Bold Margaret’s life has been full of fun

Margaret Rodger. Picture: contributed
Margaret Rodger. Picture: contributed
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Margaret Rodger has celebrated her 100th birthday.

She was born Margaret Greig on July 24, 1913, at Wellington Street in Hillside and was baptised at St Luke’s Parish Church in Stockbridge.

Her father was a wine merchant and owned Greig’s Bar at the top of Broughton Street, now The Conan Doyle.

Sadly Margaret’s mother died when she was a infant and she lived with her father and brother in Forrest Road. She used to play in the nearby museum in Chambers Street.

After leaving school, Margaret was employed by Crombies the butchers in Broughton Street and would drive around Edinburgh delivering the butcher meat. Then, during the war, she worked at Ramsay Tech as a welder.

On June 8, 1945, Margaret married George Watson and had two daughters – Helen, born in 1946, and Hazel, born in 1948.

But tragically, George died just two months after Hazel was born.

Margaret stayed at home while the girls were small and worked from home, knitting twin sets for Munros Spun. She also worked at one stage for Dobbies garden centre at Moira Terrace as an outside gardener.

And it was there that she made a stand for justice and proved herself well ahead of the times, paying the price for her boldness.

She found out that she was receiving less money than the men she was working alongside and made a complaint to the management. She got her wage rise – but a week later they sacked her.

She married again, this time to Campbell Rodger, a widower whom she had known for a long time.

Her daughter Helen said that she was “very happily married” and they did everything together, including working on their allotment, home improvements and taking the children on trips to Butlins.

Helen also remembers a favourite funny story her mother tells about the day she was getting married.

Margaret was in a taxi waiting to do the “puir oot” (throwing money) for the children on the street. She took the lid off the jar containing the coins, but was so excited that she forgot to roll the window down, scattering the money inside the car instead of outside.

Margaret now lives at Drumbrae Care Home. One of her carers said: “She is a lovely lady and is always happy to see you with a big smile on her face.

“It is a privilege to be looking after her.”

Margaret has two daughters, a granddaughter, two grandsons, two great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons.