Mary Waugh’s first job working as a telephonist in Glasgow

An example of a telephone exchange from the 1950s

An example of a telephone exchange from the 1950s

Mary started work at the age of 14 in 1964. Her school had got her job for her. She doesn’t remember being asked what she wanted to do but she feels she could have chosen something else if she had wanted to. The Switchboard at Johnson Brothers in Glasgow was an old-fashioned one with sockets to plug cables into (see picture on the right). She was able to run up to four lines at a time. She worked there until 1969 when her daughter was born. Mary took a few years off and then went back to work as her daughter started nursery school. She was able to get a 9.00 a.m-1 p.m. shift which worked well with her family.

Corporation Public Baths Parkhead Glasgow-source- Geograph This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Corporation Public Baths Parkhead Glasgow-source- Geograph

The early years of her life had been spent in a tenement building in the Dennistoun area (Plant St) of Glasgow.  The family had two rooms. A kitchen and a living area. Both rooms had a bed recess with a double bed. Her parents slept in the one of the double bed sized recess and she slept in the other room. One toilet was shared by 3 flats and the building was very clean and tidy. Every week Mary went down to the Parkhead public baths with her parents so they could each have a bath. Each individual cubicle had its own bath in it. 

This memory was contributed by Mary Waugh from Keith

Additional Information

Parkhead History website

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