Elizabeth More

(worked in overhauling, father was a driver in mill)

2002/112, Elizabeth More interviewed in her own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 13/9/2002

Elizabeth More worked in the overhauling department at Galloways of Balerno between the ages 15 and 18.

000 Father worked on farms and then went into the mill. Balerno was a farming community. Everyone worked in the mill. Father, brother and sister worked in the mill.
028 3 years in papermill. Sticking labels on bales of paper was her first job in mill. Girls would check paper. 1 counter to each table and 5 or 6 girls to a table and then an overender.
052 6 tables and 6 to a table. Was there between 1953 and 1956. More you overhauled the more bonus you got. Paid immediately and the girls would go out immediately to the shops.
070 Hands would be in tatters. Mill overalls, bought own overall as did not want to wear regulation overall. Felt to stop paper rubbing overalls. Galloways uniform was a white lab coat with a belt. Rubber tubes on fingers to protect them from cuts. Careful not to crack the paper.

105 Different types of paper used. Hands got lacerated overhauling. Description of job and job of overender and counter.

130 Didn't like overhauling board as hurt hands. Was quite boring and hard heavy work. Juniors would do labels. Put to stored order department to train. Didn't take long to learn, get a rhythm.

158 Goods went to Salle and then finishing end. Father Jimmy Currie drove lorry and then started to do long distance driving to places like Lancashire.

177 Four lorry driver took sludge and lime away. Description of lorry. Moved to Balerno in 1940. Mill house did not come with job had to put name on list.

205 Mill houses; key men got the houses. Different mill houses in Balerno. Community atmosphere. Recreational facilities at mill. Mill trips. Mill dances. Description of photograph.

240 Mr Galloway's house. Father chauffeured for Mr Galloway and would wear a uniform. Mothers did not work.

264 Mr Galloway was an old man. Mr Duncan the accountant. Father friendly with head engineer, all grew up together.

277 Father would do extra jobs for money like clear the sludge pond. Dances at the Charlotte Rooms.

292 Gala days and description of dressing up. Galas were sponsored by the mill but stopped for a while. Drama groups all centered round the church. Sunday school teachers.

317 People would socialise locally at the Gibson Memorial Hall in Currie. If went put in town had to get last bus home at 10.50pm.

330 Lots of families working in the machine house. Lots of people there. Father asked them to give her a job. No interview; did not like it.

350 Starting work; hooter sounded at 7am. Working hours till 5.15pm. Arms would hurt with lifting the paper. Felt worn away. Dreaming while overhauling, could talk while you were working. Paid standard rate and would get bonus. Rate of pay. Method of pay; mum would take rent.

381 Has enough. Only females in the salle apart from the men on the forklift. Female overseer. First aid man, there was no nurse. Mill romances.

396 Mill canteen. Departments did not mix. Machinemen wouldn't go in. Played tennis at courts. Locals married; people did not marry outwith the community.

419 People moved away; the 1950s were the start of people needing more than life dished out. Unions within the work; paid union fees but not involved.

433 Did not go to union meetings. Accidents in the mill and at Kinleith mil. Not strict on health and safety.

457 Galloways had a cleaner. Girls would go into the toilet to smoke. Basildon Bond took over mill.

470 Robert Matthums talking about the papermills; Balerno bond and Galart paper. Pungency of mills. Hum of the mill that you never heard until it stopped.

490 2 weeks holiday in the summer went to Butlins in Ayr.

493 Smith and Saunders lorry which transported coal. Leyland octopus lorry, would give boys a lift round the yard in the lorry. Pini Row houses seen to be the intellectuals as a piano used to be in each of the houses.

512 Mill ran on the 3 shift system. Mobility of people. Was in Mill house for 30 years. When the mill closed the houses were sold off.

533 Father became supervisor on the loading bay when the driving became too much. When he retired the men from his department gave him some gardening equipment. World moves on, slow decline of the firm. Bulldozed and built houses. Gossip went round the village quickly. Now a residential area and all the shops are gone. A lot of poverty in Balerno.

559 Rats rife around the mill. Railway was a goods railway.

575 Description of photographs and people in photographs.  

591 Mr Butler was head engineer. A lot of tradesmen in the mill. Father never asked them what they wanted to do, expected to go into the mill.

614 Galloways felt that they were above Kinleith. The two mills never mixed. Girls wold never go for a drink, would have a cup of coffee. Not allowed to go to the pub.

636 Lads would go to the pub. Were happy. Age of ladies in the salle. Some would leave to get married and came back when kids grew up. Only a few young girls; most had been doing it a long time. Never saw each other at work.

674 Father in law worked in mill, husband didn't. Women would work in the mills when pregnant.

705 Sister worked as an overender then in the sampling. Would weigh paper. 2 girls in sampling.

725 Was in labeling a few months and then would move when a new person came in. Did not enjoy it.

744 End.

 

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