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AAAAh, Those were the days

My mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread butter on bread on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting e. Coli

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake or at the beach instead of a  pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

We  all took PE ….. And risked permanent injury with a pair of Dunlop sandshoes instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors that cost as much as a small car. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

We got the cane for doing something wrong at school, they used to call it discipline yet we all grew up to accept the rules and to honour & respect those older than us. We had 50 kids in our class and we all learned to read and write, do maths and spell almost all the words  needed to write a grammatically correct letter……., FUNNY THAT!!

We all said prayers in school irrespective of our religion, sang the national anthem and no one got upset. Staying in detention after school caught allsorts of negative attention we wish we hadn’t  got. I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can’t  recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo,  X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations. We weren’t!!

Oh yeah …. And where was the antibiotics and sterilisation kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played “King of the Hill” on piles of gravel left on vacant building sites and when we got hurt, mum pulled out the 2/6p bottle of iodine and then we got our backside spanked. Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10 day dose of antibiotics and then mum calls the lawyer to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a  threat.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We never needed to get into group therapy and/or anger management classes. We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac!    How did we ever survive?


Loo Lament

By “Anonymous”

Isn`t a` thing fine and comfy noo?

There`s even carpets in the loo,

Bit sixty `eer ago an mair,

The watteries were sae caul and bare.

Nae fancy coloured toilet roll,

Nae bonny pot – a timmer hole,

Ye`d nae fin ony carpet there,

Some crackit waxcloth on the fleer.


A timmer sheddie sax bi fower,

Leaning like the Eiffel Tower,

An` cracks— far howlin` win` blew in,

The reef a roostie sheet o` tin.


The W.C.— for Water Closet,

Ye spent nae time on your deposit,

For fegs there was nae comfort there,

An caul on bits ye hid tae bare.


Foo Water Closet? That beats me,

For ilka ain wis dry ye see,

The fancy pot a stable pail,

I`ll nae gang in tae mair detail.


Upon the wa` hung up wi threed,

“The Peoples Freen”wis ther tae read,

It had been torn intae squares,

So ye` just sat there — and said your prayers


The seat wis often roch and crackit,

An` files ye`d fin yir hin eyne hackit,

Ye jerkit up yer drawers `n sark,

Five meenits —– ye were back at work.


Bit noo-a-days they sit for ages

Hoastin` an turnin` ower pages,

A cosy place tae sit and smoke,

A saft seat—— easy on the doke.


I dinna wint auld watteries back,

Bit lord be here, the time they tak,

There maun be oors an oors lost noo,

Wi gaein fowk a comfy loo.


Scots – Call My Bluff


Very Well?

Then come to the

Crown Hotel

51, High Street.


on Thursday 17th September  at 7 pm and prove it.

We are having an evening of Scottish Call My Bluff.

Bring some friends, make up a table of four to six people and see who knows most of our obscure old Scots.  There will be lots of tall stories and it’s up to you to get to the truth.

An evening of fact, fiction and fun all for £3 a head with stovies and bannocks included in the price.

Individuals  not  connected  with  a  formal team can link up so no excuse not to come.


For a close up map of the area click on the link

Call my Bluff panel

Call my Bluff panel

Thanks to all who attended – OVER £200 WAS RAISED

Update on the Coffee Morning and Woolfest

Waiting for 10.00 am

Waiting for 10.00 am

Thanks to Santa & the committed volunteer members of the Monifieth Local History Society, the Woolfest / Coffee Morning held in the Monifieth Community Cabin on Saturday, raised £315 for the Monifieth House of Memories.
Although  Santa generally attracts the children it isn’t unknown for those young at heart to want their picture taken with Santa
A photo with Santa

A photo with Santa

Angus Heritage Week

Angus Heritage Week:

Wednesday 10th  September, 2 – 4pm

Monifieth Local History Society Display

Monifieth Community Cabin, South Union Street , Monifieth

This is the place

This is the place

Monifieth Local History Society will have on display a selection of photographs, memorabilia and researched information material relative to Local Heritage.


Checking the Information

Checking the Information

Tea will be served.

Tea and Discussion

Tea and Discussion


Everybody who came  seemed to have an enjoyable afternoon.



You don`t say!

Taking a break

Taking a break

Monifieth Races as Reported in 1936



When Monifieth Had Its Race Meeting —

A Train Journey—Liverpool Contrast

A century ago the people of Dundee flocked down to Monifieth Races in open railway coaches, amid great bustle and excitement

The   quaint   and animated scenes  which   the   races presented are described in homely  Scottish language in a series of letters I have before me, which were written in the year 1839.

