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Early Factory Work

Kilkie's who moved to Scotland obviously didnt work in the Shirt factories of Derry. They left Derry as there was no food or work. Census records of the early Kilkie immigrants showed similar occupations, often general labourer, but often more specific, for example:

George Kilkie (moved to Scotland by 1866) - Bleachfield worker
Thomas Kilkie (moved to Scotland by 1866) - Printfield worker
James Kilkie (moved to Scotland by 1881) - Grain Storeman


A bleachfield was an open area of land (usually a field) used for spreading cloth and fabrics on the ground to be bleached by the action of the sun and water. They were usually found in and around mill towns in Great Britain and were an integral part of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. There were many bleachfields in the Scottish Lowlands: particularly in Perthshire, Renfrewshire and the outskirts of Glasgow.

Once bleach was invented in the late 1800s the bleaching moved to inside buildings but until early 1900s they were still called bleachfields.

Printfields were similar in that they began as open areas of land were dyed fabrics were left in the sun to dry. Later machinery needs moved the process into factory buildings but again they were called printfields until early 1900s.

Glasgow was the centre of a large Cooperative movement, based in Shieldhall near Govan. Initially the Coop specialised in buying and selling foodstuffs such as corn and wheat but later generalised. The centre in Glasgow provided work for many immigrant Irishmen and women.

Last modified onThursday, 22 December 2016 08:35

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