The lathe

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One of my first jobs on a ten foot centre lathe.

This was one big machine, you had to get the overhead in just to change chucks, I remember the four jaw was almost as tall as me. This particular day I had to skim up the commutator of an extremely large electric motor, and as jobs go it was fine. But, as did everyone in the machine shops of those days I was wearing a three-quarter length warehouse jacket, and I was quite happily occupied with my job, all was going well until for some reason I found myself being dragged backwards.

My first reaction and without doubt the best reaction was to grab hold of the saddle on the lathe with both hands. Then looking over my shoulder I could see my coat had been caught up in the drive of the donkey saw behind me, that's right no bloody guards, so my coat is being eaten by a flywheel, and by now my feet weren't on the floor, all I could do was hang on which I did for grim death, the machine behind me was not going to stop for anyone, the one in front of me was still in cut and my jacket by now was slowly coming apart, eventually the saw won, my coat lost, and I was left in the remains of what now looked like a waste-coat with two sleeves.

No its not finished yet.. after that I had had enough, I stopped the saw, took the lathe out of cut, and reached over to switch off the light, which was in the most stupid place imaginable, but I missed the switch only to find that some cretin hadn't put the cover on the junction box, so I stuck my fingers in that instead, oh' lovely three phase electrics right up my arm, after I got up off the floor feeling very worn out and rather shell shocked with the whole ordeal, I started to think about jobs elsewhere. But hey I lived to tell the tale... and got another job where life expectancy was somewhat longer than a week...