Elsie was born during the late 1920s at Salterhill. Her father was a farmer. The family moved to Balmorie Farm at Drainie and Elsie attended Drainie Primary School. The Primary school was where the RAF Lossiemouth airfield is now. When she was 14 she went to work for a bakery on High Street called Morris the Bakers.
Her Father moved to a farm at Linksfield Farm (image above) as a farm servant. Elsie used to travel on her bike up through Cooper Park, up Lossie Wynd and then onto the High Street. There was no bypass around the town centre at that time. There were no street lights until you reached Lossie Wynd. The working day started at 6 a.m. and finished at 5.50 p.m. Elsie went home for breakfast and lunch. She ran or cycled and it took about 10 minutes. Looking back it was fun. There were two girls, the boss, a foreman, 2 other chaps and the ladies who worked in the shop.
Some of her tasks included jamming the sponges, making the pies, creaming cookies and putting icing on the queen cakes. The Cream cookies was like a softie (soft white roll) and had real cream put into them. There were morning rolls and butter rolls. The latter were butter with extra butter in them and they rolled out flatter than the other rolls = butteries.
The Bakers had been there since 3 a.m. The previous night they had made up a mix of flour, water and yeast in a trough and then left it to rise over night. This was the “sponge”. There were plain loaves made in the coke ovens. Plain bread was made individually and put into the sole of the oven. At Christmas time she remembers making mince pies and sausage rolls being made in the bakery.
One of Elsie’s regular tasks was making the pancakes each morning. A big hot plate was switched on and the batter was made up. Cookies were rolled by hand. Everything was done quickly in a rush. There was no speaking. Tables needed to be scrubbed and floors swept.
At the farm her mother used a black range to cook on, fuelled by sticks of wood and cones from the nearby woodlands. The pot went on a hook over the fire. Water came from a well via water pails. There were outside taps too. The floors were stone and uncarpeted. No-one wore shoes in the summertime. Doors were left locked.
Memory contributed by Elsie Goodall, Elgin
Fort Vancouver– fascinating bakery description with an alphabetical list of equipment that was used including dough troughs, which are still used in the present day for creating the dough sponge”.
Drainie Parish school – another previous pupil of the school was James Ramsey Macdonald , former Prime Minister. He was a star pupil at the school and later on a pupil teacher until he left for Bristol at the age of 18.
There is a lot of information on Drainie Public School in the Libindx system at Elgin heritage Centre including the school admission registers for the period Elsie was there in 1920-30s and also Ramsey MacDonald back in the 1880s.
More information about Drainie School during Elsie’s early years.