Gilmour Bakers on Govan Hill by Margaret McLean

Margaret’s Father owned the bakery business on Niddrid Road on Govan Hill. She started work at 3 a.m. and worked until breakfast time (7 a.m.). Then she went to school. She made rolls and cakes. After school she went to work for Jeffreys Chemist until 6 p.m. that night. She didn’t get paid for working for her parents as the money was needed to support the family. She also handed over all her chemist shop wages as well. On Sundays she went to an Open Air Service at 10 a.m. There was then an indoor service at 11 until 12. Lunch was next. Sunday School was from 1/4 to 2 until a praise meeting at 3 p.m. Then home at 4 p.m. Local Parents didn’t attend the afternoon church activities which kept their children well occupied and gave them a break. Margaret’s father was a self-educated man and had a broad knowledge of many subjects. Anyone could pick a subject and he would then talk about it. His own schooling had been curtailed by the early death of his Father and he had to leave school to enter the workforce. The libraries were very important to working people who could not afford an extensive library and he made good use of them.

Margaret left school at 15 and went to work for Boots the Chemist. Her family needed the money. She became a beauty consultant for Helena Rubenstein and got a percentage of the sales. She decided to become a nurse and trained at Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow in general nursing. She also worked for the homeless.

Memory contributed by Margaret McLean from Elgin

Tenement Upbringing

Mitchell Street, Glasgow

Mitchell Street, Glasgow

Margaret was raised in a Glasgow tenement at 3 Mitchell Street. It had a room and a kitchen. She was born in a “hole in the wall” bed where her parents slept. Margaret slept with her sister in the bedroom. Her Father made a cabinet bed which was a wooden frame on the wall and the bed folded up into it. She was born in 1944. Her Father was posted in Germany as a baker and cook for period of WW2. When she was one she caught scarlet fever. She so sick that her Father was brought home as it was thought she wouldn’t survive.

Memory contributed by Margaret McLean from Elgin


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