Working in Findochty for Taylors the Bakers by Walter Taylor

Interviewed: Walter Taylor    Interviewer: Cora Mackenzie, Burghead Primary School
Job title: Baker
Location: Findochty
Place of work: Taylor the Bakers
Age: 14
Which year? 1946
Why did you choose this job? Had to take it due to lack of jobs
Your job tasks: to start cleaning, grease the tins and shapes went on to make the cakes pancakes, pies and many more.  Sometimes started at 4am.  Worked 12am finished at 8am
Any days off? Worked every day Saturday 1/2 off whole day Sunday off
Wage? £1 a week
Did you keep your earnings? Gave the £1 to mother and got 6 pence back
Describe a typical day:   Started at 6am got no breaks home for lunch –got tattie soup and rice pudding then finished at 4pm
What type of work were you asked to do? Making all bakery products.
Did you enjoy your job? did not enjoy job old fashioned ovens (scotch ovens), fumes and old style cooking.
How is different to today? Hours of work, health and safety, cooking facilities.
What equipment did use then a days: Scotch ovens and used to turn the loafs all the time. Also ingredients were rationed.
How safe was it: Not safe, no protective clothing. If you did what you were told nothing would go wrong.
Did you get any training in the job? no training at all. Had to pick it up as went along.
What did you do in your spare time? Down at the rocks fishing and football.
How long did you stay in job: 4 years – had to go to national service and done bakery  which served as my 5 year apprentice.
Did you have any other jobs in your life? While baking in the army , 1 week dough making , for 1 dough used 300 weigh = 112lb bags in to the mixer. 20 doughs a night for the army.
Army was based in Aldershot & England then into Hong Kong. Used to supply loaves to all new territories in the army. 1950- 1952 in Hong Kong.
Not a lot of turkeys for Christmas. A lot of steak pies for Christmas lunch.

I worked at boat building yard at Findochty. I used to steal nails to build rafts.
When I came out of the army went to work at Walkers bakery. When I left there I became a butcher for 40 years in W. H. Taylor and Sons, Bishopmill- Father and Sons Butchers. They had a travelling shop which Walter ran. Came to Burghead twice a week.

Walter Taylor from Elgin was interviewed by Cora Mackenzie, a pupil at Burghead Primary School

Additional information

Researching forum- someone researching the Taylor family in Findochty

Photos of Location of a Findochty boat building yard and old Findochty harbour image.

Hong Kong waterfront in 1950sHong Kong’s waterfront in 1950- You Tube video B & W

Slideshare presentation featuring Hong Kong during the 1950s and 60s. “In the crucial years of the 50s and 60s, Hong Kong has remade itself to become one the frontline cities of the world. Here is a collection of some rare old photos of the era.”


Edith Davidson’s work at a bakery

Edith Davidson was a baker and worked in Newder, Buckhan, Aberdeenshire. She started working at the age of 14 in 1946. She was an assistant in the baking area for a week and worked in the shop part for a week. She worked for a week Monday to Saturday. She was paid £7 for 6 days / week. There was still rationing of cheese cake, cream cakes and meringues at this time. The softies were the best product they sold.

Memory contributed by Edith Davidson, Elgin

John Hector Grange work as a baker

John Hector Grange was born in 1934 in Elgin. He became started working in a baker’s shop in 1946 at the age of 12 years old. He also delivered news papers as a paper boy. At 14 years old he began his bakers apprenticeship. As a baker he worked week days only from 6am – 9am then 11am – 5pm. He had no tea breaks but he was able to get something to eat while working. John enjoyed his work in the bakers because it got him up in the mornings and he had evenings to himself and his family. Working in the bakers was quite safe although it was very very hot. A baker was at risk from burns and scalds. Most of his earnings was handed over to his parents because money was tight and although he didn’t tell me how much he earned but he did say it wasn’t much for all the work he did. The downside of his job was he suffered dermatitis which is dry cracked sore skin which can bleed and cause pain. His hobby was playing football in his spare time.

Photograph of the sole surviving 64 pounder 64 cwt Mk I rifled muzzle-loading gun, mounted on a replica carriage. At the Duke of Cumberland's bastion at Fort George, Inverness, Scotland. When he was 20 he was called up for national service and spent 2 years in the army. He was trained at Fort George in Inverness. His first year was served out in Germany followed by a year in Egypt.

When he left the army he returned to his job as a baker.

John Hector Grange was interviewed by Sam and Siobhan, students at Elgin High School as part of an eleven week elective the S2 students studied on the theme of Local Heritage

Additional Links
More information on Fort George and the Regimental Museum on the site.
Historic Scotland Website for Fort George
Historic Scotland Information about Fort George

Testing our honesty

The shopkeeper in charge of the bakery would hide coppers in the corners of the shop to see if the bakery workers were honest and handed them in when they found them. The job paid £1 a week. The shop was closed on Wednesday afternoon and all day Sunday.

Memory contributed in Lossiemouth

Working for Moray the Bakers in the early 50s by Janet Smith

Janet started working at Moray the Bakers as she was asked to help out and stayed on for 22 years! She started work at 6 a.m. to meet the bread and then went home for breakfast. At 10 a.m. she went back and just got on with the work of the day. Her day finished at 6 p.m. She remembers one day in January 1968 when the Gales were really bad.

“Coming home from school on very snowy days and my mother had a big plate of Tattie Soup waiting for me and my brothers. We were very hungry and it was lovely and filling and warmed me up.”

She enjoyed her work earning £2.50 a week with a day off on Wednesday. She was given a week off in winter and two weeks off in the summer.

Memory contributed by Janet Smith, Lossiemouth

Rhona Hamilton ‘s work in a Fruit and Bakers shop

Rhona worked for a Fruit and Baking Shop on Queen Street. She was assigned different jobs every day. She worked until 7 p.m. every day and had one half day off a week. She took the job because it was the only one available at the time. There was little mention of hygeine and no training she can remember.

Memory contributed by Rhona Hamilton, Lossiemouth

Elizabeth Grant’s work as a Warburtons Bakery assistant

Elizabeth started work as a bakery assistant in Yorkshire. She was 15 years old and it was 1947. She was waiting until she was old enough to start a nursing course. Her work involved making pastry pie cases, cake decorating, transporting food to the shop, keeping the shop stocked up and cleaning it. The kitchen was downstairs and the bakery was upstairs. Most days went well except for the day Elizabeth fell upstairs with a tray of jam tarts. There was a lot more cleaning to do that day.The bakery was upstairs and the kitchen was downstairs.

Memory contributed Anna Walker from Lossiemouth High School.
Elizabeth Grant was interviewed at Lossiemouth Darby and Joan Club