Not sure this really fits in PC but it is a matter of pedantry

(16 Posts)
Pedestriana Tue 09-Jun-15 15:38:07

I'm researching for a book (long story). I need to find some reliable sources of information that'll provide me with details of typical duties of jobs for young men in the early 1950s. Jobs that would have entailed travel.

I am sorry I can't elaborate much as it'll be a big give away but travel would be within the UK.

Struggling to find a suitable search term to google/put into local library search field to locate books.

CocktailQueen Tue 09-Jun-15 21:36:38

Census reports?
Otherwise, go to your local library and ask someone for help.

Pedestriana Tue 09-Jun-15 22:47:45

Census is a good idea, thankyou, I'll see if the library can help with those as online only goes to 1911.
Not sure what specialities local librarians have but yes, something else to try.
I just thought it would have been information that was relatively easy to find online, and it is proving to not be so.

AuntieStella Tue 09-Jun-15 23:03:12

Aside from National Service?

What age are your young men, and is this after they completed their National Service, or were they exempt (reasons for exemption might have impact on job options).

Otherwise, ones that spring to mind are jobs connected with the railways, lorry drivers, charabanc drivers (having got their licence from time in forces), junior sales rep (would have a fairly established 'round' but could cover a few towns).

Pedestriana Wed 10-Jun-15 11:08:27

At the moment, early to mid 20's age-wise. Thinking that they will need to be exempt NS, and potentially sales/insurance work...

I have this bobbing along in the background for now, but all input is very useful, so thankyou to everyone who has replied.

CocktailQueen Wed 10-Jun-15 11:13:51

How about www.ehow.com/info_8214885_business-jobs-1950s.html

www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8374130/Facts-about-Britain-at-work-in-the-Fifties.html

This mentions a BBC2 documentary, The British at Work - can you watch it on IPlayer? Sounds like it might be relevant.

www.ttgdigital.com/news/top-stories/swinging-into-action-a-look-at-the-1950s/4688720.article - about air travel. Could he be a travel agent?? Male steward??

Or if you mean UK travel then insurance sales rep, funeral plan sales rep, that sort of thing?

Pedestriana Wed 10-Jun-15 12:58:57

Thanks Cocktail very interesting, I shall investigate! smile

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jun-15 14:03:25

Young men (normally eligible age 17-21) were exempt from National Service if they worked in one of the three "essential services" of coal-mining, farming and the Merchant Navy. Conscientious objection was possible (not sure how that was assessed). And certain medical conditions could rule men out too.

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jun-15 14:05:11

It might be worth investigating which railways had restaurant cars with attendants (and on which routes). That might be compatible with a disqualifying medical condition. Or he could have done National Service in the Catering Corps?

Pedestriana Wed 10-Jun-15 17:39:31

Thanks AuntieStella - again very good food for thought. This character is not a main one in any way, but I am loth to take a slapdash approach to detail that affects the overall shape of the story.

Currently investigating backgrounds for another few characters, but shall return to my 'young man' shortly.

ohmymimi Mon 15-Jun-15 18:56:15

www.amdigital.co.uk/m-collections/collection/mass-observation-online/detailed-information/
Rather late to the party, but this may help - it's a fascinating resource.

Pedestriana Mon 15-Jun-15 22:29:16

Thanks ohmy

I don't want to divulge too much as it's part of the essential background, but the person I'm trying to find a job for gets killed off. I have a specific situation where they shuffle off their mortal coil, which fits the timeline perfectly. I just need to find a way to get them to the wrong place at the right time, as it were.

Ordered a few books from the local library which may offer some more insight too.

I don't want to get too hung up on this bit right now as there are plenty of other scenarios and situations I need to work through, but this section does shed some light on later events in the plot.

Icimoi Fri 19-Jun-15 22:59:50

I take it they still had travelling salesmen then?

Pedestriana Sat 20-Jun-15 09:40:27

Ici indeed they did, but I'm finding it extremely hard to find any relevant information. I don't want to make assumptions about who did what. I have just got a couple of books from the library which look at employment etc post-war, so seeing where that takes me.

In fact, speaking to someone a day or two ago, I think I may have hit upon a solution so am going to try writing it up to see if it sounds plausible.

AuntieStella Sat 20-Jun-15 09:58:28

tailoredtrades.exeter.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/french.pptx

It looks like there's a narrowish window between the winding down of rationing, and the new advertising/sales methods that started to come in during the 1960s.

Confectionery sounds like a nice line of work to be in!

Pedestriana Sat 20-Jun-15 10:14:04

Auntie thankyou - that's very interesting!

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