1930s to 1950s
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Livingston, West Lothian
Niddrie Mains Terrace
The Tin School
To Work for Stoby
Irene Caine (nee Ritchie)
Growing up at
Cumnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland
Move to Bingham
Niddrie in the 1950s and 1960s
Mary Conway (nee
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
mother, Lena Mary Conway (nee Moran), was born
in Fountainbridge on 6 December 1927. She is now the eldest living
member of the Moran clan.
now lives in Sydney, Australia, after first immigrating to Melbourne,
Australia in 1960."
Lesley Conway: April 25, 2007
Lena Mary Conway's memories
(recorded for her by her daughter,
Lesley Conway, now living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia):
Niddrie Mains Terrace
1933, when I was six,
the Moran clan – Peter and Molly, along with Peter, Rose, Isa,
me, John, Ronald and Patricia, left
Fountainbridge, for Niddrie Mains
We lived at No
30. At the other end of the street was Letty’s caravan
where we went to get 'tick'.
remember the tunnel from Niddrie to Bingham.
Once it flooded and I fell in.
I got out I was
covered in leeches."
Food and Drink
Neery used to push a barrow selling ice-cream and the kids would yell
out: 'Ma, can I get
used to call sago pudding, 'cats eyes and dogs
snotters'! One New Year,
I had a swig of port.
I wonder how old I was; maybe ten.
brother John remembers playing outside and sometimes getting a
(bread/sandwich). Our hands would be all
dirty and grubby and if you were still eating when it was your turn,
you’d get someone to 'hud yer piece'.
If anyone else was eating an
apple, you’d always ask “Can I have yer stump”
(the apple core). I can’t imagine bairns today being so familiar
with dirt and food!"
period consists of childhood games and school days.
In the years after
my birth, another five brothers and sisters
arrive, bringing the Moran clan to 11. My
mother had a tenth pregnancy but the child was stillborn.
Life was crowded and so was the
bed! I shared a bed with
my elder siblings, Peter, Rose and Isa,
sleeping head to toe.
played diabolos and piries. Famy Motion
was the diabolo champion! She was one of a brood of ten and their
Mother would yell out each child’s name, 'John,
George…..etc, come in for your cocoa!'.
The Tin School
the only one in the family to go to the ‘tin school’ in Peffermill.
I think it only had two or three classrooms.
I couldn't work out why I was the only
one to go there, given I had 3 older siblings
and younger ones as well.
remember getting my coronation tin of toffees
whilst I was at the tin school, as
I remember being marched across the road to a
big house - I think it had something to do
with the brewery - and lined up to receive
my tin of sweeties.
This means that the tin school was operational in 1937, when
I was 10.
At about this time,
I went into the corner shop to buy a half-penny
lucky bag. The queue was long and I got
sick of waiting so I stole it and then
agonised over this action for months."
I was about 10, I
had to walk about ½ a mile in the dark to get a drink for
my Dad. He was a drinker –
he drank his pay when he was working (which wasn’t often) and
drank his dole money when he wasn’t.
Dad saved up cigarette cards/tokens and redeemed it for a doll, which he
gave to me.
all the dogs
we knew when we were younger: Prince Moran,
Chunky Day, Tiger Hannagan and Terry Halliday!
Even the people's
names were ‘no real’ – Troosers Mulhearn , Jackie Miles, Betty Mochan,
Joe Gilroy (which I always thought was Jogle Roy!), Dod Hay."
twelve when war was declared, but Scotland
didn't really suffer as England did.
Nonetheless, five bombs were dropped on Edinburgh,
all near Craigmillar.
loved going into the air raid shelter, being such a large family
we had one to ourselves.
There were little lamps and we used to take
our books with us to read.
The day that
war was declared, Mrs Boyle (a neighbour up the stair, and a
staunch Catholic), threw holy water over all the bairns and said
'God bless us and save us!'.
Uncle Pat and my Uncle Tommy were
both in the Cameron Highlanders. Uncle
Tommy, when on leave, used to pull up in a taxi and get out in his full
regalia – kilt, spats etc. and all the kids in the neighbourhood would
come out to look at him – a very impressive sight.
He gave all his nieces and nephews
a thrupence each. Uncle Pat was actually a prisoner of war in
Germany for four years during WWII."
had a brother, Fred. He was apparently a recluse, but a very
handsome one! He also had a sister Mabel, who 'went
with the Poles' (went out with the Polish
soldiers). Mabel played the banjo and
Granny Moran was a tall, skinny
woman who used to bone comb our hair for lice
as soon as we arrived to visit.
