Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sounds of the " Gibshill Trio "

 
 



Gibshill Trio Sounds


(MEET ME IN MY DREAMS TO-NIGHT)

VERSE
UNDER THE MOON I AM WAITING,
DOWN LOVER'S LANE WHERE I STRAY.
PLEASE COME ALONG,
SING LOVE'S SWEET SONG.
SWEETHEART, THO' YOU'RE FAR AWAY.

CHORUS
MEET ME IN MY DREAMS TO-NIGHT, DEAR,
LET ME SEE YOUR SUNNY SMILE.
MEET ME IN MY DREAMS, TO-NIGHT DEAR.
LINGER IN MY ARMS A WHILE.
YOU HAVE BEEN MY INSPIRATION.
LOVE HAS BEEN MY GUIDING LIGHT.
WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES,
MY HEART ALWAYS CRIES.
MEET ME IN MY DREAMS TO-NIGHT.

2ND VERSE
FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING AGAIN DEAR,
BLUEBIRDS ARE MATING ONCE MORE.
SPRINGTIME IS HERE,
LOVE TIME IS NEAR.
YOU ARE THE ONE I ADORE.

REPEAT CHORUS

Wingy O'Neil, Joe Robbie, and one of the Gilmour lads.
4 Irwin St, Gibshill, Greenock. Ground floor, Corr's to one side Burkes the other, Millars and Gilmours in the middle, the Gibshill Trio always rehearsed on the ground floor stair well, we ( the kids ) sat 3 to 4 to a step all the way up to the first landing.....we have no TV, and the radio worked off an accumulator, so playing time was limited

We all grew up with music, Gibshill was well known for parties, we, ' the Sinclair's' were lucky, we had Jimmy Neill, who played accordion & piano, we all took it in turns round the room to sing, you didn't have to be good, just join in, " Wan Singer, Wan Song " the cry would come up if you talked or try to join in when someone was singing

I CAN'T SING as you will hear from the video, but I just wanted you to hear the sounds we loved and grew up with

lived in London for over 25 years and carried on the Sinclair style...Parties & more Parties, I sang this song, nobody heard it before, but I've never forgot it....." PLEASE DON'T LET THIS SONG DIE ", I would love to hear a singer record this, and let me hear it before I pass on to the Happy Hunting Ground.



Friday, December 6, 2013

The alert Siren & all clear


 
 
We had coastal flood warnings today on the Norfolk Coast, and the sirens were blaring away, I closed my eyes and I was back in Gibshill in the 1940's, and it got me thinking,I shut my eyes and there are sounds or noises or sights, come flooding back, taking me back to my youth in 20 Poplar St. Gibshill, Greenock, through the magic of T.V, Computers, Films these sounds are still about. this is 7 sights and sounds, that played a major part of my youth.
1. The sirens
2. Train Whistle
3. Drone of Lancaster
4. Sea-Plane
5. Steam train Labouring
6. Barrage Balloons.
7. Accordion

The Drone of the Bombers

 
 
I loved this sound, it made my blood tingle, I used to stand rooted to the spot when a Giant troop sea-plane took off, or landed at the " Tail o' the Bank " this sound I will never forget, I watched a film the other night, a war film, which included scenes of sea-planes, landing & taking off, my memory was back in Gibshill, Greenock so much, couldn't follow the film one bit, but standing on Poplar St. watching this take off or landing, I feel so lucky to have seen this for myself

Sea Planes

 
I loved this sound, it made my blood tingle, I used to stand rooted to the spot when a Giant troop sea-plane took off, or landed at the " Tail o' the Bank " this sound I will never forget, I watched a film the other night, a war film, which included scenes of sea-planes, landing & taking off, my memory was back in Gibshill, Greenock so much, couldn't follow the film one bit, but standing on Poplar St. watching this take off or landing, I feel so lucky to have seen this for myself

Steam Train at Poplar St.

 
 
I live in a little village on the North Norfolk Coast, and we are so lucky to have a Steam Train service, now the age of steam was a huge part of my life in Gibshill, Greenock, I can stand on the foot bridge of our local station, and close my eyes, listening to our old engine pulling 6/7 carriages of holiday makers up from Sheringham, and immediately I'm back up Gibshill, Greenock, " The Yanks are Coming " alerting everyone, to get ready for the Dimes, Dollars, Life-savors, and wriggles chewing gum, I've explained the task further down my blog


But sadly, when our old engine blows the whistle, I think of the people who were killed behind Poplar St. the Express, as it was coming downhill, used to blow the whistle, one long blow from the 9 Arches, and kept blowing it, all the way round the sharp bend to Poplar St....Now if the express came at the same time as a troop train was chugging up the line, people were so engrossed on catching favor's thrown out by the troops, never heard the whistle......Once again a local sound today, takes me back to 1940's

Barrage Balloons


 
 
Cindy & I were driving along to A17 on Sunday morning and there was a Air-Balloon Race, I was so taken back, I pulled into a lay by and explained to Cindy that in the 1940's the whole of the " Tail O' the Bank " were dozens & dozens of Barrage balloons, anchored with a thick metal rope and all at different heights, the troop sips anchored at the " Tail O' the Bank " were targets, all these Barrage Balloons hampered the bombing aircraft, they couldn't fly under, because of the ropes, I used to stand or look out my window of 20 Poplar St. Gibshill, Greenock. and wonder at these Balloons, they looked so big, what a sight, never to be seen again, one air-balloon race on a Sunday morning 2012 could take me back so clearly to 1940's

Jimmy Neill ....Thanks for adding life to the Sinclair Household


My father & the lass gillan from 2 Irwin st.
 
