|Title||The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists|
As time went on, the number of small jobs increased, and as the days grew longer the men were allowed to put in a greater number of hours. Most of the firms had some work, but there was never enough to keep all the men in the town employed at the same time. It worked like this: Every firm had a certain number of men who were regarded as the regular hands. When there was any work to do, they got the preference over strangers or outsiders. When things were busy, outsiders were taken on temporarily. When the work fell off, these casual hands were the first to be `stood still'. If it continued to fall off, the old hands were also stood still in order of seniority, the older hands being preferred to strangers - so long, of course, as they were not old in the sense of being aged or inefficient.
This kind of thing usually continued all through the spring and summer. In good years the men of all trades, carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers, painters and so on, were