Milk boy for Bishopmill Dairy by Bill Forsyth

Bill started work in 1937 at the age of 9/10. His Father had heard about the job in his job at the Tile Works. Joseph Farquhar owned Bishopmill Farm, which was the left hand side of the road on the way out of Bishopmill towards Lossiemouth. It was just past the old Moray Poor House site. He worked for the farm’s dairy before school every day of the week. He arrived about 7 a.m. and collected tin cans, which held about 1 pint of pasturised full cream milk. He could hook 5 cans on either side of his bike. He then set off to deliver milk to the local customers. The job carried on through the holidays as well. When the war started Joseph Farquhar’s son, also called Bill was called up. Bill was asked to help with the milk round. Joseph had two milk floats to deliver the milk to his Elgin customers.

Easterton farm Roseisle © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Easterton Farm Roseisle Copyright Anne Burgess Creative Commons Licence

When Bill reached 13 he left school to work for the dairy full-time. He learnt how to control a horse and cart so he could then take one of the carts on local milk deliveries. Two large milk churns were placed in the back of his cart along with a one pint tin jug to dispense the milk from the large cans into whatever the customer had at hand for their milk delivery.The route he took was from Bishopmill along Lesmurdie Road, Kingmills, over the old Bridge to the Cathedral, up King Street, cut across Institution Road, round the Station Hotel and then back to the Dairy. The caretaker at the Cathedral always had two sandwiches ready made with fresh butter and rhubarb jam. One for Bill and one for the horse. No-one had fridges in those days so Bill went on his round every day. When he returned to the dairy he handed back the tin cans for cleaning and put the horse to pasture in the fields around the dairy. Then the cart needed to be tidied up. Next Bill went off to Easterton Farm on Covesea Road to collect the cans of milk for the following day. The milk was processed and pasturised at the dairy ready for the next day’s delivery. Each week Bill handed over his wage to his Mother and received spending money back.

Cattle were also kept on the farm. The dung heap was situated behind the Old Bishopmill School and the smell could be quite strong on some days.

Bill remembered the Old School at Bishopmill had traditional school desks with slates, ink pots and blackboards.

 Memory contributed by Bill Forsyth at the Messages and Memories Event at Elgin Library June 2014

Additional Information

Bishopmill History

nls map referencesLocal Maps of the area
http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/   Either choose Find by place which allows the user to select specific maps individually e.g. This 1938 (published 1946) map of Elgin shows all the detail of Bishopmill including old and new school, the old town centre roads before the bypass, the gas works etc… http://maps.nls.uk/view/75529911

There are various books which describe Bishopmill and its development including the schools. The History of the Local Area is written about in detail in the New Statistical Account of Scotland. Search by putting Bishopmill in the left hand search box or go to page 98 onwards in the Elgin section of the book.
Bishopmill Google booksMoray Poor House, Bishopmill

http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Morayshire/  The Map of the Moray Poor House on this web page also shows the location of the local primary school on Balmoral Terrace and the farm fields around Bishopmill around 1905. To look at other old maps of the area go to the Useful Links/Scottish Maps page on this website and follow the NLS link.

List of Moray Combination Poorhouse residents in 1881

Working as a van porter for Henderson’s Furniture by Peter Logie

Hendersons_furniture ElginPeter started work at the age of 15 in 1956. His first job was at Henderson’s furniture in Elgin.  He had left school with no qualifications and he had heard about the job. Peter felt that in those days there were jobs for anyone willing to work. The Local Mills could be difficult to get work in. Young people had their names put down for mill work several years earlier, by their parents who worked there. Peter’s working week ran from Monday to Friday with a half day on Saturday. He earned around £5-6 per week with two weeks holiday annual leave including Christmas Day as a holiday.  Peter’s Father was in the building trade and for him Christmas Day was a working day with New Year’s day as a day off.

Peter delivered new furniture from Henderson’s and also did removals all over Elgin through to Aberdeen and Inverness. On a rare occasion he stayed overnight. It was very hard work with lots of heavy lifting. Four people were on the removal team and two people on furniture deliveries. Sometimes getting furniture into houses was difficult. Windows could be a useful way of getting furniture into a house. Peter stayed in the job for three years and he really enjoyed it.

He went on to work for Grant Furniture until he was made redundant. Looking for a change he took a job as a kitchen porter washing dishes and general “odd bod”.  One day the Head Chef was ill and the owner came down and said  “Peter, you are doing breakfast tomorrow”. From then on he continued to work in the kitchen as a Commis Chef for 2-3 years. He went to college at Elgin Technical College to do his City and Gulids 7061. From there he went to work at the Seafield Arms in Cullen returning to take his City and Guilds 7062 (distinction pass) then back to Cullen for a further 2 years. Peter moved from there to work at the Eight Acres, where he remained the second chef for the next twenty years. He did not want to be the Head Chef as there was a lot of organisational work involved. The hotel had around sixty bedrooms and held functions for up to 200. Most nights there were 40 covers to serve. Peter liked being busy.

Leather strap from the Keith Memory Blog website

Leather strap from the Keith Primary School Memory Blog website

Old Bishopmill School memory
The original Bishopmill Primary School was on Balmoral Terrace and it closed in the mid 1930s moving to its current position on Morriston Road. Peter was at both schools. He remembers taking home the leather strap so as to avoid receiving it as a punishment. Unfortunately his idea was flawed as his Father used the strap to give him 6 lashes for taking it and then when he took it back to school he got six more from the Head Master for stealing!

Memory contributed by Peter Logie at the Messages and Memories Event at Elgin Library in June 2014