John King

(chief engineer)

2002/60, John King interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 23/10/2002

John King began work in the papermaking industry at James Bertram as a designer, then moved to Culter Mills as assistant chief engineer. Moved to Woodhall Mill as chief engineer from 1971 until 1983.

000 Fire at Kinleith, extraction hoods caught fire. Had to switch off extraction fans.
014 Fire officers, went on course.
029 Fire prevention at Culter Mills. Lagging caught fire. Was lunchtime no one was there. Fire engine came out dragging door with it. Let fire burn out.
063 Apprentice painter in turbine house. Difficult to get to, caused investigation.
095 Kinleith provided steam to Woodhall after it closed. Looked after site. 3 Men still in turbine house, 1 shoveled coal into boiler and 2 looked after turbine.

131 He arranged for power line to be disconnected. When cable disconnected it disappeared. Found culprit a former electrician burning the wire the next day.

152 Nothing at Kinleith that they could use apart from one pulper. Rest sold off to Alan Berry and McClane and Gibson.

168 After Woodhall started up own business and started cold calling. Areas where he got work.

190 Left Woodhall because he could see that the paper industry was failing. Very stressful job.

198 Called out very often as he was local. Hours he would work and jobs he would undertake, difficult to get staff in certain areas.

214 Not paid overtime for hours that he worked. People on production would get overtime work.

225 Would not get shutdown period for holiday. After shutdown and start up would go away, holidays would then be staggered. 2 weeks holiday. Did not get Christmas, got a few days at New Year latterly but not everyone.

255 New Years Eve manager injured. People would be employed as security over New Year.

267 Students given horrible jobs to do over summer shutdown like cleaning drains.

287 Smell of mill, trout in water of leith tasted like pulp. Smell of esparto grass. Waste paper supplied in bulk at Woodpulp

304 Mrs King's sister worked in overhauling. Work of overhauling, automatic machine led to a lot of women being made redundant.

327 Mrs King's mother was at Galloways in the 1930s.Balerno a mill town which Currie and Juniper never was. Had Tannery in Balerno.

352 Most of water in mill was recycled. Responsibility to put water back into river that was cleaner than when it came in.

368 End.

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