Tyre Bogey Carts

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 17.50.38Did you play with a bogey cart when you were a child? Some called it a push cart, bogey or guider and local slang in Blantyre was also “An Oracle”. What did you call them? How did you make them? Where did you get the parts?

Here’s a poem by Lon McIlwraith about that very subject.

Park Crescent gate, High Blantyre Park
The first wee hill that made its mark
On George’s bike, doon it I blew
Skint baith ma knees when aff I flew!

Then Larkfield Drive, the last steep end
A speedy slope, a wee tight bend
Skelpin’ doon in bogey races
Skiddin’ sideways like true aces

Brave boys we were on Kirkton hill
Oor wee plank skateboards needed skill
The lamp-posts passed at demon speed
Hit wan of them and you’d be deid!

On Calderwood, in winter’s snaw
The grassy slope, aw white and braw
Wis tackled on a hame-made sledge
And ended heid-first in a hedge!

White Gates Hill, och aye, nae bother
Doon we raced towards the Cauther
Things didnae end up very guid
A pile-up at the cattle grid!

Sydes Brae wis next, a piece of cake
Or so we thought, oor bikes’ good brakes
Wid keep us safe and in control
But then ma front wheel hit a hole!

The biggest dare though, bar them aw
Flee doon Pech Brae, nae brakes at aw
Baith sides a blur, the slipstream sting
Survive that trip, ye’d be a king!

Sledges, skateboards, bikes and bogies
Cuts and bruises, scars and stookies
Fae boys tae lads we passed the trials
High Blantyre Hills we did in style!

Lon McIlwraith
Copyright 2013

On social media:

Bill Graham Def an Oracle
Davy Thomson Bogey, no mother worth their salt, would leave their silver cross pram unattended lol
John Cornfield Oricle planks from numerous building sites in Blantyre in the 60s early 70s auld pram wheels ma da carved away the front of the plank to give better streering oot with my big cuz Joe Smith the streets had hardly any traffic magical memories of a great childhood back in the day
Gary Doonin Customised by an auld bit of carpet
John Cornfield And beer bottle taps nailed oan
Anthony Smith Oricle.Even made 3 wheeler’s when we couldn’t get 2 pairs of wheels.We even used an old bedspread as a sail.
Helen Grieve Oracle! High pram wheels on the back and go chair wheels on the front.
Helen Williams Definitely an oracle, made from anything you can fin, pram wheels mostly
William Mullen planks of wood, pram wheels, staples, string, yer,oricle
Archie Peat And a skelp from your Maw for scuffing the toes of your shoes !!!which were the ” brakes “
Michael Fullerton Remember we built an oracle with a railway sleeper.took it up to the top ov Burns st in prefabs at the industrial a man came wi a wee drink in him got on wi about 5 weans behind him. Went down the hill through a garden fence weans lying every whare nobody was hurt
Peter Kelly Bogey. Can’t remember it being called anything else.
Lorna Wilson Bogey x
John Breen Remember the gemme is a bogie meaning it abandoned
Christine Cassidy It’s a bogey way pram wheels
Margaret Lindner Bogey .never heard the other names .
Cathy Newman Is that the Little n McIlwraith we went to school with?
Lon McIlwraith Might be, when were you at High Blantyre primary?
Cathy Newman No. Dustin Primary then Hamilton Academy. I was Catherine Baird then.
Cathy Newman What is going on with my predictive text today!
Lon McIlwraith What years at HA?
Cathy Newman 1967-73
Rena Connor A bogey!!!! 👍❤️
Anne Grogan Bogey with any wheels we could find. Went down the lane at Cairnswell ave in Halfway when visiting our cousins. Great days.
Stephen Speirs Bogey!!!!! Remember flying down past Auchentibber on one – remember cannibalising roller skates
Stewart Gardiner Definitely called a Bogey
Henry Hambley Auchinraith Terrace prefabs Oracle. When I went to Hamilton I had to start talking about bogeys. Best made out of pram wheels. PS bogeys were something else !!!
Pat Mccormack Could be a bogey or oracle. Maws n Da’s called them oracles so I’m thinking that’s an older name. Used to pull the steeples oot the fencing in Springwell to nail on the wheels.
Marian Maguire Yes I’ve heard that word oracle, But how us a bogey called that? I came from Glasgow and when I married John a Blantyre man, There was lots of words used that I hadn’t heard.
Janet Thornton Bogey. My brothers used to make them. Tyres donated (stolen) from my dolls pram usually. Still remember going down Sydes Brae on one in the years before the expressway. I also remember dad picking up some of those wee boys Lon mentioned and taking them off to hairmyers while we were dispatched to find their families x
Lon McIlwraith When I think of all the mad stuff we got up to in and around High Blantyre, it’s amazing any of us survived! Big huge tree swings claimed a few bones!
Janet Thornton Aye, sure did. Choppers were the worst on the brae. Seem to remove the swing over the gorge at hillhouse being popular with breaking limbs too. We used to pinch a piece of corrugated iron off the garage and about 10 kids piled on to slide down near the bricky from the pylon. Surprisingly no limbs were cut off judging by how many times we tipped off half way down xx
Lon McIlwraith It was George’s chopper bike that claimed my knees in the first verse! Bonfires singed a few hairs too!
Janet Thornton When you look back it was a lot of fun but we sure wouldn’t let our kids do half of it 😂
Janet Thornton Loved the poem by the way x
Isabel Mcneily Played many times on a bogey
Archie Bethel Oracle, I built a few
Betty McLean Great poem and photo
Jimmy Hislop We called it an Oracle and I used to have a three wheeler….not very stable on the bends! Great fun with it at Greenhall.
John Barbour The double of mine…
Kelly Edgar We called it a bogey. My dad used to make them for using silver cross pram wheels


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  1. Our 4-wheel bogey had a steerable front axle with a centre pivot, controlled by the feet. As a 4-year-old with my 8-year old brother in front, steering, we overtook a Tarmac steam -driven lorry on a long steep brae of the Boulevard above Bowling. That was 1934.

    The lorry driver complained to the police.

  2. Memories are made of this

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