Nancy’s first job was for Ellie Anderson’s Milliner’s Shop on Greyfriars Street, Elgin. She started work at the age of 14 in 1946. She earned 2 /- and 6d. of which 1 /- went to her Mother, 6d. for herself and 1/- for nylons and toiletries.
Nylons were very expensive at this time. Her job was running errands and selling hats. The shop had a steam machine to pull them into shape. The process of making a hat often started with a swatch of fabric brought in by the customer. For example Lady Gordon Cumming (Altyre Estate) would come in to order a hat for a special event such as wedding. Other customers included doctors’ wives and solicitors’ wives. The hat design was chosen for examples in the shop or a sample brochure or photos. Ellie Anderson went to London to collect the sample brochures and photos of the new styles. Top London Designs would change year by year.
Fabrics arrived in bolts. They included silk, organza, felt and tweeds. tuille, lace, feathers (Ostrich feather was ordered in) and ribbons.
Tammys were made of felt and had a big bow on the side. When a hat was halfway made the customer came back in to check the hat. If everything was in order the hat would then be completed and collected by /or delivered to the customer. Nancy often did customer deliveries.
The shop has an old-fashioned phone which had a mouth piece on a piece of cord and hung on a hooked stand afterwards. Very few people had a phone
in their own houses at this time. In the shop was a manual cash register.
In addition to Ellie Anderson’s there was Margaret Wood’s clothing shop on Gordon Street. She made dresses, suits (jacket and skirt) and gowns.
There was also a tailor at the top of Moss Street.
Memory contributed by Nancy at an Elgin Reminiscnce Event at Elgin Library