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I did not go to school in Perth until I was five and a half years old. I started at Northern District School. Of course I was rarin' to go so I thoroughly enjoyed the daily routine - A for Apple, B for Bottle, counting etc. We used a slate and chalk for writing practice. We had to carry a pad for cleaning our slates. Mine was royal blue velvet. I was very proud of it.
Four times a day I did the long walk,(it was quite far for my wee legs), between my home and the school, each time crossing the old A9.
After the holidays in Summer 1933 we were all given a form to take home. It was white, green and yellow with a cow on it. This was an application for school milk - one third of a pint daily, one ha'penny per day: twopence ha'penny payable on Monday mornings. The squat glass bottles had cardboard tops. These had an indentation which was pushed in to accommodate the drinking straw. If it was pushed too hard there was a milk fountain! The teacher was none too pleased when this happened. This was the introduction of school milk in Perth. Of course I signed up for it and did not stop it until I left school at 17! On very cold days the bottles were put beside the radiators - I didn't like this at all.
I was born in 1928 and lived in Perth until 1950. We didn't travel about much in the thirties so one of the highlights of my early summer days was our too brief annual visit to Broughty Ferry. There appeared to be no forward planning - just a bright sunny day, an afternoon high tide (check the Courier) and 'Come on, we're going to Broughty Ferry!
I loved these outings but I had to undergo several ordeals before we arrived at our destination - passing the huge, hissing noisy engine waiting in the station, crossing the apparently slim and narrow bridge over the River Tay at Perth, the fragile-looking bridge over Kingoodie Quarry and finally advancing into the black dark of the Dock Street tunnel. Eventually, blinking, we emerged into the bright sunshine and soon we arrived at Broughty Ferry station.
Quickly we jumped out on to the platform, impatiently waited for the level-crossing gates to open then headed down Gray Street. We probably turned east along Brook Street but I have no recollection of houses or anything, just a burning desire to get to the beach!... and there it was, that breath-catching view of the wide estuary, the blue sky, the even bluer water and the beautiful golden sands. My sister liked to have a swim but all I wanted to do was to dig and dig, make sand pies and have a wee paddle at the very edge of the water. All too soon it was time to go home. We probably ate some sandy sandwiches then trailed back to the station very tired but happy. On the homeward journey the horrors went unnoticed - I suppose I was too tired. How I envied children who lived in Broughty Ferry all the time