Crawford's Biscuits

Elbe Street, Leith




Betty Wallace (née Baxter)

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Betty Wallace who wrote:

Crawfords' Biscuits

"After working for C&A Modes in Princes Street, I worked for Crawfords Biscuits on Elbe St, Leith.  I believe it has been turned into flats now.

My pal, Connie, came to work there as well, and also my two sisters.  The girls were known as Crawfords' white mice.

We were on piece work and had to go hard at it to make a decent wage.  Putting little notes inside the tins that were being shipped to the boys in the services during the war was fun."

Betty Wallace (née Baxter), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada:  January 18, 2010



Betty Wallace (née Baxter)

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Betty followed up her comments above with messages to the EdinPhoto guestbook in which she said:

Question 1

Ex-Crawford Workers?

"In the late-1940s and the 1950s, I worked for Crawford's Biscuits with:

-  my sisters Ina and Ella

-  my chum Connie Steed

Are there any ex-Crawford workers who remember us?  I'd be glad to hear from them."

Betty Wallace (née Baxter), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Messages posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  September 17+18, 2010.

Reply to Betty

If you'd like to send a reply to Betty, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinbrugh, September 18, 2010



Robert Findlay

Longford, Tasmania, Australia

Robert Findlay wrote

Question 2

Ian Crawford

"I am trying to locate Ian Crawford, who may now be in his seventies.

Ian may have a son/nephew/cousin who served in the UK Navy.

Can anybody help me to locate him?"

Robert Findlay, Longford, Tasmania, Australia:  July 19, 2011.

Reply to Ian

If you'd like to send a reply to Ian, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinbrugh, July 19, 2011



Doreen Boyle

Ajax, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Doreen Boyle wrote:


"My mother, Dora Donaldson, my Aunt Jean and my mother's best friend, Jessie Henderson all worked Crawfords Biscuit Factory at Leith.    My mother left in 1941.

Other names that  I recall from Crawfords are Violet Duthie, Nellie Elliot and Agnes Henderson (no relation to Jessie)."


"I remember, as a young girl, hearing stories about their work:

-   If they packed under 99 boxes, my mother would put the total at 199, then the girls including my mother would get a few pennies more in their pay packet.

-   The girls who had to catch the street car got out a few minutes early at lunch time.  The Supervisor would call:  'Car lassies.  Time to go'."

Doreen Boyle, Ajax, Ontario, Canada:  November 14+18+18, 2013 (3 emails)




Janine Bounden

Devon, England

Thank you to Janine Bounden and her sister Christine for sending me this photo of an item with Crawford's Biscuits name on it:

Janine wrote:

Metal Case to hold a Pencil

"We see that you've received messages from some of the ladies who used to work for Crawford's Biscuits

Here is a photo of an item that we found amongst our dad's belongings.  It opens up and is a pencil holder.  It has a loop at the end which looks like it had a cord through so that it could be hung around the neck."

Crawford's Biscuits  -  Metal Case to hold a Pencil

Metal Pencil Holder marked with the name of Crawford's Biscuits

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Janine bounden


"We wonder if one of the ladies who sent Crawford's Biscuits recollections to the EdinPhoto web site would know if this item came as a free gift or if it would have been worn by Crawford's employees.

We hope that somebody will be able to solve our mystery."

Janine Bounden, Devon, England:  May 13, 2014

Reply to Janine

Can you help to answer Janine's question above?  If so, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on their email address to you, so that you can send a message to them if you'd like to.

Thank you:

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 13, 2014




Lizbeth Martin-Lopez Crawford


Thank you to Lizbeth Martin-Lopez Crawford who wrote:

The Crawford Family

"I found this page and read the memories above with much fascination and gratitude. My husband, Jeremy Donald Crawford, is the fourth son of Archibald Crawford, descendant of William Crawford.

Archibald worked at Crawford’s Biscuits for many years, and also during its merger with United Biscuits, before leaving the company to farm deer in the highlands of Scotland with his wife, Martha Leacock. They had four sons, of which my husband is the youngest. The oldest, Brian, worked at Crawford’s in London for a brief period and lays claim to the invention of the Chocolate Hobnob!"

Working at Crawford's

"I am currently researching Crawford family history (very early stages) and would love to get in touch with the ladies who shared their memories of working at Crawford’s factories in Leith and Liverpool via e-mail, to hear their stories - in particular, the way the ‘white mice’ stuffed messages for the soldiers into the biscuit tins. Very touching and also quite funny!"

Before the onset of his illness, my father-in-law shared many happy memories of working in the family business—and of his uncle, Sir Douglas Crawford. He was also very proud that Crawford’s was ‘forward thinking’ for its time."

Crawford's Buildings in Edinburgh

"Jeremy and I have recently moved to Edinburgh with our daughters, and I’m planning to visit the site of the old Crawford factory in Leith soon. I believe there is also a rather famous building constructed by a Crawford family member who was an architect, but have yet to confirm its location."

Crawford's Pencil

"Before I lost it ,somehow in our house move, I had a Crawford pencil akin to the pencil holder in the picture. I was once told these were given out to employees, but I've heard nothing about whether they were to hang around people’s necks. "

Lizbeth Martin-Lopez Crawford, Edinburgh:  8 May 2018


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