Helen’s worked for the Thorn Lighting at their Specialist Incandescent Lamp factory in Buckie from 31 May 1965 until its closure on 27 March 1987. Her job was to fill the bulb caps and then another machine put the cap on the bulb. The working day began as 9 a.m. and there was a tea/coffee break and then an hour for lunch. The shift ended at 4 p.m. There were no gloves and the smashed bulbs could be dangerous. She handed over her wage to her mother but she did get to keep a little back for herself.
The Cap Paste department
The cap paste was pink and was made of a mixture of meths and a powder which was bought in. Once mixed it was like a putty or plasticene. It could be moulded around the cap rim. A capping machine heated the paste and then was kept warm. Four lines were working on the caps (4.5.6 and 7). Their job was to put the bulb on the cap. Helen took the filled caps down to them.The metal caps had to be put on a slowly revolving disc. Lines 1.2.3 and 4 had a machine which blew the glass into bulbs, The lines had to put the bulbs into trays, which were then taken to lines 4.5.6 and 7 for completion.
After the factory closed Helen worked for the Northern Bluebird /Stage Coach Bus Company.
Memory contributed by Helen from Buckie
There is a book about Thom Lighting Works, Buckie from 1956-1987 called “The Bulb Factory, the light of our lives” by John Crawford & Ron Stewart. Helen has contributed to this publication along with many other Buckie residents who worked at the factory.
Information about the factory on the Domesday Reloaded site.