Retirement time just the job for dedicated janitor

A JANITOR who served at a primary school for 33 years is getting ready to enjoy his retirement.

Jim Scott, 62, retired recently from Buckstone Primary School and said he was looking forward to attending midweek Hibs matches at Easter Road.

Born on April 12, 1950, to Herbert and Emma Scott, Jim was raised in North Forth Street in Leith and attended Fort Primary School.

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He received his secondary education at David Kilpatrick School, which he left aged 16 to take work as a fitter of paper-making machines at James Bertram’s & Son engineering company in Leith Walk.

Jim completed an apprenticeship at Bertram’s but was forced to look for other work after the company fell into liquidation.

He said: “It was a fine place and the banter was great. It was a shame the firm folded.”

Jim was hired as a machine operator at Wimpey in Uphall but that company went bankrupt and he was again forced to seek work.

Having married his wife, Cynthia, now 60, and with thoughts of raising a family, Jim was keen to find stable work.

He said: “I had a wife by that time and just going in and out of jobs was not good.

“I wanted something that would last longer. It was then that I became a janitor, and working all the time with children and teaching staff was a revelation.

“You just felt part of the whole picture of the school.”

In 1973, Jim found his first job as a janitor at Ainslie Park Secondary – then based in a handsome art deco building in Pilton. However, his job-hopping days were not quite over and, in 1975, he accepted the position of janitor at Royal High, only to find himself moving on after a year when the school closed amid expectations it would become the new home of the Scottish Parliament.

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A four-year stint at Norton Park school opposite Easter Road Stadium followed before Jim secured a position at Buckstone Primary – his employer for the next 33 years.

Already father to Kevin, now 37, and Roslyn, 33, Jim said he was ready to settle down for good when he arrived at the school.

He said: “My son was due to go to school and my daughter was just an infant, so I was looking for the job to be long-term.

“Buckstone was terrific – nice and bright – and the staff were so friendly. There was lots of community work going on there, so there was always lots to do.

“It was fun but I just felt I had done enough when I decided to retire. I’m enjoying the long lie-ins at the moment and it’ll be good to see the weekday matches at Easter Road.”

Staff and pupils at Buckstone paid tribute.

Deputy head Linda Forbes said: “During his time at Buckstone Primary, Mr Scott took a great pride in the school and worked tirelessly to ensure the school was always at its very best.”