More Aberlour Stories

Working as a shop assistant in Aberlour by Margaret Meldrum

Peter Taylor on his bike. Photograph from a collection brought by a visitor to the reunion event

Margaret started work at Peter Taylor’s grocery shop because her sister already worked there. She was 15 years old and it was 1966. She worked on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Sundays a half day. She got £1 for Saturdays and 10/- for the half day.

Her job included stocking the shelves.  Slicing ham on a machine and using a cheese wire to cut the cheese. The cheese was wrapped in greaseproof paper. People put in orders and then a message boy took the completed order out on his bike. This meant the shop ran a credit system and people were trusted to come in promptly to settle their bills.  Some people were better than others at doing this. The Walkers shop was in the same place it is now and it sold bread and cakes.

Aberlour Orphanage supplied by a visitor to the reunion eventHer Mother worked at the Margaret Rose Nursery which was part of the Orphanage. There were some very young children including babies  and toddlers in the nursery.

The Orphanage had its own school. Only the o’level children came to the Aberlour High School.

Each Saturday night they got a bag of sweeties from Mrs Taylor as they finished work.

Additional Information

Presentation to Provost Peter Taylor


Ernest McIntosh’s first job as a rocket scientist 

Ernest MacIntosh being interviewed at Aberlour Highland Games 2012 for the Memory projectErnest McIntosh graduated from Heriott Watt University in Edinburgh with a BSc in Chemistry. He was 22 and it was 1958. He was due to go into National Service or he could work for the government researching rocket fuels. In National Service he would have earned 27 /- 6d (£ 2  37 1/2p) a week and as a rocket scientist 10 guineas ( £10.50) per week. He chose the latter and went to work at the Royal Naval Scientific Service at Carwent nr. Newport and Chepstow. Ernest was interested in rockets due to Von Braun‘s research.

Black Knight Rocket on display in Edinburgh Source Permission (Reusing this file) Released into the public domain (by the author).

His main work involved looking into the storage of rocket fuel. Over time the fuel becomes unstable and increasingly dangerous to store. He used inch-cubes of the fuel and artificially aged them in a bunker by subjecting them to temper and humidity. Then the breakdown products could be identified.Rocket fuel was only used by Black Knight and Blue Streak at that time. He was going to submit his research on the shelf life of rocket fuel for an MSc but he left the Naval work in 1960 to move to Newcastle. He wanted to be nearer his fiance who lived in Scotland. He couldn’t find a job using his skills in Scotland at the time.

Additional links

There are lots of books in the local libraries about Space and Rocket Development.

NASA Kids ClubNASA Kids Club– Here are opportunities to explore Space and find out why we want to find out about Space.
Edwin Hubble- groundbreaking Astronomer who found evidence that the universe was expanding.
Werhner Von Braun- rocket scientist and aerospace engineer

Rocket Fuel websiteRocket Fuel information- website which discusses different types of rocket fuel. Rocket Propellant Information- lots of information on the history of Rocket Fuel.


Working in Ballindalloch on a farm by William Morrison

William Morrison being interviewed at Aberlour Highland Games 2012 for the Memory projectWilliam started work at Burnside Farm, Ballindalloch in 1954 at the age of 14. His job was to feed the cattle and as a general labourer. He got £5 a week and a room to stay in the farmhouse. At lunchtime soup was often served. He remembers the Potato Soup.
After six months he left that job as he wanted to do more in his life. He went to work at a saw mill in Elgin. They made fish boxes and William worked out in the woodyard helping the sawyer by holding the back of the wood (= the Tailsman) as it went through the machine. He moved from this job after two years to work as a window cleaner for 3 months in Elgin.

Link to the James Mutch port top on the Ebay website
His next job, by which time he was 17, was working for the wholesaler James Mutch. They were located opposite Gordon and MacPhail on South Street, Elgin. James Mutch supplied many of the bars with food, catering supplies, spirits, beers and wines.

Additional Information

Libindx has a number of records on a saw mill in Elgin on Edgar and Wards Road during the 1950s and 60s. If you do a building search and put in sawmill as the building name andElgin as the location. Then choose the last of the three mills (the other two are from the late 1800s) – Ref No. PN026086

Mutch Family Legacy– James Mutch’s widow left a large legacy to the National Trust in 2012 to be spent in Moray and Aberdeenshire.
More information about the Mutch Family Business in Elgin from the Edinburgh Gazette in 1914.
Obituary of James Mutch in 1906 who started up the James Mutch wholesale business in Elgin.


Aberlour Orphanage Jupp Sales by Evelyn

Evelyn remembers a Jupp Sale in Aberlour in 1953. It was held in a hall near the orphanage to raise funds. It sold everything including bric a brac and clothing. She was only six at the time but she remembers it as being very busy. The sale items were donated from local people as far as she knows. Used to see a lorry coming through the village of Rothes with a cover over it. Inside were the orphans dressed in brown and off on a trip somewhere.

The origin of the Jupp sales was Canon Jupp who believed  “that every child had the ability to grow up and flourish in society, not withstanding the origins of their birth”.


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