Living Memory Association 07714 783726
(C) The Living Memory Association Edinburgh 2002 - 2016
Before I went to school on a Monday morning I had to do the washing. It was all done by hand and with a scrubbing board. I had to do a lot of the work about the house. I had to do the baking on a Saturday morning; apple pie and jam tarts. Wash the kitchen floor, clean the windows and all the other jobs. I did this instead of going to hockey. When I was 14 my mother had a very bad nervous breakdown. She was in hospital for a little while.
My mother made our clothes. She would make us a dress when we went on holiday. One year she made me a dress that was grey with red roses and knickers to match. It was the latest fashion. When I was 15 we got a new sewing-machine and I got the lessons and then I had to make all the clothes. I was 16 when I left school. They had a concert at The Usher Hall when we left the school. A group of us vowed to meet in a year outside the Usher Hall – but we never did.
I went to work in the office at Jenners, 8.30 to 6pm. I wasn’t a bit happy at Jenners. I was working for a horrible woman. I was costing – if ladies came in for a dress and wanted it altered I had to cost the time and materials. I then had to cost curtains; yardage, thread, time, alterations. I was there 11 years. There was a 20% staff discount but the things were so expensive you couldn’t afford it. I got 10/- and they deducted 10 and half pee. I gave my mother two shillings. I had to clothe myself, fares, entertainment. It was 1/- 3 a week on the train from Slateford to the Caley. I’d run along Princes Street to get to Jenners. I went home for lunch. I used a comptometer in Jenner’s. It was sort of the beginning of computers. It wasn’t a computer because you did it manually. It was flat and it had numbers 0 – 9 and you just keyed the numbers in.