I worked with cotton. I lived in Rochdale. It was just industrial, and cotton was the chief occupation. I started when I was twelve years old. Soon as you were old enough you found a job and went to work for the money. I had high ambitions. I was very good at drawing and painting. I used to get top marks for that at school and I wanted to be a sign writer. But my father was a cotton operative, my brother was a cotton operative, my sister was a cotton operative, so as soon as I was twelve my father said, ‘You’d better go and see So-and-so,’ who was the overlooker at one of the local mills, ‘and get your name down.’ There was engineering in the foundry but there was a waiting list as long as your arm for apprenticeships in those days. And they only had their names down because their fathers or uncles were foremen or had some influence.