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JOHN WHITE 

Life &Times -Bob McMillan
Sunnyside - Part 1

Summerlee & Hydrocon 

Detachable Collars

Boys at Play

Utilities

Sunnyside - Part 2

Coatbridge Co-op
Coatbridge Co-op Chap 1

Coatbridge Co-op Chap 2

Thom Gilchrist Obituary

Alexander Hospital

GARROWHILL
***Alistair Stevenson
**More Recent Alistair **Holiday in Riddrie
Memories of Watsons
by Carrick Watson

The Faskine - William Kerr

Stories when you are dead - set in The Faskine

Faskine Tale  Elizabeth Tennant

Reminiscence Pages
Factories
  1. Lamberton 1
  2. Anecdotes - Tom

  3.  Gallery 1

  4. Gallery 2

  5. Engineers 1939

  6. Group c1940

  7. Group 1963

  8. ??L1020341b.jpg

  9. Memories -Tom

  10. The Hydrocon Story -by Bob McMillan

  11. Lambertons - photos provided by KRG

Murray & Paterson Intro
M & Paterson History

Stewart & LLoyds
Clyde Tube Works

RB Tennent Coatbridge
RB Tennent Poem Ww
My RB Tennent Years - Grant Cullen

William Bain & Co

Memories of the Lochrin
Calder Hot Roll John Marr
Thomas Hudson & Co
Gartsherrie Iron
Summerlee Ironworks

Bairds of Old Monkland

Bairds of Gartsherrie

William Baird & Co



“Auld” Old Monkland
(Bob Cameron  c1986)

Old Monkland Memories
from Canada - John Marrs

Memories Langloan c1987
Margie (Logue) Weisak
Langloan Lum

Janet Hamilton -
The Candy Man - Art McGivern
Baxters Buses
Birds of Prey
The Railways
Gartloch Hosp
 
Bert Gilroy
MEMORIES
 
The Penny Project
 
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Memories of Langloan
and nearby

In memory of the author by Margie (Logue) Weisak
who wrote this c1987
Photos from the John White Collection
Additional comments in Italics by John Lynch

LANGLOAN, a village, in the parish of Old Monkland, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Airdrie; containing 1111 inhabitants. This is one of the principal villages of the many in this great mining and manufacturing parish: it is situated on the road from Airdrie to Glasgow, and has of late years increased exceedingly in extent and population. In the vicinity is a considerable red-sandstone quarry.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846),

Bobby Cameron's appreciation of "Auld Old Monkland" which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, has prompted me to start as he did at Kirk's corner but, rather than descend Woodside Street, I will go along Bank Street, leading to my own birthplace, Langloan, and perhaps you who were brought up there would care to stroll with me down "Memory Lane".

We may recapture some of the old haunts, and remember with affection, some of the good people who hailed from that area of Coatbridge. My simple little story is about these humble people and places around the early 1930's.

The Kirk family who lived in the bungalow at. the junction of Woodside Street and Bank Street were highly respected and well known in our town for their involvement in local politics. The old Grandad was always referred to as Baillie Kirk. They were also property owners, had their own plumbing business, and latterly a soap factory which I believe was owned by Robert Kirk's brother who lived in the old family home behind the bungalow. The bungalow on the left was the Kirks Bungalow  - (Sanny Lane's cattle were being driven to a field near the West End park for grazing) the picture shows the junction of Bank St and Woodside Road (Mill Brae) and the present bungalow in the 1960s.  (The original bungalow was demolished and the present bungalow was built in 1922 for the Kirk's sons.  It was bought by present owner from Mrs Kirk in 1989)



Alderford House stood alongside Kirk's, and was at this particular time the residence of John J.Bannen - a "weel kent" face - son of Henry Bannen a local councillor- and name in Langloan because of the properties in Bank Street and Dundyvan Rd which bore the name - Bannen's Land.  

(Their son Ian Bannen was later to become a famous actor) 
(Alderford House was later bought by Dr Sweeney in 1940s as a residence - It is reputed to have "fallen down" in the 1980s and then demolished.)

(Note: Alderford is a place in Roscommon, Ireland)

John J, the landlord was a local lawyer who walked to from his office in Main Street daily. It was my privilege to be invited with my mother on a few occasions to afternoon tea with Mrs Bannen and her dear people going around today. This building was fronted by the Eagle Inn pub which is still there, and the next building had Lamborini's ice cream parlour and the Barratt's home on the ground floor.

