to be machined to a tenth of thousands of an inch. Eastwood would come by and say to me.

‘” Hey Bryan how many have you done today /”

I would count off six or whatever it was, that prick would then say.

” Joe Blow did twelve in the same time last week.”

I eventually told Eric and he said.

“Ignore that prick Bryan, he is taking motivation courses at Swindon College.

So he is practising what he learnt at the College on you.  Just fucking ignore him.”

So next time Eastwood came by with his bullshit speal about somebody being fast  I said “good for him! ”

After a while, he backed off and left me alone. He realized that I had his number.

After I was at  Avco for a couple of years A job opening became vacant. At all places Linton and Hurst, at Stratton St. Margaret. They wanted somebody in the tool room. So I applied for and got the job. Now I was a far better tool and die, maker, than when I first left there. I can’t remember if I was on steady afternoons or two weeks about.

They had a new guy in charge of the tool room. The old portly gent  Hollingsworth was long gone. In his place, there was a nice guy, a Canadian in charge of the tool room, Alex.

Before I leave Avco I must relate this story. There was an overweight middle-aged guy in the Avco tool room.  George Pavitt was his name. He lived at home with Mummy. He was always buying and selling cars and motorbikes. he drove to work depending on the day, a Morris whatever and a three-wheeler car. which had one wheel in the front and two at the back.

Well, this particular day he took his three-wheeler car to work. The entrance to Avco was down a long lane beside the local football pitch. So the local engineers had a problem with water delivery. So they dug during the day a trench across the lane, and so that people could get up and down the laneway, they put planks across the trench. the planks were for the car wheels.

But George Pavitt forgot that he was driving his three-wheeler car… So he left work along with everybody else drove up the lane, forgetting that he was in his three-wheeler. Drove across the planks, but there was no plank for his wheel in the front. and the car nosedive into the ditch, to the great delight of the rest of the guys coming out of the plant and going home. they all managed to drive around him and fuck off home.

I had enough of Avco and got a job at Linton and Hurst again. I didn’t have to drag my arse to Marlborough any more. Just one thing more, the day I was leaving Avco up turns Danny Ridley. I hadn’t seen him since Fabricated Metals. He looked great we didn’t get to talk too much. I never have seen him since.

 

So  I returned to Linton and Hurst once again. but now my skills as a tool and diemaker had improved dramatically and I was able to handle the job no problem.

This time around don,t remember too much. And after about 6 months I was ready to return to Canada. Low and behold there was a job advertised .so  I applied. As before I went up to London and met a guy named George who hired me. . his Company was in Toronto and was based in Etobicoke. the details have faded into the depth of time

 

Chapter 17 A

 

  It was the end of September 1975, I had been working the night shift at Omark in Guelph Ontario, which is 20 minutes up the road from where I live in Cambridge. I don’t remember how I found out about Butlers hiring tool and die makers but here I was early in the morning filling out my application form for employment as a tool and die, makeI was sitting in the personnel office waiting room, waiting to be interviewed by the tool room foreman. In front of me, there was a big Swedish looking guy waiting for a job interview. Evy Robbins the personal assistant introduced the “ Big Swede “to another big guy that came into the personnel office. He was dressed in dark blue working clothes and evidently was the tool room foreman.

The two big guys returned after a good half an hour. and Blue Pants and shirt said to the big Swede Ok we, ll let you know.

I could see that the Swede could see the job sliding away from him. so he fumbled in his coat pocket and produced a ream of papers. Which he got Blue Pants and Shirt to have a look at. He glanced at them quickly and gave them back to the Sweed and said once again. ‘

“O.k. we’ll let you know. !” With that, the Swede left.

 “ Wib, “ said Evy Robbins to Blue shirt and pants  “ This is Bryan Rogers “

 Wib shook  ( While I’m thinking “Wib” what kind of fucking name is that) and took a quick glance at my application form. He then took me out into the Front Press shop which was running full   tilt. With presses going up and down all around me.                                                                         

Wib then asked me if I had ever worked on dies like that were running in the presses. I was more than happy to tell him that I had. ( The kind of dies that were running in these presses I had worked on at Press Steel Fisher, back home in England and also at the Budd Automotive plant up the road in Kitchener here in Ontario. I had also worked on similar dies for General Motors in Livonia in Michigan USA). And I had built big Automotive dies in the biggest tool and die shop in the USA. In 1970. 

     We were back in the office in less than 5 minutes and Wib turned to me and said

“ When can you start ?”

I told him   “ Next Monday “ ( Yes ! I was in ! )

 An  Electrician that was looking for a job was also hired on.

 He and I then sat around for a while, waiting for Bernie Black the Personnel Manager to interview us and for him to go over “ Stuff “ with the both of us. The electricians’ name was Mac Simner and he could talk under fucking water. I had been up all night and all I wanted to do was to get the hell out of there. It would be many hours later before I was able to leave and go home to bed.

     ( Many years later Mac was caught trying to smuggle out of the plant an electrical extension cord wrapped around his waist and under his shirt. He was fired.)

 I started on days the following Monday at Butler Metals on Eagle Street. following my interview with Wib. I was number 13 on the toolroom Seniority list. It would be many years later that I would make it to the top of the list to number one. The Senior Tool and Die Maker

 

HERE

 

Gill and the kids were in England and things didn’t look too good for us. At that time Butlers owned two plants the one on Eagle Street and an older plant on Dolph Street which was situated three blocks 1975. from the Eagle Street Plant. The Dolph Street Plant was at least 100 years old. It was one story with the walls being built of heavy fieldstone. The roof was held up with heavy wooden beams. On some of these beams, there were charcoal remains of a fire in the mid-forties. Running beside the plant was a railway track and besides that a lumber yard.

     Both plants had tool rooms the larger toolroom being in the Dolph Street Plant. Wib ( The Moose ) was the tool room foreman and John Clark  ( Knobby )was the assistant foreman. The toolmakers were expected to transport tools between the two plants in their own vehicles. For transporting the tooling from one plant to the other we were paid 60 cents a trip.

  A week before I was hired on a toolmaker Ator Sarkisoff had been hired on. Ator was about thirty of slim build average height and we thought of Arabian descent.  His skin was darkish with vivid dark eyes jet black hair and a large flattish nose. And, he always had a smile on his face. Another toolmaker hired the same time as Ator was Bill Shcebler who was Austrian born. Bill was about five foot five , slightly on the portly side and tending to be balding. Bill was known to John Clark the toolroom assistant foreman because John knew Bills brother, who owed his own tool and die shop.  John also knew that because Bill was a different kind of cat, and that Wib would not keep him on once he found out that Bill was not the greatest tool and diemaker and when he did Bill would not get in his 45-day seniority.

 So every time Wib was in the same plant as Bill, John would find some reason  or other to send Bill to the other plant. ! ( At the time nobody knew what John was up to , he keep what he knew about Bill under wraps.) This scheme of Johns worked so well that Bill got his 45-day Seniority in. This “ Little Deal “ that John liked to call things was a secret not only kept from Wib, but everybody else in the tool-room as well.

 One day shortly after Bill had obtained his Seniority. I was working in the Dolph Street Plant    I heard loud voices across the other side of the tool room. It was Wib and Hank Dykhausen the union skilled trade rep, going at “ It “. It would appear that Wib had found out  (too Late ) that Bill was on another planet, and he was yelling at Hank for not telling him that Bill was a few bricks short of a load.! “ Hank was yelling back at Wib 

     “ It’s not my Fault Wilkins, he,s in the fucking Union now and there’s fuck all you can do about it.!”

