John's Forestry Apprenticeship

Forestry Apprenticeship by John Keenleyside

By Claire Griffiths

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'John's Forestry Apprenticeship' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'John's Forestry Apprenticeship' page

At the age of ten John was shown Eskdale Moor and decided that he wanted to work in forestry.

After training his first job in 1946 was on the Ford and Etal Village Estate south of Berwick on Tweed, Northumberland. His first wages were £5 a month with one week's holiday a year and a 48 hour week. The Arboriculture work involves pruning trees by climbing a ladder with spiked boots and a leather strap around the trunk.

His work on the estate was ordered as follows:

Year 1- sewing and planting trees in a nursery
Year 2- planting and tending
Year 3- thinning
Year 4- felling big trees with a 4lb axe and a 6 ft cross-cut saw
Year 5- working in the saw mill driven by a water wheel
Year 6 and 7 Forestry Commission Training course in Glen Tress, Peebles
Year 8- Started a post with the Forestry commission in Silvicultural Research on the North Yorks Moors for the next three years.

Other links
John's Memories of working in Ardgarten Forest
Walk on the Ford and Etal Estate
Link to John's RHS success as part of the Forres in Bloom for the last 21 years.
Scottish screen archive record of Glentress and forestry work

Audio clip on the Scran website of retired forester, Alistair Campbell.
Please note: to access Scran you will need to go to a scottish public library or local school unless you have individual access.

Alistair Campbell of Radio Tweed talks to Jock Thompson about his experiences as a forester with the Forestry Commission in Peeblesshire. He remembers the training methods at the Glentress School just after World War II and his first jobs after training.

This page was added by Claire Griffiths on 28/05/2012.

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