She was brought up on a farm living in a tied cottage at Rosemount, Blairgowrie.
Margaret wanted to be a hairdresser but her father said there was no point in paying for the training as she would be getting married. Instead he removed her from school two months before 14th birthday in 1941 and took her to work at the private house(Eastfield) of a Jute Mill Owner (the Stewarts) in Auchterhouse, Angus. She moved in with the family and was given her own room upstairs. She earned 7 /- 6d. a week. She could keep all her wage as she was no longer at home. She had a half day off on Wednesday and Sunday (she had to wash up the lunch pots first).
A typical day
Made her own breakfast at 7 o’clock and then family had breakfast at 8 then wash up.
Lunch was at 1 o’clock, no afternoon tea and then Evening meal at 7 o’clock. Margaret had to be taught how to cook by Mrs Stewart, who chose what was being cooked.
She was the only domestic servant in the house though there may have been a gardener too. After breakfast she did general housework such as cleaning the grates.
She could keep her wage as she was no longer living at home and used her money to save up to buy a bike.
Her next job was in Dundee where she moved to earned a higher wage. Dr (an eye surgeon) and Mrs McGilvary were good employers who treated her with respect.
It was the best place to work.
At the age of 19 she went to work for the Kieller Sweet Factory. It was in the centre of Dundee at Mains Loan on Kingsway. She stayed there for 24 years ending up as a supervisor. One of her jobs was to hand pack chocolates. You could eat as much as you liked. There was a staff shop. There she bought gifts for friends and family including boxes of chocolates. Her favourite was gingers covered in chocolate.
The advert was produced for James Keiller & Son in London in 1953 and shows that Keiller did not just make marmalade.
Memory contributed by Margaret Bradford, Elgin
Photo of the Keiller Factory, Albert Square, Dundee. The factory opened in 1870 and remained at Albert Square until 1972.
Dundee Women’s Trail- Story of Janet Keiller.