The Old Eagle Inn C1950s  Now named the Eagle Inn.
(The Eagle, the imperial bird, emblematic of all that is powerful, adorns the entrance to the inn - built in 1795- second oldest pub in Coatbridge.. The Gold Eagle sign was sold some years ago and was replaced by a plastic imitation.) There was a first-class billiard-room in the Eagle. On Monday evening on the 29th of February 1892, a supper and assembly was held to inaugurate the opening of a new hall in the Eagle, there was a good turn out of the trade. )

Some old cottages housed the McNamees and the Drummonds with the McCart and Flannigan families living round the back yard.

Katy Drummond was my mother's washerwoman. She came once a week and toiled over the wash house boiler and steaming bines for a full day for the princely sum of half a crown. Mother made sure she had a good lunch and a hefty dinner at the end of her day. Katy appreciated the treat of sitting down at table to a good meal so she always went home happy.

She was a cheery soul, and we as children loved to hear her relate some topical stories. We particularly enjoyed hearing of the day when she hadn't a penny in her purse or a scrap of food in the house. It seems unbelievable today but unfortunately it was all too common in those days.

 Poor Katy was at her wits end and very hungry, so while here husband was asleep (no early rise for him - he was always on the dole:) she picked up his shabby worn suit and setoff for McDougall's pawn shop where she raised enough money to buy an unwrapped loaf in Lees' the grocer and a visit to Hughie Pender -the butcher. "My God, Katy, that's a rerr smell" says Tam as he woke up in the kitchen set-in bed, to the unusual sizzle of sausage, bacon and eggs on the seldom used frying pan. "Sit up then and hiv yer breakfast" says Katy, handing him the tempting plate. When he had consumed the lot, he sat forward, wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his nightshirt, and called her again. "Haw, Katy, see's ma trousers". "Ye've ate your blooming trousers" she answered, so there was nothing left for him but to "coorie doon" again!

Rowatt's garage dominated the scene then and was used by the few cars and buses of the time. There was a small row. of cottages next which are still there. They were the homes of the Rowatt families and the Kanes. Mr Forrester owned the general store which was later taken over by the Loney family as was the house next door. Mrs Prunty who was a widow lived in a dark little flat below this shop where she brought up two fine daughters.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm now arriving at Bargainsholm Hostel where as a child, I was allowed with my friends to have a "wee look" at these modern little homes before the tenants moved in. I think this complex was built to house some under-privileged souls - hence the dreadful name. I wonder who thought that one up! (This was a Coatbridge Council run old peoples home and had 16 beds). There were a few more houses, one of which was the house of, the Donaldson family, and then the Cooperative property where the McKees, Harrisons and Constables lived.

The larger part of this building was the Co-op. No 5 branch - the store!! Oh! happy days waiting your turn to hear your book called, and so often missing it because you were out at the door playing peever or jumping ropes. I can still picture Sam Ashwood who would surely rate as the smartest grocer ever.
(Sam was respected by his staff but still earned a nickname - which will not be repeated here!)
He always looked so fresh and clean in his pure white coat and apron, and his well groomed fair hair never fell out of place as he slid along at top speed on the sawdust covered floor to deposit your sugar, tea and butter on the counter. "Something else now?" he would ask while dipping the pen in the ink and bending his lean body over the counter to enter your purchases in the book. "Yes, Sam 3d worth of Glasgow butters and 3d worth of glazed gingerbread". There was enough to fill an Asda bag. What a pity we can't buy anything so good and wholesome today.


to left is Kirkwood Street<<<<

This was the Co-op store - Number 5 branch - the building still stands and is in a good state of repair - like nearly all Co-op buildings!!

There were two more cottages before approaching Kirkwood Street. where McLean the cobbler's business was part of the family home. Crossing Bank Street here and looking down to Drumpellier Crescent there are a number of well deserved modern homes which replaced many old tenement houses for local people - many of them from Summerlee.  Drumpellier golf course and cricket grounds are still in the background of the "Crescent" as it became familiarly known.

Aitken's garage filled the space between this housing scheme and Langloan Public school where many of our childhood friends were educated. The War Memorial stands across the Blair Road as a reminder of the many fallen heroes of the First World War.
One of our favourite spots was the West End park which I visited recently and I was pleased to observe that as I stood looking over Blairhill with my back to the Langloan flats, there is very little change in sixty years. What fun we had on the swings and the maypole which has now been replaced by a chute.

The little fountain erected to the memory of Janet Hamilton - the local poetess is still standing there at the top end of the park.

