BACK COURTS, BRIDGE OF WEIR VISIT
We were desperate for a bit of grass in our back courts so we used to go to the old graveyard in Rutherglen Road (now known as the Rose Garden/Orchard). We would dig up divots of grass and try to grow them. We would go eagerly to the back courts next morning to inspect them but alas, they never grew. Sometimes we would bring back twigs from Glasgow Green and plant them with again no success . We were desperate for pretty things. Some of the women in the street had window boxes filled with plants. How we children admired them.
The first time I was taken to Bridge of Weir (a lovely village)where the poor folk lived in the village and the rich lived in large houses on the hill, was in about 1927. I was taken by my favourite Aunt who lived in the village. I proudly picked a bunch of dandelions and presented them to her. The village children laughed at me ( a Glesga Keelie) and told me they were weeds but not to me they were`nt. I thought they were lovely flowers and still do.
I got on well with the village children though I called them country yokels just to let them know I was a tough little girl who lived next door to the Gorbals. I became quite popular. I was small and thin but very good at climbing trees, so I was always in on the raids we made on the apple trees.
These were mostly crab apples and we usually ended up with a sore stomach.
I loved Bridge of Weir and spent many happy days of my childhood on holiday there.
I had a great imagination and where my Aunt lived on Houston Road, the River Gryffe flowing at the bottom and the wood opposite the house gave me great scope to use my imagination. The wood became the forest where Robin Hood and his merry men lived or sometimes it was where Hansel and Gretal found the Witches House made of cake and candy. The odd puddock to be found in Uncle John`s garden was a fairy prince in disguise and toadstools in the fields were fairy rings where they danced at night.
Oh happy days !!
There were no windows made of glass on our stairhead where we lived, just railings, and our parents spent a lot of time trying to release their offspring`s heads as we children could`nt resist putting our head through the railings.
It was great fun when the water cart came to clean the street. Boys would roll up their trouser legs and we girls would tuck our skirts up into our knickers and run behind the cart in our bare feet.
There was a small iron well with an iron cup attached to a chain. This was at the Bank corner of Crown Street and Rutherglen Road. W used to go to Finlayson the Chemist, and buy a tormentor and fill it at the well. A tormentor was a thin rubber tube and when filled with water could be squirted on your friends. We also bought small clay pipes and our mothers would give us tins of soapy water and we blew bubbles to our heart`s content.
When the fish men came we were allowed to take ice from the empty boxes. The taste of fish never deterred us, especially if it was a warm day. On winter nights we would sit at the close mouth and tell ghost stories. Then we would be terrified to go up the badly gas lit stairs. We would shout loudly “OPEN” so that our parents would hear us and have the door open. We also told hundreds of stories of Pat, Mick and the Irishman or we would sit and sing all the latest songs.