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As well as being a great source of old photographs, postcards can also provide an useful insight into the opinions of visitors to our city. A few candid words will quickly betray their thoughts, giving us the objective view of a neutral observer. It is also interesting to study the handwriting, the sentiments and the humour used by folk in decades gone by.

1955: Work in a Coventry car factory?

Postcards can also give away useful bits of period information that fill in the gaps between seeing an old photo and hearing yet another story about "the old days". In this example from 1955, we pick up a snippet about the wages that can be earned in a car factory.

A Postcard from Coventry.

Postcard text: Am enjoying myself as far as I can, am stoney broke.... brother John has offered to get me a job here at £12 a week in a car factory. Shall I take it or leave it.... Gladys X X
A Postcard from Coventry.

Well, I think I know what my answer would be.... accept your brothers kind offer Gladys! I wonder if she did?

With the average wage being around £8 per week back in the 1950s, any worker would have done rather well to earn such a wage as is mentioned here. It certainly highlights the sort of money commanded by car factory workers during the boom years here in Coventry. I've been told by many people who remember those times, how someone could easily leave a job one day - and walk straight into another the next.

Another thing to note is that women still didn't have equal pay back in the 1950s, and it's quite likely that a man doing a similar job could have demanded an even higher salary, although there were strides being taken towards sorting out this wage inequality around the time this postcard was written.

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