Memories of Dundee - Part One

I think the best way to start is to go back to the beginning - to my earliest memories:- One of these is my fourth birthday. I've worked this out with a bit of calculation. It must have been my fourth birthday, since I was born on the 18th October 1930, which was a Saturday. The occasion I remember was a weekday afternoon so it must have been before I was at school. I reckon it must have been Thursday 18th October 1934.

My Granny attended Bonnethill Church Mothers' meeting. That was the church her late husband's relatives were members of, though we were member of Clepington. However, associated with this Mothers' meeting was the pre-school children's group called 'The Little White Ribboners'. On this occasion they were holding some kind of a party which happened to coincide with my birthday. This being the case, Granny Gillan used the event to 'double up' with my own party as it were, and I remember playing games and seeing my cake sitting on a table at the top of the hall. A small iced cake tied with a fringed ribbon, as was the custom then. Later I remember being the centrepiece of the occasion, having to blow out my candles and sharing my cake with the rest of 'The Little White Ribboners'.

Another early memory is being in Baxter Park at some kind of Boy Scout's show. I assume it must have been a Saturday afternoon. The vivid memory which comes to mind - I can still see it as if it were yesterday - was of an animal construction of some kind, of a greyish colour, probably built on some sort of frame-work of paper-mache. I remember asking Mum what it was and she told me it was the Loch Ness Monster! Does that date it about 1933/34? That's when the 'monster' came to public notice. Anyway, a scout climbed up a ladder into the mouth of the 'monster', and reappeared a few minutes later all bandaged up; the inference being that he had been all chewed up by the 'monster'!

About the age of four, waiting at the girls' gate of Dens Road School, with my Mum and Granny Gillan and having toffee of some such sticky confection. A bee was attracted by this and I was stung on the finger. Mum took me, crying of course, inside the school to Miss Barrie, the infant Mistress, who dressed the sting so that I was much better, by the time my sister, May, whom we'd been waiting for, came out of school.


Submitted by Walter Blacklaw