100 Weeks of Scotland: Scotland’s jobs, part 1

Pictures: Alan McCredie
Pictures: Alan McCredie
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A LOT of my friends have good jobs. However no matter how often I ask them what they do, by the time they have told me their job-title I have usually been reduced to a state of glassy-eyed blankness.

Week 69

Often, so have they. It makes me yearn for the simplicity of the Ladybird books I used to read as a child when seemingly the only jobs people had could be described in one word; Policeman, Postman, Soldier, Fireman, Baker, Butcher etc.

In honour of this more innocent time of low-syllable-count job titles, over the next two weeks I will be publishing portraits of people with ‘clear job descriptions’. There will be no NHS Procurement Officers, no Project Managers for Product Development, no Business Intelligence Consultants and certainly no Content Catalyst Co-ordinators.

Annoyingly because of the way the timings worked I only managed to photograph men this week – the gender balance will be happily be restored next week however.

‘Felt like a boy again’

First portrait this week is of a fire-fighter. I must admit I did feel slightly like a five-year-old boy again as I walked up to the big glass doors at the entrance to the fire station. Once inside it really was like a page from my old Ladybird book “The Fireman” – however in my excitement I completely forgot to ask if they still had a pole that they all slid down. What I did notice was how unbelievably clean the fire engines were – I had never noticed this before but they were absolutely spotless. They are washed at 5pm every day.

And then on to my local police station in Leith. The police station here used to be Leith Town Hall and is an absolutely magnificent building of sweeping staircases and stained-glass windows and still boasts the original council chamber room.

PC Muir, whom I photographed, couldn’t have been nicer in giving up his time and I now feel slightly guilty about laughing when Oor Wullie used to knock PC Murdoch’s helmet off.

Postman, bus driver

Scott the postman was happy to let me photograph him also. Lord only knows how hard-worked postmen and women must be these days because whenever I see them they are almost running from door to door to get the job done. I still occasionally have letters delivered that were sent to an address I have since moved twice from. What dark arts do these post-wizards employ?

Lastly this week a quick shot of a bus driver. I normally try to get my subjects not to smile if possible but he was having none of it - a smile and a thumbs-up was what I got and I’m really glad that he did as I very much like this shot.

Alan McCredie began the ‘100 weeks of Scotland’ website in October last year, and it will conclude in Autumn 2014. McCredie’s goal is to chronicle two years of Scottish life in the run-up to the independence referendum.

Alan says ‘one hundred weeks...’ is intended to show all sides of the country over the next two years. On the site, he says: “Whatever the result of the vote Scotland will be a different country afterward. These images will show a snapshot of the country in the run up to the referendum.

“The photos will be of all aspects of Scottish culture - politics, art, social issues, sport and anything else that catches the eye.”

Follow the project at 100weeksofscotland.com. You can also follow Alan on Twitter @alanmccredie.

• All pictures (c) Alan McCredie/100 weeks of Scotland