     Wib calmed down a bit after he realized that he was screwed!  He then told Hank that beings as he only had a small department that they couldn’t afford to have a guy around that the department would have to carry. So they came to an agreement that if anybody else got hired on that was “ A little different “  then Hank would let Wib know. . This made a lot of sense because it would be easier on Hank as well.

                    Butler Metals 1975 plus.

    Over the years after I left school which as I have said was 16. I would like to think that I had some sort of English class character upbringing. Then in around 1975 when I started work at Butler Metals. then my  attitude on my character was assassinated and was to be changed….. For 1975.evermore.The “ Shop Language “ was very crude and sometimes to the point of being really disgusting. But it was what it was and don’t kid yourself, some of the women were as bad as the men. I was working with lots of Newfies and Portuguese.A lot of them were rough and ready characters. There I would say, is where there was a big change to my proper English ways, which were assaulted by what went on in the factory floor. The factory floor environment in which I worked was dirty, very noisy to say the least and sometimes, a dangerous environment.

      I was voted in as union President and had to deal with these great characters more and more. Some of them, until I got to know them scared the shit out of me. They were basically a great group of fun guys.  I will be the first to admit that more than a few were a little quirky, to say the least.   day in and day out, As a worker and as the union president. I guess that would affect anybody if you were to be exposed to the noise the dirt and all my fellow workers for twenty-seven years because that’s how long I was at Butlers. I would like to point out here that these people my co-workers really seemed to 1977. like me. Maybe it was because I was different from the rest of the crowd. I had never encountered Newfies before Butlers and it really took a while to cotton on to how their mind works. Beer for sure utmost in their mind. Along with pussy.

 One time over that period of time, that year we were one of General motors top ten suppliers and Jim Robinson the President of Butler Metals had to go to  the Park Lane Hotel in Park Lane in London England  to get the award . Then,  a year shortly thereafter we were on G.M.’s  “ shit list.”  

In the tool room, even though it was a serious matter, we thought that it was uproariously funny. And any time that it was mentioned you would hear big rounds of uproarious laughter. 

“ Yes, from number one top producer to number one on the G.M.’shit list, that’s fucking hilarious ! “

Jim Robinson the Butler President was a nice guy, was liked by the hourly employees. When I was the local union president, there would be an occasion when we took one of the retiring employees to lunch.  The Company would foot the bill.  The employee was allowed to go to lunch wherever they wanted and could take with him or her anybody they wanted. Prior to leaving the plant . there would be a Union and Company presentation. Of a gold watch or a piece of art and the retirees, first pension cheque was presented.  This employee wanted to go to the Knotty Pine restaurant in Preston Cambridge. 

The retiree was the company janitor, Art Robinson, who just so happened to be the father of Jim  Robinson the Company President. On these retirement jaunts, Jim would be down to earth when it came to eating. A Hamburger and a beer.  Me I ordered surf and turf on this particular occasion.  Jim said “ Bryan what are you eating there . ?” I replied only surf and turf Jim.

 Jim Robinson’s word was golden. If we ever went out on a wild cat strike, we would not go back in unless Jim said that there would not be any repercussions to anybody. The word of any manager would not be taken only Jim Robinson’s

  Around this time I was alone. Gill was in England for good and as I said alone. I used to travel back and forth to work. From Cambridge to Orton. It was a 35 min or so run. Well, halfway to the house. There was a gas station on Hwy 24 . In the summertime, There was this gorgeous looking girl serving gas. And whenever she was on the pumps there was a lineup. Maybe it was because she would wear a tank top. And she had “ Big ones ‘ underneath to hold it up.

 Occasionally I would pull in for gas. But I would have a problem talking to her as she attracted so many customers. Well, one evening I stopped off for gas and I was the only one there. As she was filling my tank she noticed the German Shepard dog Club of Canada decal on my windscreen.

   So, she asked me if I had German Shepard dogs, I told her that I did and that I had a small kennel. She told me that she had a dog it was half German Shepard. So I said that my ones were pedigree show dogs. Then I asked her if she would like to see them she said she would. And that the next afternoon after we had both finished work, I would take her to see the dogs. I would lead  the way, and she would follow me    Next day at work every time I thought about her I would start to  get a boner on. She had told me that her name was Lynn . The day wore on and finally it was time to clock out and get onto Hwy 24 to the gas station . When I got there . Lynn was waiting for me . So she followed me to Orton about a half an hour run.

When we arrived at the house, I grabbed us two beers and then  I showed her around.    I had  three adult Shepards and the four pups. Which she loved. I then took her into the house and we had another beer. We were sitting talking and I found out that  her full name was  Lynn Foster and she was 18 years old   She was a student at University of Guelph. And her family lived in Kingston. I casually asked her if she was on the pill , she nodded a yes , 

    After that I took her into the bedroom She was a very, very  pretty girl almost as tall as me with a great body. She had a beautiful head of jet black long wavy hair down past her shoulders.

 It didn’t take too long to get her tank top of . Which I had been dying to do for months . She had beautiful  big breasts all right but small nipples . It wasn’t too long before we were both stripped of  and I was admiring her body with my eyes hands and lips. She had jet black crinkly hair on her cunt which I proceeded to delve into with my tongue  and followed that up with some serious clit sucking .

It did not take much before she was screaming the fucking place down. I put my arms under her hips and reached up to and hung on to those beautiful breasts and I was in heaven. She absolutely loved me doing all that shit, and she eventually rewarded me with a  blow job and then we followed up with some serious fucking.   Wow !  Yes, Lynn Foster.

      We saw each other off and on over a period of about 6 months or so . Then she went back to Kingston to be seen never again. I guess that she never finished  at the university.

    One thing of note about Lynn was this. 

     She had a gorgeous little English sports car. An MG Midget,  I asked her how she  got it. She said that she was dating this boy who had it sitting in his barn, and he gave it to her . She then said she was going out with a car mechanic so he rebuilt the engine for her . And other guys that she dated worked on the electronics for her and other stuff. Like somebody fixed up the seats and finally a guy that she was dating painted the car for her a metallic bronze ..What I got out of all that was, that she fucked all these guys and landed up with a great little car. Free.

 Nice work if you can get it. One other thing about Lynn was this . a few years down the road . I was taking a photography course at Conestoga College.  And I took in some slides  of Lynn and showed them on the screen. There was more than a few wows when they saw her up there.  Yes she was a very pretty girl indeed, real honey,……….With Big Tits!

      . A short while before I started work at Butlers. Wib had a couple of Pakistanis working for him in the tool room in Dolph street. They were working a steady afternoon shift which is known as the ‘ B “ shift, and Wib evidently fired one of them, I don’t know why , but he did.So the other Pakistani toolmaker was upset about his friend being fired . So he asked Wib, “ When are you going to fire me ? “  Wib never missed a beat and said “ Right now ! “ 

By  firing the two Pakistanis ,it caused Wib to have to  start rotating shifts in the Dolph Street Plant   for all  tool room personnel . This was because  nobody wanted to work there full time on the afternoon “ B “ shift. So everybody had to take there turn on B shift on rotation. 

       Wib never had any supervision on “ B “ shift in the Dolph Street plant . There was no production going on there either. But being the trusting soul that he was , Wib would make like he was leaving the plant for the evening by going out the front door. He would then creep round to the back of the plant and come into the tool room the back way, hoping upon hope to catch someone “ Fucking The Dog “

      Another one of Wibs rouses  was to leave the building then sneak around to the side of the building and peak through the tool room window.. He could be expected to do this at anytime.. On dark nights.  he would sit across the road in the parking lot in his beat up old van .  ( We called it the Moose Mobile. )  and watch the tool room through the windows. But the guys knew what he was up to and all looked busy in front of the windows util Wib got tired of watching and fucked off home.