The first shop after crossing the canal bridge was the Irish Supply Co. run by the Clark family. I imagine I can still smell the various bacons, cheeses along with butter and eggs - all very high quality groceries brought over regularly from Ireland. A row of houses behind this store was known as Blairgrove. There were a few nice houses with bedroom windows on either side of front door.

FRAN AND ANNA


One was occupied by the McMillan family, another by the Watts - the then famous ventriloquist Valentine Prince, his wife, two sons and three daughters. The younger two--became better known as Fran & Anna of TV fame.

Lizzie Brigett's was the general store. Who could forget the welcome Lizzie always extended to her customers? She showed such an interest in their families' welfare as she stood there behind here very over laden counter, her head held high, arms crossed over her chest after she had served you with a pennyworth of bon-bons. Her sister Mary would pop out from the back shop which also served as a kitchen, and there was sure to be a smell of cooking when Mary appeared. She was rather dull of hearing, but always anxious to catch any snipppet of local news while Lizzie nodded her wise old head.

Larry Murphy and Jimmy ran the newsagents and tobacconists almost next door to Frank Collins the butcher.

 It was a treat to go in to Mrs McLean's dairy on a Sunday morning to buy her freshly baked soda scones - big whoppers at only one penny each. She wore a white frilled dust cap and her face was also white with flour as she served up those lovely scones -delicious with Sunday bacon & eggs.

Dan and Matt McCusker were well known coal men. They lived in the big grey house in Cullen Street. Their sisters Cis and Annie both taught in St Augustine's school.


McCuskers of Cullen Street  - After demolition (for Blairgrove Shopping Centre) they Moved to Finlaystone Street

Cullen Street Cottages

The Picozzi family had the chip shop and sitting room. Old Nicholas must have had a special Italian recipe for his fish and chips had a flavour of their own. Mena, Lena, Michael and Nick were kept busy here especially on a Friday night. Watson's fruit and vegetable store was another family run business. Most of these shopkeepers depended on their families to run their businesses as they could not afford to employ staff.
Raeside's grain store in Dundyvan Rd had a great variety of flours, meals, bran, etc. Dr McLaughlin had his surgery next door with the big red and green bottles in the window.

Mary Berry had the little shop where 90% of St Augustine's pupils flocked to at lunch time. All you could hear was a chorus of voices calling for "a halfpenny worth of mixed Mary", mixed being clear and puff candy. Poor old Mary with her white hair tied up in a bun, laboured over a hot stove many hours daily to provide the tastiest and best candy ever, and she was more than generous with the amount she handed out to us. It was a well known fact that she was done right, left and centre because of the crush of hungry boys reaching out to pounce on the paper wrapped candy. She never really collected the halfpennies due to her. "A gave ye ma halfpenny Mary" was the usual cry. I'm sure Mary knew that few of these poor lads never had a copper! There was no profit for poor Mary Berry and her like may the good Lord reward them for all the sacrifices they made here.

Old Granny Evans lived next door to Mary's shop and she could be seen sitting hand sewing patchwork quilts made up from a worn blanket and odd bits and pieces of coloured material. She worked long and hard and must have suffered severe eye strain with her intricate art but it was her way of making a living.

McDougall's pawn shop and Danny Lynch, the barber took up the corner leading to Buchanan Street. The pawnbroker's business was brisk on Monday mornings when the Sunday suits were deposited for a sum of money to see some poor souls through the week until their meagre wages or dole money came on Friday when they had to pay interest on their cash to redeem their clothing for Church on Sunday.

I vaguely remember the Lefroy Home situated across the road. This was an orphanage and I can remember seeing the girls all dressed alike in plain blue dresses on their way to Church on Sunday mornings.
Danny Lynch had his own method of attracting customers to his barber's shop. I had six brothers and I remember the younger ones having to bring 4 pence each for a haircut. Danny refunded 1 penny after each job was done, so they all insisted on going to Danny's. How else could they get a penny to themselves? It was easy to recognise the boys who couldn't afford Danny's price. They were "branded" with a do-it-yourself job at home where it was said their dads put a bowl on their heads and cut or shaved around it. Strange to say, it seems fashionable today among young lads - it's known as the "Step?"


