The original trades practiced at The Stepney Causeway Workshops were Bakers, Blacksmiths, Boot makers,
Brush makers, Carpenters, Printers, Tailors, Tinsmiths, and Wheelwrights. Transferred from Stepney to
the new well equipped workshops at Goldings were the following trades… Blacksmiths, Wheelwrights,
Orthopaedic workers, Carpenters, Cabinet makers, Printers, and Tinsmiths. Quote from “Night and Day”
Barnardo School of Printing 1922.

Shoemaking Department
Shoe repairers are traditionally happy and contented in their work, for they have a satisfying job. When shoes are
repaired a new lease of life is given to something
which otherwise would be fit only for the scrap heap.
If a boy decides to learn this trade, he gets the opportunity to make shoes as well as repair them. He is sometime
surprised to learn how many different ways there
are of making shoes. In order to know the correct method of
repair, he must learn how a shoe is built up from its component parts. All the latest methods are taught and
there are many interesting machines in the workshop which a boy can learn to operate. After completing his
training, a boy has a fairly wide
choice of employment. He may do repair work in a large depot where ‘multiple’
shoe shops get their repair work
done, or he may work for a small family business. He may like to specialize in
making and repairing surgical
shoes, for in this way he not only earns a good living for himself, but helps people who
have some physical handicap
. It is also possible to take up an apprenticeship with a firm which manufactures
shoes, or take a job in the
retail trade. However fashions change, people will always want footwear. There is never
any difficulty in finding a good opening for a skilled boy. Quite a few ex-Goldings
boys now have their own businesses
and have reason to be pleased with the choice they made when they were young.

Gardening Department
Parks gardener, Market Gardener, Propagator, Groundsman, Nurseryman. These are all healthy occupations
which appeal to a boy who likes an open-air life. A boy who rushes into the work at fifteen without training
likely to find himself doing all the tedious work when he is a man. The more interesting and better
paid work
is obtained by those who have had the sense
and patience to get some technical training while they are young.
A gardening course at Goldings will give you a good start, for within the 98 acres of the estate there are
devoted to different purposes, providing a variety of experience. In addition to a 3-acre walled garden
vegetables and flowers, there are orchards, rose gardens, rockeries, herbaceous borders, tennis courts,
cricket and
football pitches and many varieties of trees and shrubs. As a gardening student you would be taught
to recognize
many different kinds of plants, wild and cultivated, the best methods of propagation, how to identify
and control
plant pests and diseases and all such knowledge required by a man who is going to do skilled work
on the land. You would also have the opportunity to learn how to drive a tractor and other machines used in
There are about 30 boys in this popular department of the school who receive technical training
and practical
instruction from a qualified Teacher of Gardening, two Gardening Instructors, and four skilled

Printing Department
This Book was printed by Goldings boys, whose photographs you see on the following pages. There are two distinct sides to
the craft of ‘letter press printing’. One man, called a ‘compositor’ sets the type.
He is responsible for seeing that
the matter to be printed
is correctly assembled and arranged to give it a well proportioned and pleasing
appearance. Afterwards comes
the job of preparing the work for the machine which is to print it, in order that it
will print evenly and exactly in
the right place on the paper. In the trade this man is called a ‘machine
minder’, which is rather a misleading
name, for minding a machine does not sound very skilful. In the printing
trade it is a highly skilled job. Both sides
of the trade depend upon each other to produce high class work. The
training is long, but the reward for those who persevere is highly paid and interesting work.
All printers must have
good eyesight and it is particularly
important for machine minders to be able to distinguish colours, for as you
know there is a great deal
of colour work in books and magazines. There is a wonderfully equipped workshop at
containing many different kinds of printing machines. If you are a reasonably good scholar and possess
the quality
of perseverance, this may be just the work you are looking for. Boys who take up printing as their trade
are apprenticed when old enough, after which they become wage
earners, receiving the nationally agreed
rates of pay. On completion of the course they are fully trained journeymen printers.

Building Trades Department
Carpentry is one of the great national industries. There are many examples of men rising from humble positions to
Important jobs in the building world. Many boys who
have trained at Goldings hold good positions in high
class firms and quite a few are themselves in business, employing other men. The starting point is an
in one of the building trades. At Goldings you can either train as a carpenter-joiner or as a
painter-decorator. Whichever you do you can
enter the building industry as an apprentice and the time you
spend in the School will shorten your apprenticeship
. Should you wish to transfer later on to some other
building trade, such as bricklaying or stonemasonry, an
apprenticeship can be arranged for you when you leave.
A carpenter usually works on a building site and a joiner in a workshop preparing work to be taken to the site.
At Goldings a boy gets the opportunity of doing
both jobs and also operating some woodwork machinery, in case
he should prefer to become a woodwork machinist.

