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Life &Times -Bob McMillan
Sunnyside - Part 1

Summerlee & Hydrocon 

Detachable Collars

Boys at Play


Sunnyside - Part 2

Coatbridge Co-op
Coatbridge Co-op 1

Coatbridge Co-op 2

Thom Gilchrist Obituary

Alexander Hospital

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

The Faskine - William Kerr

Stories when you are dead - The Faskine

Faskine Tale  Elizabeth Tennant

Reminiscence Pages
  1. Lamberton 1
  2. Anecdotes - Tom

  3. Memories -Tom

  4. The Hydrocon Story -

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
The Penny Project


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Life & Times as remembered by Bob McMillan

Veterans Hall - The Creamery and Red Bridge

Up Sunnyside Road and past the Cross Keys those houses next to the red building were knocked down and a wooden hall on brick foundations erected there.

This was the Sunnyside Veterans Hall, later renamed the Robert Taylor Memorial Hall, after a local Councillor or Bailie, Robert (Bert) Taylor who, as it happened, worked as boilerman in the Creamery (see Berts Lum).

 I can remember being in the hall in 1953, Coronation year, at a party where each child was given a box of sweets with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on the top, A coronation mug, again with pictures and, I think, a book of the royal family. I still have the book to this day and the tin holds trinkets somewhere in the house.

The rest of the row of houses was knocked down in the late 50's to make way for new council housing. They were strange little houses, looking like single storey from the front but with separate houses in the roof space that were only visible from the rear. The ground at the back was higher than at the roadside and the upper level of houses were accessed by two short outside staircases that stuck straight out rather than along the line of the building. From the rear the buildings looked unusually squat.

I can remember the drag- line excavator being used to clear the rubble and level the ground. The drag-line driver used to swing the massive ( to a child) bucket at the children if they got too close (Health & Safety!!!!!).

I can remember a structure at the back of the green behind the old houses. It was a two storey brick structure which I can only guess had been a water tank or something. The upper floor was concrete and covered only the right half of the building, the other part being open all the way up. The top storey was partially open at the front, that is facing down to the cottages. We used to climb up to the top floor using anything we could lay our hands on as a ladder. The effect of such antics on the toes of shoes, knees of trousers et al can be imagined. One of the ladies from the cottages used to chase us if we were spotted. She obviously thought more about our well being than we did.

3.20 The Creamery and Berts lum

Going further east, towards the Red Bridge, next came the Coatbridge Co-operative Society Creamery. Here milk was brought from Ireland and other places to be bottled or turned into cheese or butter. Cheese and butter would have been logical products although I never saw this happen. I always remember the large dump of broken glass bottles which was stored in a brick-walled area at the right end of the Creamery frontage. Above the glass dump was a brick structure that held the wooden cooling tower, which emitted large volumes of steam at times. Water could always be heard cascading down inside the tower and this gave the whole thing a spooky effect, especially in the evening. The back of the glass dump was almost at ground level, as the yard area to the right side of the building followed the up slope of Dunbeth Road. The yard area in front of the building was some eight to ten feet above the height of the main road and ramped down at each end. The loading bay took up the whole of the frontage of the Creamery and the tankers could be seen unloading their milk through hoses, which led in via pipes in the wall below the loading bay floor. Several steel shutter doors led into the bottling hall and to a youngster this was a mass of bright and shining piping and roller conveyors with bottles being upended for cleaning then suddenly appearing full of milk and with a silver or gold foil top pressed on. The remnants of the foil tops came in the form of a roll of foil some 2 inches wide and many feet long. This foil made a great plaything for a child and gold, green and silver strips of foil could be seen in many a back yard around the area.