St Augustine's beautiful church across the street is still very familiar to me, as it was here I was baptised, made my First Holy Communion and Confirmation and where I was eventually married. There was a large tenement building across the street leading on the Manse Street where the Fergusons, McNaughtons and McCarrys lived. The main entrance to St Augustine's primary school was midway down this street, and the EU Congregational Church has replaced our "wee school" as we referred to it. Our early education began here in the "wee school", from which we progressed to "Corky Brown's" to continue until we were prepared to further progress to the Huts at the rear of the "Big school" which was and still is a large building in the Church grounds. We finally "graduated" 'to the "Big school" where our primary education was completed.

All these moves took place within a period of five years, so I had attended four different schools all of St Augustine's before leaving for the Higher Grade at the age of 10 years. Our family often joke about "graduating" from Corky Brown's Academy! It was an old dreary Dickensian building situated on Bank Street next to the Free Church. The back of the school was level on Buchanan Street, and the sloped playground at the front led down to the gates on Bank Street. I was glad to leave this depressing place which was always so cold and dark. Miss Cleary - my teacher did nothing to brighten it.

The tenement building next to the school was fronted by Dr. Thomson's surgery and Horne's fish and chip shop at the entrance to the Gat's close with Geordie Rae's barber shop at the other side. He groomed the men and boys in the back while his sister Miss Rae attended to the ladies for their Bobs and Eton crops and Marcel waves - the styles of the 30's.
Nostalgia really overtakes me now as I remember entering Mrs Carr's vegetable shop. The tinkle of the little bell as I opened the door summoned her from her humble home which was adjoining the shop. I can still picture her hurrying down the dark connecting passage from her kitchen to serve me with a load of fresh vegetables. I was hardly able to carry the heavy basket, and all she charged was sixpence which included a welcome bonus of a big orange or apple for myself. Her only son Peter was a simple soul, but a help to her as he supervised the front shop while she made candy, and the aroma of the sweet candy blended well with the strong smell of celery, leeks and parsley. Whenever I get the smell of leeks freshly dug from the garden, I am happily reminded of Mrs Carr and Peter.

Mrs Mooney had a second hand clothing shop next door - she was assisted by her sisters Mrs Craig and Mrs Hanlon. The latter was the mother of Lily and Jean Hanlon. two well known district nurses. They were always well respected for their willing and professional advice. They are both still around and living in the Bank Street flats. The West End Bar is still there.


Fullarton had a little newsagent and sweet shop next door to Polly Forrest's drapery store. Polly was a quaint wee body who even looked old fashioned at that time, and her shop was always stacked up with a motley of old fashioned garments, materials, ribbons, wool and threads. She was always pleasant and ready to help. The old saying "the customer is always right" was very much in evidence then. What a pity it is so lacking in the shops we frequent now. Conway and a few more families had their homes just at the approach to Bank Lane where Mrs Duffy and her daughter Margaret had a general store.

The tenants around Bank Lane were housed by Burns, Cowans, Whelans, McKeowns and many more. Gorman's buses were garaged across the road on Buchanan Street. They did local service and bus trips in the summer. This part of Buchanan Street was more familiarly known as the Back row where the Flannigans, Heartys, Ritchies and McGraths and Smellies lived.

I'll saunter slowly now as I enter dear old Kirk's building where my late husband and I had our first home after we were married in 1950. I learned just recently during casual conversation with Pearl and Isa Dale that they were brought up in our lovely wee house on the last stair in the building. Our immediate neighbours were Charlies niece Ruby and husband Bert and children. We lived very happily together and although they now live in Edinburgh, we often talk about our times back then and of the good neighbours including McCanns, Wallaces, Gilroy, McLaine, Lewis' and Leggats.
The little houses were solid and well equipped, but they came under the demolishing hammer in 1956 to accommodate the modern flats which reared up in the space they vacated.

The Iron row ran along the back of Kirk's land and here were the homes of the Kearneys, Lowries, Fehillys and so many more. Middle Church still stands at the corner leading to Browns square which had a tall iron rail separating it from the lower end of Richmond Place. It was through this rail that I remember Mary McCann the "bookie" carried out here daily business of receiving 3d doubles, and paying out any winnings due to her regular punters. The rail probably served as protection from the police, and afforded her time to make her getaway when her look-out boys gave the warning. Her son Dick carried on when Mary retired in her old age.