Painting Could any job give more pleasure than painting and decorating? These craftsmen begin to work in
a gloomy
room or on a dingy building and leave a smart and attractive place when they go. The work calls for
and care as you can see by the way the boys in the pictures are concentrating on the jobs in hand.
The care of tools is an important part of a craftsman's training.
As each boy reaches a required standard of
proficiency he is provided with his own comprehensive set of tools,
which he takes away with him when he
leaves the School for trade employment.

Sheet Metal Work Department
Can you imagine a tailor using metal sheets to make a suit? I suppose the armourers did in olden days when the knights
went to war clad in metal from head to foot.
A tailor uses softer and more comfortable material, but he must
still learn to cut the material into just the right
shapes and join them together skilfully to cover quite different
kinds of figures long and thin and fat and
round. The tailor works in soft materials, which can be joined by
sewing, but a sheet-metal worker must learn to cut and shape and join metal. The boys at Goldings
work in
sheet iron, galvanized iron, copper, brass, and
tinplate. To succeed in the work you need to be able to use
compass, rule, and set square and you must not mind getting your hands dirty during working hours. There
are not so many boys who get the opportunity to learn this trade and there is a shortage of skilled men.
metal workers are well paid and there are many openings in industry. Ex-Goldings boys are now earning
livings by practicing their craft in the aircraft and motor car industries and in firms making cold
storage plants,
agricultural machinery and ventilation shafts for factories and ships. In the pictures you may see
boys using an oxy-
acetylene welding plant. A man who can use this apparatus is extremely useful in any workshop.
As in other
departments each boy is provided with a set of tools, which he will need when his training is
complete and
he goes out to work at his trade.

The school curriculum was unique. With boys in the age range of 12 -18 it had to be all embracing. The
Younger lads spent most of their school-time at general subjects and each could choose three trades,
Attending for one half day a week. As they grew older one trade would be dropped, and then, at fourteen
A firm choice would be made for the trade that hopefully was to earn them a living. This system had much to
Commend it. It meant that a lad who opted for printing had also a very sound knowledge of two other skills.
By Ron Stackwood (1916 - 1993)

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

Page Compiled 2005

Click For a short history of the Print

Click Trade Photos

Willie Jones
(Being the sad tale of an all too ambitious youth)

Now Willie Jones (a keen young lad)
When asked to choose a trade,
Decided, just to please his dad,
He'd learn to wield a spade.

So to the Gardens he did go
Right merry, blithe and gay,
Willie's joy turned into woe
When told outside to stay.
It was raining hard you see
And Willie caught a chill
So off he went to Carpentry
With wood to try his skill.

He started planing bits of wood
Ten by twenty-three.
When bugle sounded (time for food)
No wood could Willie see.
He'd planed so hard that through the floor
He'd made a hole so deep,
Cried Willie: "Now we need no door,
Instead, through here we creep!"

But Willie did not worry,
Ambition flared within.
Tinsmiths see our Willie hurry
To "have a go" at tin.
At this, he also was a flop
And found to his dismay,
Instead of making things in shop
He'd melted 'em away.

Then Willie tried to show his skill
At mending boots and shoes.
It wasn't long before our Will
Felt really in the blues.
For far from doing what was right,
He wrecked the whole darn show!
He tried to bang a nail in tight.
And let the hammer go.

It sailed through space,
as jet-propelled,
And hit a master's — well,
You should have heard the way he yelled
As out of sight he fell.

A last attempt, our Willie tried
A printer boy to be,
On entering the shop he spied
A machine was running free.
He walked up to the lever, and
With coolness (cold as ice)
Thought, with this he'd lend a hand,
And pulled the lever twice.

He heard a whir, a hiss of air,
And then, as quick could be
Poor Will was caught by strands of hair
(Inside the works was he).
They cut the current off forthwith,
But much too late I fear.
For when they pulled out Willie Jones,
He was dead from ear to ear.

Poor Willie Jones, ambitious lad,
Keen as mustard too;
He'd only tried to please his dad.
Instead—white wings he grew !
L. J. 1953

Three Day Exhibition of Crafts and Hobbies Oct 1958

Hertford Trade Fair 1964

Trades displays through the years


Early Trades

For more information please click on the relevant trade title

A gift to Watts

Trades 30’s Style

Trades 20’s Style