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Lunch: What I Eat For My Lunch

Pay: How Much I Get Paid Each Week

2000s

“About one hundred and fifty pounds we end up for forty hours on week. I went an’ bought lots o’ sweets actually.  Lots and lots o’ sugar."

 

English money and a chocolate bar, showing (now out of circulation) 5, 10 and still valid 20 pound notes.
English Money From the 2000s and a Chocolate Bar

 

1950s

"...Then it was something like £11 a week, and then all I used to spend my money on were new suits because in them days you’d got a tailor on, a tailor shop on every corner and we all used to like suits, didn’t we, whether it were Italian style, or teddy boy style, or…"

English one pound note in green grey colour with red numbers printed on it.
English One Pound Note

 

Victorian Times

"It will be sufficient to say that in the large works, generally the wages are very good. Few boys get less than three shillings a week and some up to five shillings. The clergy and schoolmasters complain that great moral injury results from the high wages earned at an early age making children independent of the control of their home. However, in some branches of work such as cheap cutlery, where there is competition between the Small Masters, the wages are much lower, as low as one shilling a week."

One penny front and back 1862.  The front shows Queen Victoria and the reverse shows Brittania
One Penny Front and Back 1862

 

Questions

  • In which time period would the steel worker be most likely to buy a suit with their pay?
  • How did the pay compare in Victorian times between those in the large works and those is in the smaller 'cheap cutlery' works?
  • How much does a young steel worker today earn in a 40 hour week?