 
I would like to thank Jimmy Neill, my sister Jessie's husband, both sadly departed now, but Jimmy was a master at the accordion & piano, and brought the Sinclair parties every weekend my fun and laughter, I will never forget dancing, singing, everyone had to sing, Yes !! even me, my song was Al Martino " Here in my heart ", when I see or hear an accordion playing now, I close my eyes and I'm back home, " Isn't your wee Billy got a strong voice Ann " " Aye " my mother would say .....Thank you Jimmy, for bringing the Sinclair household to life.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One man, One job

I watched Greenock Shipyards slowly die. In my opinion

I hated the union rule " One man, one Job "

The quote " One man, one job " haunts the life out of me, when I started my apprenticeship as a Plumber at Mitchell's, corner West Stewart St. & Nicholson St in 1952, I wasn't asked, I was told I had to be in the union, now Mitchell's were very proud of their apprentices and you were given a trade on conditions, you had to go to night school twice a week, and a day at James Watt Collage, Mitchell's wanted their plumbers to be the best in Greenock
I
 was trained in every thing, from hard metals and soft metals, lead burning, welding, brazing, in fact every aspect in plumbing, right through to our City & Guilds exams.
When I worked on the Shipyards as a plumber, . if I wanted to bring my hot & Cold water pipes through a bulk-head ( Wall ) 1st. I had to find a " Marker ", he would chalk the section of bulkhead and using a compass, draw a 2 inch or 3 inch circle or what ever was needed, 2nd we would have a " Centre Dabber ", who would come and mark round the circle, 3rd we had to get Oxy- acetylene cutter, to cut the hole in the bulk-head, after these three workers had finished, I could put my pipes through, then I would have to go and find a " Tacker " an electric welder who tacked the pipes to the bulkhead before I was allowed to move on

Now !! I was qualified to do all of these actions needed to get the Hot & Cold water pipes through to the next cabin, BUT !!! the " One man, One Job " was quoted, I could have done the job in ..say 30 Minutes...where as, depending where on the ship these different men were, this action could take me 3/5 days, sometimes even longer.

You don't have to be a mathematician, to count up the cost of putting pipes through, I only used this as an example, but this " One man, One job " affected every trade on the ship-building, you weren't even allowed to clear up a cabin floor to start work, we had to find a " Sweeper Upper ", who was generally a almost retired worker

I can say I had the pleasure of working on the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, when they both docked at the " Tail O' the bank ", and the Royal Yacht Britannia at Clydebank, but due to the " One man, One job ", the cost of Ship building on the Clyde, was so high, other countries could build the ships at a third of the cost

When I came out of the army in the 50's I returned to Mitchell's the plumbers, 2 days back I was approached by the union Rep. I packed up my tool box and walked out, I don't understand unions, and don't like them

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Four Sisters





Jean :- the baby of the family, sadly we lost Jean & her lovely husband Rab Archibald, as I said before I left Gibshill long before, so I really missed her growing up as well, I know she lived in Cobham St. & I think Poplar St. but I never visited her there, it wasn't till she got to Port Glasgow, that I started to visit when up from London, Jean had 2 children Wendy & Andrew, Wendy is a lovely girl but sadly I never knew Andrew, what a terrible thing to say,
.................................................

ANN :- Ann is the same age as Cindy, and the only sister left alive, her name on my Facebook friends list is Ann Gorbould, Ann spent years in South Africa, and Benidorm, now settled in Dereham, married to a brilliant bloke Ben,, as luck would have it, we are 40 minutes drive from each other and visit each other on a regular basis, I call her " Daft Ann " a loving term. or maybe it's because she does daft things, in other words she always makes me and the family laugh, Loves ya Sister XXX
..............................................................................

RAY ( Mary ).:- Ray was the rebel of the family, always in trouble with my parents, but we always got on, she stood up for all of us against our parents, stopped me from getting many a hiding, I remember she had 3 jobs, not at the same time of course,1. was Drummonds, 2. was Mitchell's at the Smillie St. shops in the post office, and 3. a conductress out of Ladyburn, that would have been in the late 40's, I was always good for 2d or3d out of her float money she kept in her leather bag they used
On one of my visits to Gibshill, I brought a couple of friends with me, we had a party at Ray's in Cobham St. I think it was number 2, we had loads of Wine, Beer, & Whisky, Big Del, as her husband was known, he was a giant of a man, worked as a Navy deep sea diver, fit as a fiddle, during the early hours of the morning, Big Del collapsed whilst up dancing, we thought he had enough to drink, but he started turning blue, someone ran down to Irwin St and got my father Wullie Sinclair, Dad pulled his socks off and felt his toes, " He's Dead " nobody knew what to do, in those day's there were no mobile phones, so someone ran down to the phone box and dialed 999, the ambulance came and pronounced him dead, BUT !!! were not allowed to move him until the police checked all was OK, so we picked Big Del off the floor and laid him on the settee, covered him with a white sheet, and as we were all drunk already, we carried on with the party, Police didn't come till 9:00am, all was checked and the ambulance came back and took him away, when I was leaving for London on the Monday Morning, Ray gave me his Diver fur lined boots, " Del would have liked you to have these " Size 12 I don't think so,
......................................................
.
Ray ( Sister ) :- Ray ended up down the " Isle of Dogs " in London, now called classy Docklands, she had severe breathing problems, couldn't go to bed, as she couldn't lie down, so she slept in her big easy chair, she constantly wore a face mask connected to an oxygen bottle, the folk who know best, thought it would be a good idea to put a oxygen bottle in every room, including bathroom & toilet, so all she had to do was unplug the mask and plug into which ever room she wanted to go into, Great !!!! BUT """ what they didn't bank on was that Ray started the day around 5:00am with a Pint of Lager and a roll-up of Wacky Baccy
Unknown to Ray one of the bottles had a small leak, nobody know how long it was leaking for, early next morning, she lit her ciggie, which started a series of explosions, one bottle exploding the next one, the whole house exploded, the old boy upstairs was blown out of bed and was months in intensive care, there was nothing left of Ray, the only thing that survived was a photo of me which I had sent her a few weeks beforehand, a comic one with my Wee Jimmy hat on, she thought was funny, but nothing else in the house survived
...................................................................................
JESSIE :- Jessie was my oldest sister, but thought she was my cousin in the 40's, Jessie didn't stay with us, she was brought up by my uncle Bertie ( Mothers brother ) and aunt Annie of 11 Ann St. Greenock, apparently they couldn't have children,
Jessie married Jimmy Neil, and had 5 kids, Alan, Billy, Ann, Jean & Janet, all great kids, but I'm afraid I didn't see them grow up, in Cobham Street, Gibshill, I came to Greenock once a year from London.
Jimmy Neil was a typical shipyard worker, he was a Copper-Smith in Scotts, Greenock, worked very hard, and depended on his " 2 Nights & a Sunday overtime " just to live, people worked to live and never live to work, it was hard, that's why most yard workers drank so much at week-ends, enjoyed Friday night through till Sunday morning, then back to work
Jimmy Neil was responsible for the success of the continuous week-end parties in the Sinclair household at 2 Irwin St, we had a piano in the kitchen ( Front Room ) which jimmy was a master plus his accordion, he didn't like the latest chart music, if I wanted him to play a particular song, I would buy the sheet music, he was brilliant