     The Moose Mobil was 40% grren and 60% brown the green being paint and the brown being rust.Wibs nickname was “ The Moose “ so hence “ The Moose Mobile “

     The 60 cents travel between the plants could be quite lucrative . But one time we nearly lost this little bonus. In one week Ator claimed about a 100 trips back and forth between the two plants. If that was the case there would be little time between the trips to do any work of any kind. Wib went bananas and reamed out Ator  serverly. But Ator did not  give a dame about Wib. As a matter of fact  he was a thorn in Wibs side for many years.

     Every year Ator would take of to Mexico for his two week vacation . as he would be leaving work on the Friday we would wish him happy holidays and we would say see you  a month or so. Why , because his vacation would always be a month long sometimes longer. How did Ator get away with that shit without getting fired . Answer, he would produce a phoney doctors note from some quack doctor in Mexico saying that he could not travel as had a bad case of Berry Berry or the the Monty Zoomers Revenge, so Ator was unable to get onto a plane . 

      One time Ator came back from Mexico  with a shit load of gold coins. Shortly there after the price of gold skyrocketed so Ator sold the coins and with the proceeds took of to France with his girlfriend Lydia.  But at that time we  in the tool room had no idea what happened to Ator , we were thinking that he had quit without telling anybody. But then he turns up for work one day all smiles , and of course tanned and looking healthy. And of course, he had his customary doctors note. Wib went Ape Shit and suspended him, for a month.

     But it was not long before the Union got Ator his job back, plus back pay for the time he was on suspension, plus back pay for the time he was supposed to be of sick ! He certainly was one lucky Mother. Another tool and die maker  Bill Hatton said “ If that fucking Arab gets his job back, I’m going to quit!” and true to his word  he did.

Meanwhile, we welcomed Ator back  to the tool room with open arms , shaking his hand and patting him on the back. Ator lapped up all this attention like a cat laps up cream. He was standing in the middle of the tool room laughing his head off. Wib was standing by the door to the tool room ready to burst a fucking blood vessel.

Here is some incite into what went on in an Auto Plant ( Butler Metals ) over my 27 years there.

   The first few years that I was at Butlers,at   Christmas  time  every employee  got a Snider’s  Gift package from the Company. It was filled with a ham, cheeses chocolate , you get the idea. After one of these  Christmases there was a complaint  from an employee stating that he was insulted that he had been given pork . 

O.K.     So the following Christmas the company gave out Gift certificates to the local mall.  This time somebody complained , they said that they did not shop at that Mall . 

     So the following Christmas , you got it .. Fuck All. I didn’t blame Butlers . The people that didn’t want the Christmas gift all they had to do was give it to somebody else who could use it, Instead  , everybody got screwed over.

   Shortly after I had been voted in as Local Union President I had to go and speak at Cambridge Council something to do with the Japanese cars at the time being allowed into Canada and not having to pay any tariffs. But at the other end in, Japan . North American cars had a tariff put on them. So what is good for the Goose ….There was a request from the union head office in Toronto  that all locals do this at each of there local Councils So I went to Cambridge City Council Meeting to speak up on this subject. Surprise , surprise the president from the Budd Company in Kitchener he turned up to speak to Cambridge Council. So you say big hairy deal . Yes it would of have been just that . But the president of the Budd co. was none other than Hugh Sloan, Yes the same Hugh Sloan that was involved with the Watergate Scandal in the U. S.

     Sloan was once treasurer of Richard Nixon Committee to re-elect the President. Sloan decided not to work for a corrupt White House moved to Canada and took out Canadian Citizenship. He took the job of president of Budd Canada and turned it around, into a profitable company.  Like me he was speaking to the Cambridge City Council. I would say that he was probably the most famous man I had ever met. There was just us two  so I was able to chat with him. I don’t remember if I realized how famous he was or not but he was a pleasant fellow  to talk to.

Back in the day . Tricky Dicky and the Watergate scandal was big potatoes.If you know anything about Politics , it forced President Nixon to resign.

    Meanwhile I cannot quite remember the year . But a friend of mine Gerty Phillip from the front Butler office , she used to work in the evenings at a dance hall come restaurant called LuLu’s.

This place was on the boarder of Kitchener and Cambridge. This is the place that all the top stars of the day put on a show. I saw Roy Orbison there. and other famous groups. Well getting back to Gertie I am making an assumption the she met Jan and Dean there at Lulu’s and she landed up getting married to Jan. I spoke to her once as she was coming out of a Cambridge squash club  She looked wonderful . I remember that she was wearing this fabulous fur . I said Gertie what a nice coat . She said yes her friend had bought it for her. But she would tell me no more. The rest as they say is history.

       As President of the local in the late 70’s and early 80’s I had to run the Legal  strikes. We only went out once on a legal strike. But we had lots of wild Cat strikes ( Illegal Ones. )

   The once that we were on strike I was sitting in our local union office scheduling the strike roster. All you had to do was once a week  hang out  on a picket line for 6 hours.  The 6 hour thing was two plants so many picketers at each plant per hour divide what ever that number was into total amount of workers. Every body was happy with 6 hours per week . once you were given a time slot , if you wanted to change it , it was up to you to change with somebody else.

      So I called up one of our female union members to tell her when she was on strike duty . Her husband answered and I told him that his wife was scheduled to go on the picket line the next day. He said how can that be. She is scheduled on the picket line now, as we speak.   Right away , I said,

“ Let me check here.” I rustled some papers and then I said your right,t I’m sorry I troubled  you  I got my lines mixed up here.and hung up.  I never told her I just let it slide, she was obviously fucking around on him.

     Then there was the two picketers scheduled for picket duty over at our smaller plant on Dolph Street. There outside the plant  we had a small English style Caravan which we used as shelter for inclement weather for the picketers. One morning I was told that a union member arrived  a little bit early  at the parking lot for to do his 6 hour stint . He said the caravan was rocking like no tomorrow . There was two picketers inside one man and one woman. Enough said.

   Every summer at Butlers there was a golf tournament .   One year  I decided to join in for the fun of it and for a day out. Every year the golf tournament was at a different golf course. So one day we’re sitting around the lunch tables  at Butlers, eating lunch and I happened to mention that how great it was that every year the golf event was at a different golf course . With that, there was a raw of laughter from everybody within earshot. So I says what’s so funny. They all came back with. We have a different golf course every year because we get banned from each one we play at. Why? I asked, evidently no matter what golf course we were booked in at there was always a problem. 

Golf carts being over turned . Golf carts smashing into trees by drunken drivers. Golf carts hitting each other head-on. Disorderly conduct towards other golfers …. The list went on  and on!

Oyear we were at the Grand Valley Golf course. The foursome that I was with had finished the front 9 holes and were back at the club house. I went into the men’s urinals for a wiz. As I opened the door it was like a party going on. So  I asked .

“What the fuck’s going on?”

The lads then stood aside and there he was John Boomer from the maintenance department. Standing there in his  undies  Soaked to the skin. Obviously very drunk. Gord  Moffit. Boomers golfing partner  tells me the story .

      It seems that Boomer ( as he was called ) on the ninth hole hit his ball into a section of the course that was very, very marshy and  very boggy.  So a  very drunk Boomer asks to borrow a telescopic ball retriever .  ( Read , a stick with a wire ring on the end. So there he was leaning into this boggy section trying to snare his golf ball. When , much to everybody’s delight Boomer lost his balance and fell over face first into this fucking bog. He was so drunk and it was so boggy he couldn’t stand up to get out .

Any body who was there was laughing so hard as Boomer was covered from head to foot in thick black boggy slim. When he asked for a hand to get out of the bog nobody would help him. They all said sorry John I don’t want any of that black shit on me .

