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Coatbridge Co-op
Coatbridge Co-op 1

Coatbridge Co-op 2

Thom Gilchrist Obituary

Alexander Hospital

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
Reminiscence by Doris Daly

(see intro to Reminiscence project )

see poem Picking up the Broken Pieces of Memory)

A sociologist (Butler) wrote an article in praise of reminiscence and it became the buzzword of the 60's as the great cure all for the ageing process among other things. Since then it has spawned an industry and perplexed those who have to sell the idea of it. Can it be quantified? Is it a tool for academics?

Or is it a therapy for the use of social workers in institutions? Controversy reigns. And it is a mistake to believe that only the elderly reminisce, the older person has more time to reminisce. It is also erroneously considered to be the prerogative of the working class and a look at commercial "memorabilia" will confirm this myth.

Without a memory there is no person, there is no selfhood. A person exists from having lived through the past.

  • Reminiscence seeks to establish the individual's self-worth by providing an opportunity to recall and recount their journey through life.
  • It reinforces their image of themselves as worthwhile individuals, and establishes their personal identity in the society in which they have invested their lives.
  • Age culture or class is not a barrier. It exercises the memory cells of the brain, a necessity to keep it honed and healthy, even if some of those cells have been damaged or diminished.
  • It provides a pathway for growth and extends self-knowledge.
  • It aids group building and provides a bridge for moving towards the wayfarers who share our great and wonderful sojourn here on earth.
  • It affects a shift in consciousness to move on and get on with life. It resolves old conflicts. It is a catharsis.

How can we start a Reminiscence Project?

Reminiscence is more successfully conducted by a qualified teacher or tutor who has a firm grounding in social history, group dynamics, anatomy, physiology, myths legends and superstitions, music and song, among other things.

The tutor controls and checks the scheme of work, lesson plans, and classroom etiquette, with a commitment to confidentiality, insures that everyone has their say and is listened to with manners and respect.

There is always the danger that a session might deteriorate into a shouting match, a bragging contest, an exchange of insults, and a gossipmonger's field day. The introduction of ground rules from the beginning is essential and the experienced tutor will be on the alert and keep a tight rein on class management wherever that class may be, be it in an old folks home, the women's institute, the local day hospital, a class for people with learning disabilities, at a pensioners club.

A stimulating programme of targets set by mutual agreement with the class members, gives momentum and longevity to a class and eliminates boring repetition and absenteeism. Collecting artefacts, photographs, visits to places of interest, museums, archives, theatres etc. enlivens and invigorates the class, attracts new members involves the neighbourhood and the staff of institutions.

This will eclipse the clique or the elitist element and take on an ethos of equal institutions where the residents are at different stages of dementia or suffering from stroke or other nervous diseases. This is a specialist field and demands a specialist's attention, but the ground rules remain the same.

Enquire at your local college to find out if they have or are considering a reminiscence project or cajole them into starting one - especially for YOUR seniors group!

Reminiscence, like love, is "a many splendoured thing, ... its nature's way of giving a reason to be living....".

So, dance back across the decades on the milestones of your life and put your marker down to say you passed this way, once.

Doris M. Daly  RGN




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