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Penny Gas Meter



1d Gas Meter


We all had a Penny Gas Meter up the Gibby, even back then mother would complain she wasn't getting enough gas for her Penny, I remember the excitement from mother when the Gas Man came to empty the meter, he would tip the box from the meter on the kitchen table, the begin to count it into piles of 12=1/- ( 12 Pennies= 1 shilling ), after he counted he would give mother so much, cant remember if was for over-paid, or a rebate, or what ever, all I remember mother feeling a wee bit rich holding a pile of pennies, which was spent over a Smillie St. shops, for some much needed food for us


During the war, when building were hit, it was common to see folk, including me I might add, scrambling through the rubble looking for pennies, this wasn't called looting back in those day's, it was called survival, everyone done it, it was part of war, when I think back, we were given the all clear on the siren, that the raid was over, we all left the shelter, we would go looking for pennies first, the secondly my mates and I would go looking for shrapnel, looking back we must has been Mad or Desperate, the danger that must been lurking in those bombed buildings, and there we were picking through the rubble looking for pennies


Another down fall of Penny Meters in the house, was that everyone was broke, some desperate, so many a meter was broken into, survival again, people got into loads of trouble, couldn't pay it back, so got deeper & deeper in debt, we were one of the lucky ones, mother got a part time job in Kincaid's, up Bakers Brae, she worked so hard to keep us on food & clothes, but new clothes where few and very far between

German Map, showing the Gibby



German Map


This German Map, shows how important Clyde Ship Building was so important to the Germans to destroy, and how close the Gibby was in their path, now you can see why we had so many raids, and because of the hills, so many bombs went astray

This was the Gibby



This was the Gibby

The Gird



The Gird


We all loved our " Gird ", we ran for miles hitting it with our stick, steering it with our stick, we ran all over the Gibby, up-hill, down-hill, 3,4,5 of us even went to the Coronation Park up the Port, to play in the swing Park, even down to the Battery Park to the Swimming Pool, we didn't need buses, mother didn't have the money for bus fares anyway


Many a time mother would tell me " They have run out of bread, go over to Thomas Muir Street shops, and see if they have any ", no problem, out came my Gird and off I ran


Some lads, but very few, when they got a bicycle wheel, would leave the tyre and inner tube on, and the spokes, but they found it to hard to steer and run with it, so off came the tyre & spokes, this must have kept us a lot fitter than we realized, but we didn't run with our gird to keep fit, that was the last thing on our mind, we ran because we loved our Gird

The Kleek


The Kleek


A lot of stories have been said about the Kleek, some say rich boy's toy, didn't come from the Gibby, cost a lot of money, all rubbish, these were made by people who worked in ship-yards, and we had many of them in Greenock back then


I know when I started in Mitchell's Plumbers in 1950, we learned how to make Kleeks by journeymen, how to bend the rod & weld, was so easy, we also had to make 2 Pokers from 1/4 " square rod twist it, screw one end and put different nuts on it and buff, everyone had coal fires, so everyone needed a " Poker " so it was down to us Apprentices to make Kleeks & Pokes to order from all the work force


The Kleek took a bit of getting used to, the balance, the steering, the speed, so it's was the Gird we all took to, easier to pick up and go
 
 

 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fitba 7 days a Week


Fitba 7 days a week


This photo was taken from my mothers kitchen, you can see 80 % of the football pitch, " The Wee Farm " just to the left there was a Hugh Oak Tree, that always had a rope swing on it, how did we get the heavy rope up and over the high branch, easy, tied string to a stone and threw it over, tie it to the rope, every one who was either in the Boys Brigade or Scouts knew how to tie a slip knot, ...we had a swing


But my interests were Football, and I classed myself the 2nd best goalkeeper in Scotland, next to Jimmy Cowan, Morton's keeper, I always went in goal and having scrolled my angle line from the penalty spot as Jimmy done, I was ready, I always played in that goal to the left of the Oak Tree, out of mothers eyes, many a time you would hear the dreaded shout " Billy Sinclair, are you down there " all the lads knew to ignore my mother and carry on playing football, BUT, there was always one wee skinny lassie, with legs like knots in cotton, playing in Keir Hardie St.., would shout, " There's he's there Mrs. Sinclair " so I had to show my face, " Whit dae ye waant Mammy ", "I want you to go a message" she would shout, that time I had 4 sisters, Ray & Jessie were working, Jean was too young and our Ann ( Ann Gorbould on Face book ) well she was too daft to send messages, by the time she went from 2 Irwin St to the Shops she had forgotten what she went for, if mother gave her a note, 9 times out of 10 she lost it, so I had a abandon my match and run home, as I wasn't allowed to cross the railway line, I had to run up the track to the Low Bridge, up the Gibshill Brae, to Irwin St.. get mothers massage, then back to the wee farm and the game


The game was never 90 minutes long as matches were, it was like 9:00am till dark, every once in a while we would get hold of a proper football, but those days were few and far between, our leather ball's bladder war repaired that often it was passed it's day, so we stuffed our ball with paper, true ..Paper, but we played on, nobody could afford a proper football then, sometimes the men would lend us theirs, but only if we were pals with his younger brother of our age, but we didn't care, our paper stuffed football worked just as well, every game was like an international, I was Jimmy Cowan, John Boyle was Tommy Orr, Andy McMaster was Billy Steel, and Ian McDonald our Captain ( As it was his ball ) Billy Campbell, Yes we were all internationals down the Wee Farm.