I think Granny Moran lived at Slateford on the
road to Corstorphine."
for Stoby Taylor
school at 14, quite happy that my school days
are behind me. My
chum from school, Evie Henderson, got
me a job, alongside her at Stoby Taylors,
at the corner of the Pleasance and the
a cashier and book-keeper. I had great
fun working there. One day Evie
and I donned the merchandise, 'dressed-up'
in school uniforms, and
went off to lunch. Our boss
passed us in the street and
didn't even recognize us!
There were big drawers to keep
hats in and we used to go and hide in them.
We would sit on stools
and serve customers. One day, I hopped
off the stool and Auntie Susie, who had come to visit, couldn’t see
me anywhere – you were too short once you’d
gotten off the stool."
The shop owner, Stoby Taylor, was
about 74 and a very kind man who was nice to me. He used to give
advice for when I was were married, like
''Never go to bed on a quarrel'.
He wanted to send me to Skerry’s
College (at Surgeon’s Hall) to get a diploma but I
didn’t want that. In hindsight,
I wish I had gone to the
to go out dancing three times a week:
Friday night at the Casino in Portobello
Thursday night at the
Miners Institute at Newcraighall, often with friends Evie Henderson and
Vera Forster. Later on,
my sister, Pat,
married Evie’s brother, Freddy.
Tuesday afternoon at the
Palais de Danse, with Betty Mochan and the
gang from Stoby Taylors. My older
brother Peter, had a job as a valet, parking cars etc. at the Palais de
At about this
time, we moved to
Lesley Conway recording the memories of
her mother Lena Mary Conway: April 25, 2007
to Irene Caine (nee Ritchie) now living in France, for posting a message
in the EdinPhoto guest book.
at Harewood Drive
had the grat privilege of being born at 2 Harewood Drive.
I had an excellent education from dedicated teachers at
Craigmillar Primary school. The best
friend I shall ever have, I met there.
kick the can
and so on."
met my husband there and we have been married over 50 years: we married
at the Tron Registry Office. On our
return from he ceremony, my mother sent me,
my pal, my husband and my nephew to fetch
tables and forms from the local Catholic
school across the road.
those days, mothers fairly brought you back
down to earth with a thump. My mother
was such a good mother. We were kept
spotlessly clean and were well fed. She
encouraged all of us to do our best. Her
name was Maggie Ritchie."
Irene Caine (nee Ritchie), France:
March 7, 2009
Cumnock, East Ayrshire,
to Joe Gibson who wrote:
was born in 1937 at 5
Wauchope Avenue, and became 3rd oldest of 11
children there were:
Mum was a Scott from Henry Street.
Dad was from King Street Portobello.
Growing up in Niddrie
loved Niddrie when I was growing up as there was next to no motor vehicles
- just the usual horses and carts,
Milk, Coal, Fruit and Veg and of course the Old Fishwives
with thier creels.
Sunday morning was the day when
the Rolls were delivered. They were called
Glasgow rolls. What a lovely treat!"
played our games beside what was then
the back of Wauchope
Avenue, where there were big
shelters, we played Rounders with Tennis bat and ball.
when you were in to bat ,was to try and hit the
ball over the three storey houses, very few of us attained that."
remember the Rio Cinema.
It burned down in about 1945.
As we lived directly opposite, we
had to vacate the houses
roof burning made a great crackling noise and every one said it was the
Move to Bingham
1947 we moved down to 17 Bingham Place. The
move was a caravan of us children and our cousins carrying the
light stuff and a big wheel barrow, borrowed
from I don't know where. It took us
all day to complete the move.
Bingham was a brand new house
with 4 bedrooms instead of the 2 in Wauchope
Place. Mum was able to
separate the boys and girls, at last."
went to Craigmillar Primary School from 1941
to 1949, then to Niddrie
School from 1949 to 1952.
Niddrie Marischal, I was in the same class as
Billy Norris and Stan Fulton. We were a
devastated when Billy was killed in an
I left school and joined
the Klondyke pit, but left in 1954 to join the
army. I stayed in the army for the next 23
years and am now retired living in Cumnock,
loved looking through the other people's
memories. There are so many great memories
of the days when we were young in that area. It
must have been hard for the parents but we had not a care in the world as
remember me or the family, then please
feel free to get in touch.
Joe Gibson, Cumnock, East
Ayrshire, Scotland: February 14, 2010
Reply to Joe Gibson?
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please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.
- Peter Stubbs: March 8,