“Roots In An Ever Changing Environment”
Copyright 2010-13 © All rights reserved. Made By Colmac.
Kick the Can & The Rag Man
Entertainment, like many things "when I was an Oatlands buoy", was quite an involved community affair. Much loved street games like rounders, kick-the-can and hide an` seek were always favourites on the pastime menu (and yes, I can admit the odd game of Chap Door-Run Away). Indeed an intense game of hide n` seek could sometimes include around 10 to 20 kids, and by the time the last "come oot, come oot" was heard, it was well past sun down. Many a time when I was the last one hiding, I took it personally that no one seemed in a hurry to find me, in fact sometimes the "seekers" made their way home without bothering to let me know.....all together now..."ahhhhhh!!!"  The streets of Oatlands were always full of activity with many a windae having someone keeping an eye out for the waens and what we were getting up to and neighbours shouting down for you to go to the shoaps and you would get some pennies for your efforts. Playing in the back courts of Cramond Street (especially at night) had a feeling of being in a Roman coliseum with a 360 degree audience from the many "windaes" above, some houses even having poles reaching from the ledge flying their flags of the washing for that day, (long johns at half mast!!)  The call of nature way back then, resulted in the downstairs journey and the big treasure chest key that gained you access to the landing toilet, often I peeked through the keyhole and said hello to my neighbours as they went up the sterrs, or screaming as the light bulb went out during a night time visit. Many a local kid like myself relished the unique sound of the one tone trumpet and call of "any old rags!!" as the rag and bone man came into the street. The challenge of coming up with the traditional "auld claithes" rate of exchange was thrown into chaos by those of us who flew past our parents on the way down the close with anything we could grab from our wardrobes, and much to our ma and da`s dismay the occasional "newer" items of their clothing. The magical brown suitcase was then opened and the ragman gave you the choice from his buffet of gifts including, bat n baw, a balloon, toy windmill and a fascinating wee plastic camera containing a negative that you could see when you held it up tae the light.