North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Occupations and the like.

Moderator: Global Moderators

crayspond
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:23 am
Location: Reading UK

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by crayspond » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:59 pm

Hi Paul,

I might be able to fill in the gap for you - I worked for The North British Electrical & Cycle Co Ltd, in fact it was my first job when i left school in 1974 ( a few years ago). I was 16 and i am now 58.
I still have the letterhead from the letter i used as a reference for my next job. I was there for two and a half years. It was indeed located in 200 Clyde St Glasgow G1 4LA and was established in 1885. It was an older building and was on three levels accessed by an old lift.
The company sold Electrical goods on the ground floor - at that time mainly high end TVs, hi fi etc. On the next floor up was the Cycle Department. They also sold (oddly) Onyx lamps and tables. Everything was sold to distributors only - not to the public. They supplied every cycle shop in the UK.

There were two joint Managing Directors - I.A Paganelli and Ian MacKenzie and Director W.Clark
There was an older lady unmarried who was the Office Manager. Her name was Nina Frame also a dear old man who sat answering the phone (whose name escapes me) but i think he was in his 80s then.
It was a happy place to work and i was employed as a Junior Invoice Typist, my salary when i left was £1456 p.a I remember when they bought some electric typewriters for us to use - how modern we thought they were!

I left in 1976 and worked abroad from 1980 eventually settling in England in 1983 and have lived here ever since. I have no idea when it closed down.
At least this fills in some gaps for you - good luck.
Regards
Ailsa

Alison 1 MacKenzie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by Alison 1 MacKenzie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:33 pm

Hi Ailsa,
I don’t know if you still follow this forum. It was so interesting to read your post. My father was Ian MacKenzie! Have lots of memories of North British. Remember Nina very well, I worked in the office for a couple of weeks during one holiday break from school. Also, I can tell you onyx secret, Dad and Ilio Paganelli imported it from Italy in the 70’s. My house is still full of it! Dad died in 1981 at the age of 51. He had a job at North British in the warehouse when he left school and Nina was an office junior. Lots of stories...please get in touch if you get this. Best wishes to you, Alison.

SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5633
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by SarahND » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:47 am

Hello Alison and [TS_welcome]

Ailsa is still a regular visitor to the forum, so I'm sure she'll get back to soon! Sounds like you have lots to talk about :)

Best wishes,
Sarah

Alison 1 MacKenzie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by Alison 1 MacKenzie » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:37 pm

Thanks for that, Sarah. Very exciting!

crayspond
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:23 am
Location: Reading UK

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by crayspond » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:17 pm

Hi Alison,

I had a message to say you had posted a reply on the subject of North British Electrical & Cycle Co - (always was a mouthful to say!)
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. Sorry to hear your dad died at such a young age. He was always very pleasant to the office staff. We never really saw much of the Directors - Nina was very much the head of the office and everything went through her. Interesting to read that your dad and her both worked there when they were young.
It was my first job and i always have nice memories of working there. They were a very kind bunch of people. I only left because i found a job closer to home. Other girls in the office that i can remember at the moment were Josie, Patricia,Jackie ,Phyllis.
Seems like a lifetime ago!

Ailsa

Alison 1 MacKenzie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by Alison 1 MacKenzie » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:53 am

Thanks, Alisa, that’s great. You’re right, the office staff were a great bunch of people. Lovely to connect with memories after all this time. I also remember the old man who answered the phone but can’t put a name to him. Nina was great, very efficient and managed that office so well. I don’t know when the company closed down. Dad and Ilio sold it in 1979/1980. Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply, Alisa! All the best x

MarLaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 22, 2023 9:03 pm

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by MarLaw » Tue May 23, 2023 12:03 am

Alison 1 MacKenzie wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:53 am
Thanks, Alisa, that’s great. You’re right, the office staff were a great bunch of people. Lovely to connect with memories after all this time. I also remember the old man who answered the phone but can’t put a name to him. Nina was great, very efficient and managed that office so well. I don’t know when the company closed down. Dad and Ilio sold it in 1979/1980. Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply, Alisa! All the best x
Hi Alison
It's been more than five years since your original post, so I hope you are still able to receive this.
It was an odd trigger that set me Googling North British Machine Co - i.e. a double decker bus got it's roof ripped off in Tradeston on Sunday......