They   are   the correspondence between two young Dundee lads, Jeffrey Thomson Inglis who was later for many years a shipbroker in Dundee, and Robert Leighton, who had gone to seek his fortune in Liverpool.   Leighton was better known in later life as a versatile writer of Scottish poetry, such as ” The Moose and the Rat”,  ” The Laddie’s  Lamentation  for the Loss o’ His  Whittle.” etc.

The letters, which took weeks to reach their destination, and were usually sent by hand of messenger, and sometimes by sea, bring us into close touch with the times and with the writers themselves.

On the Train.

Mr Inglis, describing a visit to the Monifieth course, writes:— They were the first thing o’ the kind here, for mony a year.    I gaed doon on  the railway, and, o man, if ye’d soen sic a crowd, it beat a’ thing I ever saw.

” We were packit in the waggons just like sacks o’ flour, only that the sacks lie on  their sides, and we were on end. Well, ye see, we got safely down to the race-ground, where there were sic a lot o’ tents and sweetie stands. The races a’ gaed off well.

The cart horse race was a capital ain, man if ye’d seen them comin in; the cloarty looking chaps wi’ their hair a fleeing ahent them, and their great muckle clumsy horses.   Ane o’ the chaps fell off his horse.

Well when the races were done a’body gaed awa to the railway to get hame, and we had to wait about an hour till the coach cam frae Dundee. There was sich a flee to get a seat ye wad a thought they were gaun to tear the coaches to pieces . Well I got a kind of a seat in an open kind o’ a wagon when lo and behold a hue and cry got up that the coach was gaun to Arbroath. I jumped out when off it sets to Arbroath carrying about half othe Dundee folk awa to Arbroath.

A Liverpool Contrast.

Mr   Leighton   writes   back from Liverpool with a description of a race meeting there, which was probably the forerunner of the Grand National.   “ The ground around the racecourse was covered with tents,” he states. “ There were shows, stands, and gambling establish­ments of every description—the wheel of fortune, dice, thimble-rig, etc.  Ye will, nae doot, ken what thimble-rig is. It’s a terrible thing for whirlin’ the baubees oot o’ fouks’ pockets.

” There were some gentlemen getting ten sovereigns at a time whirled oot o’ their pockets, an’ ithers again were whirlin’ in ten sovereigns, but the whirlers in were a great deal fewer than the whirlers oot.”

He adds that ” there were also cock- fights and men fights going on.”


Mr Inglis is not too satisfied with Dundee.     In Edinburgh,  he says.

there’s sic a lot of fine intelligent chaps that ain can get a crack wi’ after the labours o’ the day are ower. Here there’s no a single chap that’s worth a bawbee.”

England pleases Mr Leighton no better, he goes to Wigan, and describes it as ” a clorty, black, smoky place, full of wild and ragged men like tinklers.”

In another letter Mr Inglis makes a remark of interest to Dundonians. There’s been a grand tea garden estab­lished since you left by Mr Tammio Laminio in Reform Street. I was in it the other nicht gettin’ a cup of coffee.”

These were lively days, too, for Mr Inglis remarks casually that during the celebrations of the Queen’s birthday in Dundee, during which the crowds tried to burn a boat, the provost’s head was cut.  Mr Leighton complains mournfully that they had no such fun in Liverpool.


Both  were versifiers.    Mr Leighton, adopting the ballad metre, writes to his friend:—

A munelicht nicht I  chanced to stray

By Broughty Castle’s crumlin’ wa’;

A lake wi’ calmness was the Tay.

Another moonbeam on her breast did fa’.

Far in the east a form appear’d:

It seemed| a ship far far awa’;

To Broughty Castle straight she steered;

White war her sails, white as the snaw.

She lay wi’ staurn on the thore,

Unanchored motionless lay she;

There streamed a flag a flag that bore

Her awfu’ name, ‘twas Mysterie.


So the ballad goes on.

Mr Inglis seems to have been more of a didactic versifier. While he played his flute after dinner the muse answered his call and inspired him to this:—

When friends o’ our youth through the world are spread.

And forgot the dear moments in childhood they led

Of all their new pleasures  they none e’er will find

Like  the joys of their youth and the days o’ lang syne.


A later letter seems to have inspired Mr Leighton with a  longing  for his native heath.    At any rate, we find the correspondence finishing with a verse from his pen:—


Gie me the braes whar a bairnie I toddled,

Gie me the woods whar I ken lika tree,

Gie me the burnies whar often I puddled.

O lat me hame an’ my he’rt will be free.


The letters are in the possession of Valerie Sharp, Littlehampton.