Colin Stone: Sittingbourne Paper Mill

I started work at the mill in 1972.  I was earning £11 per week at Tesco but the mill was willing to up this to £18!  My first impression was that everything was so big.  I first worked as a Service Operator in Jubilee Street and my job was to collect up all the broke and take it away in massive wooden trucks.  There were no electric transporters in those days, it was all done by hand.

I remember that when I started the mill had its own fire fighters and ambulance and there was a nurse on duty 24 hours a day.  And they were all dressed so immaculately!  I also remember that there was one guy who spent his whole day at work cleaning the toilets.

All the reels had to be packed by hand, and it was an awful job, and worse in the winter as the lorries would go from Jubilee Street and when the doors went up you would get an icy blast, and be working with frozen hands.
If there was no work in other departments they would send you there, this became known as the ‘Knackers Yard’.

There was a good atmosphere in the mill and we had some good fun.  With all the different characters, it could be a bit boisterous and they were always up to tricks!  I miss all the people that I worked with.

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