J Haswell Young, a truly remarkable man and a well respected and well-liked ex colleague known affectionately by all as “Hassie,” was born in 1915 which makes him 103 years young.
Bob Jackson and Graham Scott visited him in Erskine Care Home on 28th November and pieced together some of his banking life. His memory of people and events is exceptional and he both looks and sounds just as he did when he retired from Bank of Scotland as Manager of Queen Street Branch, Glasgow in 1975.
He had joined The British Linen Bank in the mid-Thirties in the same office in which he retired albeit it was now The Bank of Scotland and was a more modern building. From there, he was sent to Partick Branch where he obviously impressed the Manager who suggested that as Glasgow University was just up the road, Hassie would get time off to attend classes.
This was revolutionary in those days, but don’t confuse it with today’s Day Release scheme, because Hassie had to start and finish each day in the Branch, and just had time off for the lectures. He chose to apply for a Law Degree but found out that despite having an excellent Leaving Certificate, it did not encompass Latin so he had to obtain that qualification before he could even start. Not the easiest of tasks.
The war intervened and he joined the RAF, principally because his father had served in the Royal Flying Corps. He was quickly commissioned and after 6 years in uniform stationed in England and Bombay, he left the service with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He was now able to finish his Bachelor of Law Degree and was only the third employee in the Bank to hold a University Degree.
At that point he was moved to Edinburgh and worked in the Executor and Trustee Department in St Andrew Square. His next move was to Inspection Department, still in Edinburgh. Next stop was as Assistant Manager of West George Street, Glasgow and thence to Buchanan Street, Glasgow in October 1959. Official records are sparse but Linen Leaves (the Staff Magazine) records that:
‘an informal presentation, accompanied by the warm good wishes of his colleagues, marked the departure of Mr. J Haswell Young, assistant manager to his new appointment as Manager, Buchanan Street, Glasgow.’
In Autumn 1961 the magazine records that:
‘at the Glasgow and District Circle Meeting on March 21, Mr Young was appointed to the Committee.’
In August 1969., Linen Leaves then reported that:
‘present and past members of staff spent a very pleasant evening in the Manager’s room on Thursday 27th April to celebrate the promotion of the Manager, J Haswell Young, to be Manager of the Bank’s Chief Office. The evening passed quickly in reminiscence (provided by all) food and drink (provided by Mr Young) and song- (provided by Miss Shelagh Tomlinson and Mr Murdoch McDougall, with his guitar.) In token of the staffs’ gratitude for the happy atmosphere in which they have worked under Mr Young, and of their best wishes for his future, he was presented with a set of golfing irons which would enable him to reduce his handicap in keeping with his promotion.’
(We have tried to reproduce this photograph elsewhere on the website but it is both faint and grainy. Are you one of those pictured? Or can you recognise anyone in the photo? If so, please get in touch with Bob Jackson bob.jackson35@sky,com)
On leaving the Bank, Hassie spent three years with the new British Linen Bank which was the Merchant Bank of the Bank of Scotland.
He was also the Chairman of the Bank of Scotland’s Pensioners’ Association for the Strathkelvin and District which, under his influence, was very active.
Hassie is wonderful company and would be more than delighted to meet with any of his old colleagues and staff.
Please contact Graham Scott firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Jackson bob.jackson35@sky,com who will be able to help.