Peggy got her first job at the age of 14. It was at a shop in the Bishopmill area of Elgin called Dick Steele. She had to work everyday except from Wednesdays and weekends and got paid about 10 shillings. She got this job because her family knew the owners. Her main duty was to deliver newspapers to customers’ houses. She had to start at 8am but the owners were very good at giving breaks and letting her go home for lunch. She finished work at 5pm.
After that she briefly worked at Johnston’s woollen mill in Elgin because they offered more money. Her main duty was filling machines with wool but she did not work there long as she was called up to serve in WW2 in the woman’s timber core.
During World War 2, over 4,900 young women joined the Women’s Land Army Timber Corps (W.L.A.T.C.) in order to make a contribution to the war effort. They worked in the forests of Great Britain, felling, snedding, loading, crosscutting, driving tractors, trucks, working with horses, measuring and operating sawmills. This was done in all kinds of weather. One thousand were camped in wooden huts in the north of Scotland, far from the comforts of family and home. Peggy said that being called up to the timber core is very different to nowadays because people don’t get called up for national service now. She learnt how to use an axe and cut down a tree. There was no spare time for the woman in the W.L.A.T.C.
Peggy Morrison, Elgin was interviewed by Lewis and Aidan, students at Elgin High School as part of an eleven week elective the S2 students studied, on the theme of Local Heritage.
Women’s Timber Corps in Moray
” Beatrice remembers her first day’s work cross cutting logs in Dundurcas wood in warm, brilliant sunshine wearing a short sleeved open neck blouse resulting in very painful sun burn that night. see website for more…”
More information about Womens Timber Corps.