Ann Gowans and Honor McGurgan

(Woodhall Mill)

2007.88.1 Ann Gowans and Honor McGurgan interviewed by Sarah Bromage in Kirkliston, Edinburgh on 1/6/2007

Ann Gowans and Honor McGurgan are sisters whose father and grandfather worked in Woodhall Mill, Juniper Green. They were the last family to live in mill housing at Woodhall Mill and remember going on annual trips as children.

0000 Honor born at the mill and Ann moved to mill housing when she was 5. Story of Honor's birth. Mill gates locked so mother could not get out and had to walk ½ mile to get out. Honor stayed at mill till she was 9. Neighbours at the mill.

0134 People who worked in office at mill. 3 cottages on mill, mill extended cottage for grandfather. Free electricity in housing. Mill cottages were ties housing which presented problems. When Inveresk took over were given a month to move out
0303 Bought a house in town, was unsettling to have to move. Mill house granddad grew all his vegetables and used to sell blackcurrants. Grew lots of fruit and veg and were self sufficient.
0407 Would maintain grounds of mill, built dry-stone dyke. Grandfather worked well into his 80s, long after they moved into Edinburgh.
0524 Honor fell into mill lade when she was 2 or 3. Dark mill brae and walking down the brae at night after Brownies. Railway bridge – frightened of going over the railway bridge and a train coming.
0700 Train line just carried good and not passengers at her time. Grandfather worked on farms and when he got job at mill got house and it had running hot and cold water! Old house had no running water. Job came with house.
0849 Farm had been taken over and could not settle. Most of the men who worked in mill were from village. Maybe 20 men worked there and did not work 24 hours a day. Dad beater man.
1000 Fire at shed, mum made tea for firemen, thought it was exciting. Rats running out when fire started. Got banana papers in the straw and would look round in case there was a banana in it as bananas difficult to get in war.
1103 Boiler man and if there was a boxing match would stoke up fire and run and listen to radio and then run back. Television coming to the village. Saw Coronation on TV.
1200 Souveneirs for Coronation. Had Gala celebrations. Sense that you were apart from Edinburgh. Would visit Lothian Road and Bread Street, would not visit Princes Street.
Dog enters.


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