Anne Smith: Two Wee Lassies Up A Close
Anne Smith is the author of "TWO WEE LASSIES UP A CLOSE, Memories of A Glasgow Childhood in the 1940s and 1950s". She has lived most of her life in the village of Pannal, near Harrogate, Yorkshire but this is her story of when she was a wee lassie called Anne Grant who grew up in a Glasgow tenement at 38 Aberfeldy Street and went to St Thomas's Primary School in Riddrie with her childhood friend Terry Murphy from 35 Aberdour Street. The following is an extract from Anne's book:
Aberfeldy Street before the war was a lovely area as was Aberdour and Aberfoyle Streets with railings around the front and back gardens. The front ones were removed for the war effort, never replaced and I don't think ever used. Scheme houses were built on the fields at the top of the streets and the children from there trampled on the little flower gardens turning them into hard soil no plants. The areas were still good, built on a hill "great for sledging" with our "dear green green space" opposite, Alexandra Park. Our prams were trundled around their daily. A godsend for our mums. There was one entrance to the park opposite the bottom of our street and another grand entrance along Alexandra Parade. Going up Aberfeldy Street we lived on the right-hand side and at the bottom of our side were: on the corner a newsagents with the only public telephone box in the area inside the shop, Dr Louis and Dr Caldwell Surgery with very large green and red bottles in his window and the Factor's office. Opposite there was a dairy provisions shop and, at the top of our hill on our side, a shop a sort of cobblers that I never saw open. On the other side opposite, a grocers and fruit and veg shop that sold yummy cakes, six different ones in a box. Along the bottom of our street was Cumbernauld Road leading onto Alexandra Parade and the shops on there was a newsagents on the corner of Aberfeldy Street, Frank the barbers where Kathleen Brydon had her long pigtails cut off in two snips. Terry and I were with her. Ross's Dairy who had a vast selection of scones in their window "soda, treacle, plain, sultans, currant" crumpets, pancakes, pan and plain loaves and delicious strawberry tarts in season. I remember ladies saying to my mum as we were going shopping: "Strawberry tarts are in Ross's Mrs Grant". In those days no one was addressed by their first name. De Nunzio's ice cream parlour, a butchers, Gilbraith's, entering their door on the right, fruit and veg, then bakery counter, after bakers go across to a long counter with enormous cheese and cutting wire (I only ever remember Cheddar), groceries on shelves along the back wall, tins of Cock a Leekie Soup and Heinz Beans 57 Varieties - wonder the 57 varieties were in those days of austerity - on the counter slabs of butter patted into pats with a thistle on the wooden butter pat which was dipped in a stone jar of water before each transaction and pressed onto the top of the butter, sugar put into blue bags, jam 1lb and 2lbs jars - plum being the cheapest and lastly the lethal bacon slicer where we used to congregate in case anyone ever chopped their fingers off. They never did. A long brick wall then Mr Anderson's the chemist who lived above the shop and was invaluable to my parents during the war as he had a telephone and told my dad to ring him if the ship came into Rosyth and dad got an unexpected bit of leave and could get home or my mum had to go up to Rosyth to meet him. A funeral directors where Terry says we used to lift each other up to ring his doorbell and then run away - Oh no, I can't imagine that. Lastly the Savings Bank of Glasgow. Further down on the same side was Cochrane's which we sometimes used as they sold gypsy cream biscuits, then a wet fish shop where I used to be sent every week for a small piece of finnen haddie for grandma, then a drapers. My mum would send me there for half a yard of knicker elastic. I would not ask for that and used to go home and say "they havn't any". Further down from these shops going down towards Duke Street was Holden's a newspaper and toy shop, and next to it was the Co-op. Terry and I both remember our mothers Cop divi numbers 8508 and 6336. On the other side of the road past Alexandra Park and Kennyhill School was Fulton's (Rikki Fulton the Scottish comedian's fathers shop). Wee bakers shop, an optician, Conti's cafe and a transport office where the tram drivers, conductors and conductresses (who used to say as you were leaving the tram "come on, get aff") all went. Further along was a shop on the corner, then a chemist, then a place where we used to get bottles of cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice for Carol, Terry's baby sister. A bowling Green, St Andrew's church and then the main gates of Alexandra Park.
TWO WEE LASSIES UP A CLOSE, Memories of A Glasgow Childhood in the 1940s and 1950s
Published 2014. Paperback - 92pp. £4.99
You can purchase the book direct from Anne Smith. Please email Anne for confirmation of availability and payment details.