Moira’s first job was as an Office Junior for a car dealership in Lochrin Place, Tolcross, Edinburgh called James Ross & Son. The careers officer came to college. I was waiting for a job with the post office and they were slow replying. She worked from Monday to Friday with every third Saturday and she earned £5 per week. She had been to college for a year beforehand to learn shorthand and office procedures. The college was the Commercial Institute on Torpichen St, Edinburgh.
When she started her job she had to go to the Director’s room to take the mail there, which she didn’t like doing. You had to knock on the door and wait there. There was backlog filing to do and they needed to be sorted into numerical order. Another job was to take the Franking machine to the post office to have more money added to it. Could choose a company car to go to the post office in.
She went to see Mr King to tell him she had a job in the post office. Became a copy typist in the typing pool in the main office in Northbridge, Edinburgh. Used an Imperial typewriter, which was not electric. Every Friday we had to strip them down and clean off the letters. Had a red tin of spirit to clean the keys with. Still had telegraph boys then. they used to try to put you off your lunch so they could finish it off. In the staff canteen there was a new menu everyday. An example was haggis, neeps and tatties. The typing pool had 12 typists in a row facing each other. There were communal dictionaries. Collected a draft of what they had to write from the Post Office Engineers (all men). There was a set content and for the letters a set specification. Yours Faithfully (formal). Someone’s name had Esq. after it.
Memory contributed by Moira Muggeridge, a WRVS volunteer
Pictures of Edinburgh including the old Post Office