So Boomer had to crawl out. He then had to make his way to the men’s washroom in the clubhouse. Once there he was so fucking dirty that he stripped off his clothes and proceeded to wash them out in the toilet . This caused more up raw …. Needless to say . Boomer never lived this event down.

   Some of the events that happened over the years , in the Butler Plant.

June the 2nd 1982 An operator named John  had to go to the Hospital to be checked out as he had been hit in the stomach by a part that had flew out of the press that he was working on. So he goes to the Hospital to be checked out . So when he returned after being given the O.K. by the hospital he goes to eat his lunch and finds out that it’s gone. The boys all told him that they had all eaten  it between them to stop it from going bad,. Also as  they didn’t expect him back for the rest of the day they had drunk his milk as well.

      Around the automatic presses in the floor then was a pit about 5 feet across and about 4 feet deep.   It ran from the beginning of the automatic presses straight out to the back of the plant.

In the pit there was a shaker that ran to the back of the plant as well. This was for scrap removal to take the scrap away from the presses. But, at the time of writing, the equipment down in the pit was in the state of repair. . it was winter time and the cold air came into the pit from the outside. The cold air from the pit began to   annoy the foreman so he put some large sheets of corrugated cardboard over it . The a few hours later he forgot that there was a hole under the cardboard and stepped on it My did he hurt himself. Stupidity knows no boundaries. 

   All production jobs in the early Butler years were timed , each operator had to make the number of widgets per hour , how many per hour would depend on the job. Operators  were encouraged to do more  than the rate and if they did, they would get extra money  a bonus,

   Each new production job that came to Butler had to be timed . Both by the management Time Study  and then by the Union Time Study.. Like any other  engineering type job, the person had to be trained  for the job. Once the union guy had completed his training and became good at the job, the company put him on salary and the union had to find another time study guy. And so on and so forth.

 When it Came to time study things would change in the later years in Butlers.  Every three years the company and the union would negotiate a new contract. At one set of negotiations the company insisted that they wanted no more piece rates . They just wanted the employees to work for their hourly pay , that’s it No bonuses, Well it went like this.

     Prior to this set of negotiations the operators were working piecework rates. Now  with the changing of the system you just had to work to a n established number of parts   per hour . 

So now that there was no piecework rates  there was a couple of problems .firstly the guys in the past that used to like to do piece work had taken a pay cut. They had lost money because there was not any extra   money to be had.  And again prior to the no piecework rule  the guys who just made the rate  in the past made more  money now  because the base  hourly rate had gone up. 

   It was a well known fact , a dirty little afternoon shift secrete. That workers would slide off home for an hour or two no clocking out  then slide back and carry on doing what they were suppose to be doing  nobody any the wiser. Some of the afternoon shift employees would go up to Carls Tavern up at  the end of Eagle Street, just to have a beer or two. They would be drinking at one end of the bar and the foreman and supervisors would be at the other end. Both would be ignoring each other.  But all were supposed to be working.

    So, I worked in the tool room. In the center of this rather large tool room and maintenance department was the maintenance and tool room offices. The tool room office was on the ground floor. Directly above that was the skilled trades washrooms. One particular day there was a sign in the mens washroom  saying that the urinals were out of order. Well, some wag had moved the sign from the urinals and put it on the toilet doors.  Then, come about 11.15 just prior to lunch time all the skilled trades come to wash there hands and to urinate. So there was about 60 or more guys doing this .

    So at the 11.30 a.m. buzzer everybody down tools and ,its lunch time. 

Bob Money and Mike Chike the toolroom foremen returned from the cafetiere to the tool room office and sat down at there desks to eat there lunch. When all of a sudden Bob yells out . “What the fuck ,Mike wheres all this piss coming from.  They were both paddling in urine. When the rest of the skilled trades caught wind of what had happened there was great raws of laughter.

   While we are talking about the washrooms , I was said that , If your name was ever written on the shit house wall, it meant that you had made it , You were in the “ Big Leagues “.

 As union President I was the head of Health and Safety for the Local. 

One day I  happened  to notice that  Bob Money the tool room foreman, my boss, was walking around with his regular street shoes on. So, I said “ Bob you can’t walk around without safety shoes  especially now as a  H & S rep I know , you’ll have to put your safety shoes on. Bob said O.K. 

Well , a few days later I caught him not wearing his safety shoes again, So I said “For fuck sakes Bob put on you safety shoes!”

Bob said

“ Bryan These safety shoes are tight, and they hurt my fucking  feet !”

 So I said  “ Too bad Bob put them on! Buy some new ones , you’re a supervisor you should know better!

 Well a few days later I caught him again wearing his street shoes. So I told him  I f you don’t have safety shoes on next time I see you I’ll write you up!

Next day He came up to me showing me his new safety  shoes. I laughed like a drain. And said to him you should thank me Bob.   Bob held no ill will and we were still good friends.

* Safety shoes are a must in the Auto Industry!

I was doing Bob  a   favour by making sure that he had safety shoes on.

 In the environment that we were working there was a possibility any moment of the day that you could drop something on your feet or foot and depending on how heavy the weight was how much damage to your feet. So in the Butler environment safety shoes were a must for everybody in Butlers.

In the tool room, there was a couple of guys that spent half their mornings up stairs in the shit house.Al Dilly and Jerry Janson. So, they were both retiring on the same day.after so many years at Butlers.   So we took of the old toilet seats fron the toilets and got new ones put on. Then we had the old toilet seat painted gold with Al’s and Jerry’s clock number painted on them . 

 Come their retirement day there was a presentation for the pair of them in the tool room. The usual stuff watches . their first retirement cheque and last but not least the pair were presented with the toilet seats. Only a few people knew about the seats . so when they were presented to the pair the place was in an up raw. The pair were famous for spending most of their time in the shit house and the  the seat was deemed appropriate by everybody. Even Al and Jerry could see the funny side of things.

After I was so long at Butler’s  it became mandatory that all new hires had to have grade 12. This was in case of future promotions within the co. and the company wanted the salary people to have at least grade 12. 

It was discovered that one of the foremen Len Millar, at one time  could not get in the Butler apprenticeship program because he never had grade 12.

At Butlers if a supervisor did a good job he or she would be promoted and if they did a good job there they would be promoted again and so on. They would then  be promoted to there highest level of incompetence. Then usually fired out the door.   

It  would take some time to learn time study and to be good at it. The union would pay for an employee to go to school for time study. Once they were done school the were given super seniority  and protected from lay offs.  So what the company would do was this. Once the employee was qualified and proficient in time study the company would offer the time study  person a salary job.Nine times out of ten the union guy would accept the company offer.so then the union had to go tho’ the process all over again.

  Over the years any amount of union workers who accepted a company job after getting proficient in time study they landed up as foreman or working in engineering.

 Just because you worked in engineering it doesn’t mean that you are smart.

 One time two presses broke down. So the operations had to be rerouted . So engineering  came out to the press shop . they measured the distance between the presses so they could put in conveyor belts between the operations to enable the job to be run smoothly. Well a few days later the engineers pushed about half a dozen conveyor belts through the shop and placed  them around the broken down presses.

Once the conveyor belts were set up it was discovered that they were 6 feet short on the last operation. So they had to put a man in the spot. to pass the part that was being made on. Measure twice cut once! ! This type of fuck up was typical of engineering. In the tool room we loved engineering because they kept us in work with all their stupid ideas .

   In my early years at Butlers we had a plant manager who went by the name of Brian Myers. He was an Englishman from northern England somewhere he was around 50 ish grey hair. And when he looked at you he would have one eye on you and the other somewhere else. He went by the nickname of “ The Silver Fox “.

