Stewart Cree’s first job selling coffee at the Lecht

Stewart’s first job after school was as the Lecht Services Manager. This meant selling teas and coffees from an old furniture van with the side cut out. The van was placed on the tourist route to Ballater. In those days (mid-60s) there was no skiing etc… It was a terrible summer.

Strathavon Lodge A shooting lodge, seen from the Bridge of Brown to Tomintoul road. Source: Wiki Commons

Strathavon Lodge A shooting lodge, seen from the Bridge of Brown to Tomintoul road.

Next he worked as a grouse beater on the Strathavon Estate for Glenlivet Sporting Estates. He lived at the old Strathavon Hunting Lodge and drove an old Rolls Royce. The work was in Tomintoul. After this he returned to studying by gaining a HNC in Business Studies.

Next career move
During the next stage in his life he described an event like a slave auction which took place at the local Rotary when his father asked if anyone would give his son a job.. Lek Pavlovwski, ex-polish army  had a local mill and said Stewart could start there as a management trainee. The mill was Robert Laidlaw and Sons, a woollen manufacturer in Keith. It made cellular blankets, tweed tartan, travel rugs and knitted hosiery yarn. He ended up as a wages clerk at the firm.

His career move was into the Police force where he rose to the position of Assistant Chief Constable.

Linked memory about an elephant catch
Stewart remembers the story of a local trawler out of Aberdeen catching an elephant carcass in its fishing nets. The same tale is also recounted by Doug Andrews, a fireman on the boat and Fred Innes, Chief Engineer on the same boat.

Memory contributed by Stewart Cree at the Keith Primary School Opening February 2012

Additional Links

Keith Primary School memory by Stewart Cree

Stewart Cree’s school day memories – part of Keith Primary School Memory Blog site

Click here to see an advert from 1931 for Seafield garments made by Robert Laidlaw and sons

Information on Stewart’s new role as Convenor of Moray Council -May 2012 STV Aberdeen
Moray Council Councillor work 
is here.


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