The Cheeky Forty

The Cheeky Forty

Now call these lads what you will, a Gang, a Jury, a Mob, call them what you will, BUT !! they handed out justice where police were unable to do so, because of lack of evidence or some other excuse

Bus loads of girls came from Glasgow, Paisley, all over the area of Greenock, with one thing in mind, TROOPS, who were anchored at the "Tail of the Bank ", now they weren't always American..there were Canada, Poles, French, allied troops, with money to spare before being shipped out, they wanted a good time, and rightly so

The Troops always aimed for the same places, Burton's, The Co-oP ( Where we held the Gibby Re--Union ), The Bay Hotel and their favourite pub in Greenock was the Imperial Bar, they got to other places but that was their main hold outs, the Moorings in Largs was quite popular as well

Some girls as you expect, no fault of their own, were Molested, Raped, Abused & Assaulted, by troops waiting to be shipped to god know where, some never to come back, so they got drunk and wanted a woman and there were plenty about, the troops had their own police, " White Hats " who patrolled 4/5 handed, carrying batons, and weren't shy in using them where needed, but there weren't enough White Hats, and our Police were on foot in Two's

When a local girl was Raped, Assaulted, or abused, the " Cheeky Forty " would find out the nationality of the offender, and go into town and dish out punishment, the Gibby folk were always tight lipped in all ways, we knew 5 of the Cheeky Forty, 2 from Irwin St. 2 from Keir Hardie, St and 1 from Landsbury St, there were probably more up the Gibby, but 5 from our end that I knew of, we never spoke of them, it was an unwritten rule dished out by our parents

I'm not saying they were right, and I'm not saying they were wrong, but the were feared by troops in Greenock, they were known to everybody BUT, not their names

I'm sure the police welcomed the punishment dished out by the Forty, where their hands were tied

They called it Marbles, we calld it Bools




They called it Marbles

Wee Gibby folk called it Bools


Every youngster loved Bools, Lads or Lassies, but Bools ( Marbles ) came in different sizes, the common Bool was called a one'er, the next size up was a two'er, and so on,


For those who have never played Bools, the object is you toss your Bool about 8 to 10 feet away, and your opponent tosses his trying to hit yours, it's your turn next to try to hit your opponents where ever it landed, you take it in turns till a bool is struck then you claim that bool (Marble )


If your opponent has a larger Bool a Two'er, then you have to hit his twice before you can claim it, some lads would have Ball Bearing ( Large ) they would call it a ten'er or a twenty'er, I kept away from these cheat's because you would get half way through the game, and if he saw you were to good for him, say you struck his Bool 6 times out of 10, he would say " Got to go, that's ma Mammy shouting on me " so you could never win


This was a great game going to school, got the " Strap " more than once for being late


Some lads drew a large circle and you were only allowed to play in that circle, we never did that, our back close, was our pitch, or up & down Irwin St. we always carried bools in our pockets, some bools were just plain, but some were coloured with flashes of colour inside, a work of art, I hated losing them

Skipping


Skipping


Now Skipping wasn't just for lassie's, we all done it, I didn't carry skipping ropes with me, but I had 4 sisters, and proudly showed off how I could do the cross over move, I had watched the boxers do it, it was a common sight to see lassies skipping to and from school, going to the shops for messages


Some lassies skipped on two's, they would lock arms, one holding the rope with their right hand the other with their left, and away they would go, it was great to watch the skills it took for this skip


Just about every street up the Gibby, on a warm summer's night, would have 10 to 15 and more all involved, singing their hearts out to skipping songs, some used two ropes " Cross Over " which was a lot harder, but the girls made it look easy.


One of the songs sang :-

Policeman, policeman, dae your duty,
Here comes (name of next jumper)
And she's a cutie;
She can jump, she can twist,
But I bet she canny dae this.


It wasn't unusual for mothers to come out and join in with the girls, they knew the songs, sometimes, and I mean sometimes, they would let boy's join in, but !! not too often


I've said many times before, No TV, to watch, so all the lads & lassies up the Gibby had to make their own amusement and Skipping was one of them


When you think of it, " Skipping ", " Rounder's ", " Kick the Can ", all these involved running & jumping, we were all very fit, well I was,

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Last Dance



1940's & 1950's

The Last Dance....

You either loved this or hated it, 1st. it was the start of many a friendship and marriage, 2nd. it was the start of a few fights out-side, dance hall's played with our sexual hormones back then, they would have an hour where it was ladies choice to ask the men ( Boys ) to dance, if you were not asked it was a huge blow to your ego, also just over half way through the night we had a dance they called the " Blues "..." Ladies & Gentlemen take your partners for the Blues ", now from the start, and after being picked on the " Ladies Excuse Me's ", and after many questions, you had picked in your mind, who wasn't a Catholic ( Mothers Warning ), she lived in the same direction as you, the " Blues " lasted over 10 minutes, with the lights out, just the stage was lit, you tried to get off the floor before the lights went up, the kisses & cuddles & fumbles, left you somewhat embarrass to walk off the floor

During the course of the night, and some beautiful girl you were dancing with you asked " Would you like to go out side ", everyone knew what you were after, so the answers were " Get Lost " " Are you kidding " "No " " Don't think so " or " Just for a minute then "
By the time it got to the famous " Ladies take your partner for the last lance ", now.... by this time you were sorted, hopefully, the last dance lasted around 15 slow minutes, in the darkened room, with the girl of your dreams, your hands round her waist, her hands round your neck, your heart thumped, all sorts went through your mind, the best bit was, it seldom came to anything, it was all in our head, in our minds we were studs, we all had our favourite dance halls, mine was the " Shepherds Hall " corner of Bank St, & Regent St., the other was " The Centre " out at Barrs Cottage, where the Famous " The Memphys " band played, and their Sax player could play just like Earl Bostic, 

