Gordon Wells

1999/113 Gordon Wells, interviewed in his home in Edinburgh by Dr Heather Holmes on 1 July 1999

000 Started at Nelsons in September 1963 after he had qualified as a chartered accountant. Was offered a good salary.
014 Knew little about Nelsons before he started work. Role of the unions in the factory.
027 Interview and securing a job.
050 Outline of work in financial records; dealing with returns. Work changed over time.
058 Work changed as accounts were wanted within a very strict timetable. Records sometimes prepared by different branches.
071 Ian Carriline was an accountant and a member of the CIS. Gordon Wells was an accountant under Ian Carriline. Peter Jones was undertaking CIS exams.
085 Thomson Organisation was demanding. Records were sent to London. Sometimes went to London to attend meetings.

113 Making up of monthly report accounts. Lists of branches throughout the world.

120 Trade fluctuated in Africa; list of branches

126 Office in Melbourne

138 Some of the branches did very well. Branch in Kenya always did well. Representatives there had a good life. Did not have much to do with the Australian house.

146 Work involved preparing records. Had a book keeper, Miss Blackwood who was strict in the accounts department. She had two assistants. Had Burrows computing machines; account of power samus. Had a Burrows purchase ledger.

175 Large job to keep a tally of all the sales. After the firm split, the printing side had its own accountant.

184 Firm closed in Edinburgh in 1968. Gordon Wells left in 1863 to work for a motor firm. Pension was paid by the Thomson organisation.

204 Closure of firm. Did not want to move to Sunbury upon Thames.

213 Nelsons was a friendly place to work. Large operation. Way in which the workers went into the firm.

226 Office staff comprised a large workforce. Including girls on Burrows machines, editorial, financial, cartographic; Cartographic department comprised six workers. Ordinance survey shop located across the road.

249 Nelson map shop located at top of Leith Walk.

259 London address at Paternoster Row until Second World War. One sales office was located in London. Relations with London sales office.

263 Everyone was paid from Parkside. Carriline drew up the senior salaries. Gordon Wells involved in junior salaries

268 Secrecy of salaries

283 Christmas bonus. Salesmen paid by commission; had very low salaries.

291 Jim Horsburgh a traveler in Africa; his trips to Scotland; lived in style.

302 Only remembers the foreign salesmen, Jack Morrison was the senior salesman. Recollections of Jack Morrison who wore a carnation in his buttonhole as a gimmick.

327 Social activities in the firm: bowling club had one of the best greens in Edinburgh: mostly used by the factory floor workers.

334 Division between the printers and the publishers. Each thought that they were superior to the other. Lot of parties when Gordon Wells got married. Friendly office community.

341 No rituals when he was going to get married. Girls got dressed up and had balloons tied too them. Lot of girls in the bindery; stayed away from the bindery

351 Stayed away from the girls in the bindery as they could be fearsome; discussions of size of Nelsons labour force.

367 Ronnie Nelson married and went into racehorses. Went on trains to London. Character of Ronnie Nelson.

376 Way of addressing Ronnie Nelson. Wore spotted bow ties, and had a carnation in his button hole.

383 Ronnie Nelson came round the factory. Traveled on the foot plate to London; could work out how fast the trains went.

391 Jack Morrison a buyer

394 Discussion of Nelson books; including thickness of paper. Discussion of Peter Cattell-Jones and directions

430 Discussion on SAPPHIRE. Changes in the printing industry over the last 50 years.

469 Peter Jones was Carriline's assistant. Relations with Peter Jones and his family.500 Nelsons as an institution. Factors for the demise of the printing industry in Edinburgh

511 Work in the Victoria Rubber Company and continuance of the production of its technology


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