Richmond and Allan places were very familiar to me because so many of my school friends came from there, the Whites, Inneses, Greys, Campbells, Wilsons and Ashwoods to mention just a few.
Hannah Ashwood was a bright cheery woman, and I used to take Mrs Wilson's linens straight from the wash line. I'll never forget the day I called on Hannah to see if she had Wilson's mangling ready, as Mrs Wilson was in a hurry for the sheets and table ware. Hannah reared up - hands on hips, Tell Wilson Naw! Its no ready her erse in parsley
I didn't know how to face Wilson however I repeated Hannah's message though I didn't understand it. Mrs Wilson roared at my innocence in not recognizing the phrase, then she calmed down and called Hannah an auld besom
Millar and Angus had pubs on either side of Richmond Place. It's amazing how all the pubs paid their way in those days of so little money and so much unemployment.

Becky Dale's newsagent and sweet shop was a favourite store for us. We could stand for hours at her window playing guesses and day-dreaming. "What would you buy if you had 3d. A walnut whip, chocolate crispets, a lucky bag and some soor plooms". Oh! how we drooled at the very thought of it. We popped in to Becky's when you had 1/2d to spend, and you could just see her crabbit face watching you as you as you made up your mind on how best you could spend and get value for your treasured coin - you had to be sure to get value for your money!
Miss Gardner had a quality fruit and sweet store. She was a gentle lady and she was always patient and tolerant with the children.



Lees had the small grocers: next door. It was always well stocked with rows of Belfast, Wiltshire and Ayrshire bacons on upper window shelves with a variety of cooked meats below. Tea, sugar and oats were always sold loose by the pound and scooped out of large containers. Bread and scones etc, were delivered fresh daily and sold a little cheaper next day as "cutting". Bessie Lees and May Hyman were the assistants and they knew us all by name and were just as familiar with all our. needs "Your mammy likes the Danish butter and Wiltshire or Streaky to fry with the cabbage", so you could be sure that mammy was pleased with the shopping. Lees, at that time had only two grocer shops in Langloan until son John started to make tablet, then macaroon bar and snowballs. I hardly need say that the name Lees is known world-wide for these famed products.
Their huge factory is now situated at Dundyvan Road - Newlands Street, Whifflet. (now in North Caldeen Road 2010).


"Big oaks from little acorns grow". Hughie Pender was our family butcher where you could always be sure of top quality meat.- just as his son advertises in his thriving business today - still in Langloan!

Gartshore Place was the homeland of two Angus families, Reids, Gilfillans, Duffys, McKeowns, Gormans, Whites (local historian), Prentices and Miss Fraser who lived alone. We often stood at her to listen to her practice her excellent repertoire for her work as a pianist in the cinema where she was orginally the accompanist for the silent films. She could make that piano talk!! Nurse Richards was another neighbour who was always on the go with her navy uniform and her mysterious bag. I was sure she carried the babies in it, I know she brought my wee brother, Bill in that bag! and she had a full time job delivering babies and tending to the mammies around Langloan.


Patrick had the baker's shop on Kirkwood Street corner. Their morning rolls were served hot - seven for 3d and they tasted delicious with butter. Cakes were a penny each and hot mince pies for two pence. 'Their pineapple souffles were a real treat for those who could afford to buy them.

Kirkwood St - Bank St

Strolling down Kirkwood Street arriving first at Cochrane's home of Peter, Willie and parents. McMillans next door and then Mickey and Annie Lennon who had four daughters and two sons. The elder, Isaac was killed in action during the last war. The Simmertons with Joe and Mary came next and the Grant family were. next door to Coogans and Lindsay. The wee close led to the upstairs flats housing the Deighans, Lennons, Tedfords, MeLeans, McFarlanes and more. Dillon and Russell hand lower flats at the front next to Mrs Lindsay who used the front of her house as our own wee sweetie shop where you could read all the lovely texts on her kitchen wall while waiting to be served. What a friend we have in Jesus" and "in God we trust". They were a good living Christian family.

Haggin and Porters were the last two houses.  We're now on the final stretch where on the left there was a tall stone wall sheltering the huge gardens and big houses of the Hamiltons and Leggats. Sanny Lane's park was on the opposite side and his cows grazed there. Most of the locals bought their milk from Sanny's dairy and George Cameron made his daily delivery to Victoria Place.

'The old burn flowed along .at the bottom of Sanny's park and many a dip we had in the burn when we slipped accidentally on the mossy' stones.

