Marion started work in 1940 at the age of fourteen. She worked for the local bakers in her home village of Hopeman. The work in the shop was very hard. Marion worked from Monday to Saturday with a half day on Wednesday and she earned 5 /- a week. The Shop’s owners Mr and Mrs Main went to their beds after the shop shut at 5.30 p.m. Marion then went out to wake them up at about 10 p.m. and they returned to work. They continued through the night preparing the bread and cakes. Later on they employed assistants to help them.
After two years Marion started evening courses at Elgin Academy in Bookkeeping and typing. Her cousin, Daniel Ralph owned a baker’s shop at the top of Moss Street. He wanted Marion to do his books so this is why she went on the course. There was a lot of maths to do and no calculators to help you. She wasn’t very long at the college when she went to work for Low’s Net factory (between where the Fire Station is today and Hawco’s). She worked from 7 a.m. until teatime and then went on to the academy. It was eventually too much for her and she got ill. Her mother took her to see Dr Scott, the GP in Gordon Street, Elgin. Her Mother had to pay 3/- 6d. Marion was sent to Melrose to stay with her Mother’s sister to get better. When she came back home she needed to have her appendix out.
Marion applied for a job as clerkess in the Linkwood dairy on the High Street (now Scribbles). It sold milk shakes, eggs and chickens. The milk was brought in. She didn’t like the Supervisor. She eventually worked there from 1942-1949 from the age of 16-23 years. Her next job was for Elgin Central Engineers at 266 High Street, Elgin. Her position was as an office worker then clerkess then purchase ledger and finally cash. She really loved working there. In her spare time she went to dances at the Lido in Elgin with her friend Betty (from Linkwood Dairy). She continued to attend evening classes. Each day she took the early bus into town from Hopeman and then the 5 p.m. bus home if she didn’t have a class that day.
She left to get married in 1947.
Tales from her Hopeman childhood
She remembers making playing in the Whins below Hopeman House. They made houses and once created a small fire. The lady of the house came out and made them put it out. The fire could easily have got out of control and spread all over the bush around the house.
The boys from Gordonstoun would cycle to the village to go and sail. During her childhood in the 1930s and 40s there were so many fishing boats in the harbour you could walk from boat to boat. Her grandmother had 13 children + 1 adopted one and she was married to a fisherman. Her other Grandma married a fisherman too. Their house at 25 MacPherson Street had no running water and they had to go to a nearby well to collect their water (it is now under the school playground. Every street had a well. It was thought that the water from the Braemou well was “healing water”.
During the late 1930s Marion loved going out on the trial trips as boats went from Hopeman to Burghead. She remembers when there were so many boats in Hopeman Harbour that she could jump from boat to boat. One day while picking brambles someone came up to her and told her that war had been declared. She ran home straightaway. The Girls Club from Hopeman went to Gordonstoun School for singing lessons with Fraulein Lachman, the music teacher at the school. There were no boys at the main school during the war as they had moved down to Wales as the Highland Light Infantry was billeted there. .From the age of 16 in 1942 Marion attended Hopeman’s Girls club. The evening lasted 1 1/2 hours and each there were activities. One week could be spent doing Physical Activity (P.T.) in the hall and the alternate week they made crafts such as leather handbags. The Girls club sometimes did concerts in the village. They raised money to pay the salary of the District Nurse. This was before the start of the National Health Service. They regularly came to the dances at the Hopeman. It was soldiers who ran the P.T. instruction in the Hopeman Memorial Hall for the Girls Club. Many of the soldiers came from Wales and were lovely singers. They taught the girls some Welsh and even married some of them. They also sang at the Memorial Hall dances. Some of the Welsh came to Marion’s house at 39 Harbour Street and sang hymns on a Sunday night.
Origins of the Hopeman Gala
Two girls from the Girls Club were asked to be on the Amenities Committee (became Hopeman Community Association). The other girl left to become a gym teacher but Marion stayed and enjoyed it. Hopeman used to have many regular visitors for Glasgow. They came up on the train for their two weeks holiday in the summer. They were known as “Broons”. One large family used to organise funa nd games on the playing field at the bottom of the hill. The locals enjoyed joining in as well and soon the idea of a Gala week was formed. The First Gala was in 1972 and it ran for 10-14 days. It changed to 7 days in 1974 which made it easier to manage.
Memory contributed by Marion Ingram, Hopeman
More information on Hopeman Gala Week on their website
Service to the Community
In 2005 Marion met Prince Andrew and receives an award for 60 years of dedicated service to Hopeman.Article here