2002/89, Harry Campbell interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 8/10/2002
Harry Campbell began work for Inveresk on their training scheme in 1961. He became Inveresk’s Sales Manager both in London and Scotland. He has worked in paper merchants in Edinburgh and mills in Scotland such as Carrongrove, Woodhall and Kinleith
000 Whisky industry from school, National Service. No prospects. 1960 Inveresk advertised for trainees. Mother worked for chartered accountants who were secretaries for the esparto association. Might have helped. Took on 12 trainees.
113 January 1961 at Carrongrove. Went to lab and was there for 3 months. Complaints, first went to the lab and was involved in what was going wrong with paper. Went round all roles in the mill. 4 machines and 4 coaters at Carrongrove. Mg Machine.
154 Good atmosphere, drew people in from a wide area. Dangerous work, nowadays health and safety would have closed parts of the mill. Accidents.
184 Careful not to get hands caught. No big accidents while he was there. Made base papers and book papers.
208 Coal exported and needed something to bring back. Esparto used, cooked in great pressure cookers, smell of esparto. 40% was usable fibre.
231 Owned by Inveresk. Tullis Hunter broadened outlook. Medium printers dealt through merchants, large firms directly through the mill. Office in Australia. Merchants selling locally, were selling 60 – 70% British paper and board. Although this started to change.
256 Merchant would have a range of papers. More making orders, would order from mill. Move to standardise papers.
269 Henry Bruce and Sons was at lab. In finishing house was taught to make dummies. Important in understanding publishers. Assigned to Mr Tweedie. 3 machines. British government agreement forced papermakers to take Russian pulp, did not run well. Broke ran through calendar stacks. Stopped the machines. Broke went up process.
312 Trainee in lab going for City and Guilds. Went to machine for training. Accidentally stopped the machine. Pulp everywhere. Manager Willie Munro liked a drink.
344 Caldwells Manchester office, was a trainee salesman and was immediately given customers. Inveresk pushed him towards sales, knew that someone was retiring from the London sales office and had him earmarked for that.
371 Training at evening school. 2 years instead of 3 as had worked in the mills. Paid a fair wage. Trainee conferences and locations. Worked all day and had evaluations. After training scheme many people did not get promoted quickly enough so left.
424 Enjoyed working at Manchester. In London was senior sales and worked with coated, MG and plain papers. Amalgamation of sales office, would either sell by mill or by market.
447 60% paper and board sold was British. Good business in London. Influence of foreign mills. Mills in Britain ad closures.
464 EFTA. Board and paper from abroad allowed in tariff free. No protection from the government. Inveresk not generating enough cash to keep them up to date.
485 Heath Government; restrictions on British industry selling prices. Not allowed to make too much money.
500 British market under pressure. Merchants could exclusively sell a foreign mill’s paper. British mills wanted to sell to a number of merchants. Foreign mills were integrated, efficiency of scale. Return on capital was terrible.
522 Workforce very loyal. Not as unionised as printers. Did not strike, mill manager had a lot of power. Print costs rose. Publishers started to print abroad so would not buy paper locally.
544 British mills started to specialise. All moved to integration. Sent back to Scotland after two years to be the Scottish sales manager. Woodhall selling white line chipboard, Was at mill about once a fortnight, would see sales or mill manager. Complaints about debris on board. Woodhall tight site, up against more advanced mills and folding box board.
593 GP Inveresk put computers onto Woodhall but still below par in comparison to competitors. If paper goes wrong and break machines. Would be responsible and would have to pay out on claims for the products.
616 Complaints process; ascertain who was at fault. Get a person out of lab. Printers claiming for down time.
645 Woodhall very small concern and the majority of produce went down south. Most mills sent 90% and Woodhall sent to big carton converter forms such as Johnnie Walker.
671 Woodhall sales manager Jim Henry, David Paton prior to him. Last manager was Douglas Clark who was involved in shutting the mill. Machinery from Inveresk. Henry Bruce etc went to India.
707 GP Inveresk tried to keep Woodhall and control the process. No sign it was going to be profitable.
750 Was informed that the closure was going to happen so could tell customers. No alternative product through Inveresk. GP Inveresk bought Inveresk as they were in trouble, but when came into trouble themselves they cut their losses and withdrew.
786 When Lochmill shut he decided that he had had enough and left. Pension scheme, it was obligatory to join. Given good buyout situation.807 End