Mills & Mill-workers

Every community needed the services of water-powered meal mills to grind oats and barley. Some rivers supported several different kinds of mills, including those that powered saw-mills. From the earliest days, folk who worked on the land were closely connected with local mills.

Textile workers

Textile mills in Perthshire and Fife employed thousands of workers for every stage of the jute, linen, cotton and silk industries. Several workers tell what it was like to work in a mill, and recall the communities which depended on these industries. 

  • 05Mills
01 Ian MacGregor

01 Ian MacGregor

Interviewed by Margaret Bennett of Ian MacGregor, son Sheila Stewart and Grandson of Bella & Alex  Stewart of the Stewarts of Blair. 

MB: Ian, when I began this project your Mum told me that she worked in the mill in Blairgowrie.

IM: That's right, yes, she worked in Keithbank Mill and I was there for a winter as an apprentice mechanic. I'd be about 15 at the time.

02 Ann Black

02 Ann Black

I did the wiring and then I got taught how to do the weaving and I could go between the two cause if someone was off sick or they were not at their work that loom was not allowed to be empty. So they would say, right Ann, you’re on your weaving and wiring today, you do your wiring, get that done, get the two looms going, go back and wire, another wire, another …