8 thoughts on “Hirings Day, Stockton c1909

  1. Hirings day was the day land owners farmers and others came to meet and hire hands for usually a term of one year. They came from all around the area from the moors dales and at one time even the mines in the dales.
    The people selected would arrive and live at the place of work and the wage often meagre would be bed and board plus whatever they chose to pay, there are many stories of ill treatment and virtual slave labour told about those times.
    There was of course the other side people brought up in overcrowded homes with very little of anything got away to open countryside and often better food than they had at home it could work both ways.
    It was a contract sealed with a hand shake and appeared to work in most cases including of course men and women though most women servants would be recruited through family already working as in my mothers case. Aunt Lizzy was a cook at Scutterskelf House and got my mother in as a kitchen maid at age of 12-13, being the eldest daughter taken out of school at eleven to help with the ever growing family. She told me it was a happy time, her own room, plenty of food, a wage and best of all a day off every week.
    Today it would be frowned on then it was the way things were done, to some a way out and up to others? I leave to the imagination.


    • In the “old days”, hirings usually coincided with the visit of a local fair. When a farmer agreed terms with a newly hired hand, it was customary for the farmer to pay his new employee a “godspenny” (six pence or a shilling) which was usually spent on the attractions offered by the fair.


    • Hirings day was the same as the job centre of today the only difference was they didn’t give you money if you didn’t work.


  2. The tall building behind the sideshows is the North Eastern Bank Co Ltd later Barclay’s Bank, Stockton c1909.
    Was it also Martin’s Bank at one stage?


    • Yes Mike it was Martin’s Bank. Where I first had a bank account. Staff always helpful. As I recorded previously but inaccurately one of them was Herbert Whitley an England scrum half in the 1930s. His first major debut was for the 1924 Lions tour in South Africa on 16th August in which he scored a try. He was later capped for England against Wales at Twickenham on 19th January 1929.


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