Childhood Memories of Blantyre

 

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Childhood Memories of Blantyre

When memory took me the other day,
to ‘Dixon’s Raws’ I made my way,
place of my birth and childhood too,
of folk and streets that I once knew.

Little we had of worldly wealth,
two Wally Dugs upon a shelf,
the Sett-in-beds in which we slept,
with space below, where coal was kept.

The Fender we all gathered roon,
tae sup our porridge wae a spoon,
before we left to go to schools,
oor Mither’s made sure we knew the rules.

The games we played all through the Summer,
seemed to last for ever and ever,
the names of them, run through my brain,
let’s see, if I can remember them…..

Hunch-Cuddy-Hunch, Bools and Jorries,
stolen lifts on backs of Lorries,
Hide and Seek, Beds and Ropes,
Guesses at the sweetie shoaps.

The many miles we walked and ran,
played Nurky-Nurkey and Kick-the-Can,
Run-Sheep-Run and Free the Den,
then started to play them, over again.

‘Fair Monday’ came and away we ran,
to Portobello with the ‘Sally Ann’,
the whole of Blantir on the train,
with hardly a ticket tae their name!

Doon the Clyde and Up the Cawther,
we seemed to manage, with nae much bother,
Picnics at the Spittal Burn,
then hame as fast as we could run,

Saturday Pennies carefully spent,
to the Dookit Picture Hoose’ we went,
when it spilled out, the kids all shrieked,
a hundred cowboys ran up Logan Street.

Slappin their bums, howling and hooting,
at all the Bad Wans they were shooting,
the Indians too were shot as well,
before the posse reached, Springwell.

The ‘Co-op Gala’ was the annual event,
and to it, all of Blantir went,
with Tinnies on Ribbons, tickets in hand,
we followed the Floats and Silver Band,

To Boat Joak’s orchard, the boys would flee,
steal pears and apples from the tree,
then up the road to meet the rest,
stolen fruit still tastes the best……

When darkness comes, it brings the night,
and from the Raw a Woman shouts,
”Come in wee weans o’ Blantir Toon,
come in, come in, tae coorie doon,

Tae sleep, until anither day,
when wance again, ye go oot tae play,
the fun an’ games, that weans dae,
upon the streets of Blantir”.

I stood there as if mesmerised,
as deep inside I realised,
The woman we loved and called Oor Maw,
she was the woman from the Raw…

Written by James Cornfield
December 2002

On social media:

Rose Sporndli This poem has really captured a Blantyre childhood. I often wonder if the childhood of the weans of Blantyre and surrounds back in the 50’s and 60’s was in anyway more special than say children of other parts of Scotland. Not all of it was great, as, as s a family, we had our problems but the games, the friends, the street play was magical and I have wonderful memories. .😀
John Cornfield Love this another of the auld mans miss u dad x
Paul Elliott That’s a cracking poem.
I remember your dad visiting my granda Sam Brown at Glenlee st. often.
Heroes.
Marion Anderson I agree Rose, we had some good times as kids in Springwell, and we were inclusive, everyone was welcome to join in.
Caroline Fox Great peom from a lovely man
Helen Lawson Taylor Played this game with my Grandaughter and great Niece just the other day and they enjoyed playing it .

4 responses to “Welcome to the Blantyre Project

  1. Wilma and her parents lived next door to my sister Alice. Perfect neighbours and a lovely family. I remember Wilma from Calder Street school.
    Chatted with her parents a few times over the fence on some of my trips. 1982 when I was back for the Junior Cup final, which of course, the ‘VICS won! A bit more than a chat, more like a blether!

  2. I am in touch with Hughina now and again via e mail, I met up with Hughina a few years ago for lunch at the Avonbridge in Hamilton during one of my trips. A lovely lady.
    She has 2 sons who share my passion in football.

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