New houses - no shops ...
... or pubs ... or schools.
In fact, not much of anything.


Hullawrerr patter merchants! Ah'm back!

Wiv goat quite a few 'esses' tae get through so wull probbly spread thim oot ower a week urr two.
Affore that though, ah notice a growin intrest in things 'Eastirhoose'. Noo that's intrestin fae mah point a view cos maist eh us Garngad kids enditt up in Eastirhoose back when it wis still a fermer's field.
So ah thoat ah might take mah leave eh the Garngad furr a while an visit the Eastirhoose eh mah childhood ower the nixt few weeks.



Lik yiv gethirt fae mah previous ramblins, Garngad [the name wis chinged tae Royston tae protect the innocent!] wisnae the maist salubrious area in Glesca. A workin class, industrialised slum wid bae the best an only accurate description ye could gie. Lik aw these things, folk who lived ther tend tae look back at it through rose tinted glesses [some through beer glesses]. Ah suppose ah'm ah bit lik that masell, plus ah hiv the benefit a seein it through a wean's eyes.
Efter the war, WW2 that is, the need furr new hoosin wis apperrint thoughoot eh country, an eh 'powers that be' eh the time came up wae various 'schemes'. In Glesca the main focus wis oan 'the overspill'. This wis a euphemistic wae eh describin getting folk oot the auld flaky tenement slums afore they fell doon [the slums that is, no the folk - well sometimes eh folk as well!]

New tenements wirr built oan the fermland oan the ootskirts eh the city. These 'Housing Schemes' representit the thrust eh the city's grand development plan tae hoose it's minions. An a good plan it wis tae! Modern, mainly two storey tenements, wae inside toilets/bathrooms, individual bedrooms, livin room, kitchen, verandas, electrics, gerdens, claithes bilers [no evrybiddy hid washin machines yit, so each hoose hid a boiler in the 'kitchenette' furr daen yer claithes]. Thir wis fresh err aplenty, kids saw coos (cows) furr the furst time up close. Weans could run furr miles ower fields an play in eh long grass. Us kids loved it! The back coorts wurr clean, nae rats. The middin bins wurr huge - naen eh yer wee midgie bins thit the midgieman kertitt oot oan eez back. These big bins wurr wheeled oot wae big trolleys an hydraulically tipped intae modern midden motirs. We used tae gethir roon oan eh pavement, jubblys in haun, an watch the midgies getting emptied, wae wirr aw fascinatitt bae the big machinery an eh noise. Then wae'd try an get a huggie oan the back whin it moved aff!

The main hoosin schemes wirr; Easterhouse tae the east, Drumchapel (The Drum) tae the west an Castlemilk tae the south. Thir wir ither places that sprun up lik Barlanark (The BarL), Garthamlock, Ruchazie an Faifley but wae considirt these as bein extensions eh the big three. We flittit oot tae Eastirhoose oan 22 July 1958 [I recently found the original rent book for that house/flat at number 4 Easterhouse Path. The rent was #4: 6s:10d a month. #1: 4s: 8d was the actual rent and the rest was the rates.] Ah remember bein in eh back eh the removal lorry, in total darkness, wae mah wee brother an the furniture, the baith eh iz haudin oan furr dear life as the driver tried tae make the journey in eh fastest possible time. Evryhin wis skitin aboot aw ower the place. Oor main joab wis tae safegaurd Joey the budgie. As we goat flung aboot, the perr eh iz kept a haud eh the cage while Joey fluttered aboot in a panic, squawkin and peckin oor fingers.
Wae aw arrived safe. Bruised, pecked, an featherless; but safe.

Wae wurr emptitt oot in paradise!

