Paisley – Causeyside Street Pavement

I was intrigued by these inscriptions along the pavement on Causeyside Street in Paisley and I thought at the time that they indicated the jobs that residents living in the properties had. However, it seems that they’re simply random, giving a list of some of the jobs that existed in Paisley in the past.

I’m not very knowledgeable about textiles, weaving and clothing manufacturing, but it seems that a pirn winder was a job that a child could do (and frequently did) as it was winds the yarn onto pirns (a pirn is a rod onto which weft thread is wound). There are still advertisements in the UK for loom tuners, so that role has persisted (although I don’t understand it). As for hank winders, there’s a chat at about that….

It’s all a bit beyond me, but it does make me think about what sort of job these workers would have had today in the current labour market. Many of these jobs were routine and very dull roles, but a necessary part of the weaving process and some of the few forms of employment that might have been open to many women and children (there don’t seem to be many men doing these roles) at the time.