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The Association took action the severe winter of 1874/5 by renting premises in West North Street for the cutting of firewood, providing more employment and a service that was much needed and wanted by the City.

VSA also offered employment to every unemployed man that was willing a pick-axe and a spade. It meant they could earn money clearing paths and streets whilst keeping the snow and storm-stricken City of Aberdeen safe.

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“The winter o’ 1874/75 was jist terrible, even by Aiberdeen standards. It snawed and snawed wik afiter wik until there were drifts several feet deep. But as folk say. It’s an ill wind that blaws nae one ony good. For months prior to that I hid been unemployed but then the charity provided me wi a shovel and pick axe and I got peyed for clearing snaw from the streets and the pavements and the path ways up to some o’ the big posh hooses. And that wis only the start as the charity then set up a workshop on West North Street where lads like me could find employment cutting firewood a task that went on lang aifter the snaw hid melted and spring hid arrived. So in my case it wis an ill winter rather than an ill wind that did me a lot o’ good”.

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