 At the time that Brian was in charge we were making a lot of wheel parts for a company called Bendix.We would send 5,000 wheel parts out the front door shipping them down the road to Bendix. Meanwhile 10,000 wheel  parts would be coming back  as rejects from Bendix in the back door. So Brian would just rip the reject labels from Bendox of off the bins and send them back to Bendix. He knew that if Bendix were out of parts that they would eventually use them.

    It was the beginning  of September 1978 I had been Voted in as Vice President of local 1780 UAW ( United Auto Workers ) . it was early in the work morning of the plant. The day shift had arrived at the plant just before the seven o’clock start ,to find that a picket line had been set up by the night shift. Back in those days , once a picket line had been set up nobody crossed it.

 So we were to start our work day with an illegal “ Wild Cat “ strike.During the early hours of the Wild Cat Brian Myers who as Plant Manager was called out of bed, to try and resolve the problem, before it got to far out of hand. Myers had been on the picket line with the  wild cat strikers pleading with them to go back to work . He knew that he had to try to get them to go back to work before the day shift arrived . But it was a waste of time.  as by now most of the strikers were drunk, and they were waiting for the day shift to arrive so that they could join in the fun with them.

 In spite of Myers constant pleads they refuse to go back to work. So the day shift arrived and they joined the fun o the picket line . As the day progressed the bars were open and it was …. Party time.Why were the workers on the picket line .It was because of the rates of the jobs in the plant. The Production workers  in  the plant were on an incentive system and they were unhappy with a lot of the rates  on the jobs. Going the conventional  route of the grievance procedure was not working for them . The system was to slow it was taking to long to resolve rate problems and that is why  they got pissed off and went out on a wild cat strike to see if they could get  results faster. A “ Wild Cat “to them was faster than going tho the procedures and taking months and months to resolve.

 Come three o’clock the afternoon shift arrived. Now all three shifts were on the picket line . Even those not involved were out on strike also . i.e. the skilled trades . production rates were  a production problem . But the skilled trades had too be on the strike line to show support.  Most of the trades went home from their shift. And came back next day.

 If and when  unionized workers went out on a wild cat strike the union reps were not allowed by the Union to join in the strike . Why because the reps could get fired and they would not have a hope in hell in getting there jobs back.  The job of union reps . in the case of an illegal strike is to get the workers back to work. That’s it in a nutshell.. Plus here’s the biggy the Company could sue the union.

 But I was, being new to being a union rep, I was naive to the fact that a large population of the workers were Newfie’s and newfies like to Party. ( A Newfie is a person from Newfoundland)

 We would as Union reps go out on the picket line and tell the workers that what they were doing was illegal and that they should go back to work because they could get  fired and lose their jobs.

 While the union reps were telling the guys that we were holding our hands in front of our waist signaling to stay out a little bit longer. Because as union reps we had been struggling to correct the rates of most of the jobs in Butlers. And the longer that the strikers stayed out on the picket line the more likely the problems with rates would be improved.

After a while on the picket line and all three shifts out there , the list of complaints grew . From rates .to health and safety issues then  the lack of canteen facilities were all highlighted

The day wore on to night , it had been a warm day and it was a warm night . So now the party was in full swing, with most of the strikers  were in the bag.  Thro out the day management and union reps went out on the picket line to try to talk them back into the plant and back to work. Meanwhile more and more trucks were being turned away at the gate . Truckers didn’t want any part of a “ Wild Cat “.

They all had there orders . If there is a strike at any plant that you go to  for pick up or delivery  turn around and come back .

   As night wore on it was becoming dangerous to go out to the picket line from the safety of the plant  as beer bottles were now  being thrown at any body who came out of the plant to the picket line. The perimeter of the plant was basically in darkness, all the lights in the plant were on , so anybody coming out to the picket line , might as well be in daylight.So a beer bottle coming out of the darkness was a lethal weapon.

By now at this stage of the strike he boys had some entertainment on the go. One of the girls was entertaining some of the boys in the back of a van. Evidently she was handing out blow jobs all round. Which I was told she did on a fairly regular  basis in working hours in the plant.

 A guy called Jolly took a girl named Peg across the road into the gravel pits to screw her . When he had had his way with her he came back to the picket line with the strikers ,somebody casually asked  

Jolly where his arm was. ( Jolly at one time had lost his arm in an industrial accident)  over in the gravel pit  In the heat of the moment he had taken of his arm and then had forgot to put it back on again. The arm was an ugly mechanical thing with a hook on the end.

Some of the strikers went with Jolly over to the gravel pit to try to find his arm But to no avail. The arm was never found all tho they sent out a few search parties looking for  it.

 So,  it was rumored that he got a replacement new one from Workman’s Compensation, whether that was true or not , I don’t know.

  Update on this Jolly story, which  was around 1978……. . In 2008 I was working in Kitchener at Trilliam Metal Stampings . I was running the tool room on the afternoon shift . It was a slow night  everything  in the press shop was running . There was not any repairs to be done in the tool room. A rare  event indeed.

 I was in the production office with the production foreman Shawn Carroll. Shawn started to talk about playing baseball , and casually  mentioned that he had played baseball at the baseball diamond at the Butler Metals property.

I said ,”. Yes that’s right Butler had donated some land to the City of Cambridge for a baseball diamond. “

Shawn said they were in the middle of a game when one of the batters hit the baseball over the fence.  They didn’t have a replacement ball, so the batter climbed over the fence and after about 10 minits he returned  . He didn’t have the baseball but low and behold he said look what I found . And he held up Jolly’s long lost arm.  It had been found after being lost for 30 years. So I had to tell Shawn “ The Rest Of The Story.”

 Back to the Wild Cat. It was finally resolved . Not before the National Rep from the UAW Les Rundrum became involved. Les landed up on the picket line trying to get the workers back on the job. 

 Eventually  Brian Myers agreed to take a look at the rates with the Union time study rep. Their was other concessions  that the company gave verbal agreement to . But here’s the kicker . The workers would not go back to  work until they were given assurances by The Butler President, Jim  Robinson, that there would be no discipline action against any of the workers on the picket line.

  In those early years that I was at Butlers   Wild Cats were the norm. One  time there was a wild cat  on day shift to protest the fact that a woman had been  disciplined for something. And while the workers were on strike for her, She was inside ,working! 

I don’t recall their being any wild cats for the skilled trades. We either didn’t have any serious issues or they were resolved , thereby avoiding wild cats.

 One of the biggest issues over the years was caused by a maintenance man . Bill Carson. He worked in maintenance for a number of years . But he decided to leave Butlers and return to his roots,Scotland. So he sold up everything and he and his family went back “ home”.  Six months later, he was back in Canada. He got his job back at Butlers but now he was on steady afternoons, whereas prior to going back to Scotland he was on steady days.

So now Bill missed the steady day shift that he once had. He was now bottom of the seniority list and had to do steady afternoons. So he kept on constantly harping on the fact that this steady afternoons was not fair. And he appealed for all the skilled trades to go on two weeks of day shift and two weeks of afternoons.

 After many months maybe years of complaining there was a referendum in the trades and from then on it was swing shifts that won the day.  But , in production there was no such thing as swing shifts . It was steady days or steady afternoons. or sometimes steady night shift. No swing shifts.

 On a lighter note , a group from the Butler Engineering dept. were heading west on the 401. They decided that they were all hungry. So they pulled into  a Mac Donald’s and went through the drive-through. The driver, Norm Holman took the orders from the others in the SUV. And relayed their orders  into what he thought was the MacDonald’s mike , but in reality it was  the Mac Donald Mailbox. The others in the SUV kept telling the Norm what they wanted  . they all had realized that unlike  Norm  that he was just speaking  into a mailbox. They were all howling with laughter and Norm could not figger   out why. 

 Dave Gowans, the tool room manager. took a group of tool and die makers to a tooling event at the international center in Toronto.

