ALF Index

Trades & Occupations

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For many centuries the main occupation in Ayrshire was agriculture. The land needed large numbers of labourers before the advent of specialised machinery for cultivating land and milking cattle. Mining was also undertaken in a small way from the earliest times – with coal either being lifted from the surface or from many small shallow “pits”. Industrialisation and advances in technology while reducing the number of workers required in agriculture, increased the need for workers to extract iron and coal as more pits with deeper shafts were sunk and more ironworks were established throughout Ayrshire.

Ayrshire in the modern world is famous for agricultural produce like Ayrshire bacon and Ayrshire potatoes, as well as more localised produce like Dunlop cheese. Ayrshire also became famous for blanket production (mainly at Skeldon mills); the lace industry (mainly in the Irvine Valley); the explosives and chemical industries (mainly Nobel’s explosives and ICI); whisky blending (mainly Johnnie Walker now Diageo) and shoe production and carpet making (in several towns). Ayrshire has also produced locomotives, ships, farm machinery, water meters and trucks.

Modern Ayrshire has diversified into the retail and leisure industries. Key modern industries also include aerospace, computer chip or component construction, food and drink, biotechnology, precision engineering and contact centre management.



Images have been allocated into the following categories and subcategories.

Trades & Occupations

- Architects

- Armed Services

- Army

- Bar staff / barmaid

- barbers / hairdressers

- Blacksmiths / smithy

- Carter

- Catering

- Diggers

- Education

- Teachers / school staff

- Vocational Training

- Food & Drink

- Garage

- Health

- Doctors

- Instrument Maker

- Violin Maker

- Legal

- Leisure

- Librarians

- Local Government

- Education

- Librarians

- Town Crier

- Manufacture

- Explosives

- Photographers

- Radio

- Radiography

- Service

- Adminstration

- Blacksmith

- Building Construction

- Catering

- Coal delivery

- Education

- Emergency Services

- Fire Brigade

- Police

- Exhibitions

- Garage

- Laundry

- Leisure

- Painting and Decorating

- Postal

- Printing

- Tramways

- Signwriters

- Telecommunications

- Travelling shop