Eastirhoose Path wis aff the main road (Eastirhoose Rd). We hid a 'low doon hoose' wae a front gerdin an a veranda. Jim an ah hid wurr ain room, nae merr sherrin wae wurr perrints. Nae merr recessed bed. Nae merr ootside toilet. An a bath - wae hid an actual bath! Wae runnin hoat watter!
An up acroass the main road, wurr fields! As faur as the eye could see - the fields of Rogerfield an Lochend. Grass, trees... adventure. While the grown ups wirr busy unloadin the convoys of lorries an getting thir bits n' pieces into thir bright new hames, we kids began tae congregate oot oan the pavement, wide eyed, open moothed, lookin oot at the fields, lookin at wan inither, waitin furr sumbiddy tae tell iz it wis aw a mistake urr sumbiddy's idea eh a joke; getting ready furr the wurd thit it wis time tae go hame, hame tae the slums. But the wurd never came. The adults wurr too busy inside thir hooses noo, arguin aboot whit colour tae decorate the wa's when the plaster dried oot, an whit the biler wiz furr!

Meanwhile we kids stertitt gettin tae know wan inither; names, who's faither did whit, wher we aw came fae, wher wae aw stied.
'Ah'm up aht close ther'.
'Mah faither's a bus driver'
'We've goat a gerdin.'
'How come ah've no goat a gerdin?'
'Cos yer two up yah eejit. Whit's yer name anywae?'
'Jimmy, whit's yours?'
'Maggie. Ah live ower ther'.
'Ah'm up that close as well. Ahm Davie, we've goat a veranda!'
'Ah hink we've aw goat wan eh them.'
'Whit's that ower ther?'
'That's fields.'
'Aye, bit whit's that hing movin aboot?'
'That's a coo!'

An so it went oan, lassies, boays, dugs. Bikes wurr broat oot, them thit hid wan! Admired, envied. Leadership an group roles wirr established. Plans wir laid. Times wurr set for exploration eh this strange new land. While the grown ups shut thir doors an thimsells aff fae each ither, we kids wirr getting ready tae set oot ower thae fields, an doon the road, an through the back coorts. Groups eh iz (safety in numbers) aw wanderin aboot meetin ither groups, comperrin notes, findin oot the names a streets, wher the polis hooses wurr, watchin eh dumper trucks skite aboot. The whole place reeked a tar fae streets an paths that wirr bein surfaced, an the smell a putty fae the hooses thit wirnae finished yit an still hid thir windaes bein pit in [as opposed tae hivin thim 'pit in' if ye know whit ah mean!] Hooses wurr bein built evrywher! Bricks an nails wirr strewn everywher. Pretty soon planks a wid (wood), an boaxes wir bein half inched (pinched) tae build guidies (carties).
Bae thae end eh that furst day nearly evry kid no only knew thir wae aroon, but could report back tae thir perrints oan who else lived in the street, whit the faimlies worked it, an evry buildin, field an construction site within a mile radius (and beyond in maist cases). The kids knew wher tae get stuff and wirr soon getting orders furr nails, bricks, putty, planks, cement, plaster, wheelbarras, tools, an aw the DIY things faithers wirr lookin furr. Construction foremen an police wurr frequently seen in the days, weeks and months that foalied, prowling through the streets, paths an gerdins lookin furr 'loast' equipment an materials.

Then sumhin dawned! It probbly happened aboot the same time in evry hoosehold that furst night. Efter faither hid submitted eez DIY wish list tae us kids furr the nixt day's scavange, the mammy wid say;
'Never mine that eh noo, we need breid, mulk, and totties (potatoes) an a load eh ither things affore yeez dae anythin. Wher's the shoaps?'
Stunned silence.
'Didnae find any,' we kids wid reply.
'Whit dae ye mean? Ther must bae shoaps!'
An wae wid patiently explain tae oor folks that ther wisnae a shoap within miles eh iz. No only that, ther wis NUTHIN within miles eh us. Jist hoff built hooses, an streets, an...fields! Suddenly, that coo's potential life span drapped significantly!
'Och! We'll soart it oot in eh moarnin.' The faithers wid say, takin control eh the situation. 'It's bin a long day, ah'm aff furr a pint, whers the pub?'
'Yer no listnin Da! Ther's nae pubs either!'
As faithers teetered oan the brink eh apoplexy at this devastatin news, we also realised thir wis nae doactirs, clinics, hoaspital urr amblance station!
As the reality eh this sank in, roon aboot the same time that night, wae aw the maws n' paws in the street, we kids smiled big smiles, cos we knew sumhin else... sumhin even merr importint... sumhin wonderful!

