Isabel’s work at Daniel Young Grocers in Hopeman

Shop Assistant at Daniel Young Grocers in Hopeman at 14 years old when started I940. Reason for choice – to few jobs not a choice.

Serving customers in the shop- groceries, paint etc… Count the stamps for the groceries. Work at the Counter and drawer for money. Groceries in jars on shelves. Cornflakes were just starting to come in. Oatmeal was very popular. Days off holidays Half day Wednesday 9-6 p.m every day but Sunday. Wage 7/- 50p Did you keep earnings? – Hand over to family. Typical day Start at 9am no breaks 1-2 p.m. Went home for lunch. Finish 6 p.m. Liked meeting customers – groceries were rationed wasn’t a lot of money. Scales used for weighing, sugar and butter and nothing was in a packet, Carried groceries in a basket of their own. It was safe place to work?
No training for the job. Home at 6 p.m. Did a lot of knitting. Nights were dark due to no lights. Stayed til 1945. Married in 1946

Isobel McPherson from Hopeman was interviewed by Cara Mackenzie, a Burghead Primary School pupil


Marion Ingram’s first job working for Mains the Bakers in Hopeman

Marion started work in 1940 at the age of fourteen. She worked for the local bakers in her home village of Hopeman. The work in the shop was very hard. Marion worked from Monday to Saturday with a half day on Wednesday and she earned 5 /- a week. The Shop’s owners Mr and Mrs Main went to their beds after the shop shut at 5.30 p.m. Marion then went out to wake them up at about 10 p.m. and they returned to work. They continued through the night preparing the bread and cakes. Later on they employed assistants to help them.  

Elgin Academy building Built in 1885 for Elgin Academy, this Grecian building is now part of Moray College. © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Old Elgin Academy building

After two years Marion started evening courses at Elgin Academy in Bookkeeping and typing. Her cousin, Daniel Ralph owned a baker’s shop at the top of Moss Street. He wanted Marion to do his books so this is why she went on the course. There was a lot of maths to do and no calculators to help you. She wasn’t very long at the college when she went to work for Low’s Net factory (between where the Fire Station is today and Hawco’s). She worked from 7 a.m. until teatime and then went on to the academy. It was eventually too much for her and she got ill. Her mother took her to see Dr Scott, the GP in Gordon Street, Elgin.  Her Mother had to pay 3/- 6d. Marion was sent to Melrose to stay with her Mother’s sister to get better. When she came back home she needed to have her appendix out.

Marion applied for a job as clerkess in the Linkwood dairy on the High Street (now Scribbles). It sold milk shakes, eggs and chickens. The milk was brought in. She didn’t like the Supervisor. She eventually worked there from 1942-1949 from the age of 16-23 years. Her next job was for Elgin Central Engineers at 266 High Street, Elgin. Her position was as an office worker then clerkess then purchase ledger and finally cash. She really loved working there. In her spare time she went to dances at the Lido in Elgin with her friend Betty (from Linkwood Dairy). She continued to attend evening classes. Each day she took the early bus into town from Hopeman and then the 5 p.m. bus home if she didn’t have a class that day.

She left to get married in 1947.

Hopeman house © Copyright Ann Harrison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Hopeman House and the Whins below

Tales from her Hopeman childhood
She remembers making playing in the Whins below Hopeman House. They made houses and once created a small fire. The lady of the house came out and made them put it out. The fire could easily have got out of control and spread all over the bush around the house.
The boys from Gordonstoun would cycle to the village to go and sail. During her childhood in the 1930s and 40s there were so many fishing boats in the harbour you could walk from boat to boat. Her grandmother had 13 children + 1 adopted one and she was married to a fisherman. Her other Grandma married a fisherman too. Their house at 25 MacPherson Street had no running water and they had to go to a nearby well to collect their water (it is now under the school playground. Every street had a well. It was thought that the water from the Braemou well was “healing water”.

Early years
 Hopeman Harbour  © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.During the late 1930s Marion loved going out on the trial trips as boats went from Hopeman to Burghead. She remembers when there were so many boats in Hopeman Harbour that she could jump from boat to boat. One day while picking brambles someone came up to her and told her that war had been declared. She ran home straightaway.  The Girls Club from Hopeman went to Gordonstoun School for singing lessons with Fraulein Lachman, the music teacher at the school. There were no boys at the main school during the war as they had moved down to Wales as the Highland Light Infantry was billeted there. .From the age of 16 in 1942 Marion attended Hopeman’s Girls club. The evening lasted 1 1/2 hours and each there were activities. One week could be spent doing Physical Activity (P.T.) in the hall and the alternate week they made crafts such as leather handbags. The Girls club sometimes did concerts in the village. They raised money to pay the salary of the District Nurse. This was before the start of the National Health Service.  They regularly came to the dances at the Hopeman. It was soldiers who ran the P.T. Hopeman Memorial Hall © Copyright don cload and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.instruction in the Hopeman Memorial Hall for the Girls Club.  Many of the soldiers came from Wales and were lovely singers. They taught the girls some Welsh and even married some of them. They also sang at the Memorial Hall dances. Some of the Welsh came to Marion’s house at 39 Harbour Street and sang hymns on a Sunday night.  

