John and Alexia Gunn

1999/147 John and Alexia Gunn, interviewed in their home in Edinburgh by Dr Heather Holmes on 12 October 1999

000 Discussion of John Gunn's ephemeral material
015 Discussion of Evening Standard Article 1962 showing Thomson's purchase of Nelsons. Reasons for going to work at Nelsons. Spoke German so was chosen. Description of Miss Crawford. Juniors were given formal names. Job undertaken in the counting room including taking cheques to the bank and picking up wages.
094 Other jobs including balancing ledgers, methods of working ledgers and wages, bills for overseas customers. Ian Nelson was a gentleman

139 Training at Heriot Watt and word of mouth training at Nelsons.

162 Power Samus department worked out sales figures. Started in Nelson in 1941.

198 Nelsons had Burrows machines for working out statements.

207 Company secretary Maurice Harding.

215 Alexia's grandfather was a bookbinder in Nelsons. Family connection important when getting a job in Nelsons.

222 Nelsons main printers on the Southside.

227 Miss Park in charge of canteen, welfare and deciding who got a pension.

247 Pension awards based on necessity. Most of Nelsons income from Classics. Nelsons printed for French House.

274 Tim Morgan of French House became prisoner of war and looked after library in camp.

283 Paris house closed during the war.

284 During the 1930s Nelsons workers worked one week in two.

292 After war new educational books were introduced. Description of editorial team.

316 Nelsons did well in Africa during this period. Published in local dialects.

334 Thousands of books form Nelsons went to West Africa, sent from docks at Leith. New factory had bindery for hard books with packing and dispatch. London warehouse at London Bridge.

356 Books took 3 days to travel to London.

372 Different members of staff dealt with overseas office or were posted overseas.

415 After counting room was in charge of the sheet stock and bound stock. Passing on printing and binding orders required off the sheets. In slack times more classics printed.

446 Paper shortages after the Second World War. Difficulties of obtaining spares for machines. Started to install German machines.

476 Went to London in 1958. Company assisted in move. John Gunn greeted people and organised conferences.

515 Conferences held mainly in London

525 8 or 9 reps employed. Orders were sent to London House and then transferred to Edinburgh.

530 Reps undertook work form their home. Description of job of rep. Change when Thomson took over.

565 Ronnie Nelson loved trains. Traveled to London on train. Ronnie had off-putting manners.

613 Ronnie made own Christmas card. Was called Rosie because of his high colouring.

631 Lord Thomson an asset stripper. Sold Nelson playing fields.

715 New warehouse in 1960s at Sunbury on Thames. Large stock, many people transferred from Edinburgh down south.

814 Situation in Nelsons worrying, John Gunn looked for employment elsewhere.

851 People at Nelsons lived on the Southside.

869 Contact with ex employees

877 Nelson workers intermarried.

881 Publicity material mainly from Parkside

895 Description of co-workers

930 Community at Nelsons, but a clear distinction between departments.

961 When Miss Park heard the Gunn's were getting married she supplied the sugar for the cake.

 

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