2002/71 Name withheld interviewed by Sarah Bromage in her own home in Edinburgh on 29/8/2002
Worked at Kinleith Mill in the cutter house and then the Salle between 1937 and 1941 and 1955 to 1966. Her father and grandfather also worked at Kinleith Mill.
000 Starting in the mill. Aged 14 when started.
017 Father, Grandfather, Uncle and Aunts all worked in mill. Father worked in turbine house. Grandfather worked on the pug pulling carriages from the train.
030 Gaffer in mill heard she was leaving school, told her there was a job and that she was starting on Monday.
047 Started work in the cutter house. Catching sheets coming off the machine. Go down the pits, enjoyed working with the machines.
062 There for 4 years and then went and learnt the overhauling.
071 Taking over positions held by men. Asked to get equal pay to men if they were doing the same job. Pay given.
087 Detailing hours worked.
102 No canteen at the mill, would put sandwiches on the hot pipe to warm them. Would warm cans of tea.
118 Were trained in overhauling. If someone left you would move up from training.
133 Around 50 in overhauling. Description of overhauling. Men were tyers.
145 Was checked by trainer. 2 sisters and another lady who checked work.
162 War time, worked on piecework. ½ day if you had not much work.
178 Working out of pay. Got paid for what you did.
188 Bible paper was difficult to overhaul for workers
201 Latterly training was not as good. Six weeks, whereas had much longer.
211 Had good times, looked after each other. Upset when mill closed.
221 No swearing in the salle. Socialising together at school dance social at Juniper Green.
229 First aid team at the mill, not called to do any emergencies. Voluntary, 20 of them in the team
251 Tradition of family. Most people lived locally
262 Mill houses and council houses in Balerno
277 Paper cuts in overhauling, would cover cuts with brown tape.
285 Paper cup passed round to give water in salle. Wanted to be a nurse.
299 Annual trips organised by workers. Families would go, though this stopped latterly.
318 Friendship which goes beyond working together, still meet up today.
344 Went to work in Waddies after mill closed, but not the same camaraderie there.
354 Latter years had a welfare office. First aid officer in charge of welfare. Would run first aid meetings.
368 No major accidents in the mill except one. Fallen into silage tanks, got bad back. Not sure how serious it was. Told wife what happened.
386 No sick pay, after 1955 paid on sickness benefit.
392 Cane back in 1955. Each person had their own stance.
401 Mixing with people from other departments. Inquisitive and would help other departments.
411 Doctor wanted them to make a civil defence unit during the war. Building bunkers.
425 Representatives hold meetings. Not 100% union, joined union latterly.
446 Mr Bruce would come through mill, he lived in Loriemuir House.
461 Description of holidays given. Trades week.
469 Worked Monday to Saturday. Latterly hours cut.
478 Mill romances and marriages. Bride would show the present. Would collect money at work. Dress them up at work latterly. No retirement gift. Workers kicked up a fuss.
501 2 or 3 chosen to be a representative for the overhauling. Meetings with works manager. Put out of work because of the printer's strike and there was no work. Would be on dole, did not sign on as was ill and on sick benefit.
520 Whole mill closed because of strike. Women walked out another time because of the cold.
529 Different sizes of paper, able to chat. Had quite a few good laughs.
545 Social activities and way to pass time. Was curling pond at the back of the mill.
558 Earlier mostly everything came by the railway morning and evening. Latterly lorries were used.
573 A lot of men and women worked into their seventies and eighties. German planes surveying area in wartime, flew over taking photographs.
589 Air raid shelters under the salle where they held first aid classes.
605 No fires at mill
614 Going round different areas of the mill. Interested in the various work roles.
632 Different types of paper at Kinleith and Galloways. Made paper for Blaikies for children's annuals. Some cut at an angle that was double-glazed.
656 Where paper went to. How paper was packed for export. Process paper went through after it left the salle.
675 Gangway where goods came in and out.
683 Greenhouses and gardens. Surplus steam kept it going. A lot of food went into the hospitals. Workers did not get any goods.
699 Heat in salle because of big windows.
707 Would moan to bosses about heat. Wouldn't listen, but eventually covered glass to protect them from the heat.
727 Management would listen, would speak up. Because you know each other they would help put if they could.
743 No pension scheme. No pension till you went to Waddies. Redundancy nothing, top men got £800 redundancy.
757 Shoe kitty that you would pay into for 20 weeks and then you would get your turn to get shoes from Bairds. No debt in those days, if you didn't have it do without.
775 Latter years work became harder. More broke being produced. Foreman said before it was quality and not quantity. Now it is quantity not quality and you just have to shut your eyes to a few things.
808 Rumour that Kinleith would close the following year, told off for voicing it. But it was true.
817 Given a months notice. Poem about the closure of Kinleith.
850 Shocked when it closed. Day left those in salle had cakes and a party. Factory did not do a great deal for workers.
867 Union tried to help find jobs. Waddies wanted 5, supervisor chose who would go. Some went to Balerno, some went to Thynes.
881 By that stage people were travelling in
888 Would help others, if you were finished with your work you would help out.
892 Would set hair in lunch hour. Sing all the latest songs. Community broke down.
920 What you would do while you were on holiday, would have holidays at home.
938 Gala from Juniper Green to Currie. Currie and Balerno had gala parade and a crowning of queen with the Balerno mill. More of a Galloways thing. The top child in the class was queen. More unity in Balerno than Kinleith