Sunday Picnic's for families



1940's & 1950's

We had no cars, no phones, but all the families met up on a Summer Sunday, Picnic Day, it just shows you how the meet in town on a Saturday was important, my mother had brother & sisters in Ann Street, & Broomhill, at that time you were only allowed 3 minutes to stand on a corner, the police were constantly walking up & down the High St., " Move On " you were told, so when you saw the police coming you crossed the street and kept walking, why this was I don't know, but mother met her family between Westburn St and Woolworths somehow

The family had there favourite spots for their Sunday Picnic, 1. Pencil Point, ( Just passed Largs ), 2. Red Rocks, ( Just before Largs ). 3. Inverkip, 4. Lunderston Bay, 5. Kilcreggan, 6. Rothesay, 7 Dunoon. My father was responsible to where we were going that day, we loved our seafood, Whelks & Cockles, we went to one place, Cockles, another, Clabby Doos another
Loaded up we would all head for the bus at George Square, some busses went to Inverkip only, others Largs via Barrs cottage, others Largs Via Gourock, so if you were going to Lunderston Bay, that was the one you caught, and when I say there were hundreds of folk in the queue at George Sq. I mean hundreds, the double decker buses were continuous

We had the same spot at every one of these places so the family knew where to find you, Mother had a large pot, black with a handle she used to fill with sea water to boil potatoes, every one had a job to do ordered by father, mine was get enough wood for our fire, no gas then, another was to gather big stones to make the surround for the fire, we play football, swam, skipping ropes, and our parents caught up with gossip with others members of family, I loved my Sundays

Father kept his eye on the tide, then shout his warning to start, we had bags over out shoulders and off we would go, we were taught at an early age, what to pick and what to leave, father taught me the way to catch Clabby Doos, father had a shovel, others had a small garden rake
If, when we got home and viewed or catch, mother would sell some in a saucer from the back bedroom window, salt, pepper & vinegar were on the window sill, also on sale at mother's window was Hot Pea's & vinegar also sold by the saucer full, these pea's were not from a tin, these were soaked over-night and cooked by mother


We never went to the same place two weeks running, I Loved every minute of it, some time neighbours would come with us, so it wasn't all family, neighbours were very close back then

Sunday, July 21, 2013

We Gibby folk called it Peever


1940's & 1950's

Some called it Hop-Scotch

Up the Gibby we called it PEEVER


I drew the above Peever bed we used to use, you needed a good Peever that would slide across the bed, usually it was a piece of marble if you could get it, or even an old black polish tin filled with earth or what ever, as long as it was heavy, the idea was to slide your Peever into number 1, then hopping on one leg, you had to go to Number 11 and back, knocking the Peever out with your foot with-out touching a line with your foot, or the Peever, I wrote at the side of my sketch " Rest " because who-ever was playing could nominate a square to which you were allow to put both feet on the floor, some would nominate number 11, some 5 or 6, it was the players choice, lot's didn't have a rest at all, pushing the Peever from the start to the number you required, say No.11 it was a skill, if you landed on a line you missed your turn, there was nothing better on a summer's night, there were Peever Beds all over the Gibby, every street had a bed, and Mothers used to come out and join in, YES !!!! Boy's played it too, we didn't think it was sissy, so between, Hand-stands, Leap-frog, and Peever, I would say we were all pretty fit " Up The Gibby "

Leap Frog




1940's & 1950's
It was a common practice to play leap-frog to school and back, there could be as many as 10/12 coming home, so we were a lot fitter than most kids to-day, I can't remember any over weight lads or lassies in my class or mates from other schools who hung about with us, bullying someone about their weight was never heard off, we would leap frog over 10 or 12 the haunch down, waiting for those to leap over you, we took this seriously, leap frog was a big part of our youth, at nights we would go all the way to the end of Irwin St and back to number 2

Hand-Stands



1940's & 1950's
We played hand-stands all the time, the girls tucking their skirts into their navy-blue knickers and joining in, we used to have contests to see who could stay up the longest, mother sometimes shouting out the window " The blood will rush to your head...Stoppit " so we moved to somewhere else and carried on, as we learned to stay up on our hands for a while the next step was to walk on our hands, I was brilliant at this, and proudly show off constantly walking on my hands around the back of 2 Irwin St, I could even master the steps into our close.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Bogey


Thanks Sam Millar for the photo..

The Bogey

I loved my bogey, now the Bogey was great on hills, But !! no good on flat roads, so !!! a very good mate was needed, to push, my running board extended beyond my seat so the pusher could jump on and hitch a lift, Irwin St. was good going down, but quite a way to get back pulling it back to No. 2

In the 1940's, as I have said before there was no money about, more than once mother had no money when the coalman arrived, and there was no tick from him, so my Bogey came to the rescue " Right Lad, I need a bag of Cinders and 6 Briquettes " mother would order, where Ladyburn Bus Garage is now, there used to be a big coal depot, the bus garage was across the street, on the turning up to Ladyburn School, now I had to have a good mate to help me get this coal cargo from Ladyburn up the Gibby Hill to mothers at Irwin St., Ian McDonald from 3 Smillie St was always there for me, one pulled the other pushed, and we took turns,

Cinders was a poor substitute for coal, you couldn't light the fire with it, so mother kept a small storage of coal in the corner of our bunker in the scullery ( Kitchen ), which also served as a work top for mother, Sunday's was my favourate day, lunch time, mother would put 2 Briquettes on, Cinders, and all the potato peelings, and veg peelings, soaked in water, then put on our fire, which was the old black grate then, it burned for hours and hours, couldn't have done it with-out my trusted Bogey

Now I was something of a hero among my Gibby pals back then, I was daft enough to think, I could start from the Smillie Street shops, go down the Gibshill Brae, and take the bend under the little railway arch at the bottom, NO !!!! two broken collarbones, I was taken to the Royal Infirmary on the Big Gibby Bus, all they could do was strap me up, the photo that I posted earlier of Irwin Street Rovers, I had my strapping on then


Old prams were like Gold Dust, we thought , the bigger the wheel, the faster our bogey would go, father gave me some paint and a brush YELLOW !!! and one of my sisters blokes showed me, that while the paint was wet, if I held a lit candle flame to the paint quickly it left a black feather mark, I had the best Bogey around Yellow with Black flashes all round

