Welcome to Working Girls Home at Drum’s Lane

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Just across the street you will see Drums Lane which was the location of the Working Girls’ Home. The anomaly of WW1 was that poverty was less of a problem. Men were employed by the army and the Aberdeen labour market boomed in their absence. In 1918, VSA stepped up to take 35 children into care whose fathers were away at war and whose mothers, for a variety of reasons, were unable to look after them. The Working Girls Home supported young girls into employment and gave grants for everything from fares to food & bedding to boots.

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“I was the bairn o’ the family, the last one to fly the nest. As I wis headin’ for my fourteenth birthday I wis excited aboot leaving the school and starting work but then jist twa wiks short o’ the big day my Ma died and I was left on my own. Totally on my own as my Da was in a trench somewhere in France fechtin’ against the Gerries. Now I hid aye thoucht I wis an adult but suddenly when I found maesel alone I’ll admit that I wis gie feart. The prospect of haen’ to wak hame in the dark aifter a day’s work to a cauld and empty hoose frankly terrified me.

I really dinna ken whit I wid hae done if it hidnae been for the charity. They recognised the plight of lassies like me and established the Working Girl’s Home in Drum Lane, richt in the centre o’ the toon. I applied for a place and got in. I was a wee bittie anxious the day I moved there but I wis made so welcome that I quickly settled and made friens wi’ a few o’ the thirty odd ither lassies bidin’ there that were in the same boat as me.

I loved that place and it wis wonderful to come back there on a winter’s nicht aifter a lang day at work to find a hot meal waiting and the chance to sit roon a blazing fire and blether wi the ither quines. I bade in the Home for nearly four year until I found a lad and we got married and set up a hame of oor ain. Truthfully I dinna ken what would have become o’ me if I hidnae gone there to stay and I’ll be forever grateful to the charity and the kind folk that looked aifter me in my time of need”.

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