Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Haverfordwest Foot-Sling Depot

From The Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, 21st March 1917

Haverfordwest Foot-Sling Depot.

A branch depot of the Surgical Requisites Association, itself a branch of Queen Mary's Needlework Guild, has lately been started in Haverfordwest.  A small local Committee having been formed, it was decided, in accordance with the express wish of the Association that the depot instead of making, as is usual, such articles as swabs, dressings, pads, bandages, etc., should specialise in one urgently needed Hospital requisite, viz., foot-slings.

Each Foot-Sling, which needs very exact and careful making, consists of a hammock-like foot-piece suspended by long straps from the shoulders.

The Slings are cut out at the depot (17 Market Street), and then distributed to members who do the necessary machine work in their own homes, returning the Slings for “finishing” to the depot.  Each Sling costs in material about 2s 6d, and as the Committee hope to send up at least 100 a month, the estimated monthly expenditure is £12 10s 0d.  The appeal for funds has been most generously responded to and much sympathy has been expressed with the work.  £95 has already been contributed, and it is hoped that a sufficient sum may be collected to enable the work to be carried on until such time as the necessity of providing foot-slings for our wounded ceases to be.  Every penny contributed goes directly towards buying materials, as there are no running expenses connected with the depot.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

A "Comforts" Film


From The Manchester Guardian; March 2nd, 1917

At the Deansgate Picture House yesterday morning a private view, held under the auspices of the Lancashire County War Comforts Association, was given of a new film illustrative of the work connected with the provision of comforts for men at the front. The film opens with scenes in the offices of Sir Edward Ward, where requests for immense quantities of goods are daily received from every part of the world in which British soldiers or sailors are fighting.  For the supplying of these articles Sir Edward Ward depends on the goodwill of all sorts and conditions of people.  First we are shown a class of little schoolgirls knitting mufflers and socks with an industry that seems quite undisturbed by the presence of the camera man.  West End shop assistants—rather more self-conscious, perhaps, but equally industrious—make and roll bandages in a London war hospital supply workroom, while women munition workers spend their leisure time in knitting.  These comforts, together with the books and papers that we saw being handed in over post office counters, are then packed and shipped to their destinations.  Those in which the film interests itself go to France, and we watch them being carried up to the British lines in big motor-vans and then distributed among the men.  The joy with which they are received is very evident and pictures of scenes at a casualty station and in a base hospital show how sadly necessary are the labours of the shop-girls.

It would be hard to find a more interesting subject for a film, or one with a wider appeal. Everyone who has contributed in some way to the bodily comfort of our troops will welcome an opportunity to see for himself how his and similar offerings reach the recipients, and for this the kinematograph is the only medium. The only fault to be found with the film shown yesterday is that it is too short and gives too bare an outline of the good work that is being done.  It might well be expanded to twice its present length without any risk of the interest flagging.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Bioscope Operating for Girls

From Woman’s Weekly, March 1917.



I had for some time been puzzling myself as to what work I should take up. It was necessary for me to start earning money at once, and I had very little in the way of funds to spend on training.
Then one day I met a friend, who insisted on my going to the pictures with her that evening. Well, I went, and while there I discovered the bioscope was operated by a girl. To tell the truth, I was more excited over that than over the pictures. "Just the work I should like!" I thought to myself. But how to find out all about it, that was the point.
Then I suddenly hit upon a plan, and wrote a nice little note, then and there, to the "lady operator," and asked her to tell me.
She sent me back a note by the same messenger:
"The work is ripping. Go to a school and learn. They will find you work." Then followed an address.
When the show was over I said good-bye to my friend, and hurried off to the school.
Well, I discovered I could become a trained bioscope operator for the small sum of £2 2s., and that it only took a fortnight to learn. What more could any girl want? If you are already in work, you can make arrangements to go for one afternoon a week, or of an evening—in fact, the schools will meet you in any way that best suits your convenience.
It is best, when possible, to give a clear fortnight to the work, as then you live in a bioscope world, and learn quicker than in an odd half-day weekly; but if that is all a girl can spare, it need not prevent her learning. The work is very interesting, and quite simple.


THE first question I asked was, "Shall I have to study?"
For reply the secretary took me to a large room, where a couple of bioscopes stood.
"These," he said, "are your lesson books. When you know all they can teach you, I can recommend you as a proficient bioscope operator."
He seemed to touch a button, and I looked up to see "the pictures" had started.
"Very difficult, is it not?" he said with a laugh, as he manipulated a few mysterious pegs, and the pictures vanished.
"But suppose something went wrong, and the machine would not work?" I exclaimed."
"Then you would use the other one. There are always two, in case of accidents; but these rarely occur, as the machines are kept in perfect order."
"And is there any fear of me getting blown up, or anything of that sort?" I asked.
"None whatever. You can set your mind perfectly at rest on that point," was the reply.
The next thing was to make sure of my future work and pay. That I found would be quite satisfactory. A trained operator would start on about £1 a week, and go on to £2. That, on the small expenditure of £2 2s. and a fortnight's time spent at learning, and, chief joy of all, no dreariness of office routine, but such a nice, bright life—just what I should like! And no early rising either!


The hours vary in different theatres, but, as a rule, they are from about two o'clock to eleven. Of course, you are not on all the time: you get plenty of off time for meals. You see, there must be more than one operator to each show, which is rather nice. As everyone knows, the cinemas are of all sorts and kinds, so naturally the appointments vary too.
It is nice to know that the very best posts are now given to women. The official war films are shown by one.
I made careful inquiries to find if this occupation would still be manned by women. I found they have given every satisfaction, and as it is such light work, it is sure to be looked upon as one especially suited to them.
The bioscope is worked by electricity, so I soon found myself learning all about the various switches that had to be turned on and off. Then I learnt quite a lot about the instrument itself, and in a fortnight I was able to work it properly.


I had no trouble to look for work, as the cinemas, when they want fresh hands, apply to the various schools, who then send them their pupils. As soon as I was ready I obtained a very nice appointment at a first-class cinema. Of course, I went as junior assistant.  I preferred that to a more important post at a third-rate show, because I want to get on.
My promotion came quickly. I gave satisfaction to my chief, and within twelve months of entering my profession I am chief operator at £2 a week, with two assistants under me.

[A bioscope was evidently the current term for a film projector.]