There was maybe 18-20 of them.so after they were all in the Center . Dave tells the guys we’ll all meet her on this spot at 6.00p.m. the group splits up into smaller groups . John Raymour and three or four tool and die makers slipped quietly out the back door. Flagged down a taxi and headed to the Million Dollar Saloon. Where they had  a great time drinking looking at strippers and whatever else. Come 5.4/5  they left the strip joint and flagged down a taxi ,back to the International Center.

 As they walked back in to the International Center  they grabbed some bags and filled them full of leaflets . So then they joined the  rest of the group at the meeting place it looked like they had been  them all afternoon. They were asked where were you ,never saw you all day . They said  where have you guys been,  We kept an eye out for you,  we  hardly saw anybody.

  

 

A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum.  the original

This song was a smash hit worldwide ,and the video version can be found on the internet.  This is one of my all-time favorites Whenever I hear this song I always think of my son Martyn Rogers. Alas, at the time of writing this on  February 27th  2018. In Cambridge Ontario Canada. Martyn lives in this City like I do, but I have only seen him once in 7 years , that was recently in the Hardware store where I work. He just happened to come in for a screw or something. …. This lack of communication has been hard to fathom over the years. Along with the rest of the family. We only come this way once.

Another caricature at Butlers Was an old Polish ruddy faced  mid to late middle age ,  janitor on the afternoon shift.  Alex he was supposed to drive a floor cleaning machine  around on the afternoon shift to keep the press shop floor  clean . The machine was run not by mileage  but by time. So Alex would take the machine into a quite back room, and set the steering in the tightest circle possible . So the machine would go around in circles and Alex would sit down and read the newspaper. Meanwhile the machine was logging hours and nobody was any the wiser.

Alex was famous for this story. as i said already Alex worked steady afternoons so he would sleep a lot in the daytime. well, he got fed up with these women coming around and ringing his door bell disturbing his sleep. They were from some religious sect and wanted to save Alex from himself. So the last time that they came ringing the bell at his front door  he got out of bed slipped on his robe and opened  the door. Low and behold it was the ladies. So this time instead of turning them away he invited them in.

Once they were all seated comfortably in his living room he opened his robe grabbed his penis and said to them.

” Now, which one of you ladies would like to smoke this Polish Sausage?”

The ladies  upped and took of out of the front door , never to return.

Every  so often we would hire on some more apprentices . Anybody who wanted to in the plant could apply. all they had to do was to fill out an application sheet. One time one of the senior foremen applied , he was turned down because he did not have his grade 12 .

Over the years Butlers hired on people to various positions Sometimes the person was good at being great at there job. well say inspection. He was so good that they promoted him to say press shop supervisor. where he was ok, or not to bad. Then, down the road they would want somebody in another department. So they would transfer him to that department. Eventually he would be fired because he was no good at his last job promotion.

I would call it being ” promoted to your highest level of incompetence.” At Butlers there were many supervisors that should of not held their position.There was one in particular that I would scratch my head when I was  working with him.  I can’t remember if he was canned from Butlers but I know that many jobs after Butlers  he was. Then low an behold he turned up at my daughters company. When i saw his name on some company papers I asked my daughter to ask him if he had ever worked at Butlers. He told her yes. Less than a month later my daughters company fired him. so i said to my daughter I knew sooner or later your company would fire him.

So when I met him shortly after he was canned he told me that he was semi- retired.He was probably cut out for something else not the Auto Industry.

Chapter 1: Introductions

 

Chapter 1

 

My name is Bryan George Rogers.

At the moment, I am 80 years young.   I decided about 5 years ago, to write my life’s story called,  “ Dirty Filthy Lucky Bastard”

 

  Update 2021. I have just been informed by Carol Comber,s son that Cass passed away last year. She was a very good friend and could have been so much more. I dedicate this book to her. 

 Quote from Cass “I came looking for you but I could, not find you.”

  Me, You didn’t  look hard enough!”

I should warn you now, that some parts of this book may be rude, crude, or even worse, but it is what it is. This book will not be a literary piece of art, so if you are looking for good grammar, etc.,  you won’t find it here. I am looking to spread out my life because it has been very varied.  I have done a lot of things, not necessarily exciting things, but things that may have been slightly different from the norm.   As you go through the years,  I think that you will notice that I have added things that have touched my life and that may be of interest to the reader.  These “things “ may or may not break up the flow of the story, but what’s the rush!  Here we go!  

 

My Parents with my grandmother Butler 1939.

 

  would like to start by giving the background to my parents.   My father was George Rogers and he was born on the 15th of July in 1914, in  Kilburn, Willesden, Middlesex, London, England. The Rogers family lived at different times at No. 2 and no. 4 Stafford Road, Kilburn. Which were 2 blocks from 201 Carlton Vale. ( Which comes into the story later ) For many years he volunteered in the army reserves and loved to go away every September to an army camp. Even though dad was not a very big bloke. (He stood  Five feet 4 and a half inches high.) He loved to play sports. He swam on the swim team at senior school. He was also on the cricket team, football team and loved to box. He left school at 14 years of age. But still continued on with his sports.

So, When dad was 85 we were having a chat in the retirement home that he was in, in Plymouth England. He showed me a photo of the football team that he was in.; He was 18 at that time. The footballers on the team were all sitting there in their white vests with their arms folded across their chest and their hair all slicked back 1930’s style. He then proceeded to name all the players one by one. He told me that this team that he was on were winners of the second division and played the winners of the first division for the ‘”Cup”. He went on to tell me that they won the “Cup.” And that they got free beer for a week. I asked him.

“How was that ?”

“Well,” he said.

“We took the Cup to every local pub for a week and all the locals bought them beer all night.”

September 1939 at the age of 25 dad went away to the annual camp with the army and came back 7 years later. Because, while he was at camp Neville Chamberlain Prime Minister of Great Britain, was the one who declared war on Germany when Hitler attacked  Poland, on the  3rd September 1939. Not only was my dad in the army in WW2, but my Grandfather George Rogers was killed in action in WW1. His memorial is on the wall in the cemetery in Arras in France, on bay 2  of the Bay Walls. 

Arras Memorial Bay 2

 

 

  We were able to go to Arras in France in 2011 and Mitzi  my wife found his name on the Bay 2 Wall. Acting Sergeant George Rogers. To say that I was very proud of him is an understatement. That was a tough sell! The Army never found his body, that’s why he is on the bay wall instead of in a marked grave: “Acting Sargent, George Rogers. Killed in action 16th May 1917 Arras France.”As far as I can ascertain he was about 40 years of age when he died,  at that time dad was about 3 years of age, so I’m almost lucky to be here.

  My mother’s name was Francis May Butler she was born in Kilburn London. My Grandmother Butler sent my mother away when she was a young girl, to relatives in the country, to Ipswich to live with them. When mum was 14 my grandmother brought her back to London. Made her get a job then took most of her pay away from her. Mum worked at a big high-end London store as a shopgirl. The store was in the Bayswater district and was called Whiteleys.

Back in thoughs days 1931 onward I would guess that things were really tight when it came to money, and getting your kids out to work was a priority.

 

 

 

 

 

I was born 10th December   1940 In Hitching Hertfordshire.

I went back there to Hitchin many years later with my second wife, Peggy but could not locate the exact hospital where I was born. It would seem that around the time that I was born they (Whoever they were) changed hospitals.

Hitchin Hospital nurses

When I returned there in the 1980s there were three hospitals.  The personnel at the one hospital that I visited then said that at about that time (1940) they were Changing Hospitals as they had built a new one. So it was tough to know which one I was born in.  Especially as at that time, the war was on. I would think that record keeping was not at the top of their priority list.

