Helen worked as a receptionist for Miss Young, a chiropodist but she decided to move because Reid and Welsh Tartan Factory was better paid work. In the factory she worked as a darner and a knotter. There were 55 ells of cloth coming off the machine. All the cloth was measured in the Plaiden Ell, unit of measurement. The fabric was marked up if a thread was out. It was mostly beige in colour in a herringbone pattern. The material was greasy as it came off the looms. If a thread was missing Helen had to sew through the 55 ells adding thread. She put a leather strap on the second finger to protect the finger with the needle. If a knot was found that was marked up in yellow.A thread was put in where the mistake was. There was also clean darning with washed finer cloth but she didn’t like that as much. Once the material was repaired/ready a paper ticket was added with how many ells of fabric were on the bolt. Sometimes they helped out Johnstons Mill by darning their fabric for them. Mr Hogg was the designer of the material.
There was no smoking allowed in the factory and no canteen. You brought in your own food and sat on a stool to eat where you worked. Smith the Baker (where Decora framing shop is now) just up the road sold pies and cakes.
Helen left the mill when she got married but she returned after her children went to school.
The Doctor Box
Her mother did not enjoy good health so her Dad had a box which he put money in to pay the doctor’s bill should they need it.
Memory contributed by Helen Christie from Elgin
Another memory about Reid and Welsh