I remember my granny sending me to Mario's ice cream shop in Victoria Street to get two shilling's worth of ice cream. I got a huge jug full with twenty wafers thrown in as well. It was all home made ice cream.

As a child growing up in the 50s there was no TV then so we made our own fun. Being daredevils we used to do things that was great fun then but pretty stupid now when I think of it.

There were three pletties in our tenement and we used to have races - one would run down the stairs while the other would climb over the railing and slide down the poles. We also had air raid shelters in the back greens and we used to jump from them on to the washhouse roof, a distance of around 15ft. I can't remember anyone not making it.

Coming up to bonfire night we used to go round shops, works and people's bins for salvage, ie. cardboard, paper, old furniture - in fact anything that would burn - store it in the air raid shelter and on November 5th pile it up in the middle of the street and burn it. Most of the residents would come out and watch.

We also had a party in the backies, on the last day of the summer holidays. Every household would donate something, ie. food, drinks, etc. Sometimes we would have a local group playing. We had games and there was always a prize for the winner, and I remember at the end of the day, each child was given a large bag of sweeties and a 3d (threepenny) bit - Great days.

I can also remember a white horse with a cart coming round. The man would sharpen scissors, knives, etc and the rag and bone man who also came with a horse looking for rags, bric-a-brac, etc. There were fish wives who came with fresh fish and tinkers who sang in the backies hoping for money to be thrown down to them. We also had Blind Mattie with her accordian.

We had an outside toilet on the stairs and in the winter the water used to freeze. We had a shelf under the cast iron cistern and a couple of candles were lit to keep the water warm, but it didn't help the bowl. We used to pour boiling water in to break the ice.

We used to play a game we called 'Pully Tuggy'. We'd find a tenement where the front doors were side by side: we would tie the door handles together and knock on the doors and watch people trying to open their doors ( Really funny)


Submitted by Ian