The semi-skilled were the central working class. They were essentially a class of servants and assistants: domestic servants, shop assistants, transport workers, machine-minders, craftsmen’s mates, and the hired men on the land. Some, like upper servants, assistants in the better-class shops, or postmen, had jobs which were regarded as respectable and responsible, even if not very well paid. Horsemen could also take a certain pride in their work. Factory machine-minders and craftsmen’s mates were little more than specialized labourers.