Page 10 - Februaryt 2014
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AN ADVENT REFLECTION                            Ron Prosser (9405)

ADVENT would normally be a Ɵme of looking       prinƟng. The school I was then aƩending
forward, but this Advent just gone as far       was Hamilton Academy, being the Senior
as I was concerned was a Ɵme of looking         school about 10 miles away from our town
backwards.                                      of Strathaven. Hamilton was where the
                                                local Hamilton AdverƟser Newspaper was
Let me explain. 61 years ago when I was seven   produced. So with great trepidaƟon I went
years of age, my family was friendly with       into the AdverƟser Office one aŌernoon aŌer
the local printer’s family and it was during    school and asked if they had any vacancies in
a visit to their house that I was taken to see  the prinƟng department. I was taken to meet
the prinƟng works which were housed in a        the company secretary who asked me all sorts
large building at the rear of his premises. I   of quesƟons and then advised that there
was immediately intrigued with the prinƟng      would be a vacancy for an apprenƟce in the
presses which were in full flow turning out      Composing Department where the lead type
page aŌer page of printed sheets. There were    was arranged into pages and he would like
racks full of paper and cards of all sizes and  to offer me the apprenƟceship which would
colours of which I was given a greatly prized   become available in six month's Ɵme. I was
boxful.                                         over the moon and went home and decided
                                                not to say anything to my parents for the
Then I noƟced a man standing in front of a      moment as it was beginning to dawn on me
large wooden cabinet affair that seemed full     that my father had other ideas for me.
of drawers that contained lead leƩers which
he was picking out and arranging into what he   Three weeks later I came home from school
informed me was a page ready for prinƟng.       to find him waiƟng for me, which was very
I was fascinated—more than fascinated—          unusual. "What have you been doing?" he
engrossed would be more accurate, and           asked. "I have had the Hamilton AdverƟser on
I begged to make further visits to this         the phone telling me that they have sickness
marvellous place, knowing that this is what I   in the office and want you to start next
wanted to be involved with when I grew up.      Monday to help out." I then confessed and
                                                being good parents they realised that this was
My father and grandfather had a nursery         no idle thought or passing phase with me as
business with a range of large greenhouses      for many years I had been ‘playing’ with my
in which they grew tomatoes in the summer       John Bull ouƞit, prinƟng liƩle cards for family
and chrysanthemums in the winter and my         and friends and had had the iniƟaƟve to visit
elder brother was expected to go into the       the AdverƟser office on my own. So they
business when he was able to leave school. He   agreed and I duly started on the following
had other ideas however and joined the Royal    Monday ready to begin my apprenƟceship
Navy, leaving me to be the expected one to      when the vacancy occurred.
conƟnue the family business, although at the
Ɵme I didn't realise this.                      My dream was being fulfilled, but sadly my
                                                father's was being drained. My grandfather
Eventually the Ɵme came when I could            had died and with the new Labour
think about leaving school, and not being       government imporƟng tomatoes from abroad
parƟcularly academic I couldn't wait to fulfil   he was finding it difficult to keep going and
my long-held dream of being involved in

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