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A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Family Histories > Occupations & Trades > Brusher


also Reddsman

A brusher or reddsman was employed by the oil company to make and maintain underground roadways. The job involved removing part of the roof or pavement by blasting or otherwise "to brush" in order to heighten the roadway or to build up the sides of a roadway in a mine or pit.

Wages & Working Hours

The average weekly wage of a reddsman in 1886 (Board of Trade Census of Wages) was 24s 11d. The report states that most underground workers, with the exception of miners and drawers, worked between 54 and 60 hours per week.

By 1912 an agreement between the Scottish Mineral Oil Association and the Scottish Shale Miner's Association records that reddsmen over the age of 21 received up to 6s 0d per shift and those aged between 19 and 21 earned between 4s 8d and 5s 4d per shift.

In 1958, according to an Agreement Between the Scottish Shale Oil Companies and the National Union of Shale Miners & Oil Workers, underground workers worked an 11 day fortnight averaging 40.5 hours per week.


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