James Lowe

(coating plant, union rep for mills)

2003/19 James Lowe interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 24/4/2003

John Lowe worked in the coating plant at John Galloway and Sons from 1956 to 1971. Whilst working at Galloways he became involved in SOGAT and became the Union Rep for Galloways, Mossy Mill and Kinleith Mill

000 Union rep for Kinleith and Mossy Mill. Water of Leith Association. Union rep for Galloways was always the union rep for the other two mills.

015 Rep always a Galloways employee. Kinleith and Mossy Mill had their own meetings. An assistant branch secretary was appointed by Mr Lowe in the respective mills.

040 No walk outs in the mill, the industry was generally quite quiet. When mill closed people from London came up to negotiate the close. Managing Director, secretary and union rep. 20 people in board mill. 17 years service got £800 redundancy.

059 All the same conditions. Surprise when mill closed. Galloways made high quality paper, sometimes so busy sent paper across to Westfield.

074 All mills the same with union activity. A lot of mills closed at that time.

088 When Kinleith closed some people went to Galloways. When Galloways closed there was nowhere to go. DRG coating plant left 60 people working in comparison to 360 normally.

105 Mill quite separate, rivalry between mills. Bowling matches between different mills and villages.

118 Different mills on the Water of Leith. Big impact on other industries. Hauliers, transport would stop.

134 Change when railway closed. Smith and Saunders had to go to Haymarket to pick up coal. Before that the railway came into Balerno. Closure bound to effect businesses in Balerno

148 Some people would have to leave Balerno after the closure, but most had houses so could not move. Some people went to work in a tyre factory.

156 Convalescent homes. Home in Ayr. Would contact union Head Office. Any problems would apply to Edinburgh and a gentleman called Brown.

174 Everything seemed to run smoothly. Got involved with things in the community from cubs, to the gala and old peoples clubs.

183 Straight after the mill went to do social work training. Went to Moray House. Had no qualifications but had experience.

216 End.

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