John B More

1999/128 John B More interviewed at his home by Dr Heather Holmes on 12 August 1999

000 Leaving school; reasons for going into the print industry; exams for Civil Service
026 Printer's exam; location; outline
053 Starting in Nelson's; devilling; cleaning machines; wanted to be an apprentice compositor; status of composing
087 Nelson's standing as an employer; reaction to status to other Scottish and Edinburgh printing firms; paternal employer.
110 Welfare facilities including giving a mug of cocoa in morning and afternoon breaks; lot of facilities for their employers
123 Annual trip for all the staff; places of trip; trip provided free of charge; everyone on annual trip; activities on the trip
154 Christmas dance; Nelson Hall concerts
161 Front of Nelson's at Scottish Widows; recreational facilities for workers; regular dances in the Institute
202 Nelson Hall concerts; nature of concerts; frequency of the concerts
220 Clubs and societies; Nelson as a good employer; Ian Nelson and his walks around the factory
238 Two bad accidents; printer got hand caught in printing machine; binder got his fingers taken off
250 Sympathy for people who had accidents; redeployment of these workers; Nelson's good at redeployment of injured workers
262 Health and safety; accident inquiry; re-modification of machinery after an accident
278 Old workers employed; long term service; happy recollections of work
248 First aiders and first aid room
287 Rest home for girls at Pomethorn, Penicuik; nothing for the men
302 Enjoyed working at Nelsons; continued education at Skerries, studying for Civil Service; work in composing room; value; work of girls; proof copies of books
351 Books which Nelsons put out; compositors could read a newspaper upside down
339 Composing room; work nearly all hand composing; only one form of mechanical composition- Monotype; few keyboard operators
352 Description of composing room
358 Hand composition and method; around 20 men hand setting; pulling out prints
387 All compositors were men; reading to readers; impact on reading skills
403 Composing technique
413 Starting work as an apprentice compositor; first jobs; learning composition; menial tasks undertaken by apprentices; learned composition gradually; learning names on types; learning where type was kept
438 Use of typefaces in Nelsons
438 Got unbound copies; types of books and finishes of books
469 Used a lot of Nelson books at school
480 Typefaces
485 Happy recollections. Bailie a compositor; relations with journeymen; numbers of members of a family employed in the firm; people took pride in their work
506 Journeymen undertook different aspects of work; apprentices moved around the journeymen
520 Names of compositors
534 Remember old men; kept on after retirement; men with many years experience
542 Chapel
549 Apprentices not member of the chapel; became a member when you became a journeyman
55 Links between composing department and others; links with foundry
569 Foundry and work tasks
603 Cleaning and undertaking of other jobs; apprentices taking away folded sheets
624 Preparations for printing; taking proof prints and working at proofs
662 Health and safety; guards on machines
655 Clothing and wearing overalls; wearing of aprons; readers wore suits; foreman wore a suit
711 Addressing the foreman
715 Hierarchy between departments; ranking between departments
731 Nelsons the largest firm; international standing
738 Artists with names
742 Art department and its work
751 Reasons for becoming a compositor; enjoyed work in Nelsons
763 Tradition of employment in Nelsons; status of getting into Nelsons
784 Before the war many men had a trade
790 End of Nelsons
795 Wages and wage rate between apprentices and journeymen
809 Work hours; work on a Saturday
813 Home location; methods of getting to work
817 Office staff entered Nelsons by a separate entrance to the factory floor staff; checking into work; workforce size
835 Starting work as an apprentice; started at different times; apprentices moved around; movement of staff; size of workforce
870 Father worked in papermaking; father's pension; short time working in paper industry
895 Closing of Nelsons; reactions
895 Father's employment as a paper engineer; movement of his career; work in India; papermakers on Water of Leith
921 Camping at Balerno
937 Facilities of John Galloway of Balerno for his employees
945 Photographs of activities at Balerno and Nelson trip to Dunoon


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