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.”


Butchers Boy by Bill Walker

Bill worked for Charlie Brock, a Butcher in Ilchester, Somerset. He started to work there in 1939 at the age of 14. He wanted to be a butcher when he left school. His parents had to go and see the butcher and he gave them a choice. Bill could earn 7 /- 6d. while training i.e. with indentures or 10 /- 6d. without indentures (training).

One of his job’s was to delivers sheep’s brains to pregnant women. It was delivered in a wicker basket. The meat wrapped in greaseproof paper and stuck on the top with some blood. One snowy day he went up the hill with the deliveries with his butcher’s boy bike but unfortunately he fell over. All the deliveries fell out into the deep snow.  Eventually he matched the meat with each bill but couldn’t find the brain in the snow because it was white. He carried on his route and got to the house where he should have delivered the brain. The dog came to the back door. Quickly he put the ticket and some snow and ice on the stairs inside. Later on he was asked, “Did you deliver that brain to Mrs Banfield?”. The customer was told yes it had been delivered so she thought the dog had eaten it.

Charlie Brock, the butcher was a one-man business and Bill learnt how to do everything related to the butcher trade. Charlie kept sheep and steers as it was a country area and he had the land. He butchered his own animals. Bill remembers that the butcher was kind to his animals. Near to Christmas with about six weeks to go they would go to the local market to buy animals which could be fattened up for Christmas. They didn’t buy any turkeys.

Before the war they only sold mutton and sometimes New Zealand lamb. Each they made dripping by using a mutton cloth tied with string. All the beef fat scrap was thrown into a laundry pan- labelled it and put it in the muslim. Then it was put into pots for selling. There could be pork dripping too.  They also made pork sausages with no bread in them. They added used biscuit meal to the pork.

Memory contributed by Bill Wallker from Lossiemouth