National Savings Bank

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National Savings Bank

Postby MacotheIsles » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:29 pm

Anybody else here ever work at the old NSB, Cowglen in its civil service days? The place was like a small town with over 5000 people at one time I believe. It was my first job after leaving school in 1974 and a salutory lesson in employment drudgery for two and a half years it was, but there was always something going on: flea infestation in the summer, sick building syndrome in the winter and fights all year round. Happy days in a perverse kind of way.
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Postby skintobalinto » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:42 pm

I went there as part of a college course in the mid eighties and my surviving memories are of plastic sheets everywhere, hanging from the ceilling and on floors because of the leaky roofs..
Where the music stinks, and they water the drinks, ...at the nudie bar
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Postby gallowgategal » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:51 pm

I worked there from 1977 to 1978. Was too young to get into the social club they built across the road but used to get the bus into the Swan (?) on a Friday at lunchtime.
Another memory was that if you were a clerical assistant you weren't allowed to have a chair with arms !
It was like a small town, it had a hairdressers, bank, dentist, two shops a cafe and a restaurant :)
have I missed anything ???
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Postby Local Hero » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:52 am

Sounds like that big complex the Royal Bank built out by Embra. What a fuss they made of that 'innovation'. Everything old is new again eh ;)
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Postby markp » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:10 pm

Mah work transferred aboot 200 of us through to Cowglen in 1993 from Edinburgh (Thank God!!). We stayed there for 3 years and it was great...well, as great as work can be. Most of us had previously commuted to Edinburgh.
We were in a different branch of the Civil Service from the NSB - the Land Register - so there was a wee bit of friction initially - especially as we used to boast overly loudly of huge sums of fictitious subsistence monies and travelling expenses; that really hacked off the old timers in the Bank!
There was Carol, who worked in the canteen. If you got toast in the morning, she would invariably butter it and hand it over to you whilst leaving her thumbprint on the bread. If ah remember right, they had a firing range in the roofspace; they had a video library and a CD library. The guy that ran it was okay; He wisnae averse to stocking up on obscurities. Then they'd have their annual sale and you'd get aw this mental music that nobody else would listen to for a buck a CD. Great days...
They finally chucked us out in 1996 telling us the building was crumbling. We left and they're still there so far as I know. Now we're in another crumbling building in St Vincent Street. Ah never thought ah'd miss Cowglen, but in some wierd way ah do.
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Postby MacotheIsles » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:40 pm

Gallowgategal!

I remember the emarcatin betweem ranks and CAs having to sit in armless chairs. EO's got arms and a yard or two of open space around their desk, unlike COs who got the arms, but were packed in like battery chickens. Memories!

Markp!

Yes - there was a shooting range. We used to go up there with .22 rifles and blast away until the air was thick with cordite. It was like a scene from a Commando comic. Hande Hoch! Ha Ha! One of the few good things in an otherwise dismal existence.

I started there aged 17 and they put me in charge of the section opening improperly addressed and suspicious mail. In the event of a suspected bomb being received (it was 1974 and the bombing of Goverment Departments was being taken as a serious possibiliy) I had to put the unopened package in a plastic bag and call the Stores Branch.

For the first 6 months of my time there I worked in a vast, subterranean room - no proper fresh air or windows - with approx 500 other people, most of whom smoked. And then there were the fleas...

The only thing that got me through it with my sanity intact was pretending to be Jack Regan from The Sweeney and my flares and kipper ties. Amazing days whose like we shall not see again.
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Postby dougie79 » Sat May 12, 2007 6:15 pm

Didnt actually work there but wandered into the place thinking that it was cowglen hospital, i didnt know that area of glasgow and assumed that it was a hospital being a big building with hospital style chimney.

