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I was born in Charles Street on October 2nd 1942 and moved to 43, Hill Street the following year. From our house, if we leaved out we could see the war memorial on top of the Law. I remember my Mum putting up this black sheet every night, so it was obviously war time. The best memory however was seeing the flame lit on the memorial, so I now presume it was VE day.
I remember moving from Charles Street in the town to Balunie Avenue in Douglas at the age of five. My first day at Balerno Primary I about turned and ran out of the school. I was lost and running around Douglas as I didn't know how to get home. I always remember Miss McKinlay and her numerous big rings on her fingers. If you said something she didn't like she would clout you round the back of the head and I still remember trying to avoid eye contact with her. She would also lock the classroom door when she left the room. Ahhh, those were the days!
A butcher at the bottom of the Wellgate sold nothing but horse meat. In the pendy opposite, the blacksmith shod the town's cart horses. We nicked the horseshoe nails and nipped up round the back and crossed Charles Street. Running up narrow stairways, through dilapidated tenements we came out onto Victoria Road next to the fish shop selling whale meat. We dropped our horseshoe nails into the tram lines and waited until a tram came rattling down. Then we'd jump forward and pick out the hot nails. They were transformed into fiery little silver swords. Read more......