Origins of the Hopeman Gala
Two girls from the Girls Club were asked to be on the Amenities Committee (became Hopeman Community Association). The other girl left to become a gym teacher but Marion stayed and enjoyed it. Hopeman used to have many regular visitors for Glasgow. They came up on the train for their two weeks holiday in the summer. They were known as “Broons”. One large family used to organise funa nd games on the playing field at the bottom of the hill. The locals enjoyed joining in as well and soon the idea of a Gala week was formed. The First Gala was in 1972 and it ran for 10-14 days. It changed to 7 days in 1974 which made it easier to manage.

Memory contributed by Marion Ingram, Hopeman

Additional information
More information on Hopeman Gala Week on their website

Service to the Community
In 2005 Marion met Prince Andrew and receives an award for 60 years of dedicated service to Hopeman.Article here

Life as a nurserymaid at Hopeman Lodge by Betty Grant

Betty left school at the age of 14 in 1930 and went to work at Hopeman Lodge for her employer Lady Gordon Macduff. She owned the lodge. Betty earned 10/- a week, which was saved for her as National Savings Certificate. Betty looked after the children of Lady Gordon Macduff’s daughter, Mrs Aspell. The children were called David and June. She had a room along from the nursery next door to the children.

Hopeman Lodge source:

Hopeman Lodge

The house had a cook, kitchen maid, table maid (waited on table), housemaid, nanny, nanny’s help and gardener. There was no butler. Betty enjoyed the work and stayed there for 14 years.

Memory contributed by Betty Grant from Dufftown

Additional information
Current information about Hopeman lodge.
Prime Minister Asquith and his daughter came to stay at the lodge on holiday in 1913.

Teaching in Perth and Kinross in 1940s

“I was born in South Africa where my dad worked until I was three years old. Then we lived in Nairn where my Dad had the West End Drapery. I did my teacher training in Aberdeen and then taught at Perth and Kinross for 2 years. My first school was a country school of 30 children with threee classes of all ages. There were only two teachers- the Headteacher and me. I shared digs with the head and paid her about £5 per month out of the £13 a month I eanred. This included ny food. Sometimes I cooked scrambled eggs on the stove in the classroom. I got the bus at 7 a.m. and then walked 1 1/2 miles to school.

Seine net trawler Hopeman 1958 © Copyright Christopher Gillan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Seine net trawler Hopeman 1958

I really enjoyed teaching country children who were so biddable and there was no rough stuff as a rule but I did once have to shove an elder boy out the door when he continued to misbehave in class. This was while I was standing in for the Head while she was off sick. There is a big change these days and less discipline. After two years I went to teach at Hopeman Secondary School with 40 pupils. When I was looking for digs in HopemanI met my future husband in my free time. I went to lots of dances in the public hall in nairn and also the cinema. I got married to the local butcher in Hopeman in 1951 and carried on teaching until 1955 when my daughter was born. I was asked to fill in at another school and I found a lady to look after our daughter. When I told my daughter she was surprised. In 1958 my son was born then I went back to teaching in the 1960s. Then I did the books for my husband and served in his butchers shop too.”

Jo Sweeney, Royal Voluntary Service Volunteer interviewed this lady in Elgin. 

Additional information

More information about Hopeman village and its origins

Collecting rent money in Glasgow by Dora Cardno

Dora met her future Father-in-law before she met her future husband, Douglas Murray Cardno. She came to Hopeman before World War 2 on holiday with her six sisters. She was the 5th next to the youngest. They cycled in cullottes made by her mother. They brought their own bikes on the train. One day a button fell off and she had to buy a button from Mrs Alice Cardno, who had a shop in Hopeman at Millseat House, Inverugie Road. Mr William Cardno would not let Dora pay for the button. After her holidays she returned to Glasgow. It was there that she met Douglas. They were engaged before the war and married during the war. She found out his parents owned the When the Blitz came a number of the tenements were knocked down. Douglas and Dora were both called up. At that time they lived in Clydebank, which was regularly bombed. During one raid it started too quickly to get out. They hid under the staircase and eventually got out.  Clydebank was a very scattered area by the river with lots of factories.

A historical Singer sewing machine.

A historical Singer sewing machine.

Singer Sewing Factory
The Factory was a major employer on Clydebank, where her Father worked in the office area. They had lived in Dalmuir in the upper part of Clydebank on the Clyde. Dora’s mother sewed all their clothes on an old singer sewing machine (a treddle). She was a very clever lady. The children got new clothes as the old clothes wore out.

There was a rag and bone man who came to their area who collected worn out pots, pans and clothing. He used a horse and cart.

Eventually they moved back to Moray. They had three children. Elizabeth, Hilda and Ian.

Memory contributed by Dora Cardno from Elgin

Additional information
More information on the history of Clydebank including the Singer Sewing factory at Clydebank.

View a host of images of the Singer factory from the site record on RCAHMS

Fiona Bruce’s family also came from Hopeman. In the programme – Who do you think they are? she talks about her family (the Bruce family) who originated there.

Paper deliverer by Isabel Smith

Isabel went to work as a paper deliverer in Hopeman as it was the only job available. This was in 1937 at the age of 14. She delivered papers at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and earned 8 /- a week.

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