Mr James William Beale talks about his first job in the Liverpool telephone exchange in 1913, interviewed in 1986

Mr James William Beale was born in 1900 and interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900–1960 ' project. He talks here about his first job, in the Liverpool telephone exchange.

INTERVIEWER: How old were you when you left school?

WILLIAM: Thirteen, and I went for a first job as a telegraph boy, delivering telegrams and letters, one thing and another. From there I graduated to be able to take on the telephone exchange, which had only a hundred subscribers at that time.

INTERVIEWER: Is this in Liverpool?

WILLIAM: In Liverpool. Number 1 was doctor; 22 was Fire Brigade and 21 was Liverpool Hospital [which was] the Old Men's Home at the time. And that's about the chief ones. They were the numbers you had to remember quickly so you could…oh, the Police were number 18 I think.'