Memories Of Growing Up In Dumfries

A Memory of Dumfries

I was born in Cresswell maternity hospital at Dumfries on May 13th 1959, my name was Ann Little. My mum came from Clerkhill, one side of the Nith and my dad came from the other, Sandside. They both met in their teens one night at the Loreburn Hall dance, and from there on they got married and had four children, I am the second child and their first daughter. We were brought up and lived in Lincluden all our lives and my mum and dad still live there to this day, as do I with my husband Charles.
We all went to St Teresa's primary school in Lochside, and I can remember having to walk there and back in all sorts of weather, nobody had cars in thoses days. School days were really good as you got a two course hot meal a day, also a bottle of milk every morning before you started your lessons, if you were lucky you got two bottles of milk.
Growing up and living in Lincluden was great, we had local shops where you bought your veg, bread, meat, milk, everyone was so friendly, we had a fish and chip shop run by an Italian family, Pepi and Manola, also next door was Mrs Hutchinson who had everything from cheese to cut meat and potatoes, our baker's shop was run by Mrs Mclean,we also had a bobby and Charlie the butchers, and Mr Pool the newsagents, also a post office.
I can remember Mum had a book that she kept and when we went to the baker's shop we would give it to Mrs Mclean and she would write down what Mum had bought and Mum paid her on a Friday when Dad got his pay. When I was smaller I thought this was great, Mum didn't have to pay for anything. Everybody did the same as money was really tight.
When we played we'd play on the streets drawing beddes, this is where you draw square boxes for 1-8, throw a stone on a number and jump into the right square without falling over. We had a locally-run boating pond with paddle boats, tennis courts and a putting green, also a paddling pool, up by the big house, next to Pope Eyes Castle. This was, and still is there to this day, a big estate with stables but the council now have taken it over for various council work, gardening, machinery etc. Mum would also take us there every day during the school summer holidays, and we would play in the paddling pool, and have our jam sandwiches and a packet of cheese and onion crisps, this was a treat,w e called this our picnic and we enjoyed every minute of it. Now all the things are gone, even the big house which ran a weekly youth club for all ages, we paid a sixpence to get in and played table tennis, darts, listened to music and met our friends. Ma Connell ran it and she knew everyone's mum and dad and if you did something wrong she suspended you for one week and told your parents too, those were the good old days.
I am 50 now, married with two married children of my own and have six grandchildren, they just love to hear the old storys of the past. I remember my dad was a great storyteller and when he told us about his old days we could have sat all the time just listening, just like my own grandchildren now, how life itself goes on but we can still relive through our memories our past. The only thing no one can take from you are your own memories.

A memory shared by Ann Milligan , on Nov 6th, 2009.

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