Well the nice woman at the desk told me it was next door. That little hospital aint there anymore really sad it was a lovley place, well once I found it.
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Postby gwendle » Sun May 13, 2007 6:26 pm

my father in law worked there from about the early 70's to 96. Peter Murphy is his name.
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Postby KonstantinL » Sun May 13, 2007 8:00 pm

Worked there for just over a year from 2001 to 2002.

Not a bad job much more of a relaxed atmosphere than say, RBS!

Huge parts of the building were empty by that time but it still had a 'corner shop' and a barbers shop among other things.

One thing I liked about it, being a malingerer, was it was about a 10 minute walk to the toilets so you could waste a whole lot of time just by going to the loo! Helped break the working day into manageable chunks.

I was employed as a temp and for a couple of weeks there was nothing for me to do so I had about 4 weeks off and then got the call to come back. I used my old pass to open a backdoor but it set off a security alert and I was nabbed in a corridor by the security staff! This being not long after 9/11 when everyone was still on edge. After that all staff had to enter through the main door and the security guards always used to give me this glare as I came in....
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Re: National Savings Bank

Postby Douglas75 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:10 pm

Worked there from 1975-78 in TRB or The Postroom as it was known, no windows or air-con just smoke. The job was an irrelevance as there was so much else to do, mainly watching the birds at different desks, or playing football at lunch-time.
Used to go to The Pennie-Geggie on a Friday and try to down 4 pints in half an hour, before the mad rush back, thank God they brought in flexi-time and you could get mildly drunk at your leisure at lunchtime, happy daze.
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Re: National Savings Bank

Postby MacotheIsles » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:01 pm

Was there myself as an EO from 74 to 77, TRB included (TRB/CDS to be precise where I had to filter out any 'suspicious devices' that might have been posted in.) The postroom was notorious for lack of daylight and an atmosphere that was 99% Capstan, not to mention the fleas in the carpets. Was the Pennie Geggie not also the haunt of the Invac Bootboys?
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Re: National Savings Bank

Postby Douglas75 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:45 pm

Think the Pennie-Geggie was popular as it was the nearest to the bank, you needed to time it right on a Friday to get the bus at 12 oclock, or you had wasted 10 minutes drinking -time and there would be a huge q at the bar. As I was only 16 at this time I used to try and grow some bum-fluff during the week to try and look older.
Think there was about 5000 people working in there at that time, cant believe it's now down to a few hundred.
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Re: National Savings Bank

Postby RFCally » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:30 am

I worked at the NSB from 1987 till 1994 at which time I was made redundant due to Maggie putting the maintenance out to tender. I worked for the PSA which was the civil service maintenance division. We got to walk around the building with our football tops on. Something you'd never get today. Our contacts were Brian Ahern, Alan Shepherd and the beautiful Gillian Rae who I am told has since passed away. Most hot days were spent in a pair of shorts on the roof waiting for a job to come in. They gave us bleepers which felt like an electric shock of you were working on a light fitting at the time.

Lunch time was up to the canteen and with a cry of "maintenance" we got to the front of the queue. Yippee. On a Friday this was followed with a couple of hours in the club over the road.

One day Brian Ahern (office services manager) decided it wasn't a good thing for us to be quaffing beer at lunch time and then going back to maintain the building.......... No fucking kidding.

Dismayed at our barring from the club we promptly went to the nearest fuse board and pulled the fuse for his lights. After two weeks we were allowed back into the club and miraculously his lights came back on.

We lived for the overtime (OT) and I think my record was 14 weeks non stop. Affectionately known by my compatriots as a ham bandit.

Some of you may recall the old announcement " this is a test of the voice alarm system, would all staff duties call office services to confirm you have heard the announcement".

By Friday afternoon at 2pm when this announcement want out we had sabotaged the system to give us overtime repairing it. By 12pm on any given Saturday it was fixed and we'd be off to see our team take on the world by 2pm.

Up the Gers. We quite often met people who ordered the weekend work in the first place, but who cares? It's only a game.

Sad to see the old place is now due for demolition.
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