Thir wurnae any schools either!

Merr aboot Eastirhoose in a wee while.


The Patter : Some Ss

contraction of the first part of certain words that begin with 'S'
s'ppose for 'suppose'. Comes out 'spose'.

sandwiches, pieces
"Dae ye want wan eh mah sangwijies?" "Do you want one of my sandwiches?"
"Whit hiv ye goat oan em?" "What have you got on them?"
"Choaclitt, tuna n'marmite." "Chocolate, tuna and Marmite."
"Whit, aw oan eh wan piece?" "What! All on the one sandwich?"
"Aye!" "Yes!"
"Naw thanks, ah hink ah'll gie it a bye!" "No thanks. I'll give them a miss!"

In eh days afore trainers, sandshoes ruled. Canvas sports shoes thit seem tae bae makin a come back!

housing scheme

"When urr ye gonnae get oot yir scratchir ya big lazy sod? "When are you going to get out of your bed, you lazy person?"

screw eh boabin
to get control or a grip on the situation
Must originate fae the auld weavers urr sumhin.
"Heh! Wull ye calm doon! Ah know thers nae shoaps but jist screw eh boabin wull ye!" "Hey, Will you just calm down. I know that the are no shops in the area, so stop panicking!"
"Eh'll pass eez drivin test this time, if eh jist screws eh boabin." "He could pass his driving test this time, if he can just keep calm."

type of beer bottle
"Eh hit im ower eh heid wae a screwtap!" "He hit him over the head with a beer bottle."

naked or slap
"Oor wee Jimmy wis actin up. Throwin a right tantrum eh wis." "My child, James, was acting in an irresponsible manner."
"Whit ye dae?" "What did you do?"
"Aw a wee bit a parental guidance wis called furr - a scudded im acroass eh lug!" "A little parental guidance was called for. I smacked him across the ear!"
"Ah didnae realise Auntie Flo wis in eh bathroom. Ah jist barged right in an err she wis, jist staunin ther - in eh berr scud!" "I did not realise that Aunt Florence was in the bathroom. I walked in, and there she was, standing there. Entirely naked!"
"Whit ye dae?" "What did you do?"
"Ah asked err furr the toothpaste!" "I asked her to pass me the toothpaste."

focus on someone or something
It's best to describe this in the context of it's use ...
"See you Jimmy, if ye don't get oot mah face, ah'll swing furr ye!" "Pay attention, sir! If you do not leave my presence immediately, I shall be tempted to terminate you with extreme prejudice!"
"See these shoes, thir killin meh!" "These particular shoes are causing me great pain!"
"See me? Ah'm sick n' tired a hivin tae soart things oot so ah'm urr!" "Speaking for myself - I am fed up with having to sort things out!"
give me
"Gonnae see's a quid tae Friday?" "Could you please lend me £1 until Friday."

contraction of self or myself, as in ...

Scene: In the bar of the Dalriada Public House circa 1974.
"Wher'd ye get aht scabby dug?" "Where did you get that pathetic dog?"
"A guy in eh pub selt meh it. It's a Pharoah Huntin Dug." "A man in the pub sold it to me. It's a Pharoah Hunting Dog."
"Izza whippet!" "It's a whippet!"
"Naw it's no, it's a rerr breed. An Egyptian Pharoah Huntin Dug!" "No! It isn't. It's a rare breed. It's an Egyptian Pharoah Hunting Dog!
"Hey guys come an hiv a look aht iss." "Hey, guys! Come and have a look at this"
A crowd gethers roon, bleery eyed, unsteady oan eh pins, pints in haun.
"Whit kinna dug wid ye say aht wis?" "What type of dog would you say it was?"
In unison ...
"A whippet! Pretty scabby wan ett aht!" "A whippet. A rather woebegone looking dog, at that!"

