Sylvia Cowling describes her union activities

The union, we had two shops, the live shop and the film shop. ACTT it was called in those days, the Association of Cinematographer and Television Technicians. Golly, I didn’t think I could remember that! And of course, it was a closed shop, so you joined the union when you joined Granada. Didn’t bother me at all. I guess, I was a bit that way inclined anyway. Six months before I started work at Granada, my father had died, aged 55. And although I wouldn’t say he’d ever been badly treated at his work, he was involved in printing, basically he’d given them all the hours God sends. And I just thought, “That can’t be right,” and so, invited to join a union, I thought, “Yes, if this is giving a good deal for workers, then yes.”

So, I joined, nothing much happened in the live shop at first, but then one or two people became interested in it. Phil Phillips, the stills cameraman, one of them, and Lynn

 (Lloyd) the other. And I was interested anyway. So, I think Lynn became deputy steward to Phil. Phil stood for steward, he thought it was time things started happening and I think Lynn was deputy. Anyway, then Phil gave up and passed onto Lynn. And at some point, I was asked to be shop chair. So, I became chair of the shop. But Lynn was the spearhead. 

I thought she was quite magnificent as a shop steward, because one thing about Lynn was you knew that what she was telling you was the truth. It didn’t matter whether she was telling it to the management or to the union, it would be right. It would be the truth. And I think management appreciated that about her as well. She didn’t beat around the bush. She told the truth and she tried, to me, to solve management problems. The management had a problem and they’d throw something at it which was totally unsuitable. And it was up to Lynn to say, “Well, no, shouldn’t we do it like this?” They never seemed to have any bright ideas. That’s how it seemed to me. And often the union would solve the management problems. So that’s what I can tell you there, Lynn was very good as shop steward.

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