Working at Johnstons Woollen Mill by Hector Henderson

Hector was born in Cooper Fraser Close. He attended West End Primary School from 1933. He remembers Mr Reid and Ms Hossick. He was 14 when he left. He worked for Yeadons the Grocers in Queen Street, Elgin. He had a message bike. He also worked at Rhynes (Beggs) in South Street. He tidied up the shop and put shoes back in their boxes. He learnt to drive after he left the RAF. During the war he had to grow potatoes in the garden.
Gas Mask from WW2He had to carry a gas mask. Elgin wasn’t at risk. German planes were shot down beside Fochabers. Big blocks were put onto the coast for stopping tanks. Horses got a drink of water at the fountain in town. You could take a driving test at 14 when you left school. There were no yellow lines on the road, no certain car parking spaces and one big car park. No parking wardens as the police did that job as well. You paid for your driving licence and insurance as well. He saw a variety of cars on the roads including Ford, Aston Martin and Rolls Royce (only a few of these). In those days there were no seat belts in the car. There were traffic lights but during the war taxi lights were covered up.

Johnstons Woollen Mill at Elgin This building now contains the offices for Johnstons mill, which is famous for its fine cashmere.Hector worked at Johnstons mill from the age of 19/20 in 1948 after he left the RAF,  It was the only place he could get a job at that time. His job was in the weaving shed. He got a morning tea break and took a flask to work with him. He had his lunch at work. He enjoyed his work and continued to work there for thirty five years. The machines had guards on them and he felt fairly safe.

Memory contributed by Hector Henderson, Elgin


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