Beryl Davis grew up in Ely and has lived in Cardiff all her life. She trained at City Hall in the accounts department.
I worked in The City Hall for my first job. I was on the adding machines and then they had the big machine. We would have the men's hours and work out the wages for the council workers each job would have a specific code and you would type in that code to work out the wages. That would go through the machine and print out. That was a nice job, there was only 9 keys on the machine. Then I moved over to the treasury, I always did figure work, I loved it. Then they asked me if I wanted to go on the contometer- that was a big old-fashioned machine. There were nine keys, 1-9 across that way and 1-9 the other way. Then there was the punching in key and the shillings key, pence, farthing etc. They trained me on that so you could out percentages, profit increase and all that kind of thing. At the end of the day you would have sheets and sheets of figures. It was really interesting work and once they had trained me I had to stay with them for two years, which was fair enough because my mother couldn't afford to train me. I was supposed to be trained for 3 months but I got my diploma in 6 weeks.
I had to go into work on a Saturday morning to work and collect my pay. When I finished my training and everything I went on the comp and didn't have to work Saturday mornings anymore. I did all kinds of jobs then, builders pay to docker's pay. Then I started working as a quantity Surveyor, working out all the measurements. I really enjoyed it. Then when I got married and had the children I used to take a job and then hand in my notice for the summer holidays. Then get a new one in September. In those days you could just walk in and out of work especially with my training.