World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                           Gladys May

A Sheffield Buffer Girl

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Mrs Gladys May
Location of story: Sheffield
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the people’s war site by Norman Wigley of the BBC Radio Sheffield Action Desk on behalf of Mrs Gladys May.

During the war I was working as a buffer girl in the cutlery industry. I worked for a small company owned by Mr Swallow in the centre of Sheffield, near Nunnery Colliery. Our work was unaffected by the war.

We wore a sack cloth apron to work in and clogs and a turban. We were using acid and if this spilled on our feet we had to wash it off straightaway. We started work wearing white, and came home black.

It was very hard work, and it was piece-work. We only got paid a decent wage if we worked hard.