Papermaking Reunion

2002/26 Reunion of people who worked in the papermaking industry, held at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Edinburgh on the 27th of June 2002. Chaired by David Finkelstein, Alistair McCleery and Sarah Bromage

000 Welcome and introduction of the project
051 Dick Blaikie worked at Henry Bruce and Sons and then Woodhall mill from 1957 until 1984
057 Tom Anderson who worked at Valleyfield and then Inglis Mill at Bonnington and then Livingston paper.
080 Kenny Gilchrist worked for Miller and Co who made industrial rolls for the papermaking industry.

104 Tom Bullimore worked for Spicer Ltd and then Reid International which caused the demise of Cowans at Penicuik

124 Henry Campbell started in 1961 as a trainee at Inveresk Carrongrove. Then went to Henry Bruce and worked in sales in London. Then went to Woodhall also as a sales manager. 1984 joined importers in France and Norway.

142 Jimmy Semple was a machine boy in 1941-42 and finished up on the 10th December 1943. Nearly got head knocked off. Main job was cleaning up after people.

164 Johnny Wilson was a surveyor with Midlothian council. Oversaw the demise of the industry. Juniper Green took case to court.

180 John Hardie worked at Kinleith

182 Tam Robertson worked at Woodhall in 60s and 70s and worked on the finished product. Prepared things for shipping.

185 John Anderson worked at Woodhall between 1959 and 1984 in the technical and production side.

195 Bill Munnoch worked in the Woodhall lab from 1961 and went round the mills as trainee. Was manager at Carrongrove.

206 John Brown worked at Inglis Mill. Between 1946 and 1989 in all departments.

215 David Donald worked at Galloways from 1963 until 1971 as assistant paper cutter and then was Assistant Deputy Manager

225 William Nelson was Galloways bookkeeper between 1948 and 1956. Then went to Caldwells mill in Inverkeithing

237 Mr Livingstone was a full time union official

256 John Connor was in the merchant navy before starting in Woodhall in 1960 and undertook all jobs in the company. Went to Carrongrove and then in 1977 bought a paper recycling company. Bought Inglis mill at Bonnington in the 1980s and closed mill down. Now runs Stirling Fibre.

262 Ian Napier started in Kinleith lab and then 1956 started as sales director. 2 years in Musselburgh and then to Galloways. Alday International traveled with them. Mill footballer.

282 John King worked at Woodhall and was chief engineer at James Bertram 1975 to 1985

289 Sandy Anderson worked for James Bertram, Leith Walk. Went to Canada and then when returned worked for Olive and Partick in Glossop. Was group engineer at Kinleith for Bertrams

303 David Dixon worked for James Bertrams

309 Jack Wilson worked for James Bertram from 1959, retired 2000

320 Ewen Jardine started as a management at James Brown and Esk. Went on to work in mill in Kinleith New Zealand. Worked at Inveresk in Musselburgh and then Carrongrove. Then Stoneywood mill. Still involved in training in the papermaking industry.

332 Graham Priestley asks about Kinleith water wheel. Discussion deciding that wheel was where the coating plant was.

Everyone drunk as the Riccarton Arms. Would all socialise together.
Clubs and competitions. Football sweeps would finance fishing trips.
Papermaking teams played in Edinburgh league. Mill would pay for it.
Mill part of community.
Mill houses, occupied by employees.
People didn't move around as much until latterly when transport included.
Inveresk in 50s, 60s and 70s. Owned mills all over the country, you would move.
Large movement even in the 1880s.
Mill romances and marriages.
Welfare women. Katie Milne. Welfare officer.
Lack of women at meeting. All in the finishing department. West Lothian bused women in. One of the men would drive women back off the night shift.
How important were the mills for the community? Tennis courts, bowling court and village hall in Balerno.
Everybody connected.
Mr Bruce stayed in the village, was well known and lived in Juniper Green.
The Wallace's ran the mills.
In those days Balerno was full of people who worked in the mills
Woodhall was the first firm to run shifts. Taxis would run you in on a Sunday as there were no buses.
Some people from foreign countries at mill. Many men came across for war service stayed and married.
Victor Fluie was sales manager for Galloways
Inveresk would transfer people into other roles.
Galloways invented new champion process. Development of new technology, protective of new developments.
No apprenticeships, worked your way up through different developments.
People would move to go up a level.
1957 rebuild of Woodhall
1960s change in technology
Qualifications in 1960s.
Esk Valley College in Dalkeith. Day release, lab would do HNC in chemistry at Heriot Watt.
1920s papermaking classes at Heriot Watt
People protective of knowledge
Government policy changed and there were grants to train people. Inspectors would check.
Money to train apprentices in 1960s.
Best way to improve training to move form mill to mill.
Inveresk would move you to a mill for a month. Would go round other mill to see how they were run.
Britain did not invest in the mills. Economies of scale. Government abroad would subsidise and they had own raw materials.
Lack of investment and lack of money in research.
Scotland had family run mills. No investment; machines were old.
Carrongrove mill twin wire machine. Scavenged old machine and still paid 6 million. Technology so quickly superseded.
Money required for new technology
Order sizes were small. Market wanted small orders.
Role of the unions. Woodhall had none existent union. Mills run by the family, no union.
Knew mills could not afford to go on strike.
Role of the community, family concept. Mill bosses, sponsored the community. John Galloway wouldn't allow unions in the place.
Paper control
Dependant on mill for bonus
Shift to run by accountants and firms
Health and Safety. Accidents in the mill.
Compensation for accidents
Buyer for Andrew Scott. Buyer for Reid Corrugated papers
Making roofing felt and transport workers uniforms
High quality art paper
Returning of goods
Pressure to keep paper going so accidents would occur.
879 End

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