Bondagers Bondagers (Tuckwell Press, 2001) presented the recollections of eight women who had worked as bondagers on the farms of south-east Scotland. It has quickly sold out but it is hoped that a reprint will become available before long.
Oh! Ye had to be careful Oh! Ye had to be careful (Tuckwell Press, 2000) is the edited recollections of eleven veteran workers employed between the 1930s and the 1950s at the former Roslin gunpowder mill and bomb factory in Midlothian, which had flourished for 150 years before its closure in 1954.
Onion Johnnies Onion Johnnies (Tuckwell Press, 2002) contains the recollections of nine French Onion Johnnies (one of them a woman) who worked in Scotland.
Voices of Leith Dockers Voices of Leith Dockers: Personal Recollections of Working Lives was published for the Trust by Mercat Press in 2001. It consists of edited interviews with seven veterans. A reviewer in the journal Contemporary British History wrote,"Historians should be grateful for projects that preserve the past in this way. But this book deserves a wider audience, for it depicts the world of hard manual labour, practical skills, closed shops and tough but hard-won trade-union power. It is a world that we have lost but should not forget if we want to understand the regional and class divisions that continue to fracture British society."
Miners' Association Minutes 1894-1918 Mid and East Lothian Miners' Association Minutes, 1894-1918 were published by the Trust in 2004 in association with the Scottish History Society. They are among the earliest known surviving minutes of any miners' union in Scotland and the first of any trade union to be published in full.
Lewis in the Passing Calum Ferguson's Lewis in the Passing: Twentieth Century Autobiographical Sketches was published by Birlinn in 2007. After retiring from a distinguished career as a teacher and then with the BBC. Calum Ferguson, between 1989 and 2003, conducted interviews with twenty-one people who have spent most of their lives on Lewis, all born before the second world war. Some of the interviews were in Gaelic for which there are parallel translations.
Through the Mill Through the Mill: personal recollections by veteran men and women papermill workers in Penicuik and Auchendinny. Compiled and edited by Ian MacDougall and published by the Trust in 2009.

In their own recorded words, veteran men and women papermill workers of Penicuik and Auchendinny speak of what it was like to work in one or other of the three papermills there, the last of which closed in 2004.
image Bondagers
image Oh! Ye had to be careful
image Onion Johnnies
image Voices of Leith Dockers
image Miners' Association Minutes 1894-1918
image Lewis in the Passing
image Through the Mill

Scottish Working People's History Trust


Welcome to the website of the Scottish Working People's History Trust. Here you can learn more about the Trust, its activities and publications, and contact us for more information.

Scottish History Needs You!

Wanted volunteer research workers to undertake interviewing of veteran working people.


The Bartholomew project

The mapmaking firm of John Bartholomew and Son was one of the best-known family firms in Edinburgh for over 150 years. Six generations of Bartholomews presided over its fortunes and it is still an internationally respected name in the world of cartography.


Through the Mill

Sales of Through the Mill have been extraordinarily successful with all 1000 copies sold. Click the Read More link for more information


Journalistic Recollections

The Trust’s research worker, Dr Ian MacDougall has completed work  on  the edited recollections of twenty-two journalists from throughout Scotland. The earliest of the 22 started work in 1930 on the Perthshire Constitutional and together these fascinating recollections cover most of the twentieth century. Four of the journalists are women, although as late as 1950 a young woman looking for a start with the Daily Express in Glasgow was assured ‘It’s not a job for a woman’.