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Memories of Neilston Mill (Part 1)

Submitted By : Netta McDade  
   
Date Submitted: 15th January 2004
   
Department: Not Supplied
   
Length of Service: 22 Years (1948 -1970)
   
Reason For Leaving: Not Supplied
   
Mill Memories / Comment: Memories of Neilston Mill (Part 1)
 
I started work in the Neilston Mill in 1948 and left in 1970 it was called Crofthead Mills as the years went by the name changed to English Sewing Cotton but it was always known as the Neilston Mill. When I first started the noise was unbearable and you had to use sign language if you were far away from someone.

The toilets were attached to the outside of the building on every flat and if you an your friends were away from your machines too long the gaffer knew where to get you and he just opened the door and shouted "Back to Work". The girls mostly went into the toilet for a smoke.

Everybody who started work in the fifth flat in which I worked got a round tall tin, which held brushes and a duster to clean your machine and it was supplied to you by your instructor. Annie Hodgson instructed everyone who started on the fifth floor she gave you great encouragement as you were on piecework if your wages was down one week she told you to "work with your hands and not your tongue and to stop blethering". She liked to see you make your pay and she came round on a Thursday with a big ledger and told you your weeks pay and she gave you praise when you had worked hard.

The ground floor was the skip store and canteen. The second floor was the polishing, the third was the rewinding, on the fourth floor was the twisting and on the fifth the cheesewinding (copwinding). The fluff which was constantly in the air stuck to your overalls and hair and in later years they introduced a machine which was connected to a rail above the cop winding machines to help keep the air free from the fluff. Over the years we got lockers for our personal use as we normally hung our coats at the end of the machines. As the years passed the mill changed and the machines were modernised the result of which meant that the work previously done by six girls was now being done by one. The first time i made 5.00 on piece work I thought I was a millionaire.

The boys mostly worked in the turning shop in which the bobbins were made, The fifth flat was the cheesewinding and the foreman Alex Carswell he stayed in Neilston was a fair man who enjoyed a joke, when Alex left, Robert McArthur became our next foreman if you had any worries Robert gave you sound advice and everyone was on a first basis. The next foreman we had was Frank White. There were about eighty girls on the fifth flat and every week you worked on a different machine to work with different yarns... story continued »

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