Whisky Bond


Recollections from

Ella (Helen) Stoddart

Thank you to Helen Stoddart (née Gold) for the recollections below.

Helen wrote:

A New Job

"I met an old friend from the buses who had also she worked in Duncans with me and she tipped me off about a job in the Whiskey Bond, so I promptly went along to see the boss and I was hired there and then.

We had to go through a wee training course as I had to learn to fill in the Custom and Excise sheets when the whisky was finally sealed with the duty label on top of the cork and neck of the bottle."

Broken Bottles

"I remember, one day, I was putting a case of 12 of the best malt on the conveying belt to go to the sealing part were you had the customs officers, and I tripped and the case fell on the floor and all the bottles broke and the whiskey was pouring out.

I stood and cried thinking I would get the sack but the boss with the Customs Officers said:  "You are OK, Ella as the duty slips are not on the bottles and the whiskey is worthless without the final duty on the bottles." I was so relieved and the boss took me into the office and made me a cup of tea."


"Later he promoted me to a supervisor.  The money was great, as I had just got married.  My husband, Rab Stoddart, had been called up for National service and I needed the money to get the hoose ready for him to come home too.

I worked at the whisky bond for many years, until it closed down and I started having a family. Out of all the jobs that I've had, that was the best, and the buses was the hardest."

Ella (Helen) Stoddart, Edinburgh:  April 28, 2007


Recollections from

Bryan Gourlay

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, who wrote:

Whisky Bond Workers  -  1930s

"It was interesting reading Helen Stoddart’s recollections about working in the whisky bond.

My great aunt mentioned she worked there in the mid 1930s, long before Helen’s time, of course.

I’m as sure as I can be that the attached photo is of the Whisky Bond girls at that time.

 Whiskey Bond Workers  -  1930s ©

The cases look about the right size for whisky bottles, and there are a few barrels at the back left of the picture.

The way they are wrapped up, it looks as if heating for workers wasn’t a priority 70 years ago."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  April 30, 2007

The lettering on the cases reads:

VAT 69  ????????


?????????????  ????


-  Peter Stubbs:  May 3, 2007



and further correspondence

Whisky Bond Workers

VAT 69

Replies to the messages above can be found on this VAT 69 page on the EdinPhoto web site.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 28, 2012


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