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lanliq Wine


Isa Baxter & Mother
Davy Baxter & Father



1940's & 1950 & Lanliq Wine

This wine was the cause of many a Broken Home, Domestic Violence, Police arrests, Health Problems, " I'll fight the best man in the house " attitude, did all this put us off...the answer is NO

Pubs in Greenock were Lock-Ups, and when they said 9:00pm closing, it meant the doors were locked at 9:00pm, so last orders were around 8:30pm, if you still had a drink on the table at 8:45pm it was cleared by bar-staff, no arguments,
Workers who finished at 5:00 pm, didn't have time to go home shower and change, as you do today, you headed to your favourite pub and joined the queue, Yes !! Queue, most pubs had a queue, and when you got in the counter was laden with approx 50 
Dark & 50 Clear Lanliq wines, you learned your lesson, correct money, so you didn't have to wait, just lifted your wine and handed over the money
at the age of 16 years old, and desperate to grow up fast, my two mates Jim McEwan Mitchell St & Tommy Ferguson, Poplar St, thought we were safe when we picked a pub our parents never used " The Black Cat ", the pub was known for under age drinkers, " 3 Lager & Limes, and 3 clear Napoleon Brandies ( Lanliq ) landlord "...." How old are you three "..." 18 mister, ask him "

We were dressed to the kill, drain pipe trousers, jacket 3 inches below finger tips, patch pockets, roll collar, Swede shoes, OH !! and the shirt had a Billy Erkstine collar, hair...Tony Curtis quiff & DA ( Ducks Arse ) at the back, the lassies at the Palladium were going to get a treat tonight, half-bottle to take away, as the lads were searched by the bouncers, we had lassies to take it in their hand bags, there was no bar in any of the dance hall then, filled with Lager & Lime & Lanliq, 9 times out of 10 we were sick
Lanliq was also responsible for many a great party at the Sinclair's, my fathers best mate Davy Baxter from Bell St, and Hughie O'Brian from the Strone, in all the years, and I mean every Saturday night, some times Friday as well, I never saw one fight or even an argument at our house


Someone in office decided to ban Lanliq Wine in Greenock, and reduced the selling of it to about 6 pubs, then the police, had a quiet word to each land lord,if police were called or a disturbance at their pub, their license would not be renewed, finally all stopped, but they still sold it in Corby which was a Greenock over-spill, but even they stopped it

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Last.



1940's

My age wasn't even in to double figures when I was taught by my father " How do mend shoe's " as he called it, in the 1940's shoes were made of leather, no look-a-Like crap, honest leather, he put a cushion on my lap, put the last on top, and instructions were made clear, hammer, nails, sharp knife, no Stanley knifes then, father sharpened the knife on his stone & oil, I quickly learned

Being football mad, I kick everything from my house in Irwin St. to Craigeknowes School, first with my right foot, then with my left foot, I just loved tin-cans, much to the tenants of Weir St, they used to shout out of the windows, " You bliddy wee sod, stop that racket " or words to that effect

My uncle Hughie Ormond, came from 11 Ann St. played left back for St. Mirren FC, and some how he got permission to take to Cappielow Park to watch Jimmy Cowan train, he kicked the ball over & over, left foot , right foot , just like me, he would kick the ball on to the stand roof, and it being corrugated then it bounced at a different angle each time, he jumped and caught, he got another player to kick the ball into the stand, then it was fitted bench seats, the ball would rebound back, and Jimmy was there to catch, I follow every move, he used to scrape a line from the centre spot back to his goal line, to enable him to get his angles right, just like me, every time he jumped to catch a cross, he somehow puckered his lips, just like me, that's why in my eyes I was the 2nd best goalkeeper in the world, every time I rand out for the " Gibshill Rovers " " Bellaire FC ", " Gourock Jnrs. ", I was Jimmy Cowan

Back to the shoes, mother inspected my shoes every time I came home from school, which resulted 9 times out of 10, a " Back of her Hand " slap, scuff marks on the toes, I tried to stop but couldn't, my father used to get a bag of mixed leather in Greenock somewhere, all different thicknesses, I would Soul & Heel, no problem, and steel tips on the Heels & Segs on the toes, you could hear me coming from miles away

Not like today, mother just couldn't just nip into town and buy me a pair of shoes, too dear, no money, and to get a pair of new shoes, for the first few weeks they were pawned, until they were unacceptable through scuff marks on the toes, and 30/40 back hander's later

How many of you remember holes in the soles of your shoes, we used to put a bit of cardboard in the shoe, if it was raining, which was often in Greenock,we got soaked,

Then the Black San-Shoe as we called them came in, a lot cheaper than shoe's, I had Black, mother couldn't afford the white ones, you could tell the well off kids at school, " White Sannies "

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The warmth of the Gibby folk

1940's & 1950's

No matter how hard anyone tries to explain the warmth that was in Gibshill back then, they can't, they try, but unless you lived through it, the explanations are far off, everyone stood by each other, knock on your door, " Can you give my mother a cup of sugar " or it could be " A Wee Drap O Milk ", or some tea, it could be anything, I never knew my mother to refuse, nor was I refused when I used to knock on doors with cup in hand, sometime it was " Can my mother borrow 2/6d please,she'll pay you back Friday " the 2/6d was always there come pay-day, everyone up the Gibby either loaned or borrowed at one time or other

Just above you letter box inside there as a nail just above the centre of the opening , a long piece of string, and tied to the end of it was your door-key, long enough for your door key to reach your outside lock, everyone left their door-key in the door all day, If mother had to go out, she would take the key out and let it dangle from the nail, when I came home from school, I would just put my hand in the letter box, feel for the string, pull the key out and opened the door, everyone done this, neighbours would open your door and shout " It's only me Mrs Sinclair " you wouldn't know who was' It's only me ' till the came through the kitchen door, we never had any robberies, or our house cleaned out by leaving the key in the door, it was the done thing back then.....You couldn't do it now


I was always out late with my mates boy's & girls, and always knew the key was left in the door till last thing at night, I had two older sisters Jessie & Ray, when they came home from a night out with a boy-friend, they always stood at the back door of the close, having their kiss & cuddle as you do, when I got to our door, I would open it, and shout " Mammy !! Ray is at the back door doing dirty things, with some man " or it could have been Jessie, but whoever it was thee was one almighty scramble, the bloke legging it down the front stairs, mother running to our front door, sister shouting " No I wasn't Mammy " I used to enjoy that

Blaebery Jam.