The above conversation took place, word for word (bad language ommitted), in the Dalriada Pub (now gone) in Glasgow's Carntyne in the mid 70s. I was in stitches watching this old guy try and convince everybody in the pub that his scabby mongrel whippet was an exotic Pharoah Hunting Dog. It was made funnier by the fact that he himself was convinced he had invested in a rare breed! Funny how some things just stay with you forever.

hair parting
"Kin ah borry yir comb? A need tae straightin mah shed." "May I borrow your comb? I need to tidy my hair parting"

Dunno if ye kin still get this. It wis a sweetie in the form eh a white powder. It came in a wee poke an ye dipped a wet candy stick, lolly or finger in it, then licked it. It hid a very bitter taste as ah recall.
[Honest! Ah know whit yir hinkin! But it WIZ a sweetie!]

or a 'Bob' or 'Boab' A pre-decimalisation coin
Furr them thit cannae remember auld uk money eerz the idiot's guide ...
Twinty (20) shillins (or shullins) made up a pound (a quid). A shillin wis writtin as 1/- . Thir wurr twelve auld pennies in a shillin. Five shillins and six pennies wid be expressed as five n' six or five n'sixims or 5/6 or 5/6d. If a halfpenny wis addit it wid be five n' sixims haepny or 5/61/2d. If ye added five pounds (a fiver) oan tae this it wid become five pounds five n' sixims haepny or #5: 5: 6 1/2d. Ten shillins wis hoff a quid an wis available as a pink 'ten boab note.' 2/- plus sixims gave ye Hoff a Croon (Half Crown). Thir wis a Hoff Croon coin furr that. Three pennies wir known as thruppince an a thruppny bit (coin) wis worth that amount. A sixpinny bit (coin) wis worth 6d. Two pennys wurr caud tuppince but thir wisnae a coin furr that. The two shillin coin, also known as a 'Florin' wis worth, well, two shillins or 24 pennies. Farthins wir oot a circulation bae the time ah wis buyin sherbit but they wurr a quarter eh a penny.
Wance decimilisation kim in, things goat complicatit.

telling off
"The teacher gied iz a right shirrackin furr no bein able tae coont money." "The teacher gave me a right telling off because of my inability to count money."

lift someone up on to your shoulders
Perrints dae this wae kids at crowded football matches. Whin thir's a goal thae usually drap em!

Shoo, Shug, Shuggy.
If yer nem's Hugh yer likely tae hiv wan eh these as a nicknem.

shoot eh craw
leave a location in haste
"Bae the time the polis arrived eh'd shot eh craw." "By the time the police arrived, he had made his escape."

funfair, fairground
The 'Shows' used tae come tae Glesca every summer (still dae ah hink). Glesca Green an eh Kelvin Hall wurr the main venues. [One of the big ones was the 'Cadona' Shows. The Cadonas were a large family of showpeople. They set down roots in Glasgow and I can remember, during my ambulance days, once taking 'Granny' Cadona into hospital from her home in, I think it was, Shettleston. Someone in a recent DG post was researching the Cadona family.

on the sick, off work ill
Oan eh sick. Wuv dun this yin afore. Means bein oaf work due tae illness (urr otherwise).

expression of injustice
Common usage when expressing an injustice urr misfortune.
"Hiv ye no goat wurd eh that joab yit, that's a sin." "Have you not had a reply back from that job application? That is just terrible!"
"Aht's a sin so it is. Aht wee filla's been staunin ther aw day waitin furr aht pub tae open an naebiddy's telt im thit it's loast it's licence." "It is grossly unfair. That fellow has been standing there all day, waiting for the pub to open. Alas, no-one has informed him that the pub has lost its licence."

Singil En (Single End). One room tenement flat. Singil. A non married person. Singil Fish. Fried fish in batter. As opposed to a Fish 'Supper' which is fried fish plus chips.
Incidently, a REAL Glesca/Scottish fish supper is made wae Haddock. Naen eh yir cod. An oan a personal note: If ye want eh best fish supper EVIR ye need tae get yersel ower tae Arran!

