Boyhood In Broomieknowe Lasswade - a Memory of Lasswade.

In 1953 my family moved from Edinburgh to live in Broomieknowe, Lasswade. I liked the large garden we had on this quiet street with pigeons cooing in the big Chestnut trees in the neighbours garden, and a big barn owl which nested in an old sycamore next door. My brothers and I like to excplore in the Esk Valley, walking along the old railway, or taking the path through the glen to Roslin and coming back on farm tracks and side roads. In winter we had a great sledge run from the Polton road down a steep bank, right turn between a stump and a log, left over another bank and stop before cowping into the smelly river Esk (The Esk was polluted by all the paper mills back then). I also remember going to watch men working at the coke furnaces beside the "gasometer". My brothers and I went to school in Edinburgh, so we had to run down the Wee Brae to catch the bus, and then of course we had to walk back up it when we came home. Sometimes the local lads would mock us as we came off the bus in our "public school" uniform. Their taunting cry of "There go the college boys!" sounds pretty mild today, but it used to irk me. I didn't want to be seen as any different from them despite my ?privileged education. I had friends who went to Lasswade school and also went on to succesful careers.

After a game of rugby it would already be dark by the time we got back to Lasswade, and (in the "Teddy boy" era) I used to carry my bag heavy with books and rugby kit ready to swing at any potential attacker who might be lurking in the shadows on the Wee Brae. I recently went back to look at our old house (Dunelm) and was surprised to see little changed. The two old pear trees (reputed to be the oldest bearing pear trees in the area when I was a boy) were not surprisingly missing, but the tiled yard in which they grew looked no different than back in the 50s and 60s.

A memory shared by John Wilson on Jan 22nd, 2008.
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