From The Door Of Cairnsmore To Clachie Burn - a Memory of Creetown.
I have picked 1953 because I was ten then. My father, Willie, was a Hughes and my mother, Ekbery, was a Farrell. There were loads of us in the Ferry. I lived in 9 St John St then we moved the 5 Louden Place when it was built. My father was a shot firer at the quarry until he got blown up and was lucky to survive, after that my mother made him look for another job and he got a post with the Customs and Excise as part of their thin blue line, but everybody called him the Coastguard.
What great times we had as boys, dookin in the Black Pool (freezing), wandering about up the Whinny Face, the Big Wood past the Forts where we used to have battles using bracken spears, to the Larg and on to the old graveyard, then down the Shell Walk and back up past the End of the Hedges. Or on more adventurous expeditions up the Chain Road past the Champion Mines to the Teapot across Kilcronchie past the Murder Hole and through the Door of Cairnsmore to see the wreck of the wartime plane which crashed up there, and all this on a piece and jam.
Schooldays were a bit of a mix when I look back. We had Minnie Wilson for four years from P4 to P7. I did like Minnie but she could fairly lay on the belt and she probably had to, to try to get her message home. We had some fun but did some things that we would not like to admit to now, like making Jimmy Blake the Bellmans life a misery and playing chickie mellie on old Mrs Goldies window at nights. But we played marbles in the sand (there was no tarmac) under the single light that illuminated Louden Place. Derek Brown was the best marbler as I remember. I have some photos of our class at Creetown School with Mt McQuistan and Minnie Wilson and her "pupils". Looking like a bunch of urchins from Oliver Twist there was me (Howie Hughes), Ray Stevenson, Sammy Jarvis, Jim Topping, Clifford Longridge who was always called Clifford Burke and Drew Adair. Then there was George Wilson (Soap), John Murray (Korky), Jim Boyle (Blah), George Palmer, David McDowall, Robert Stewart and the lassies Margaret McGuffie, Millie Johnstone, Sarah O`Harah, Freda McCallum and Elinor Sisi and many others whose names escape me and for that I apologise. They were a great bunch and it was a joy to be part of that group and share so much with them. Sadly quite a few are no longer with us and one of the days I still remember as if it were yesterday but would wish for it never to have happened was the day when my pals, Drew Adair and Alex Mair, were drowned in Clachie Burn. Creetown was a great place to be brought up in and It is a shame that we never managed to have a reunion or get together where we could share more memories from the past. HH
A memory shared byon Feb 7th, 2013.
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