"Ah smiled tae im, bit eh drew meh a right sinker" "I smiled to him, but he scowled back at me."

a small splinter under the skin
Remember the needle n' iodine treatmint?

skelly eyed
"Ah wis lookin oot furr eh grocer's van, eh usually stoaps up there tae the left. Bit ah wis alsae keepin an eye open furr the butcher's van, an he stops wae doon ther tae the right. Ah enditt up skelly eyed watchin furr eh perra em!" "I was looking out for the grocer's van which usually stops up there on the left. I was also looking out for the butcher's van which usually stops up there but on the right. I ended up cross-eyed looking out for the pair of them!"

hit or slither, skate
When sumhin strikes sumhin else, urr moves aboot violently, urr slithers across sumhin, it's said tae hiv skited or skitit
"Ah gave im a skite acroass eh lug!" "I gave him a smack across his ear!"
"The budgie escaped fae eez cage an wis skitin aboot aw ower eh place!" "The budgie escaped from his cage and was flying all around the room."
"The auld dear slipped oan urr backside an skitit acroass the ice." "My mother slipped, fell on her behind, then slid about on the ice."
"Gonnae skite the salt acroass eh table tae meh!" "Will you please pass me the salt across the table."

skoosh case
very easy
"Dae ye hink ye'll catch any fish eh day Shuggy?" "Do you think you might catch a fish today, Hugh?"
"Certainly. It's gonnae be a skoosh case. Haun meh that stick a dynamite!" "Certainly. It will be very easy. Please pass me that stick of dynamite!"

Okay, aht's it. Time furr me tae shoot eh craw. Aff tae school nixt week. First posted on SPDG 23 May 2004 First posted on SPDG 16 May 2004

Hullo agin, ther! Wurr stull in Eastirhoose.


The Van Men

Ah remember the summer a '58 as bein fantastic! Eastirhoose an it's surroonin countryside wis heaven oan earth. Wae ran acroass thae fields lik rellies eh the von Trapps. We played sojers, kick eh can, hide n' seek, cowboays n' indians, five stanes, jorries an fitba tae well efter dark an oor perrints hid tae come oot huntin furr iz, threatnin tae keep iz indoors furr a week if wae didnae come hame when wae wurr sposed tae. [that must be the greatest of all parental idle threats!]

But the planners hid 'screwed the pooch'. Plenty eh hooses an fresh err but nae amenities whitsoevir! Ye kin imagine the conversation in the City Chambers;

'Shoaps? Ah thoat you wir daen aht bit!'
'No me, ah wis daen the drawins furr the verandas!'
'Well who goat the shoaps then?'
'Ah hink that wis Jimmy doon oan the furst flerr. Ah remember him talkin aboot shoaps early oan.'
'Well wherr's Jimmy noo?'
'Eh left!'
'Who took ower fae im?'
'An whit aboot schools? Who's joab wis it tae organise schools?'
'Eh... ah hink wae gave aht tae Jimmy as well!
'Wis anybiddy daen anyhin uther thin hooses?'
'Aye me!'
'Great. Whit did you dae?'
'The big middens!'

Whitever the reason, eh damage wis done. Enter the vans!

Travellin intae Glesca city tae the shoaps wis expensive an time consumin so, in the early years, mobile vans reigned supreme. Thir wis a van furr evryhin - The Grocer's Van; The Fish n'Chip Van; The Veg Van; The Butcher's Van; The Baker's Van; The Fish Van; The Paraffin Van (this van wis really a hardware van that sold tools, household and DIY goods); The Newspaper Van; The Ginger Vans (lemonade) and Ice Cream Vans (merr aboot them later). Thir wis even a barber thit travelled oot fae the auld Garngad tae cut oor herr (hair).

Thae came in aw shapes, sizes an colours. Thir wurr wee vans, big vans, vans wae steps thit ye climbed up tae get intae a bit wae a coonter. Oan rainy days ye'd wait furr ages in eh queue oan eh pavement an it wis great whin ye finally goat inside. Evrybiddy wid be crammed in oot the wind an rain, wet an drippin, tryin tae make conversation an haudin oan tae weans, message bags, brolleys, purses an soggy message lists (ye derny furrget anyhin!) Wance ye goat served ye hid tae battle yer wae oot again. At least eh big vans hid shelter. Ther wis even convertitt buses peddlin thir werrs (goods).

