Stewart Baillie

(paper buyer for mills and also worked for Waddies)

2003/12 Stewart Baillie interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh on 10/3/2003

Mr Baillie left school in 1947 and began working as an estimator at McLagan and Cumming. He moved to Waddies in 1955 to begin work as a Senior estimator and later the Buyer for Waddies. He stayed at Waddies until he retired in 1994.

000 Left school 1947. Went to McLagan and Cumming to become an estimator. Father worked at Bruce Peebles and found out about opening. Interview.

021 Worked for Mr MacGregor who taught him. Good company to train for as had a range of production practices. Progression from letterpress to litho. Learning to estimate and statistics.

056 Materials used. Night school for estimating was 3 years. Classes full as so many printing firms in Edinburgh. Technical science classes were for one year. Teacher came from ink works in Granton.

102 Visiting merchants eg. Wiggins Teape in St James Square.

120 1955 moved to Waddies. No formal training at McLagan and Cumming. Unusual to take on someone to be an estimator. Depts at McLagan and Cumming. 150 people. Company belonged to McCorquodale. Studio of artists.

157 Chance to be a head estimator at Waddies at Slateford Road. Staff of 3 people and an apprentice. 5 year apprenticeship going through all departments. At end of apprenticeship could be dismissed, one apprentice was colour blind.

194 Would be placed after apprenticeship. Most wanted to be salesmen as they worked on commission and earned more money.

224 Unions and strikes, left office staff and apprentices to work. However, directors were the only one allowed to handle the paper. Carried on with job. Picket lines. 6 weeks in 1959 on strike. Office not a member of the union.

249 Looked after the office staff. After strike gave the office staff a bonus. At McLagan and Cumming worked 9am till 6pm with a 2 hour lunch. Worked Saturday am but factory was shut.

270 Waddies worked 9am till 5pm with an 1 ½ hour lunch and two coffee breaks. Job for buyer came up, he applied and this was amalgamated with his job. Pay rise.

290 Estimating job; running time, paper quality materials. No chemist or lab. Instruments used to help. Estimate led to job and then to cost sheet. Estimate and cost sheet had to balance.

333 Moved away from estimating. Continuous stationary started and moved away from dye stamping, ruling, engraving and litho. Expanded factory. Producing off reels for banks and insurance companies. Dealing with reels. Cheque papers.

385 Move to continuous decided by Managing Director. Mr Baillie involved in control of materials. Cheque paper from Tullis Russell in Markinch. Whisky labels produced at Waddies.

412 Web factory at Livingston. 5 to 8 colour machines producing booklets off a reel for insurance companies and banks. System for dealing with reels and for ordering to replace stock. Paper sometimes not in good supply, rationed by firms.

445 Tullis Russell ensured they always had a supply as were producing labels for goods export and this was important. Storeroom and storage at Loanhead. Would buy paper in front of price rises. Pulp prices rose 3-4 times a year. Estimators would account for that.

469 Printed in advance of orders. Distillers expected this service. Web division linked with dispatch / mailing department. Everything collated and sent out. Dye stamping phased out as came to expensive to produce. Girls worked in dye stamping on machines transferred to bindery. 200 – 300 in bindery.

510 Buying and estimating were separate. Computerised in 1990, not sure if it worked better. Meant people did not need to know about all departments. No apprenticeship.

545 Family company ran by Managing Directors the Wards, then Charles Morrison, Mr Govan and then Peter Morrison. Kept as family business but was bought out after he left.

557 A lot of people from same family working there. Office staff got bonus after stock take each year. 10% of salary, phased out. Management were good to staff. Good relations with staff in factory. If there were problems with paper he had to sort it. Speak to people in the mill and negotiate compensation if the material was faulty.

587 When first started there were 13 different watermarks of different sizes and weights. Produced by Cowans of Penicuik and Wiggins Teape. Before paper was delivered Waddies were given samples which were tested. Each paper had standards to meet. Paper was sent down south eg. 100% rag paper was tested for rag content and if it was less than 100% it was rejected. Waddies was an export company, countries exported to.

653 Managing Director spent 6 months abroad looking for markets. 10% of total was for export. Visited mills and customers. Would go to distillers and check labels. Went to Sweden and France. Used a lot of mills in Scandinavia, France and Germany which came through merchants. Cheaper than buying domestic products.

704 No carbon required paper from mill in Wales, kept with one supplier. Paper price changeable all to do with shortages of pulp. When to buy pulp.

751 Shift from imperial to metric. Names for paper. Used to make ledgers and do marbling on a small scale.

785 Work for solicitors. Reps going round firms looking for work. Work with sales matching and samples. Had to identify material and what time it could be done in.

820 Waddies didn't follow the Federation costing rules. Agreement with unions over how fast machines could run. If there were any problems then alterations would be made in the factory. Factory on a bonus so made sure that they were running at a rate which would make them a bonus.

856 When jobs went wrong the responsibility fell with the factory. Waddies did not work out the make ready time. Running of machine dictated by the union.

880 McLagan and Cumming had tennis courts. Waddies had bowling club. Football matches between printers before he started. Golf matches. Annual ball at the Assembly Rooms was black tie, attended by office staff and customers. Had to be 10 years in the office before you could go. No dance for the factory.

911 Centenary dance, all the factory there and everyone got a watch. Christmas time everyone got a chicken and a hamper.

920 End.

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