Nostalgia: ‘There were hundreds of jobs to choose from’

David Mackenzie, 69, recently retired after being a publican at Kay’s Bar in the New Town for 24 years.

Originally from Blackhall, David lives in Fettes Village with his wife, Kate, who has recently retired after having served as a councillor for 
Edinburgh West for 13 years.

Here, he describes his memories of finding a job after he left school.

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“I remember leaving Bellevue School, now called Drummond Community High School, at 14-and-a-half.

“When I was there I did a technical course in engineering, technical drawing and woodwork and things like that, and mechanics.

“After I left I was sent to Skerry’s Business College in Nicolson Square.

“There I learned things like bookkeeping and typing.

“I was there for a year and then I got a paper round – I could do 30 words per minute on those typewriters!

“Then one day my father said, ‘have you considered getting a job?’ And I said I have got a job.

“I was sent up to St Giles’ steps where the youth employment office was.

“When I went in I said my father sent me here to get a job – there were hundred of jobs I could have chosen.

“My dad said I should have been a salesperson because I talk all the time. They told me I could be a salesperson at the Co-op in Leith.

“But JB Watson was a photographers in Shandwick Place – the job was five days a week, I got Saturday off so I could go and play rugby, and that’s how I got in to the photography game.

“That’s how easily I got a job – of course it’s very much more difficult these days.”