<<< BACK to previous page



A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Family Histories > Occupations & Trades > Platelayer


or Surfaceman, Plate Repairer, Foreman Platelayer

The job of a platelayer involved laying, repairing and examining railway or "plateway" tracks both underground in the mines and above ground to transport material to and from the oil works and refineries. The term plateway predates the railways and this earlier form of track consisted of wooden plates which were laid in mines or tracks to move wagons or hutches. A foreman platelayer would be in charge of a group of platelayers.

Wages & Working Hours

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. Workers based at the oil works or refineries worked either an average of 44 hours per week (5 days one week and 5.5 days the next week or a 6 day week of 48 hours.

Additional Resources


creative commons

We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.