We Are the Engineers! - They Taught Us Skills for Life: A History of Scottish Working People

Research output: Books, editions or reportsBook



We are the Engineers! A History of Scottish Working People, Ochtertyre: Grace Note Publications, 2015


We Are the Engineers!: They Taught Us Skills for Life. Scotland’s labour history has been the subject of many important studies, surveys, articles and books. Some of those published represent the invaluable collection of local groups and amateur historians, while others have been, and are, produced by academics and labour officials. The general expectation, even in Scotland, is that these works should be written in Standard English, regardless of the everyday speech of the workforce. For this publication, however, it seemed more important to transcribe, as recorded, the voices of folk whose vitality of language and expression gives a brighter reflection of their experiences during work and leisure.

This book has grown out of an oral history project, ‘The End of the Shift’, which aims to record the working practices and conditions of skilled workers in Scotland’s past industries. Publicity about the project caught the interest of a group of retired engineers, who had all served apprenticeships with a prestigious Kirkcaldy firm, Melville-Brodie Engineering Company. Having lived through times when Scotland seemed blighted by industrial closures, the engineers could identify with ‘the end of the shift’ as they had experienced the effect of closing down Melville-Brodie Engineering Company. The entire workforce was dispersed, and with it, the skills, expertise and wisdom of generations. Kirkcaldy also lost a company that had been the pride of Scottish engineering.


Original languageEnglish
Place of Publicationochtertyre
PublisherGrace Note Publications
ISBN (print)9781907676666
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2015