Working as a Mother’s help by Jean Guild

“I left school at 14 in 1944. At that time you registered with Labour Exchange and they found you a job, I became a Mother’s help in Nairn in the McAusland Electrical Shop. I looked after two girls aged 7 and 9. I took them and fetched them from school. I helped in the house cleaning and cooking. I also helped in the shop when the men went out. I remember having to give out wet and dry batteries, I was also entrusted to take the takings to the bank. I really enjoyed the job and had good employers. I really enjoyed the job and had very good employers.  I worked from 9 to 4 and had weekends off, but can’t remember having holidays, and I earned 14/- per worked.  I worked there for about 2 years until I was 16 and then everything changed.  My father was killed in the war, he was a gunner, and my mother died 2 years later of a brain haemorrhage.  I was the oldest of 6, but luckily we had 2 wonderful spinster aunts who were very kind and they looked after us.  I went off to Kent and worked in service at a castle. 

I loved the work and saw lots of famous people including royalty, the Aga Khan and Winston Churchill, although to begin with I was very homesick and only got home once a year. 

Vintage Maxwell House Coffee tins from the 1950sI once brought home coffee from Maxwell’s in London but it was no good as it had to be percolated and we didn’t have a percolator.”

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