 As a baby in my first early years or maybe months, we, (Mum and I) lived at 84 Kilburn Park Road. Kilburn, Willesden, Middlesex London. But, as I have already said. I was born in Hitching in Hertfordshire why I was born there I have no clue but I was. When we moved from Hitching to Kilburn I have no idea, but I do know that mum was “ in service “ in the Hitching area.   Meaning that she was a maid in a knobs house or the like.

Kilburn, you could say, was the family base of operations. On Kilburn Park Road we lived mum and I on the fourth floor of no. 84.   It was a Victorian terraced house., as were most of the houses in this part of Kilburn were. As a matter of fact, in this section of London, the houses were mainly all terraced houses they were either two, three, or four-story, usually with a family living on each floor. There was an old lady living on one of the other floors in 84. Mum used to tell me that the old lady used to sit me on her knee, bounce me up and down, and sing “Here comes the galloping Major. “

Kilburn Park Road is to factor into my life in the early years. I first lived in # 84 which was basically opposite the Williams basement, where my best friend Reggie Williams for many years, was to first live. I first met Reggie after I fell on the freshly tarred and pebbled road where I had slipped and fell, ripping open my left knee. Reggie helped me back to St. Augustine’s infant and Junior School, and we were friends for many, many years after this accidental meeting.  Incidentally,  I still have a scar on my left knee.

Kilburn Park Subway Station

Kilburn Park Subway Station London England

In the very early  1940’s when we were living at 84 Kilburn Park Road. 

I’m not sure when mum found 201 Carlton Vale but I don’t think that I was very old at the time. 201 was about six blocks away from Kilburn Park tube station,  and three blocks from Queens Park Station.

Queens Park station London icon near number 201

queens Park London tube icon

Later she used to tell us. (My sister and I. Who was born in January 1947) that she moved the two of us and all of our belongings in my Pram (Baby Buggy).I am sure that there could have been not much to move. I would guess that at the time of this move to 201 I was about 12 months old.

It was wartime, and the Germans were bombing us everywhere in London. Even though the bombs fell all around St. Paul’s Cathedral which is in the center of London, st. Pauls was not hit, and St. Paul’s survived the war. St. Paul’s was built after 1666 it replaced the previous church on that site. which was destroyed by the great fire of London. Sir Christopher Wren designed the Cathedral in classical baroque style. and supervised its construction. Along with Westminster Abbey St. Paul’s is used for many state events.

 

St. Paauls Bomb damage                                      

 Rationing in wartime could and did mean shortages. 

rationing in britain in ww2
rationing in England in ww2

To continue …….

At 201 Carlton Vale, mum had rented the lower floor of a three-story  Victorian terraced house.

 

This is a shot of Carlton Vale from 1907. It had a dirt road back then. in the distance, you can see some horse-drawn carts. Also, note the gas street lighting in the middle of the road. there are three stores on the bottom left on the far corner. there was an electrical store a small grocery store and a paper and tobacco shop. Three bay windows up from the paper shop  is  201 where the Rogers family  lived for almost 20years,

 

We moved to 201 Carlton Vale in1941.  Mum had rented the lower floor of a three-story  Victorian terraced house. was a large bay window in front of the house. In front of that was a tiny garden with a low brick wall that was 3 feet high. And then there was the sidewalk or pavement.    We never used the garden for anything.  The only thing that was ever in this small garden was cat shit.  The pavements ( sidewalks ) back then consisted of flagstones.   This was where the dog shit was to be found. I guess that they have to shit somewhere. 

The front door of 201 was solid wood a purple plum colour.  I never remember in the 19 years that we lived at 201 that the door was ever painted.  The door had a  long knocker set in it high up on the door.  It was one knock for us as we were on the ground floor. 

Two for the Hatton’s on the second floor and Three for the Redleys on the top floor.  I can still to this day still hear the sharp loud sound of that knocker in my head,  This, by the way, is where the phrase “I’ll knock you up in the morning “comes from. Back then in the day, only knobs had electric bells instead of door knockers.

As you entered the Victorian-built terraced house, there was a dark unlit passage and along the front part of the passage on the right was the door which opened into a damp front room. As you passed the front room door the passage had a right-hand jog in it.  Here in the corner, there was the one and only bedroom, which obviously as a family we all shared for many years, from the bedroom the passage here continued on straight ahead to the kitchen door.  To the right of that was another door that led to the yard.

 On entering the small kitchen there was a small coal fireplace in the middle of the left-hand wall, and then in the left-hand corner beside the kitchen door, there was a large dark larder. Across from the fireplace, there was a window. which looked out at a brick wall in the yard. The wall was about ten to twelve feet away and about forty feet long.

The yard opened up into a garden that was surrounded by a five-foot-high brick wall. When I was really young there was an air raid shelter made of corrugated steel in the back right-hand corner. In later years, this was replaced with a huge lilac tree, which always had beautiful deep purple flowers on it. Talking about the air raid shelter reminds me of walking to school in 1946-7 with mum and one day I asked her where are all the metal railing s from all the houses in all the streets. Mum told me that in  1943. metal railing s were removed to be used towards the war effort.

So the railings were melted down and used for guns and tanks and the like.

iron railing used for tanks

 

Above the kitchen fireplace was a mantelpiece that held a small clock and ashtrays which were always filled with dad’s dog ends and cigarette ash.  Above the mantel was a smallish mirror, there were no pictures or any type of decoration, things in the kitchen were very sparse. Strait thro’ the kitchen was a step down to another smallish room.  At the time they called it a scullery on the left-hand side of the scullery wall we had an electric stove sitting up against the middle of the wall, and an old chunky sink in the far right-hand corner. To which hung mahogany-colored draining board. The sink had a silver cold running tap no hot tap. 

In the far left-hand corner, there was a coal bunker that had a split in half wooden stable-like door.  Once a week,  over the top half of the door the coal man deliver a hundredweight of coal ( 112 lbs) which we used to keep the kitchen fire going. By the right side of the kitchen sink, there was a door leading to the yard. If you went outside and turned left and took a couple of steps, there was a door where the lavatory was in the corner of the house behind the scullery. The lavatory had an overhead water tank you flushed the toilet by pulling on the long dangling chain. Squares of the Daily Mirror hung on a hook on the back of the toilet door, this was used instead of toilet paper.

Behind the house was an almost square backyard – garden. At the back of the yard and at the two sides was a strip about four feet wide. Their dad would grow flowers and tomatoes and lettuce. Then at the house end of the garden, there were always two beat-up grey zinc dustbins.

Just to make things perfectly clear to anybody reading this who was born in the last twenty or so years.

No Land Phone, no 4th generation cell phone, no personal computer no printers no Skype no texting, none of any combination of these, basically we had by today’s standards nothing.  We only had a coal fireplace to heat the kitchen, an electric light with a cord coming from it that ran to a Marconi radio. We had an electric stove, an electric iron and that was it! No calculators, we were drilled into learning our time’s tables up to 12 times 12. So we could figure things out on our own.

Carlton Vale itself was an almost major road for its time.. It was wide but only single-lane traffic each way. There were no cars parked on the road. Because in our neighborhood nobody had a car.  And if they did have one, it would be black. 

I would guess that at that time Carlton Vale would be mainly used by commercial traffic at the 201 end.  The other end of Carlton Vale was the end where the knobs lived. The people who had money.  About twenty houses away to the left at the end of Carlton Vale there was a lavatory, set in the middle and below the road level of the road.  It was protected with black wrought iron railings and stone steps that went down below road level. It had an attendant and all the toilet doors were green. The W.C. had highly polished brass and chrome fittings everywhere. walls of this Lavatory were filled with white tiles.  With brass fittings on the urinals,  these were kept bright and shiny by an attendant. It would cost you a penny to have a poop but to have a wiz in the urinal was free.

