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Wartime Evacuation To Auldgirth

A Memory of Auldgirth

My mother and I evacuated from Glasgow to Auldgirth in 1941 to escape the bombing immediately following the Clydebank bombing. We stayed with a wonderful family called Collins who were friends of my father's family. Mr Collins in peacetime was a gardener on the Kennedy Estate called I remember "The Big House" and the Collin's cottage was adjacent. I was only 4 years old but remember it fondly, although we were there only a matter of months. I remember an army unit was stationed on the estate. An army mobile cinema would come and show films to the estate workers. I distinctly remember watching "The Road to Morocco" shown in the Campbell's cottage up the road. I still remember we all helped gather in the hay. My memories of that short period in Auldgirth are the happiest of my entire childhood. Mother and I returned to Glasgow where I started infant school in 1942. In 1974 I had occasion to be attending a professional meeting at the Royal Crichton Hospital, so I took the opportunity to visit Auldgirth with a friend. Before arriving I described the location of the Collin's cottage, the sawmill and the pond in as much detail as I could remember. I was surprised how accurate my memories were...except for one detail. I remember my mother describing the pond as "bottomless" as a way of keeping me away from it for safety reasons, and in my memory it was dark and brooding. In reality it was less than a foot deep! Anyhow overall my recollection was not bad for a 4 year old after 33 years. I now live in retirement in rural Aberdeenshire after spending most of my professional life working in the Far East, but one of these days I would love to visit Auldgirth again.

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