One of the many documents we have found lately, this funeral in 1905 was attended by horse drawn vehicles.
Neither my father nor my aunt recalled the name of any foundry in which their father worked. I have found this detail via Scotland’s People. See record no. 1920, employee 54.
ScotlandsPeople (think you have to click twice to see it).
The foundry, Forth and Clyde and Sunnyside, has an information page here. It closed the year my Grandpa died, 1963.
As mentioned previously on BTW, he worked in munitions during the Second World War, and did not speak of it. How he coped with the stress of doing that while his son was on active service for six years, I simply do not know. I think I have mentioned elsewhere that the badge below was given to him, as an essential worker during the First War, to stop him being challenged by the sort of people who today hide behind a keyboard.
Other items he made include the boot scraper, now curated by my sister, and a peever*, which sadly we never found.
*Peever – small block of iron, used to play Beds, or hopscotch as the the Southerners would have it. A gird was chalked on the pavement or school playground, and the players had to hop around the grid, kicking the peever forwards in a prescribed manner.
Less fortunate children made do with a tobacco tin filled with earth. It fills me with delight to see that the kids in our street are still playing this. Who’s to say an OAP doesn’t have a wee hop herself if it’s early doors?
So, à propos of nothing, here is a picture of Barbie as Darth Vader.
Sold by a firm in Dalgety Bay called darksidetoys, found when looking for something completely different. That might be serendipitous.
A conversation with my cousins recalled this song. it’s great when a childhood memory is corroborated, although quite why I would have fixated on this song is anyone’s guess, when at 6 years old this was my party piece. Sung with the excellent acoustics of the hall in Shieldhill schoolhouse, it must have been quite the venue emptier.
Everyone who knows us will be aware that we have had a veritable social whirl this summer, with two family weddings and a Diamond Wedding for family friends. I have thought long and hard about putting up pictures of these events, and have decided to refrain. The main players in these events do not have social media profiles, therefore it’s a point of philosophical debate as to whether I am morally entitled to share their images. It’s also really difficult to select just one or two from hundreds. So, I shall thank Nick and Beki for the wedding in Norfolk and Emma and Thierry for the wedding in Brussels. Both days were the occasion of much joy, some tears, and the chance to blether, laugh and catch up. Congratulations also to Eveline and Eddie on a notable anniversary.
Pictures uncovered during some research. Shieldhill, pre 1966.
Family photographs from our paternal line, for which no detail is available, but before saying goodbye to these I thought I would give them a last outing here.
Despite the obvious, including the most appalling lack of prudent and effective leadership on both sides of the pond, leading to who knows what clusterbourach* in 2019, we have had some excellent adventures this year. We have visited places we had never thought to look for previously, as we sought out new horizons, or to be precise, car charging points. Some, like Coldstream, are a delight, with a beautiful park on the river and a cosy pub with log fires right next door. (Soft drinks available). Others may prioritise the functional over the aesthetic, particularly those in multi story car parks, but if they work, and are not already in use, or ICEd***, that’s all that matters, and we can have a blether while we wait. Or not. Other trips with chums and family have been grand fun, catching up and meeting new folks, and if we happened to go to Africa for the first time then we kept really quiet about it. **
Yesterday my school chums and I ate loads of food then went for a walk. That’s a good way to end a year.
*my politics are a mystery, especially to me, but the National reported this, so it gets the credit. A bourach is a mess, clusterbourach references a much ruder term coined, I think, by the American army.
**that is so far from the truth.
***parking space for EV^ taken up by car using fossil fuel, or Internal Combustion Engine.
^Electric vehicle. It’s a whole new world.
Yesterday, being Dad’s third anniversary and with the commemorations for the cessation of hostilities in 1918 being very much on our minds, we did what most families do; got together for a meal and then went for a walk.
Below, Fiona, Callum, Lily, Les, Ali, Ally and Paul. Were I more confident with the timer I would have got myself in there too, but my efforts in Durham proved to me that more work is required in that area. We had a lovely afternoon and spoke of many things, like cabbages and kings, ending on an impromptu lecture on meteorites. Long ago, on a similar visit, Michaela opined “Youse would never get bored here.” She was right.
So. Just home from an all too brief trip to Slaley Hall, for the last time. Nothing lasts forever and we, as a group, have decided it’s time to move on. Journeying there for the first time by electric car, we called in at various chargers in the Borders towns. I was struck by the commemorative work in evidence for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, the official cessation of hostilities for World War 1, although God knows the seeds of World War 2 were being sown, even then. Anyway, in particular, Coldstream, a town with significant connections to the armed forces, had poppies everywhere, knitted, sewn, crocheted, fashioned out of metal, and in gardens. It was significant and notable.
Tonight, listening to a special edition of Antiques Roadshow being broadcast from Etaples, I noted a speech from an unnamed participant,which seemed, to me, to sum up so much of what is happening just now. Whatever you think of the BBC, they did broadcast this.
“Well, looking back in time, I think these people went through hell with the lid off, and I stand in awe of what they endured, and the price they paid, so that we could live in freedom. But looking forward, I would wish that every politician would come and visit a place like this so that they can learn what happens when politics fails.”
When politics fails.
Transcription my own.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Wilfred Owen.
by Kate Clanchy
I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on at high tide. I thought
of us in breathless cold, facing
a horizon round as a coin, looped
in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
from sea to sun. I planned to wait
till the waves had bored themselves
to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
growing worried in the hush, had
paddled off in tiny coracles, till
those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
had dropped slack into your lap,
until you’d turned, at last, to me.
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant
skies all empty aching blue, I meant
years. I meant all of them with you.
Penguin’s Poems for Love, 2009, selected by Linda Barber.