William started work at Burnside Farm, Ballindalloch in 1954 at the age of 14. His job was to feed the cattle and as a general labourer. He got £5 a week and a room to stay in the farmhouse. At lunchtime soup was often served. He remembers the Potato Soup.
After six months he left that job as he wanted to do more in his life. He went to work at a saw mill in Elgin. They made fish boxes and William worked out in the woodyard helping the sawyer by holding the back of the wood (= the Tailsman) as it went through the machine. He moved from this job after two years to work as a window cleaner for 3 months in Elgin.
His next job, by which time he was 17, was working for the wholesaler, James Mutch. They were located opposite Gordon and MacPhail on South Street, Elgin. James Mutch supplied many of the bars with food, catering supplies, spirits, beers and wines. He stayed there fo about three years. His next job was for the Cardhu Distllery at Knockando. He worked in the malt barn turning the barley before it goes up in the kiln to be dried. His working day was from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with three drams a day. The brewer poured each drink out into a tumbler. It was clearic i.e. new made whisky before it has been in a cask. Dramming took place three times a day morning, lunch and one at the end. At Christmas/New Year he got a special dram of whisky that was put in its barrel during Queen Victoria’s reign and was still good. He also got a free bottle of whisky. He was there until June 1961.
Libindx has a number of records on a saw mill in Elgin on Edgar and Wards Road during the 1950s and 60s. If you do a building search and put in sawmill as the building name and Elgin as the location. Then choose the last of the three mills (the other two are from the late 1800s) – Ref No. PN026086
Mutch Family Legacy– James Mutch’s widow left a large legacy to the National Trust in 2012 to be spent in Moray and Aberdeenshire.
More information about the Mutch Family Business in Elgin from the Edinburgh Gazette in 1914.
Obituary of James Mutch in 1906 who started up the James Mutch wholesale business in Elgin.