'Wayzgoose' is a term formerly used in the UK (and elsewhere in the English speaking world) to describe annual social outings that were organised by unions, management and workers in the publishing and printing trades. The Wayzgoose was an established tradition of social organisation dating back to the earliest days of printing. In Scotland they were major fixtures in the working calendar of publishing and printing firms. There exists little record, however, of the nature and role of such social gatherings in working lives of print trade workers involved. A SAPPHIRE initiative funded by the ESRC was undertaken between 2006-2007, utilising ethnographic and archival methods to investigate and document the Wayzgoose phenomenon in social and cultural contexts.
The results of the project were featured in an exhibition launched in Edinburgh in January 2008. The exhibition panels reproduced here document an important aspect of the extraordinarily vibrant community life of those who worked in the printing industry and associated trades in Scotland in the twentieth century, and includes material covering papermakers, publishers and booksellers. It takes account of the activities of various sporting clubs associated with these trades, details the tradition of the annual works day away for whole families and communities, and documents examples of galas days, sports events and cultural activities organised by owners, unions and workers alike.
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