1940's

The hill behind the railway line and up to Donny's Farm was awash with Blaeberry Plants, and when they were ripe for picking, lots of Gibby folk would be up there picking, Blaeberry Jam was brilliant, we couldn't afford to buy jam, so mother would make, Blaeberry, Bramble, and when we could Raspberry Jam

" Right son, go and get me something to make jam, and if you cross that railway line, you will feel the back of my hand " now having had a few back hander's, crossing the railway line was not even considered, also, she could time the time I left, till the time I appeared on the hill behind 20 Poplar St., so it wasn't worth taking a chance, so I would have to walk up over High Poplar, down to the Co-oP, then up the Glen, then across to behind 20 Poplar St., took us ages to fill jars, bottles and anything else we could use, blue bells were a must to pick for mother while we were there,


Loaded with my spoils for mother, to put myself high on her good books, I would retrace my steps home, NOW !!! mugging wasn't a known word then, but....we were lucky to get home with-out at least one encounter, from a couple of Gorilla's who lived on High Poplar St. and if they spotted me, all hell broke loose, I had two choices, defend my spoils at all costs or get one of mother's back-hander...No Contest, I was really lucky to have a couple of mates who were never far from my side, yes !! life was rough up the Gibby, we had just had a rough time with the bombs etc, fruit picking and getting them home safe for mother was nothing

Day Catching Minnows



1940's

We all had fish tanks indoors, but not gold fish or tropical fish, but Minnow's, something we treasured, our own pet, there was no such thing as fish pet food, so we used what we thought they would like for food, their life span was short, so a day up the Dam behind Donnie's on the Kilmacolm Rd was planned, I don't remember what we called this Dam, I asked on the Gibby site, but I'm afraid all sorts of names came up, but not the one I wanted, someone will tell me, and I can alter this
We needed 3/4 Jam-jars each, but couldn't ask mother, 1st, she couldn't afford to buy jam, 2nd. she needed every jar for herself to make jam, mother would buy 2 oz of butter which she guarded with her life, we dare not touch, we had Echo margarine, god awful stuff, any way back to our fishing, to get our jars we had to rake every midden we could, when we had our jars, the most important thing was that every jar we took had to have a label on it, well stuck, will explain later

Mother would make up a load of sandwiches, not Ham, not Beef, not cheese but home made jam or margarine
When we got to the Dam, we hopped over the fence and headed for the far side, so we could spot the Care-takers van drawing up at the gate on the Kilmacolm Rd, gave us a chance to scarper, we were chased lots of times but never caught


There was an art in catching Minnows, most important, the Jar had to have a label on it, about 6 feet of strong string tied around the neck of the jar, put some bread in it fill it up with water, and throw it in about 3/4 feet, and most important, the label most important was at the bottom, so the back of the label being white, showed the minnows crossing the neck of the jar, when one was inside, a quick yank on your string, captured the minnow, this was transferred into a larger jar ready to transport home, these trips lasted all day, we loved it

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sex & Religion

Late 1940's & Early 50's

Everyone seemed to be obsessed with religion and sex

Religion

When we went dancing, the girl could be the most beautiful girl on the floor, but you had to ask " 
What school did you go to ", if it began with Saint, she was a Catholic, so you gave her a miss, and carried on looking, if she said " The Finnart ".she was too posh, High School, we were in with a small chance, High School Girls didn't mix too well with us, when they found out we came from Gibshill, we were too rough for them, once we sorted out five or six "Maybe's " hen came the next question " Where do you live ", remember there were no taxi's and we had no money even if here had been taxi's, only the dance hall buses, Strone..Out, Rainbow Valley ...out Gourock..out, you had to find a girl who lived within a walking distance of Gibshill.....this was hard, by the time you found a possibility the dance was over, Catholics & Protestants didnt mix too well, I was in the Flute Band down at " The Glen " Port Glasgow, who found great joy to stand out-side " Phenion ( Catholic ) Alley and play as loud as they could, this caused a lot of unrest, Phenion Alley was directly across wrom the Coronation Park
My Mother & Father were bitterly disappointed one day there was a knock at the door and it was a Priest asking for me, he said that St. Columbus football team ( Not the school team ) were desperate for a good goalkeeper and would I be interested, well...I like football a lot more than I like religion, so I signed for them, my mother refused to wash my Shirt & Socks because they were green, she told me " If you think for one minute my lad, that Green is going to hang out on my washing line, you have another think about it ", I played with St. Colmbus for two seasons

Sex

One word I hated then and still do is the word " Hump ", I can just hear the conversation now, " Hey Billy are you still going with that wee burd ( Lass ) from Weir St " " Aye " " Have you Humped her yet " " Whit !!!!! I've only been going with her for 7 months ", " Well " he said, " Jimmy Watson from the Strone, told me he Humped her, after a month, and he's a Catholic " when I saw Jeanie that night, I gently ask her " Is it true Jimmy Watson Humped you, him being a Catholic an all " " Whit !! Naw it's not true, I'm a Virgin, ask ma Mammy if you don't believe me "...as if I would

The word Hump was commonly used, and everyone was possessed by the word, " How long have you been going with Rose then " " about 3 month now " then....."Have you Humped her yet "

I've hated that word which all of us used up the Gibby, never like it then, and I don't like it now, BUT !!! it still amuses me when my USA facebook friends send me their yearly " Happy Hump Day ", if only they knew

