Mealtimes (Mike Williams)

Mike Williams interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Mike Williams discusses the impact of working routines on mealtimes.

Every other day, you had 24 hours off. So in those 24 hours you could work evenings at suburban cinemas. And I done quite a bit of that around Cardiff, they’re always looking for operators to fit in ‘cause they never have enough staff. ‘Cause they didn’t pay really good wages. But you do it for a giggle for one night, it doesn’t really matter what you got out of it, you know, it was just you were running the show for everyone, bit different. You have free tea and free coffee and perhaps they send you out a bag of chips and a piece of fish ‘cause that’s standard fair for a projectionist. Actually I got … never ate fish and chips in the Olympia. Never, I can never, ever, do you again … I was thinking about this a few weeks ago, we never had fish and chips in the Olympia because there wasn’t a fish and chip shop in the vicinity. So normally it would be sandwiches done by mum. Or if you had a bit of money you go across to Woolworth’s across the road. You’ll like this, our main treat in the Olympia, Frank Saunders used to call me into the … usually on a, on a Friday when he was making up film, he’d call me in and he’d give me some money and he’d say, “Now go and get our lunch for today, Mike.” And I knew what it was ‘cause he’d trained me well, I used to go across the road, down a lane, and there was a dirty old bake house down there. And I used to buy a loaf of hot bread and I’d walk back through the back end of Woolworth’s, you could walk right through Woolworth’s in those days and I’d buy half a pound of butter and tin of Fussell’s milk. Go back to the cinema, in slices the hot bread, spread it with butter and pour Fussell’s condensed milk on it. And that was, that was Frank Saunders and my treat on a Friday. We used to really love it. But it was very … because the hours were so strange, once we started working, or I started working shift work the hours are so strange. Half past nine to half past three doesn’t give you a mealtime really. You go home and you have your dinner at home. Half past three to half past ten, you have breakfast before you leave home, you’re leaving the house by lunchtime so you don’t bother with it, you just go into work and do your shift and come home and have supper when you get home. It’s a very laid back life in actual fact.

Title

Mealtimes (Mike Williams)

Subject

mealtimes

Description

Projectionist Mike Williams discusses the impact of working routines on mealtimes.

Creator

The Projection Project

Source

Interview with Mike Williams

Publisher

The University of Warwick

Date

04/12/2015

Contributor

Richard Wallace
Mike Williams

Relation

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/7970

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording
interview extract

Coverage

1956-1964

Interviewer

Richard Wallace

Interviewee

Mike Williams

Date of Interview

25/08/2015

Location

Cardiff

Transcription

Every other day, you had 24 hours off. So in those 24 hours you could work evenings at suburban cinemas. And I done quite a bit of that around Cardiff, they’re always looking for operators to fit in ‘cause they never have enough staff. ‘Cause they didn’t pay really good wages. But you do it for a giggle for one night, it doesn’t really matter what you got out of it, you know, it was just you were running the show for everyone, bit different. You have free tea and free coffee and perhaps they send you out a bag of chips and a piece of fish ‘cause that’s standard fair for a projectionist. Actually I got … never ate fish and chips in the Olympia. Never, I can never, ever, do you again … I was thinking about this a few weeks ago, we never had fish and chips in the Olympia because there wasn’t a fish and chip shop in the vicinity. So normally it would be sandwiches done by mum. Or if you had a bit of money you go across to Woolworth’s across the road. You’ll like this, our main treat in the Olympia, Frank Saunders used to call me into the … usually on a, on a Friday when he was making up film, he’d call me in and he’d give me some money and he’d say, “Now go and get our lunch for today, Mike.” And I knew what it was ‘cause he’d trained me well, I used to go across the road, down a lane, and there was a dirty old bake house down there. And I used to buy a loaf of hot bread and I’d walk back through the back end of Woolworth’s, you could walk right through Woolworth’s in those days and I’d buy half a pound of butter and tin of Fussell’s milk. Go back to the cinema, in slices the hot bread, spread it with butter and pour Fussell’s condensed milk on it. And that was, that was Frank Saunders and my treat on a Friday. We used to really love it. But it was very … because the hours were so strange, once we started working, or I started working shift work the hours are so strange. Half past nine to half past three doesn’t give you a mealtime really. You go home and you have your dinner at home. Half past three to half past ten, you have breakfast before you leave home, you’re leaving the house by lunchtime so you don’t bother with it, you just go into work and do your shift and come home and have supper when you get home. It’s a very laid back life in actual fact.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:02:13

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Time Summary

00:00:00-:00:00:26: Working in suburban cinemas during time off
00:00:26-00:02:13: Mealtimes in cinemas

Cinema

ABC (Olympia) Cinema, 67 Queen Street, Cardiff

Citation

The Projection Project, “Mealtimes (Mike Williams),” Projection Project, accessed November 14, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/395.

Output Formats