John Mullervy

(warehouseman then coating plant)

2003/17 John Mullervy interviewed in his own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 3/4/2003

John Mullervy came to working in the papermaking industry after working as a labourer on local farms. He worked in the coating plant in Woodhall Mill from 1966 to 1982.

000 Schools attended. Evacuated to Ireland from age 6. Learnt Gaelic.

025 Back to Scotland in 1953, couldn't speak English at 17 years old. National Service for 6 years.

052 Quality control at the breweries then 1966 – 1982 at Woodhall.

063 Went to work on farms from Ireland. National Service, wanted to be an engineer but was not possible.

097 Went back to Ireland, place changed. Thatched roof.

122 National Service, places visited. When demobbed went to farm in Dumfries. Farm in Lanark then Baberton 1964/1965. Farmer sold land and told them to leave.

180 Looking for work off farm. Mill advertised locally in local Post Office in Juniper Green. Position of coaterman.

202 Reorganised shift system. 4 shift system, 8 hours and a seven day week. 2 days off, always together. 1 weekend off every four weeks. Original staff did not want continental system.

221 Families at mill. Started to recruit enough to outvote existing staff on shift system. Money was good, £13 a week on farm, £33 at papermill. Mill modified to increase number of moulds.

243 New coating plant. 40 – 50 ft high, coating plant fed by gravity. 5 layers in board; top layer white and then coating on top.

264 In comparison to farming papermaking was paid well. Way of calculating pay. Shift times would alter. Working 3 out of 4 weeks. Paid weekly.

293 Industry went through peaks and troughs. Would sometimes have to sign on. How pay outs and hours worked out. Mill paid for 2 days and the dole office paid for the other two.

310 Pesco printed and made packages for Vim or Brillo pads for detergents. Vernon packaging for shoe boxes and toys. Not quality for foods, would need Manilla.

339 Made whisky boxes, did not work for Ballantynes. New safety. Firm on Causewayside who would take offcuts to make shirt packages. Baled to go to them, depends on the deckle.

362 Quantities companies would get. Quantities of offcuts. A lot of customers were 5 to 10 tonnes, mill made a lot of waste. Not run well, tried to produce more than the machine was capable of.

386 Pit emptied by hand, broke went in a cycle. Made from 14,000 – 36,000 rpm. Could make 30 tonnes in an 8 hour shift if the machine was running well.

410 Same crew on shift. People on shift: 1 boilerman, engineer, electrician, shift greaser, craneman, 2 men on floor, 3 on pulpers, beaterman, machineman and assistant, Dryerman and 2 cuttermen and assistants, coaterman, tyer, chargehand and 4 men on packaging. Quality control and supervisor. 27 on each shift which was 90 in total. Day crew: mill manager, supervisor, 2 in the lab, dispatch. 2 men on lorries and engineer. 120 people altogether.

447 Warehouse had time clerk. 2 men in warehouse who dealt with stock. Office staff. Kept a lot of people in employment. Kinleith was closing when he went to Woodhall. Woodhall used the steam from Kinleith.

473 People from Kinleith would go to Galloways, not Woodhall. Description of Galloways production activities. Woodhall got their waste paper from Hannah's. Come in in big bales.

487 End.

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