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> The Caley
BigArturo1
post 16th May 2007, 05:16pm
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The Caley

I worked in the railway workshops in Springburn at St Rollox, known locally as The Caley after the old Caledonian Railway Company which used to own the site.
In the 1970’s with the factory near its peak, it employed around 3500 workers. As the main line workshops for Scotland, it stocked every conceivable item used on railway vehicles. As you can imagine, such large stocks led to a roaring trade in “homers” as you could get virtually any piece of furniture made and delivered by railway lorry. And in the finest mahogany too ! There was a bewildering array of tradesmen employed, from the usual fitters and electricians to more esoteric trades like French polishers and signwriters, all of them top class professionals. The electricians considered themselves the cream of the crop and looked down on all other trades as the lower orders.
I remember watching a football game in the works tournament at Glenconner Park (The Coup) at which the Electrical Shop played the Machine Shop at which the ultimate insult was hurled. Some spark spectating by the side of the park shouted “Get into them, they’re nothing but a bunch of fitters !” Words were exchanged and a scuffle ensued among the spectators but nothing compared to what happened on the park as rivalry within the factory was quite intense. Many a works committee meeting had to be convened after a football game to adjudicate on the punishment for some player who assaulted the referee.
As the factory was surrounded by pubs, there was a continual battle with the foremen and gaffers trying to ensure everyone was present and correct throughout the day. Guys were always sneaking out via various ingenious escape routes, one of which was a hole in the fence about 30 feet above Springburn Road which came out conveniently at a lamp pole which the thirsty escapees would shimmy down to street level and disappear into Sighthill and a pub.
Other “exits” were through Sighthill Goods Yard over to Petershill Road and Sherry’s Bar or The Peasie Club or through Germiston to The Wee Glen. Despite the foreman suspecting some men were missing, their workmates stamped their clock card ensuring no pay was lost.
It was a sad day when Maggie and privatisation kicked in with the factory being reduced from 3000 to 300 staff in the 80’s. Many a grown man cried at his last long walk down Springburn Road after a lifetime working in the railway industry. Many were simply unemployable as their specialised trades disappeared along with their jobs, a situation familiar to many shipyard workers also,
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laura mcc
post 17th May 2007, 02:25pm
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i remember the caley my unlce john drain worked there i lived in sighthill
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Anne1
post 17th May 2007, 02:26pm
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hi laura


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ANNWAN
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laura mcc
post 17th May 2007, 02:29pm
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hi anne its been so long since i talked too u how are u doing in sunnt glasgow
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flam
post 19th May 2007, 12:39pm
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Hi All..I served my time in the Caley from 1955-1961 and was the transferred to St Margarets [Edinburgh]..as i was a Boilermaker to trade there was no jobs for me as Diesel was the in thing at the time..I still go to the Caley Club [about 6 members as oneof the passed away last week ]which runs on a Monday morning.The names of the members are John Irving , John Menzies , Jackie Robertson , Willie Dewar , James Murray , Harry McGregor ,and the Two who are ill Geordie Dice and Peter Murray..Two who passed on are Alan Ellis and Freddie Henderson..Cheers Flim
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Heather
post 19th May 2007, 08:58pm
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Laura, the name Drain is familiar, did your relations live in Anderston, Hyde Park Street ?????


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Heather.......I'm tartan. Alba gu Brath. Saor Alba
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BigArturo1
post 20th May 2007, 02:00pm
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Hi Flam,

I recognise the name "Geordie Dyce" - was this the same guy who was chairman of the Caley Works Committee and who had big John "Tackety Boots" McFadyen as a union sidekick ? I remember Geordie also had a son Andrew who worked in the stores in the Caley. Sorry to hear he is ill - pass on my best wishes.
What is the Caley Club you mention ?
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flam
post 22nd May 2007, 12:02pm
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Hi BigArturo1..The Caley Group is just old people who at one time or other worked in the Caley,unfortunately i cant pass on your regards as i do not know your name,and unfortunately i believe Geordie,s Illness is a form of Altzheimers,we only meet on a Monday and i told them about you but nobody recognised your Nom-De-Plume..I presume it would be Big Arthur or something similar? Cheers Flim
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Tennscot
post 8th Sep 2007, 01:23am
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Lauramcc... Funny the name John Drain strikes a chord in my Childhood memories.......Was he Friends, Related thro` Marriage, or something to the Tucks in Springburn. I`m thinking of my childhood in Wellfield st. Could he have worked with the Tucks at some time. The Name is strong in my mind,but I just cant fit it in my memory. Now it`ll bug me...!!!!!
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