Your memories: Cigarette Components was ‘a great place to work’

Working at a Cigarette Components factory in Jarrow in 1969.
Working at a Cigarette Components factory in Jarrow in 1969.

It must have been great working at South Tyneside company Cigarette Components, judging by the positive comments posted by readers on Facebook, after we put up a picture of people on the shop floor in 1969.

The photo, taken in February of that year to celebrate the company receiving an award for industrial safety, shows workers on part of the assembly line.

As well as asking readers to comment on the busy scene, we also asked you what you thought about the change to plain packaging on packets of cigarettes.

This is what you said on social media.

“Vivien Garrett posted: “Cigarette Components was my first job, in 1969. I was 15.

“The machines in the picture were called dual rods. Yes, I think all cigarettes should be in plain packaging.”

Susan Sinclair told how “I worked in factory 7A shift, from 67-70, absolutely loved it. Couldn’t have worked for a better firm.

“I don’t think putting cigarettes in plain packages is going to make any difference if they had any sense they would ban cigarettes forever!”

Val Puttock McCourt said: “I worked there in 1968, then left the end of 1969, went back four years later for another four years. Best job ever, I was in factory 7 and 8.”

Jennifer Baldam took to Facebook to say: “I worked there, I was in factory 4 and factory 9 for four years, left in 1970 to have a baby then went back for a few months, then left.”

Joyce Groombridge said: “If it wasn’t for my poor mam getting me out of bed at five in the morning, probably wouldn’t have got to work, worked factory 1 and 5 , so many years ago 1973/74.”

Lilian Popov revealed how she also “worked there, from 1968 -71, was in factory 9, and filling the hoppers, was a great job, happy days.”

Pauline Atkinson said: “Worked there with Lilian Popov, my sister Ann Keenan, worked on the opposite shift, my Dad Bill Keenan worked there too.”

Stephen Thompson explained how “We were running the same machines when it closed, 46 years later!”

Margaret McKenzie says: “My late mam, Peggy Morrison, worked on the scanna with Jessie Surtees.”

Rosemary Hambley Peart states: “Can remember hand catchers before TFU, mam, Cathy Hambley, was a forlady.”

Suze Smith went online to tell readers how: “My mam and dad worked there before I was born Jean and Bobby Smith I was born with a filter tip hair colour (ginger) haha”

Lynne Daines Nelson told how she “worked there from 1976-1979, then went to Germany to join hubby”, while Kenny Martin said “my wife worked at ciggies”, and Pamela Oley revealed that “my grandad, Ken Smart, worked there”.

Moira Mills was also employed at Cigarette Components, saying: “I worked there, factory 4 and 9”, as did Maureen Nixon, who “worked there for 21 years before coming to Canada”.

Dawn Parker New said: “My mam worked here from the age of 16 until they shut the factory down.”

Sue Crosswell told how she “worked there from 78-83, then back again in 87, loved it”, while Valerie Hope recalled how she “worked there from 1969 to 2008”.

Paul Foreman told how “my nana, Sylvia Rice, worked there”. while Patricia Elliott added: “worked in factory 1. Happy days.”

Pauline Clouston suggested: “Plain packaging or not, on display or not, if people want to smoke, they will still buy them.”

Dawn Jenkins Wallace? Jacqueline Jenkins asked, “when did my dad George Jenkins work there?”, while Kenny Martin also had a question – “anybody got factory 10 photos?”.

If you worked there, what were the jobs that you used to do?

Can you name some of the many people who used to work there over the years?

What can you tell me about the history of Cigarette Components during its time here on South Tyneside?