I am actually a product of this company! My mother (Sharman) & father (David) both met & worked there approx 68 to 71.
If you think about it, Nina played a role in my existence, since she was the one who offered my mum a job - she was employed to type invoices.
Apparently, the Clyde Street building was like a step back in time, with a really antiquated telephone system (a museum piece) & a lift with sliding collapsible gates?
Sadly, I never got to see the old building (and if I did, I would have been too young to remember a visit).
Would be nice to see a picture of the building.
When I mentioned this post, my mum did also vaguely remember an old chap past retirement answering the phone, but no name etc.

My father, worked in the cycle department - it's even possible that he was employed by your father?
Certainly, it's most likely that you & my mother were in the building at the same time. My mother left in 1971 when I was born.
N.B. was where my father made a lot of contacts with trade suppliers & customers - which resulted in him leaving to purchase an existing cycle shop in Paisley.

I don't know the name of who your father sold the business to, but I'm sure he was an existing employee - he certainly knew my father.
I'm afraid my memory is a bit sketchy here - but after the Clyde Street building closed, they moved to new premises - a modern open plan, smaller warehouse with a partial mezzanine overlooking the main stock & loading bay below. I seem to have it in my head, that the new premises were in Tradeston nearish to a tall white building which used to have a car on the roof - Arnold Clark accident repair (which still stands next to new M74).
Could be Kilbirnie Street - but I could also be way off.

I only visited N.B. once with my mother and father - that was to the new premises. Because they were ex-employees etc we were allowed to walk round the warehouse & pick stock - it wasn't that big.
That was the only time I was old enough to recall meeting Nina. Her name was often mentioned in the past & was highly thought of.
This would have been approx autumn 1983 - possibly early 84 - I would have been 12 years old.
So long ago, I can't remember all the details of the visit & the discussion with Nina, but it did look like it's last days, a much smaller business, few staff & Nina highlighted that they were "messing around" (these are my words & explanation) with subtle company name changes for payment of invoices etc - never a good look when an existing company starts trading under different names from the same address etc.
So it looks like Nina was probably there till the bitter end, because I don't think N.B. lasted much longer - perhaps we could check?

I wish my mother had kept in touch with Nina, but the 80s weren't such a great time for us.
By Jan 86 we were out of the cycle trade altogether.
My father died in Aug 87 aged 40.
My mother regrets not being able to contact Nina about the funeral etc (N.B. would be long gone by then).
Back in your time at N.B. I think Nina was living with her mother?
Shame we never kept in touch - I've no idea what became of Nina.

Hope you get the chance to read this.

Best regards
Martin
Last edited by MarLaw on Sat May 27, 2023 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MarLaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 22, 2023 9:03 pm

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by MarLaw » Tue May 23, 2023 3:39 pm

This is the only image I could readily find online of 200 Clyde Street - Aug 68.
(Left hand side).

Copy and paste the following link in browser for the "original" with improved resolution & ability to pan & zoom.
https://canmore.org.uk/collection/686205

I tried to post the actual picture, but it was either too large or poor resolution
Attachments
348663825_217146901075218_6783607518271058180_n.jpg
348663825_217146901075218_6783607518271058180_n.jpg (115.58 KiB) Viewed 1081 times

MarLaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 22, 2023 9:03 pm

Re: North British Machine Co. Ltd.

Post by MarLaw » Wed May 24, 2023 3:26 pm

Clyde Street 1980
(Looking better than now)
Attachments
ie7cvmmwcem61.jpg
ie7cvmmwcem61.jpg (133.23 KiB) Viewed 1047 times

Post Reply