Hilltown Days

I happened across this site featuring the Hilltown by pure chance and just had to contribute. My parents lived at 62 Carnegie Street when I was born in 1943 at the DRI. Very shortly thereafter my parents separated and my sister Violet and I moved in with my Grandmother who lived opposite the blacksmith in Kirk Entry - just off the Wellgate. I must have been six or so when we moved to our first house (an attic) on the Hilltown, it was on the west side between Ann and Alexander Street. Time spans are hard to remember but I'd say a year or two later we moved a little farther up, it was a long narrow close next to (possibly) Wullie Cook's bar? It led to the back land of a complex where we once again had an attic. It was there on Xmas eve 1951 that I have my first memory of my family - we had one sister and three brothers much older than us. The reason for the reunion was because our father had just died. The next boy older than me was 16 or so and the image of him crying will stay with me forever (I couldn't understand what could make a boy cry).

The question asked on the page I read was 'do you know where in the Hilltown you could buy a sasparally?' Perhaps sarsparilla! At this point I can't remember what was there before but I clearly remember the very tall American (a black man) who opened the shop making natural juices included sarsparilla. It was just down from the pend leading to St Mary's Hall. The bar was very high and to reach it one had to climb up very tall stools (I did once). I did odd jobs for him while he was fitting out the store then when it opened often worked for him sweeping the floor, going for messages etc, I remember he was very kind and always nice, allowing me to sample all of his delicious concoctions. This memory led me on a pursuit of sarsparilla in the USA where I have lived since 1976. That is a story for another time. I have so many more about the Hilltown, and I will tell them as time permits.

Submitted by William (Bullie) Brady