William Nelson

(bookkeeper, then company secretary at Caldwells)

2002/119 William Nelson interviewed in his own home by Sarah Bromage in Fife on 3/12/2002

William Nelson started work in John Galloway and Sons in 1948. He worked in the firm as a book keeper until 1956 when he moved to Caldwells Mill in Inverkeithing to become Company Secretary.

000 A lot of foremen had mill housing, tradition of housing.

034 Electricians always there for start up

062 Bought own house, did not want mill housing. Disadvantages of mill houses.

082 Decoration in mill houses. Mill painters would paint mill and also houses. Also electricians, plumbers and joiners. Repairs and modifications done free. Must ask boss for modification wife wants.

115 If a house was vacant chief papermaker would be asked to recommend someone. Meant you had to keep in with John Anderson.

130 People generally got on well. Mill shut for fortnight shut, maintenance done. People would do overtime. Mill excursion where workers could choose where to go; South Shields. Families would go, lots of drinking.

171 Annual dance in later years. Did not have much in common with those in mill.

207 Unions. During war John Galloway joined Employers Federation for trade union organisation. Union fairly popular. Can't remember union/chapel meetings. Not involved in union, does not remember strikes.

243 Women conscious of the needs of the customer. At Inverkeithing would show customers round mill, introduce to machinemen. If there was a strike would lose a lot of money. Negotiation done at group level.

267 Caldwells 4 shift working. Unions made a lot of it.

280 Lunch hour, would walk up the hill behind the reservoir, swans. All mills have water rights. Time of droughts. Never heard of a flood, burst pipes. Not sure where all the pipes were.

333 Whitewashed walls, health and safety posters put up. Factory inspectors. Difficult to organise guards on heavy machinery. Accident; man got hand caught. Common accidents.

361 Machines must run as fast as possible. If there is a break must lead tail of paper through machine.

377 If there was a serious break would keep clear of machine room. Sometimes knee deep in broke, runs of bad fortune. Reasons why paper would break.

395 No nurse, first aid man. Follow rules. Accidents happen. Caldwells a vat, an explosion and a worker got splashed with chemicals. Full time safety officer at Caldwells.

429 Left in 1956. Wanted to be a company secretary but Fred Ainslie was put forward as Assistant Secretary.

452 Advert for Assistant Secretary at Caldwells. Got a presentation from Galloways. Got wedding present when got married too. Present from canteen, speech from canteen.

466 Canteen near finishing house, not too big. Put there so that people did not have to travel. Hot meal.

474 No tea/coffee breaks. No office parties.

485 Galloways 2 machine mill. Inverkeithing 5 machine mill, but no coating or twin wire. Machines new in 1928. Caldwells newest machine was 1928 and made HMSO paper.

506 A lot of investment in technology. Still demand for products. Staff from Caldwells did not go into the mill.

528 Offices in new extension. His office was in old storeroom. No ceiling, asbestos tiles. Job of looking after the cash side, ledgers and cost sheets.

551 Acting Secretary at Caldwells. Appointed secretary.

571 1960s mill closing. Inveresk going through a bad time. Gone from 13 mills to 3. Group Head office were reorganising and appointed a new Board of Directors. Hatchet men appointed. Was also Company Secretary of Loch Mill in Linlithgow.

608 Hatchet man, looking for problems. Arguments. Redundancy payment act. Job no longer viable.

660 Went back into transport corporation. Need to confidant of own abilities when applying for a position.

680 End.

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