John Keenleyside’s Forestry Apprenticeship

Forestry Apprenticeship by John Keenleyside, Forres
At the age of ten John was shown Eskdale Moor and decided that he wanted to work in forestry.

After training his first job in 1946 was on the Ford and Etal Village Estate south of Berwick on Tweed, Northumberland. His first wages were £5 a month with one week’s holiday a year and a 48 hour week. The Arboriculture work involves pruning trees by climbing a ladder with spiked boots and a leather strap around the trunk.

Etal Estate 1948 Location of first job for John Keenleyside

Etal Estate c.1948 Photo reproduced with kind permission© John Keenleyside

His work on the estate was ordered as follows:

year 1- sewing and planting trees in a nursery
year 2- planting and tending
year 3- thinning
year 4- felling big trees with a 4lb axe and a 6 ft cross-cut saw
year 5- working in the saw mill driven by a water wheel
year 6 and 7 Forestry Commission Training course in Glen Tress, Peebles
Year 8- Started a post with the Forestry commission in Silvicultural Research on the North Yorks Moors for the next three years.

Glentress Forestry School 1953    Place of training for John Keenleyside

Glentress Forestry School 1953 Photo reproduced with permission  © John Keenleyside

Other links
John’s Memories of working in Ardgarten Forest
Walk on the Ford and Etal Estate
John and Margaret Keenleyside's wedding in 1953On left is the wedding photograph of John and Margaret Keenleyside (1953)

Below there is an addtional photograph of John  and Margaret at their Golden wedding in 2011.

Link to Margaret Keenleyside’s memory of being a Highland Teacher
Link to John’s RHS success as part of the Forres in Bloom for the last 21 years.
John and Margaret's Golden Wedding in 2011

Scottish screen archive record of Glentress and forestry work

Audio clip on the Scran website of retired forester, Alistair Campbell.
Please note: to access Scran you will need to go to a scottish public library or local school unless you have individual access.

Alistair Campbell of Radio Tweed talks to Jock Thompson about his experiences as a forester with the Forestry Commission in Peeblesshire. He remembers the training methods at the Glentress School just after World War II and his first jobs after training.