BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2004We've left it here for reference.More information

21 April 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Legacies - Liverpool

BBC Homepage
 Legacies
 UK Index
 Liverpool
 Article
Listings
Your stories
 Archive
 Site Info
 BBC History
 Where I Live

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
Work
Tate & Lyle factory
Ariel shot of Tate & Lyle factory, 1960s

© Scottie Press
Tate and Lyle: Sugar love

Family of workers

The Tate Liverpool stands proudly on the River Mersey – just a couple of miles from the original sugar firm which once employed thousands of local workers. Like most factories, especially in the early part of the 20th Century, the jobs were hard and repetitious. Many women workers started by brushing up the sugar from the floor, before moving on to weighing by hand and packing into cardboard boxes.
Tate girls
Tate girls on shift
© Scottie Press
Juniors, usually straight from school and working in the “tannery”, used to have to stack 56lb bags of sugar onto a pallet, 5 ft high – and then the men would come along with a truck and take it away.

The sugar dust was a problem, one 15-year-old remembers stopping regularly to empty the sugar from her white ankle socks. The older girls used to wear stockings, with a broad elastic band to hold them up – long before the days of tights, and it was not uncommon to see them standing at bus stops, with clouds of sugar dust floating from their stockings as they snapped the elastic bands!

But despite the heat and the monotony of their day, the Tate and Lyle “girls” used to find fun in the most unlikely ways, and they all became part of a family.

Words: Ev Draper

Pages: [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ] Next


Your comments




Print this page
Archive
Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

Read more >
Internet Links
Women's work
Liverpool local history
Scottie Press
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Web sites.
Jersey
Related Stories
Lincolnshire "Lillies at work"
"The oldest trade in the world"
Treading the boards with Sarah Siddons




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy