Papermaking on the Water of Leith

Jim White, William Nelson, Kate Milne, Thallon Veitch, Richard Blaikie, Mary Reid and Nan Aitken recount their experiences of living and working in the papermills along the Water of Leith. Up until the mid twentieth century, the Water of Leith was an important industrial centre for Edinburgh, particularly in paper-making. At the height of industrial production there were 76 mills at work along this 24 mile stretch of river; many of those mills were papermills undertaking a range of production activities. These mills were at the heart of the communities along the Water of Leith with most employees coming from the local area and many living in mill housing provided by the firms. This book examines the papermaking industry on the Water of Leith during the twentieth century, from before the second World War through to the closure of the last mill in the 1989. It focuses on what it was like to work in the mills, the technological change and innovations in papermaking that occurred in these mills, the range of paper and paper products produced in the Water of Leith area, how the mills shaped the communities along the river, and the effects on community life caused by the subsequent demise of the industry.