Roger Slater remembers rubber gloves, broken bottles and bandaged cows...

Hi Dave,

I’ve been speaking to Neville Grose this morning and he has informed me of the ‘Job’s Dairy Web Site’ you have built with John Baynham. Having spent the last hour rummaging through it, I want to say thank you to you both for an excellent job in bringing back a lot of good memories, as well as a few sad ones, and hope that it won't be long before a few more stories come rolling in.

I started my Job’s career on the 13th January 1964, having just left school. My mother, who worked at the dairy as an office cleaner, had words with the Dairy Management and asked if they had a job for a dear son of 16 years of age, who thought he was going to stay at home all day doing nothing. This obviously proved too much of a challenge for them to turn down and I was duly signed on by Bill Wildin and kitted out with white overalls, cap, rubber gloves and Wellington boots, and introduced to the loading end of a bottle washer. (That’s something for the BBC to listen to in the early hours of the morning with a hangover.)

Without going into the vagaries of this operation, it is well known that things can go wrong causing a pile up of bottles and broken glass taking some considerable time to clear and put right. This would happen some days more than others. The person operating the discharge end of the bottle washer was the only person who could start the machine after a stoppage and in a good natured way it was that person's job to chivvy up the person at the other end.

To the uninitiated this would seem a reasonable way to operate as it was in everyone’s interest to get the job done and get home. However, can you imagine this when it’s happening every few minutes and the person on the other end was that lovely lady Gladys Underwood, whooping and hollering every few minutes, (those who new her will know what I mean). It certainly was difficult to have a sense of humour at times and it sure was difficult not to stuff those bottles where the sun doesn't shine.

Just one of many humorous tales I can tell from my 23 years service, although some are best not told.

Just to add to the humorous “Job’s Cows”  stories: -

1. Some wag broke into the First Aid room during the late evening and used the bandages to bandage up all the cows heads and udders.

2. All the cows tails were turned up as if making pancakes.

3. On numerous occasions they were lined up waiting at the bus stop.

Just imagine the laughter from the passers-by!

Please change the names on the photographs from Mr. & Mrs. R Slater to Roger & Maggie Slater, otherwise political correctness and Health & Safety will take over from Christianity.

Keep up the good work and I’ll try and keep in touch with a few more stories.

Kind regards and best wishes.

Roger Slater

Cows on the roof at Hanworth Plant
The famous Job's cows originally lived on the lawn at the front of Hanworth Plant

Cows on the roof at Hanworth Plant
They were moved to a safer home on the roof following the extension work in 1977
Cows on the roof at Hanworth Plant
Thanks to David Watson for contributing the two photographs taken from the roof

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