Margaret Aitken

(Social aspects of the mills / role of the mills in community)

2002/70, Margaret Aitken interviewed in her own home in Edinburgh by Sarah Bromage on 27/8/2002

Father worked as General Manager of Galloways Mill. Mrs Aitken lived in mill housing in Balerno.

000 Father Manager of the mill, then made Director. Came to Balerno in 1950. Father served his apprenticeship at Caldwells in Inverkeithing.
025 Moved to Eildon House, mill house. ½ a mile from the mill on Lanark Road West. House next door was a millhouse with Mr Duncan accountant and Mr Jones from the lab.
046 12 when moved to Balerno. Father well liked in the mill. Balerno mix of religions. Mill a binding force for the community. Happy community.
076 Mill workers lived locally. Mill owned many houses. Housing estate at Deanpark. House went with job. When father died had to move. Tithed house not a good thing. Description of house.

100 After father died gave them a bungalow.

114 Brother keen to go into lab. Went on to be a director of Reid International.

124 Mill owned tennis courts and putting green. Good social event. Not good transport to Balerno so socialised in the village.

155 Hats at annual dinner, management table did not wear hats. Well attended.

167 Does not remember annual trip. Friend who worked in the mill. Does not remember football.

184 Community isn't the same after the mill closed. Mill a focal point, upset when mill closed. Not surprised as papermaking going through a tough time.

200 Father did not like people asking at the house for a job. Was on call a lot so when at home did not want to be bothered. Mother didn't work but fitted in quickly.

217 Very friendly with neighbours. Father worked long hours.

227 Accident in Balerno, man decapitated. Rules of safety, guard might not have been down. Accidents did not happen very often.

240 Father had worked through mill so knew how they worked. Mr Galloway and Mr Anderson, managing director and a real gentleman.

251 Father made a director in mid 1950s. Involved in board making decisions, long term planning of the mill. Got on well with everyone.

271 At his funeral people were standing outside the church and could not get in. Mill was the focal point.

280 Railway, building of the railway. Women met at the shops for the community.

291 Father would come home at lunch.

300 End.

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