To the left of the frontage a loading dock allowed lorries to back into the building. To the left of this section the wall of the boiler house projected out to the pavement. Move along the wall towards Dunbeth Road and you came to the small yard where heaps of coal were to be seen at the base of the square brick chimney. Many a day my mother cursed this chimney when it emitted soot and blackened her clean washing; and she was not beyond giving Bert Taylor, the boilerman, a lecture on the problem he caused by allowing the chimney to smoke so badly. Even a Local Councillor, which Bert was for many years, was not immune to the womanly pride in a good washing! It may not be a coincidence that his house was up-wind from the soot!

On top of the creamery roof sat a relic of the second world war, the air raid siren. This was, by law, tested once per year until well in to the 60s and both the Air raid and All clear were sounded. A mournful sound even in peace time.

3.21 The Co-op and Kipps

Beyond the Creamery was the Co-operative funeral department where the delivery of coffins, all standing on their ends, always made the school children gape, but from a safe distance. This building, originally part of the Creamery was round the corner in to Dunbeth Road. There were two large access doors. The one nearest the boiler house end had a ramped floor with a loading dock on the down hill side. On this dock there was a small wooden office and it was here next to the office that the coffins could often be seen stacked up before being stored away ready for use. The second access door led to a large garage where the funeral cars could be seen.

Across Dunbeth Road, where it formed the corner of Sunnyside, the Red Bridge and Dunbeth Road, there was a Coatbridge Co-operative Society store, number 4 branch, which had a grocery, butchers and bakers in one building but with separate entrances. A grey fleck marble front and big windows with the name in projecting shinny letters above the windows, as I remember. This building, with houses above, curved round towards the Red Bridge itself.

Between the shop and the bridge there was a path, fenced on both sides with upright wooden railway sleepers, leading to the Kipps Engine sheds and to Coatdyke railway station by way of the Kipps moss. This was a very pleasant walk for an evening. The engine sheds at Kipps, or Kipps Byre to give it its proper name, was a Mecca for all children brought up in the age of steam. John Gentles, a neighbour of ours when we moved to Russell Colt Street, was a Fire Dropper at the Kipps. This entailed drawing, or removing the burning coals and ash from the fire grate of the steam railway engines at the end of their day, cleaning out the hearth and getting a fresh fire ready to be lit early next morning. My Uncle John Forsyth, a neighbour in the Red Building in Sunnyside, operated the steam driven breakdown crane which was based at Kipps.

A railway steam breakdown crane similar to the one based at Kipps.

Between them these two men were responsible for many of my early visits to shed 65F, as it was designated by B.R., at Kipps. (See Robin hood and the bouncy path later)

Diagonally across the bridge from 4 branch was Di Troia's cafe, and when open, a chip shop. Built onto the railway banking and abutting the bridge parapet this was our little bit of Italy. Lawrence Di Troia, wife Lizzy and brother Tony worked the little cafe, and when encouraged by the locals, the chip shop to the right of the cafe. The cafe was decorated with light coloured grained varnish and had the traditional marble topped rectangular tables, with cast iron leg frames, and Settle type seating forming booths down the left side of the shop, with the serving counter running front to rear at the right side and round to face the shop door. Fresh ice cream was made each day and, on hot summer days, Tony would pedal off on his ice cream tricycle to Dunbeth Public Park and beyond. The local children always helped him push this ancient machine up the hills for the payment of broken wafer cones. The machine, quite common then, was a modified tricycle frame with two wheels at the front and one at the rear. Between the wheels was a heavily insulated rectangular box-like structure that housed two stainless steel ice cream containers with lids, implements for scooping out the ice cream and vertical stacks of cones. The rear section of the bicycle was like a normal bicycle with seat, pedals etc. It was pivoted on to the front section and this was how it was steered.

Below the cafe was a store room and it was here that the ice was stored. Delivered by lorry, in cube blocks of about 2 feet 6 inches, this had to be dragged through the cafe and down the back steps into the cellar. The driver used large tongs to haul what must have been quite a heavy load, covered with pieces of sacking to reduce the melting. A large sack stuffed with, I assume, straw was used to protect the ice block as it was pushed off the lorry on to the pavement.

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