Monthly Archives: November 2015

Part 1: Rise and fall of North British Rubber Company

I was intrigued to discover that the North British Rubber Company is the subject of a very interesting exhibition currently being held by the Edinburgh Printmakers, Remembering the North British Rubber Company. I certainly do remember the old manufacturing company and the Castle Mill Works in Fountainbridge very well indeed because I worked there as an engineer from 1957 till 1960. In our house as I was growing up ‘The Mill’ was often a frequent topic of conversation as my mother, Elizabeth Robb, had worked in the hot water bottle department there from leaving school in 1912 till she married my father in 1926. Every Wednesday an old friend and colleague of my mother from ‘The Mill’, Isa McNeil, came and had tea with us, and the gift she brought was always a packet of Toblerone chocolate. My mother’s Uncle, Willie Gilbert (my Great Uncle), also worked there so when I joined the company I became the third generation to work there.


Women at the North British Rubber Company working on the hot water bottles, 1900 (Image reproduction: Evening News via STV/NBR Wrinklies)

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Climate Change is here – and NOW!


Al Gore responding to the standing ovation at TED for his new slide show back in 2008 (Image: Steve Jurvetson/Wiki Commons)

When I was doing a final check of the latest statistics on global warming for the hardback edition of my book I realised that our old media print publication simply could not keep up with the flood of new evidence. That, of course, is why Grandpa Whyte has taken to blogging: to continue tracking the latest updates which bring almost daily proof that our planet has reached a critical stage.

I’m interested to discover an online interview with Al Gore which makes that point. In Al Gore: Optimist?, Michael Grunwald describes how the ‘recovering politician’ is adapting his world-famous slide show to accommodate the latest facts. Since 2005 the man who missed out on the White House in 2000 has been ‘schlepping around the world to try to save it’ …and apparently he now believes we have reached a tipping point. Grunwald writes:

The big difference in the updated version of the slide show is that a decade ago, Gore mostly warned about what could happen. Now he shows what’s already happening.

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