Like most departments there was a through put of different staff from time to time.
Probably the most important and useful type of information was recognition of all the Fun Ho! toys and their peculiarities; hence a 532 was basically the same as a 534, but the former had a scoop and the latter had a blade, and was 38mm shorter than its companion tractor.
Most cast toys were wrapped in newspaper. Ah! Those were the days when a man could dry his wet hands in newspaper - and the black print would not come off on to his hands.
There was always a large pile of paper neatly stacked in string tied bundles.
Magazines (the Ladies varieties usually found in waiting rooms!) was kept separately, for some products, known only to the packer, were kept for special purpose wrapping.
Toys wrapped in this fashion have been opened after thirty or forty years, and not a black smudge on the toy.
Fun Ho! toys were nearly always in Fun Ho! maroon boxes, except the larger trucks, etc., which were too long and were just wrapped in newspaper alone and then in brown paper. Boxed toys would likewise be finally wrapped in brown paper, which was pulled off a roller dispenser screwed to the wall. There was a long dispenser for gummed brown paper, which had a rubber ended nozzle on an upside down cylinder of water. This gummed paper was pulled over a water brush which wetted the paper enough to activate the gum, and while sometimes rather messy it was very effective once properly applied.
Unfortunately the gum would build up on the packer's hands and fingers, which was tolerable till morning or afternoon 'smoko', when the heat and moisture of a good mug of tea, would re-activate affectionately, and the packer's fingers would be quite effectively imprisoned around the handle , which would take a minute in hot water to release.
Tying a parcel up with matching brown string was often a work of art, or poetry in motion; the parcel appeared to be casually tossed up and around, when the string would be magically tightened exactly in the middle, flicked around the sides, tucked under and knotted and broken off with a jerk of the hand, in less time than it takes to tell!
Packers after a little experience could wrap a parcel up in brown paper effectively and neatly, at the same time as looking at the next order in hand, or carrying on an animated conversation. If it was the latter, the force of any debate could be decisively underlined by snapping off the string with a quick jerk of the fingers while looking steadfastly into their opponent's eyes!
An official address label was gummed into place and the address hand written, and another order was despatched.
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