Recollections of Work in Edinburgh

McVitties Guest





Lex Gordon

New South Wales, Australia

Thank you to Lex Gordon who wrote:

Van Laddie

"At age sixteen, I was a van laddie with McVitties Guest Bakery.  Their bakeries seem to have all closed up now, even in Princes Street and Charlotte Street Restaurants and catering.

When we were delivering from Orwell Terrace one morning, we had a little brush with Royal History."

King's Park

To the best of my recollections it was a Wednesday morning, February 6, 1952.

It was my turn to get out of the van to make a bread delivery to the gatekeeper's lodge in King's Park Edinburgh. It was windless that morning, an hour or so short of Midday and blisteringly cold. The gatekeepers’ wife hello’d me with a sad wee smile:

 'Did ye ken the King’s deed, Davie?'
 'Lang live the Queen'.

That was it - the end of one and the start of another. The changeover had little material or emotional effect on us in the northern capital. These people after all were only English. It was some years before my absorption of school history lessons that had led us to believe that not only were the English inferior but had little claim to being in charge of our country.

Time slightly modified the first part, and the second was simply rationalised into obscurity. No longer does the sound of the pipes and roll of drums send an urge to draw the claymore from the thatch and look to the south border.  Sixty-odd years and half a world away have made a few changes.

Queen's Park

We had entered Kings Park that morning and having made another delivery of dodger at Jeanie Deans Cottage, we drove from Queens Park.  We now had a Queen and, as it turned out, a good one and lang lived.

King George had stopped living in his sleep from thrombosisThe youngish looking bloke on our pennies seemed way too young to just stop like that.  But he did.  A time to celebrate his daughter’s ascension or to mourn simultaneously his passing was something of a quandary.  It was all too deep for me to be greatly concerned with.

That Queens Park is quite a place; it is some where around 650 acres in the middle of a relatively small city as compared for example with Central Parks 843 acres in New York. Arthurs Seat a dried out old volcano plug and Salisbury Crags are its outstanding features. It carries three small lochs:

Dunsappie loch near the top of the mount

St Margarets at the bottom

Duddingston lochs near to Samson's Ribs

Lex Gordon, New South Wales, Australia, April 16, 2012


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