The vans hid set routes an times. Evrybiddy set thir cloaks bae them. Tae 'miss' a van could mean waitin tae the foalyin week afore it came roon again. People wid queue up oan eh pavement waitin furr a particular van at a particular time. As the scheme goat bigger eh vans goat merr spread oot an sometimes ye'd hiv tae walk a ferr distance tae it's stoapin point. Again, the weans wirr pressed intae service furr this. Wae knew wherr aw the vans wurr an at whit times. Wae goat tae know the drivers an 'arrangements' wurr made. The wan ah hated the maist wis the Veg Van. It used tae park aboot hoff a mile fae oor hoose. When yer wee that's a long wae tae kerry a 'stane (stone)' ah totties an mixed veg, especially in bad weather. Aw the vans hid thir distinct soond (sound) - different tones, whistles, hoarns innat. Some, specially the ice cream vans, played annoyin wee repetitive electroanic tunes like 'Greensleeves'. Yid bae sittin of an evenin watchin Sgt Bilko urr Rawhide oan eh black n' white, an ye'd hear the soond eh a whistle, hoarn urr some tacky tune. That wis yer cue tae get up aff yir seat, an run oot tae the van afore the queue goat too big urr the van moved aff. Life revolved roon the vans. Woe betide ye if yir mammy left money furr a particular van wae intructions oan whit tae buy - an ye missed it! Ye'd fine yersell walkin miles tae track it doon an reperr (repair) the damage.

Eventually, some shoaps did stert tae appear. Wee shoaps. No yir big superstores thit we take furr grantit noo. At that time the wurd 'Supermarket' wis sumhin thit only existit in America. [The furst supermerkit in Glesca wis the 'Grandfare' in Coocaddens (Cowcaddens). Ah remember regular trips oan eh bus intae Glesca oan a Setterday tae the Grandfare tae dae a 'big shoapin'.] The shoaps servin oor area appeared, aw in a row, in Duntarvie Road. Left tae right wurr; Galbraiths (grocer), Munro (Butcher), Stewarts (newsagent), a wee hardware shoap ah cannae mine eh name ah, an the ubiquitous [ah hid tae spellcheck aht cos it's no a Glesca wurd! Jist iz well ah did cos ah goat it wrang!] Co-op. The openin eh the shoaps didnae stoap the van's dominance owernight bit it signalled the beginnin eh the end furr thim.

Ice cream vans survived though. The main source eh sweeties, ginger and fags, thae wurr alsae the source eh fierce competition an in-fightin (literally). The big ice cream van concerns wurr keen tae run oot the competition. Whinever a new van arrived oan eh scene, eh big boays wid converge oan it wae aw thae'r vans, lik indians attackin a stagecoach. Yid see this convoy eh ice cream vans drivin alang the street aw the same company an livery except furr the wan sangwijed in eh middle; the 'incomer'. Thae'd aw bae watchin each ither lik hawks, slowin doon, speedin up. It wis lik that scene fae 'It's a Mad, Mad World'. When the incomer stoaped tae try an sell sumhin, they aw stoaped, surroondit it, aw playing thir daft tunes aht wance tae droon oot the wee van's tune urr whistle, an daein evryhin they could tae attract business away fae im. If eh tried tae make a run furr it oan eez ain the ither vans chased im and hoondit im doon. It's no the furst time the ice cream vans aw shot aff in hoat pursuit, leavin queues a people oan the pavement an some poor sowel wae ice cream aw ower thir heid as the 'pokey hat' goat chucked oot the servin hatch as the van shoat aff. The wee independants wid soon gie up. The big boays alwaes won.

It became known as the 'Ice Cream Wars' - an if it sounds silly and childish, it wis tae get really nasty in eh years tae come as rivallries reached bilin point.

But the summer of '58 held so much promise furr us Eastirhoose kids. As the end eh the season loomed, wae stull nae schools in sight, it looked as though wae wirr mintitt. Wae wurr lookin furrit tae a winter a fun an games an nae hamework. But, unknown tae us, the 'powers that be' wurr hatching a fiendish plan. We couldnae escape bein educatit. As we sat an watched 'Wagon Train' oan eh telly, wae never guessed thit wurr very ain equivalent wis bein pit igither.


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Original postings on Scotlands People Discussion Group © 2003, 2004 Bob Wilson
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