My First Job
"I left school in 1950
and started my first job in January 1951
at John Gibson and Son
Ltd. in Jameson Place Leith.
I walked into their
stores and asked the man behind the counter
(Jock Naismith from Musselburgh, as I found out
once I had the job) if there were any vacancies.
He went into the small office then came out
and told me that the Stores Manager,
Jimmy Farquhar, would see me.
After asking a few questions he told me I
could start the next day.
I rushed home and told my mother and she took
me to Clinkscales in Great Junction Street to get overalls.
I started in the stores, helping at
"Some firm had
ordered a road spring for a lorry, and our
blacksmith made one. I got the job of taking it to the station,
I lifted it on to the two wheel barrow
- it was quite heavy for a small lad like me at that time
- and wheeled it down Leith Walk. I
then had to push it up the slope at Crown Place into the station. It was
"Six months later I
went out into the workshop to start as an Apprentice
Motor Mechanic. I was put to work with Willie Yourston.
I also remember:
Jimmy Foley, who
only had one eye.
Eddie Greenhill ,the
Archie Kinloch, chargehand from Newhaven
that I remember were:
- Willie White
- Keith Ramsay
- Archie McMasters from Broxburn
- George Blair
- Arthur Greenfield."
"I also remember
- Andrew Brown,
the Garageman who ran the fuel pumps and
repaired punctures. He also pressed the solid tyres on steel wheels.
- Wee Frankie
Hay, the stores driver.
- Ernie Smith,
the lorry driver. His son, Eric, was an apprentice electrician."
"Eric came into
work one morning, all excited.
As he had walked
down Sloan Street, a woman had come
out off a house and stopped him. 'Here son, see
that car'. She pointed to a brand new Vauxhall.
'How would you like it?. If you give me a pound
Eric couldn't believe it,
but handed over a pound, and the woman gave him all the documents.
It turned out that the
woman's husband had cheated on her, so she gave his car away."
Twenty Four Years' Work
"I worked in
Gibson's for twenty-four years before it closed.
Maybe someone out there remembers the good times
- Mr. George Gibson handing
out sweets to the apprentices. He was a
"The firm made and
sold refuse lorries to all over the place.:
- Abu Dhabi
- Sierra Leone
- England and Wales.
In the days before
B.M.C., we sold and repaired
- Morris Commercials.
- MG and Morris cars.
- top of the range cars in George
Other garages were:
- Wilkinson's, Annandale Street.
Moir & Baxter, Comely Bank."
John Fraser, Inch, Edinburgh:
May 31, 2013