Working as a nanny by Margaret Laing

Margaret began her work as a summer job in 1953 at the age of 15. She worked Monday to Saturday. Saturday was a half day off.
cod liver oil spoon- link to site with more information about the spoon“My mother wanted me to go to secretarial college but I took the nanny job, looking after four children aged 9 months, 3 yrs, 6 yrs and 7 years for Dr. Thomson of Cod Liver Oil Cream company in Abbey St, Elgin. They later made capsules. I lived in Lossiemouth and took the bus to work starting at 9 a.m.and finishing at 6.30 p.m. Anything that needed doing for the children I did it and loved it. I remember the baby taking his first steps to me! When the 5 year-old hated going to school I went with him and stayed with him in the class. He is now a professor in South Africa. Salad cream sandwiches favourite before bed. Mrs Thomson loved to play golf and sometimes went for a weekend to Gleneagles and I would stay and look after the children. I also babysat sometimes and I did a bit of work in the factory. I did an evening class in secretarial work and typed up things for Dr. Thomson and searched Lancet for articles for him. I went abroad with the family to France in their V.W. all 7 of us. When we got to Dover it was too wild to get the ferry so we slept in the car. I remember Paris, St. Germaine and the beaches-Dinard, Mont St. Michel. The second time we went to Holland for the big exhibition in the 1950s. I went for rides with the children and Dr. Thomson caught it all on cine camera. We went to Spain too. I did balloon dancing for 6 years and got bronze, silver and gold. I also did country dancing at Lossie and met my husband. I got married in 1966 when I was 28 years old and moved to Kinloss to have my own family. I finished working for Dr. Thomson after 13 years with the family and still keep in touch. Last year I went to a big party for Dr. Thomson’s 90th birthday and met up with all the children and cousins from years ago. I had a great time as a nanny. I think it would have been dreary if I had been a secretary. “

Margaret Laing was interviewed by Jo Sweeney, a WRVS volunteer during a Kinloss Coffee morning at Kinloss Church 

Additional information
Dr Thomson’s also added his memory of his first job to this website.


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