Thallon Veitch

(head finisher)

2003/15, Thallon Veitch interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 26/3/2003

Thallon Veitch began work in John Galloways, Balerno in 1942. He continued working in Galloways until the closure of the mill He worked in the machine house, but after an accident he was transferred to the Salle. He worked in various capacities within the Salle and his last position was Head Finisher

000 Annual trip. Holiday was the annual trip. Pipe band piped you to the train. Description of trip and venues. Pipe band

033 First started one weeks holiday and no annual trip. Went when younger as father worked at mill, all families would go. Trip was holiday.

057 Worked Christmas until 1960s. New Year off. No bonus for Christmas.

072 Mill shut first week in July for Edinburgh trades. No bank holidays

090 Mill started at 10am on Sunday till 12pm on Saturday, shift patterns. Night out and starting shift at 6am.

110 Mill horn sounded at 6.55 and 7am to start and also at breakfast and lunch. Could hear it from a mile away

128 Docked if you were late, clocked on and off. Got a clock in the salle to avoid queuing. Timekeeper checked cards and lived in mill house on grounds.

162 Around 27 mill houses. Started buying houses in the Lanark Road latterly. Asked office to put name down. Block father was in was mostly people who had moved from Portobello.

198 Father was in Galloways for most of his working life. Rent on houses low, advantage to be in mill house. Rent taken off pay.

225 Father got watch when he retired, enjoyed the mill.

231 Receiver did not want him to leave. Was there a year after it closed. Knew things weren't going too well. East Lancs told them that it would close, did not think it would close. Those who left Galloways always came back.

269 Started to lay people off. Got brother in to help out. All the stock had to be got rid of. Stock room; description of dispatch area. Man who he eventually worked for went round mill buying up stock. Some machinery went to India. Joseph Eck machine was a good machine if it was running correctly.

307 Just Mr Veitch and dispatch clerkess in mill. Esparto pulp boat into Leith and wagons would be line up the road. Paper went by boat to London. Then started dispatching by railway and then road transport. 3 mill lorries and Pollock lorries/

335 2 – 3 days to make an esparto delivery. Shift from esparto grass to esparto pulp in the early 1960s. Esparto grass in shed moved by overhead crane. Processes that esparto grass went through to make paper. Potcher, beater, chests. Dye added by hand to small chests with agitators. Drain onto machine. Suction box and couch felt. Fed through cylinders o dry it off.

395 Wax burned off. Esparto had to be boiled in caustic soda. Took a while to boil grass. Terrible smell, complaints about smell. People in village used to it.

438 Blanket felts off the wet felt. Couch felts made slippers in war years. Put name down for felts. Sent blanket felts to Bosnia.

454 A lot of blankets to a felt, cheap to buy. Felts on machine changed often.

474 Jock Cosser union official, did not feel that he gave him much support. Machine men got incrementally more each raise. Arguments.

503 95% members of union. Would encourage people to join. As they helped him when he had his accident even though the firm was not a member of a union.

519 No strikes in Galloways. Union meetings on a Sunday morning not well attended. Accident pay little.

533 Paid weekly, timekeeper gave you an envelope. Staff paid monthly.

550 Mill closing. Impact on people and village.

561 New job with Grosvenor Chatter. Comparison to Galloways Mill. Relocated to Wales.

597 Changes he made in mill to improve efficiency. Not popular.

627 Firm looked after its employees, extra ½ weeks wages at Christmas. Firm getting into trouble financially

649 Last company he worked for in the Wirrel made production manager. Promotion, good money.

717 When leaving Galloways got £900 for 25 years. Dickens and Robbins gave brother £20,000.

734 End.

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