Claire Wilson’s memoirs of working at Woolworths Horticulture department in Elgin.

Woolworths_in_Elgin_-_geograph_org_uk_-_1063056Claire wanted to work in the stockroom as there was more freedom there and it was more fun. Unfortunately her first job was in the shop downstairs so she soon left to go and work at Cooper Park Cafe (now an Indian takeaway near the Museum at the end of the High Street). It sold coffee/tea, homebakes  and icecream. There was also soup for lunches. Quite soon after her move the staff supervisor came from Woolworths to persuade Claire to come back. She said Claire could go and work in the stockroom because she knew that was where Claire had wanted to work before she left.

The stockroom work was Monday to Saturday 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. with an hour off for lunch. Thre was a canteen. She was in charge of 5 or 6 departments upstairs and it was really heavy work. Sometimes she went down to serve customers if asked (they often hid!). Didn’t do the ordering just unpacking. The Quines gave us a list of what they needed. We put it in wicker baskets and it went down in the lift. We enjoyed ourselves in the stockroom.

Had an annual ball in the assembly rooms, which were across the road on the same side of the High Street. She remembers the Woolworths fire which happened on a Sunday. They had to work out of the Assembly Rooms and Mutch’s premises (was empty at the time) so they could rent it  while the repairs were done.

There is another memory of the fire on the site by Marion Tawse who worked on the Coronation counter at Woolworths.

Memory contributed by Clare Wilson neé Mackenzie from Elgin

Additional information

Elgin High Street Then and Now– Look at the old photographs at the bottom of the modern High street Photo. There are some photos of the interior of the Assembly rooms and even a picture of the Woolworths building back in 1900.


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