Happy days – when Singer in Clydebank employed more than 16,000 workers making sewing machines for the world. 

By Bill Heaney

West Dunbartonshire Heritage tell us they have been contacted by the producers of a new BBC documentary on the Singer Factory in Clydebank.

They are looking to speak with people who worked in the factory or had family members who were employed by Singer.

“We’re sure there are plenty of you out there with some brilliant Singer stories, so why not get in touch with them and help bring the Singer story to a new generation,” a spokesperson said.

Singers’ workers and their families have come forward to reminisce a bit on social media.

Caroline McGinley said: “My mum worked there. My dad was one of the last to leave the site. He was a manager and the boss of Singer power station.”

Alasdair Liddell said: “My great-grandfather, George Chapman, was North British Railway Station Master at Singer (Kilbowie) Station in the 1880s.  My late Grandmother, Bessie Souter was born in The Station House in Elgin Street in 1888. She died in 1973.”

Aileen Shirley added: “All my family worked there. My grandpa, my dad and my mum. My dad was one the last to leave Singers when it closed. We just lived along the road from it in Montrose Street.”

Trudy Richards said: “My nan who is 93 in a few days just told me she worked there when she was about 17.”

Anne Spiers said: “Yep, started working in offices when I was 15. Worked there for seven years. One of the best jobs I ever had.”

Marion Brown said: “My mum and dad met there in the Thirties. Dad worked in the foundry; he was a brass moulder and my mum worked in the needle flat. They married in 1936.

“I remember the sports days and my dad also worked for a local bar and he used to do the bar at the dances they had in Singer hall, all the ladies would go with their beautiful gowns. Singer was like a little town in the middle of Clydebank.”

Doogy Bradford recalled: “I worked there a couple of times in the Sixties. My Dad and uncle Frank worked there for years. Lots of people from Drumchapel were there.

“The clock was there in the Sixties, a famous big thing. Every Monday morning big John Campbell would scowl at me and say ‘are you still here, get the hell out of here and get a life’.  He was pleased when I left and moved to London. Wee while ago. Still fond memories.”

Image may contain: text


Leave a Reply