In all but one of the groups women were looking after their own children so that our discussions were frequently disrupted. This was quite normal however and I don't think it materially affected the contributions people made. The purpose of the groups was not to gain detailed personal information and there is consequently no standard information here. I accepted what members told me about themselves without further questioning.
There were five women present throughout the meeting and one woman who came very late and did not really join the discussion. The group membership was:
Jane: husband had been a miner but was made redundant when the pit closed. Jane had two older children and then a long gap until her youngest child. Husband drives a taxi and cleans windows. Jane has two cleaning jobs.
Mary: is an auxiliary nurse working full time on shift work. Husband unemployed since redundancy from the pit.
Denise: childminder for another child while looking after her own. Husband ex- miner, recently got a labouring job.
Debbie: living with husband, both on benefit -husband and ex-miner.
Anne: refused to join in group discussion because of my using the tape recorder- she did eventually relax and make some comments but I found out little about her as an individual.
Marley Potts is part of Southwick and shows similar social and economic profile to Carley Hill. It is an estate with high levels of male unemployment, a relatively young age structure and large families. It was described as a 'difficult to let' estate in the 1983 ward profile published by the local authority.
The group comprised the following people.
Betty: living with partner, two children older and one toddler and had not worked outside home for a number of years. Husband long term sick.
Diane: part time hairdresser, living with husband has two children.
Julie: had been a nurse before having her children. Will return to work when they reach school age but thought she would have to take night-shift work to fit in with the family
Ada: Julie's grandmother, visiting
Christine: had worked as a wages clerk but was now at home full time. Expected to return to work on a part time basis when her children reached school age.
Mandy: had had various jobs, including shop work and nursery assistant. Now at home full time as a single mother sees her partner but prefers to be separate because he gambles and 'can't pass the pub'
Eileen: divorced and living as a single mother with her children. There was no job she could do which would earn enough to support her family and was having difficulties in getting maintenance paid through Child Support Agency. Described it as a very lonely life.
Members of the group gave information about themselves as follows;
June: had been a nanny part-time, now not working, Her husband is a milkman
Margaret: had been a shop assistant husband had worked in the shipyards. Both are now unemployed
Mavis: formerly a 'sales supervisor', husband is now a window cleaner.
Patricia: shop assistant. Husband a building labourer.
Barbara: formerly a local government officer. Husband unemployed
Karen: formerly sewing machinist, husband unemployed.
Carol: formerly teacher's help. Husband unemployed.
Irene: Bank clerk working part time, husband an accountant.
Rita: part time hairdresser. Husband a wholesale hairdresser
Sheila: Had worked in a clothing factory. Husband manual worker for coal merchant.
Penny: Bank clerk on 5-year career break. Husband Assistant Manager retail
Ruth: formerly a sewing factory worker. Husband self-employed builder
Hilary: formerly a computer operator, husband a pharmacist. Had returned to work full time but had been made redundant.
Rose: married with one child. Working part time as a clerical worker for the Local Authority husband working for Nissan
Stella: Married, two children, formerly a sewing factory worker, registered sick for the last two years husband at Ikeda Hoover
Leslie: married with two children and had been a nursery assistant but said 'I can't remember the last time I worked'. Husband is a painter and decorator
Jill: married with two children, had been a sewing factory worker but currently registered sick. Husband working offshore on the rigs
Group members referred to were;
Clare: a full time mother at present but trained as a teacher and would return to this work when her children went to school. Husband is a clergyman.
Sarah: a former bank clerk whose husband is a Business Management Consultant. Was currently a full time mother but hoped to start her own business as an interior designer.
Elaine: trained as a Beauty Consultant now working part time with one child. Will return to full time work when children are older. Husband runs a small family business.
Brenda: had been a driving instructor before having children but was not currently working
Eve: A sewing factory worker, now a full time mother.
Esther: a full time mother with a teenage child as well as a toddler. Had not worked since before her first child was born.
Jean: a nurse working part time.
Fiona: Young woman with first child, would not return to work until after her second child was of school age.
Avril: Doing part time night work at sports complex. Mother of two
Doreen: 1 son, not working outside the home
Enid: has one son and works part time for a Travel agent
Frances: two children
Hazel: two children, full time mother
Jennifer: two children, full time mother
Caroline: has two girls said, 'I don't work - not for money anyway' husband in Royal Navy
Judith: has two children, ' I do work full time as a mother
Anne: has two girls and works part time