Ann Gowans and Honor McGurgan

(Woodhall Mill)

2007.88.1 Ann Gowans and Honor McGurgan interviewed by Sarah Bromage in Kirkliston, Edinburgh on 1/6/2007

Ann Gowans and Honor McGurgan are sisters whose father and grandfather worked in Woodhall Mill, Juniper Green. They were the last family to live in mill housing at Woodhall Mill and remember going on annual trips as children.

0000 Christening of Honor at mill house. Honor was two. Minister from Colinton came to house
0104 Could not hear mill but could hear water. Railway at mill. No contact with Kinleith Mill. Sometimes Mr Bruce from Kinleith would come and visit.
0203 Description of mill trip. Clothes you would wear, what you would do places you would visit
0530 Would have another holiday but generally people in the village would not get another holiday.
0600 Had freedom and everybody looked out for everyone else. Had friends in the village
0630 Activities on trip, social get together
0745 It was like a big family day out.
0810 Photographs that Honor McGurgan had got. Honor had crush on 'Sweet William Course' and called for him to rescue him when she fell into lade. Dogs who heard her calling.
0938 Rope that was tied to Honor's waist to stop wandering, would reach to other cottages. Aunty Pegg would look after the girls and buy them treats.
1121 Honor would sing and dance to them.
1150 Found out about Inveresk taking over mill from another manager. Son was not interested in mill after Mr George died. Was a bolt out the blue.
1300 Bottom fell out of their world as did not know what to do. Grandad settled in Edinburgh and worked into his 80s.
1400 Mill trips stopped when mill taken over. Everyone would be dressed up
1440 The manager would not come on the trips, he just paid for them
1520 The pipe band. Pouring rain and he would not stop playing until he had finished his tune. Honor McGurgan started to play the pipes and joined the pipe band. Learned the chanter. When moved into the town was too far for regular practice. Was village pipe band and not the mill pipe band.
1811 Pipe band in the galas. Would watch the pipe band practicing in the park.
1855 Was not allowed to carry bag with eggs over the bridge as would break them.
1926 Found scrapbook in the shed. It came into the mill as waste paper. Advert for Scotts Midlothian Oats at Midlothian. Goes back to 1886. Potcher man saved it.
2100 Bryce lorries bought in paper to Woodhall. They would also do removals. All mill men were their boyfriends as little girls
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