Cadged from a post of his on

"Once upon a time I had the privilege of working for a few weeks as a riveter and also as a welder in one of the Royal Dockyards, and during this time I learnt various things which I do not think are in the text-books. Although closing a two-inch rivet in an armoured deck with a pneumatic hammer is both hard and noisy work, it is also curiously interesting, and most forms of riveting seemed to me to have at least some of the attraction of golf with the advantage of being more useful. A further sporting element was added by the operation of the inspection process; in those days we were paid at the rate of so much for every rivet closed, but five times so much was deducted for every rivet which was condemned by the inspector and had to be drilled out and replaced.

Riveting may not be heaven, but, by contrast, welding was certainly hell. Welding is amusing enough for the first hour or two - as I dare say hell may very possibly be - but after this the task of watching a hissing, flickering arc and a wretched little pool of molten metal becomes intolerably dull, and the dullness is not much relieved by the sparks and blobs of molten metal which find their way down one’s neck and into one’s shoes. After a very few days a feeling of boredom and bloody-mindedness settles in and it becomes very difficult to concentrate upon making a satisfactory weld."