Even toilet paper was rationed.

toilet paper rationing ww2

Back then the toilet paper was pulled out of a rectangular shaped box through a slit. It was a ministry toilet paper with L.C.C. on it. (London County Council). You would pull out a sheet one by one this paper was famous for being really slippery when you wiped your rear end and it was almost brittle and almost hurt to wipe your arse.  You had to be careful not to put a crease in the toilet paper because then it would almost cut your anus.  The Lavatory was lit through a glass roof which as I remember it made it bright down there.

There were no buses running up and down Carlton Vale, which was a blessing. But we could catch a red double Decker bus around the corner on Malvern Road. There was the 6, 28, 31, and the 187 even after all these years the numbers spring to mind. 

Carlton Vale,  many years later was to touch on the face of worldwide acclaim… Why? You ask. Because at the other end of Carlton Vale was the world-famous Abbey Road. Yes, the same Abbey Road that is on the cover of one of the Beatle albums, and named just that…Abbey Road. I probably went across that crossing many times when I was a youngster (The Abbey Road Album was released  Sept 26th, 1969 ).

album cover abbey road

Pictured above is the famous Abbey Road album cover. I crossed at this famous crossing zebra crossing for years as a kid.

Rewind back to 1941

As already stated. I was born at the end of 1940 on the 10th of December. Surprisingly I was not born in London, but in Hitching in Hertfordshire!

The first recollection I have of this life was the night sky,  it was almost pitch black.  I was in the arms of my mother Francis May Rogers. 

There was a huge yellow moon in front of me across the road where once there was a block of houses. It was so big that I could almost reach out and touch it.

The year probably 1942. I was in my dark blue siren suit. We were in my Grandmothers Street; Alpha Place Kilburn London n.w.6. The war was on! I was later to discover that most of these houses on Alpha Place had been seriously wiped out or damaged by fire and most were in an uninhabitable condition. Behind my grandmother’s house on Alpha place, there were two maybe three blocks of houses flattened by the German bombs.

Also, close by,  my Aunt Ruby’s ( my mother’s younger sister) house was burnt to the ground. She was lucky to get out alive.  Aunt Ruby went on to live to 94 and passed in 2017.

kilburn park the tube icon

Kilburn Park Underground station was on the other end of the street from my grandmother’s house on the same side of the street, on the corner. The tube was fronted by Cambridge Avenue. On the other corner across the road from the Tube was a pub. Going back to the other end of Alpha Place on the same side as nannies house was another pub. The pub names I can’t remember.At 80  some memories are as clear as crystal but other memories have faded into the fog of the past.  Across the road from Nans place, as already stated, there was nothing but knee-high rubble, the reason that I was able to see that big yellow moon was that two blocks of houses had been flattened by German bombers.  

This is what was called “ The Blitz “ by Londoners Adolph Hitler would switch to sending rockets with wings on them. Doodlebugs. The Doodlebugs were sent from Germany by Hitler the first Doodlebug to land in London was the 13th of June 1944.  The Doodle Bugs had just had enough fuel in them to reach London and when they ran out of fuel they fell out of the sky and smashed down onto the streets and houses of London.Hitler wanted to bomb and burn us into submission but failed.  

Nazi’s loading a V-one bomb

Nazis loading a V one bomb

The first time that dad came home to 201, Carlton Vale was on leave from the army.  So the first night of sleeping there he got up about 2.a.m. to get mum and himself a cup of tea.  I guess because they were having a hard time sleeping.   So dad makes a pot of tea in a silver teapot, with some milk in a silver milk jug along with some cube sugar in a silver sugar bowl, and sugar tongs.  All this on a round fancy silver tray along with some fancy bone china cups and saucers. And of course a tea strainer. He turns off the kitchen light and opens the kitchen door and goes up the dark passageway to the bedroom. This was the law in wartime England. Called the “ Blackout “.  Any lights on the ground could be seen by the German Luftwaffe, a German night bomber.So dad makes his way in the dark along the passage to the bedroom. He knew that at the end of this part of the passage that there was a wall. Once that was reached the bedroom door was on the left. He was in his bare feet. So when he thought that he was close to the bedroom door, he started to feel his way along with the pitch dark passage with his feet. Once 1944 having felt the wall at the end of the passage he knew that the bedroom door was on his left.Well! His foot feels the toe of a boot and then next to it he felt the toe of a second boot.  Right away he thinks there is somebody there. With that, he drops the tray and lets rip with a hard right hand. And punched the wall.   Unbeknownst to him, my mother had put his army boots outside the bedroom door by the wall because she couldn’t stand the smell of them.  I can still remember the sound of the sirens that were turned on to warn Londoners that we were being attacked by the German Rockets or by German bombers and to take cover. If i remember correctly the warning sound was a  loud wailing up and down. Then the all-clear would be one continuous single note held for a few minutes in the Forties the treats and some of the foods of the day were.

Tizer an orange-flavored drink. Mars bar a chocolate bar that is still around today. And I also remember Wagon Wheel a large chocolate-covered biscuit.  Which was named because of its size. Which today should be maybe called Tiny  Wheel  Because it is barely bigger than an Oreo cookie. The Drink  Tizer was a great drink that we liked to buy on a stinking hot day to quench our thirst.We would go to the local greengrocer on the corner of Kilburn Park Road and they would pour us a glass for a penny or two. Brown bread “Hovis “ as it was called, was a bit of a luxury to eat in those times. Remember we were at war and after the war, food was tight and still in short supply. We also ate and liked Smiths Crisps. Which came in a bag with its own twist of blue paper with salt in it. Smith’s crisps were and still are sold in the pubs in England today. Back in the 40’s and the early 50’s Mum and dad would bring a bag of Smiths crisps (chips) home as a treat from a night out on a Saturday night at the local pub .

Be it the Nelson the Albert or the Falcon. And they would bring home a copy of the War Cry a salvation Army publication, which the Salvation army would sell in the local pub to the drunks on a Saturday night. it was a good found raiser for the Army.

In the ’40s, Weetabix was the cereal that mum would buy for us along with Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Porridge was also a staple in our diet at the time In my early years, I seemed to have fun. I didn’t know any better. What went on was what went on.

 

Bryan Rogers at 2 maybe 3

I,m about 2 years of age here.

 

.  Two or three years prior to going to school  I was evacuated out of London. With all the other London kids. We congregated at Victoria station ready for the train ride up north to Derbyshire.I remember that I had been given a colored book with Spitfires shooting down German fighter planes. 

In  Derbyshire, we were sent to and lived at a  place called Kettleston Hall. Kedleston hall was a huge mansion that youngsters were sent to be out of the bombing area.

Was used as a safe house for kids from London. Also for cohort spying

 At Kedleston Hall, there was a big wide driveway coming off the road with big huge trees on the sentry guard on each side of the driveway. This all leads up to a huge house, Kettleston Hall at the end of the driveway.  . There are only a few things that stand out in my mind from that time period. I remember being a summer  Fate that they held at the Hall one hot summer day. And I was stung by a bloody great big Bumble Bee. was also sick and being in my bed and mum coming to visit me from London. I don’t know why but  I pretended to be asleep.I heard someone talking to mum. Telling her that I was asleep and that I was “poorly”, so mum had to travel all the way back to London without even seeing me.    On the 5th of November, Guy Fawkes Day, to celebrate, the people in charge of Ketteston Hall piled a lot of branches up on the back lawn and tried to set it alight. They eventually put petrol on it and tried to light it that way.  I think it was raining that day. I can’t remember if they lit it or not. At that time it had been raining a lot, so there’s a good chance that they never did light the bonfire.

Guy Fawkes was a political activist from the 1600s who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But he was caught trying to do so.