Richard Blaikie

(shift supervisor)

2002/86, Richard Blaikie interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 25/9/2002

Richard Blaikie worked in Woodhall Mill from 1957 to 1984. He started in the mill as a Kepper boy and his last position in the mill was shift supervisor.

000 Pension scheme, super annuation. Father got a tankard when he retired. Given £50 for 25 years service. Left mill for 1 year in 1960 to go to Galloways.

031 Dispute with Production Manager, argument. Went to be a machineman at Galloways. Didn't like it as used to Woodhall. Galloways was a totally different millwhich made fine papers. Came back to mill when Production Manager left, was promoted.

069 1966 made shift supervisor. Increased in wages at each promotion. Pecking order. Felt boy to dry end assistant; progression round mill. Horn at wet end, blew horn if there was a problem.

111 Most people started from school and progressed from there.

124 No large difference when GP Inveresk came in, just a bit more money available. Small mill, small profits. Not worth hassle, Scandinavian board superior. Board cut by water jet which got rid of machine dust. Sad when mill closed as it was still running well. Stayed on 4 shift system until the end of the mill. Rumored that the mill would close; not making enough profit to be viable.

179 A lot of meetings with management, supervisors under a great deal of pressure. Knew closure was inevitable. People paid off at the end, long service.

200 Only given about 4 weeks notice. Machines went for scrap or they were sold. Some staff moved with Inveresk, not a lot though. Started with Stirling Fibre.

223 Knock on effect to shops and Kinleith Arms, bakers etc. A lot of local places would find a big difference. Work difficult to get, got a job with Scottish Gas for 10 years, the landscape gardening. Head janitor at Currie High School. Took early retirement at 62 years old.

247 End.

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