I started my first job there, a fortnight short of my 16th birthday.
I left Barnsley Girls' High School on the 22 July
and started work in the Motor Tax Office on the 25 July 1955.
In those days it was rather a sensation for a girl to be
working in The Motor Tax, we were part of The Borough Treasury,
Harold Mobberley being The Treasurer,
Barnsley County Borough Council, as it was in those days.
Technically speaking we were agents for Central Government,
who paid our wages.
The full title of The Borough Treasurer, included,
and Local Taxation Officer.
My boss in the Motor Tax Office was Joe Burton
and Arthur Walker who worked in there too,
when I started work,
I was terrified, after coming straight from an "all girls' school".
I did not like it one bit, although I pretended to my Mother & Dad that I did.
Gradually, as I became used to it,
I loved the work, although it was hard going.
In those days all the Road Fund Licenses expired on the 31 December
each year, the cost for a private car was £12/10 for the year.
If motorists wanted to they paid £3.8.9d for a quarter,
which worked out slightly more expensive.
The 1st quarter of the year finished on 24 March,
to allow for the Easter period.
In January, we had to work overtime at no extra pay,
it used to go on until 9.30-to 10.00 pm,
and then back at work the next day for 8.45am.
We hadn't a chance of issuing all the big company Licence during the day. For example the Co-op had an enormous fleet of vehicles,
as did Redfearn, Qualter Hall, The Yorkshire Traction was the biggest one.
The buses were taxed upon the number of seats,
and the commercial vehicles were taxed on their weight,
on top of that the Government had imposed a levy,
there again based upon the weight. We issued driving Licence as well,
and in those days if anyone had held a driving licence at all during their life, then it could be renewed even after many years had past.
In 1956 legislation was introduced that anyone who had not renewed their driving licence for 10 years, would have to take a test.
Well, we were inundated by these elderly (no disrespect) people, coming in who hadn't driven for years, and they were entitled
to an ALL GROUPS driving licence.
I seemed to spend half of my time down in the bowels of the Town Hall, looking for all these records, I used to get filthy.
One of my jobs was mixing ink from powder, and we used straight nibbed
pens, biros had just come available but were very expensive and I had to buy my own.
Down in the basement the rooms were all protected in case of air raids, and tin hats were still hung up, ready for use.
My favourite people were from the Fairground, I can remember,
The Tuby's, Robinson's, and Shufflebottoms,
they used to pay their taxes on the dot.
The problem was, it all came in very small change and took ages to count, so we would accept it and count it after office closing time.
It could be guaranteed that it was accurate to the penny,
and we used to hear all sorts of stories from the Fairground people,
when we had time to listen.
All this reminiscing started by my looking at the photos
of inside the clock tower.
I once climbed up there and on to the Town Hall roof,
the view was breathtaking, and inside the clock tower was enormous to me.
Other Departments based in the Town
Hall where, The Borough Engineer, The Food Office, The Coal Office, The Civil Defence Office, The Sanitary Department,
The Medical Officer of Health Department, The Education Department,
The Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Mary aged 17 ~ I had been working 18 months.
music ~ "The Air that I Breathe"