Jean attended Aberdeen Academy in the 1940s and left school at the age of 17 in 1949. She got the job at the bank because her Minister knew an actuary there. She earned £6 -£7 a week (£183-£215 in today’s money). There were lots of transactions to do so you really used your brain. Seven ledgers were in use and keeping them up to date was a laborious job. Jean used a fountain pen and refilled it from an inkwell. Many of the schools ran savings accounts for their pupils (still the case today). Each child had a savings book at the school. They brought in their sixpences and pennies to pay into their account. One man at the Ladybridge branch made a cross for his signature and a member of staff had to counter-sign it to say it was him. The Bank Manager signed it above the cross and the clerk below the cross.
She married in 1952 to Robert (Bob) Watt. He was a millwright. He worked for Godsman Joiners and Engineering firm in Aberlour, having trained with James Crichton in Turriff. he helped to build the threshing machines. He added a brass plate on the machine.
They had their own corn (=oats) milled at the meal mill (at Edinvillie on the road to Turriff). A boll of meal was a standard measurement. It was equivalent to a hundred weight. The meal was emptied out of a hessian bag.
When she came to live near Aberlour to get milk she had to take a pail to the farm to get it filled. The butcher’s van came round regularly. The Baker’s van sold bread (softies, plain loaves and tin loaves). There was also confectionary ( rock, Highland Cream toffee). There was no electricity until 1957. The lamps used paraffin. There was no gas where they lived. Only the towns had gas (still true today to a large extent in Moray).
Memory Contributed by Jean Watt of Aberlour
Jean’s husband, Bob Watt played the accordion on Pat McDonald’s interview with Andy Ross. This is on the website under the Aul’Farming tab.
You Tube videos- There are quite a few videos of Godsman threshing machines.