Washing after work

10.03.22 / By Hannah Willetts / The Foundry Collection at the Auld Kirk Museum

Metal, flames, heat, smoke, dirt…imagine working all day at a foundry and returning home to your family without so much as a wash.
The Lion Foundry opened in 1880 but didn’t have wash facilities for their workers until 1949.
There are some wonderful photographs showing the opening of the Lion Foundry baths in Archives & Local Studies, it looked quite an event!
During our fascinating Foundry chat, local residents with connections to the industry also shared their memories with us:

Wilson ‘…going back to the early 1950’s, that was when they first introduced showers for employees and there was only the moulders and the dressers who were allowed to use that because they were the dirtiest jobs.’

May ‘I remember my Dad saying when he were a wee boy that when my Grandpa came home from the foundry it was a big tin bath and that’s what you get washed in because they never had the showers.’

John ‘They installed some showers up at the Star foundry and that was like a mad rush, that was like the hordes of Babylon, finishing and then trying to charge round there. You daren’t leave your towel down anywhere because one or two didnae turn up with any. You’d left it down to dry and next thing it was gone you’d need to run about trying to dry off!’

Why not stop by the Auld Kirk Museum and brush up on your local history with our display on Kirky’s foundry industry. You’ll leave feeling squeaky clean and bursting with Foundry facts.