Buster on the Benches

I was born in 1948 in Maryfield Hospital in Dundee. We lived in William Street for the first couple of years of my life, then moved to Kirkton where I grew up. As a toddler, until the age of about 6 or 7, Saturday mornings were my time with dad. We would go into the town, where Dad would buy his seeds and bulbs for his garden in a shop near the bottom of Whitehall Street.

We would eventually make our way up the Overgate to the open market where I'd be hoisted on Dad's shoulders so I could see above the crowd at the open air auctions at which a variety of goods (of dubious origins) were hawked at rock bottom prices. But the highlight of the trip to the market for me was the buster tent, where two cauldrons were suspended over open fires - one full of mushy peas in vinegar and the other with chips. I'd kneel on the dirt floor of the tent supping my plate of buster off the benches that lined the inside wall of the big tent. We'd then finish off the morning with a trip to Wallace's pie shop where Dad would buy me something sweet before catching the bus home.

I also remember Greenhill's. My brothers and I were sent to Sunday school at St. Mary's Church, which was just across from Greenhill's. Our Sunday collection money more often went towards a Greenhill's sarsparilla than into the church collection plate.


Submitted by Sheila Lemottee