Margaret Watson (b.1907) Biographical Entry

2:802 WATSON, Margaret, Untitled. Brunel University Library. Born c.1907(?) in Paisley. Father worked at a power station. 1 younger brother. Mother died when author aged 6. Childhood years alternated between living with father in Glasgow and with a grandmother in Paisley. Educated at schools in Cowcaddens and Paisley. Played truant frequently. Spent a brief period in a children’s home. Married at the age of 19, with 1 son and 1 daughter. Remarried in later life. Moved to London after World War II and was still living there in 1984. First job was in a carpet factory; subsequently employed as a scullery maid in a hotel; machinist in a carpet factory; waitress; cashier in a cinema cafe; office cleaner; hotel barmaid; gown saleslady; during World War II as a trainee heavy vehicle driver, driver at a bakery for a provisions firm and for a newsagent, taxi driver; chauffeuse for the local council; then took another job as a driver that lasted for 13 years; night assistant at the Corporation Remand Home; barmaid; housekeeper, in private service and in a hotel. Member of Band of Hope: ‘…had not much time for playing, so many chores were there [at home] for me…’ Contrasting the happy years spent with her grandmother with the harsh and miserable times with her father and stepmother in Glasgow’s ‘dismal’ tenements, describing the routine of domestic chores and the trials of de-lousing. The author then tells of leaving home, marrying at a young age, and provides a comprehensive summary of the many jobs she took throughout her life. Interesting comments are also made on lodgings in which she stayed for various periods.

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