Victoria Place welcomes us now. The tenement building where I was born. It was made up of eleven houses and I intend to spend a little more time here in making a mention of the good neighbours, starting with the McLeans in the first upper flat and they had a stairway all to themselves. Martha, a spinster and her two bachelor brothers shared this comfortable home. Martha, true to her name was a full time housekeeper to both men who worked in the local British Tube works and they probably earned sufficient money to provide more luxury than most of us could afford. I was privileged to carry lunch boxes to John and Frank and what a treat when they left me some tea in the white enamel can and a home made scone or pancake, but an even bigger treat awaited my return with the empty containers and Martha would tell me to wait for some home made chips on which she shook vinegar and HP sauce liberally. We always had the big bottle of Flag sauce! Their other brother Jim, his wife, John, May, Adam and Catherine lived in the next flat. Jim also worked in the British and I look back with joy remembering Mrs McLean coming downstairs on a summer's evening to take. Jim's "piece" to the British, and we children all followed her -she was like the "Pied piper". We walked back via the Red Hill and the bluebell wood, and I can picture us as we trudged home weary and mucky with our arms laden with the sweet smelling bluebells - something to take to teacher next day.

The Morrisons next door had no family but they enjoyed standing on the stairhead watching us play rounders or peever. Children's games were seasonal then. One season for rounders and ball games, another for skipping ropes and peever, and one for "I spy" and "kick the can". The old Davidson's lived above our house and their daughter Kate, husband Tom Mallachy and son Peter were next door. Peter was physically handicapped all his life, he had a wonderful musical talent - an excellent organist and pianist.
The Nimmos were in the first downstairs flat. There were Mr & Mrs Nimmo, John, Betty, Gordon, Tom and Willie and the Gough family lived next door. The Wilsons had two sons and four daughters, all of then married by the 30's. Mr,& Mrs Webster, Jenny and Robert were our next door neighbours, and Mr & Mrs Walker, Willie, James and John lived on our other side.
Ours was always a full house and although my three older sisters worked and lived away from home, we were still overcrowded. There wasn't enough room to accommodate the older girls, and their wages needed at home to bring up the younger members of the family. We were always well fed and dressed and in general, well cared for. Looking back to those childhood years makes me appreciate how lucky we were to be brought up in such a respectable neighbourhood.
There was a happy atmosphere around Victoria Place. The neighbours all seemed to be in harmony with each other. They shared their good times and their bad, and were willing to help each other in every way.

We had a little farmyard which bordered the disused railway line at Langloan. My brother Pat was in charge of it, and he detailed the work that each of us was expected to do after school and during school holidays. We had a horse and cart, a cow, two goats, a big number of cockerels and hens and some lovely dogs. We also had a large plot filled with potatoes and a good variety of vegetables. My father made sure there was enough of this produce to last throughout most of the year.
The local children loved to come along to help with hay-making when my father cut the grass along the railway banks leading from Langloan station to Drumpark. We felt we had a family claim to Langloan station because my father worked in the time-keeper's office there, and I also had three brothers who worked on the railway.

The lane at the other end of Victoria Place led to Old Monkland and we used to stand at the gable end every day to watch for Miss Sparrow in her quaint style. She wore a long black coat or dress, straw hat and white shoes. It was believed that she lost her fiancee in the war, and she made her daily pilgrimage to his grave. She never looked at us, and I don't think she ever spoke to anyone on her travels. Johnny Cullen was one of our favourite characters. He must have been the most honest and diligent bill distributors ever. Others would hand them out in fistfuls, but Johnny would always say "Ae bill - ae hoose", and no matter how we coaxed him, he wouldn't part with an extra bill! They were two of the best known eccentrics of the time though there were quite a few more "worthies" around. We were familiar with all the local coal merchants too as their horses and carts made their daily trots up to the coal yards where the wagons were lodged in the railway sidings. The McCuskers, McCanns and the Reillys were some of the merchants.

We loved to watch the "pack wives" wrestle with their heavy bundles on the station platform, and get porter to help them hoist the cumbersome loads on their backs. Can you imagine any woman coping with that today? The "bobbies" on the beat were very friendly. We all liked big Keith Mason (You'll know his nickname if you lived around Buchanan Street!) but we were a bit scared of Rogerson. He was really pale faced and very stern looking but we all respected our policemen, teachers and elders. That was part of our upbringing, and most of all, we respected each other.

I know I could go on, and I've no doubt that I've left a lot of stones unturned. I sincerely hope my little story may bring back some happy memories of those places around Langloan, and particularly of the good humble people that I've mentioned. Unfortunately, so many of them have gone from us, and a good many of them would probably not fit in too kindly to our world today.

I know we should live for the present and hope and plan for the future, but there's something special about looking back over the years that have gone.

We often hear it said that these were the good old days. I wonder!!

 

 

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