James started his job as a tree planter at the Newton Forestry commission site near Elgin in 1939. It was the only job he could get at the time at the age of 14. He needed to get a bike to cycle to Newton and back home. Three of his workmates walked from Hopeman to Newton everyday (distance 4 1/2 miles – 1 hr 35 mins). He earned 19 /- a week and had the weekends off. He gave his earnings to his parents. He started work at 8 o’clock and then had a tea break at 9.30 a.m. For his lunch he had sandwiches, a banana and a drink. The work day ended at 4.30 p.m. In winter James worked in a shed. Everything was done by hand in those days. There was no training. When he wasn’t working he played bowls and played football. After working in Forestry he went to work at the Greenbrae Quarry in Cummingston as a labourer. Then he went on to work on the Kinloss RAF base for 25 years washing Nimrods and Shackletons.
James MacPherson was interviewed by Cora Mackenzie, a pupil at Burghead Primary School.