To earn a Penny



1940/50

Everyone was skint, so we had to try to earn a few pennies where we could, mother used to buy & sell wool & thread bobbins from the factory girls, mother bought Pawn Tickets, from folk that had pawned stuff the no longer wanted, My self !!! well I had my list of customers that I did messages for, some gave me a penny, some tuppence, others thru pence, and one lady from 1 Landsbury St. I got sixpence, there was no wet fish shop up the Gibby, so some times I would be sent into town, " Get me a piece of Filleted Fish son " I loved that big word "Filleted " the first time I was sent to Mac Fisheries at the corner of Westburn St, I said it over & over again " Filleted " by the time I reached MacFisheries, it somehow had changed to " Utility " I went home empty handed, the woman at the shop said " Sorry son, we don't have any Utility Fish "
I had my list of customers, they were mine, no one dared poach my list, I done my daily rounds " Need any messages Missus ", I was in many a fight over this, shock horror when I went to one of my customers only to be told " Naw Son, wee Jimmy Watson got my messages earlier on today ", so wee Jimmy Watson got a visit from me later that day, every penny counted, if I had a good day I would always buy my mother 2 or 3 Cigarette's, which were in a big sweetie jar and were sold one at a time

PAP

Pap was another way we earned our pennies, it was a great game of skill, and I was brilliant at it,I practiced over & over again, I developed my own throw, to play the game of Pap, you had to have minimum of two players, and no maximum, a straight wall, no weeds or grass against the wall, it had to be completely clear, player would stand about 10 to 12 feet away and throw your penny at the wall, nearest to the wall won all the money, sounds easy, try it, there are so many things can go wrong, like hitting another players penny, sending him closer, rebounding off the wall, this took skill and we were playing for money, most players kept there legs together, bent their knees and threw their pennies from the side, the " Sinclair Throw " was to keep my legs apart bend my knees, hold the penny between my index finger & thumb, and throw from between my legs, he penny flew like a flying saucer, if two or more pennies looked like it was a draw, the distance was measured by players fingers, 1 finger away from wall, or 2 fingers away from wall, I practiced my throw over &over, so I very seldom lost at this Pap

Odds & Evens

This was played with three players, and was very, very popular, many a boy lost his milk money or dinner money playing this game on his way to school, it was simple, the three boys would toss their penny on to the back of their hand and cover it with the other hand, three heads or three tails was a draw, but two heads and one tail, or 2 tails and 1 head, the odd one won, this was a game of pure luck, some lads claimed they could toss up a penny with the head showing and it would come down a tail, but this was sheer boast, even if it was true he couldn't say what the other two players would toss, you either won quickly or lost quickly I very seldom played this game, I didn't gamble on luck, 

Paint Brush Haircut



1940's



I Lived at 20 Poplar st. ground floor right side, next door was the McKay's, daughter Lizzie was nice, she was my girl-friend, but when I looked up at Mr McKay, he seemed 10 feet tall, Bonnet ( Flat Cap ) a scarf that was wrapped twice or three times around his neck, criss crossed across his chest and wrapped around his braces, never smiled, BUT !!! he was everybody's friend, he was the Gibshill vet, everyone took their sick animals to him, then, dogs ran loose, and they were territorial, any dog that entered another's, there was a fight, then, as now I love dogs, and after a fight, any dog that was injured was taken to Mr McKay, he would sew them up, if they had a wound, needle & thread, and the dogs let him, I watched many a time as Mr Kay worked his magic, when people got a pup, everyone thought it right to have their tails docked ( Cut Short ), Mr. Kay did it for you, no charge, I couldn't watch that, I couldn't bare to hear pups yelp so loudly, but another thing Mr McKay done was to cut all the boy's hair, with those dreaded clippers, pictured above, he would clip all your hair off and leave a little tuffty bit at the front, the haircut was known as a Paint-Brush, everyone dreaded having a Paint-Brush, now I had a mop of Blonde Hair, " Awe Mrs Sinclair, hasn't your wee Billy got lovely hair " there was no way Mr McKay was going to be let loose on my hair, so !!! I was warned many a time, " Ya Wee Scunner, dae that again, and I'm taking you to Mr McKay ", that was enough for me to behave, I posted a photo earlier of Craigeknows class of 41, see how many boys had a paint brush.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let's play " Stations "

Late 40's early 50's
My two closest mates were Tommy Ferguson from 26 Poplar St. and Jim McEwan of 18 Mitchell st.it was around then we discovered, that there was a lot more to lassies than skipping ropes and peever, none of us had a girl-friend, we were three virgins, and hormones were galloping within us
The lads thought up a brilliant game that was called " Stations ", we approached my mother to see if we could have a party at our house, the only drink we were interested was Irn-Bru & Dandelion & Burdock, my mother made her Fairy Cakes, and Sandwiches, we laughed and joked, and took turns in winding up the Gram-a-phone, dancing and jiving to all the latest., my favourite was Earl Bostic and his Sax... Deep Purple...Brilliant
Mother and father went to bed so Tommy, Jim & I ran through the rules of " Stations " which were all the lads sat in a comfy chair, there was 7 lads & 6 lassies, we had it all worked out, one of the lads called the Station Master, had to go into the Scullery ( Kitchen ), all the lads being seated nice and cozy, a girl had to sit on his lap, now as it was my house I had one of the arm chairs, Tommy had the other armchair and Jim the end part of the settee, now the "Station Master" would turn off the lights, we all had a kiss and cuddle, three, four or five minutes later the " Station Maste " would call " All Change, move 3 to the right " or 4 back it changed every time, he couldn't see as he was only allowed to open his door slightly so we could hear him, the only problem was the Kitchen light switch was at the lobby Hallway ) door, so had to ask mothers permission to stand in the Lobby, we couldn't let her know what we were up to, so away we went again, every 20 minutes or so we changed " Station Masters ", this was fine till it was my turn, and standing out in that Lobby while all my mates were kissing & cuddling inside was not on, the rules were quickly changed for the next " Stations " equal number of lads & lassies, so this enabled the " Station Master " to have a lassie in the lobby
This was a great game for us lads, a kiss & cuddle with 6 or 7 different lasses, in some cases, the lads sitting down, had to hide their embarrassing situation and try to adjust their selves before the next girl sat on their lap, to make matters even more uncumfy, we would point, " Whit's That "

Back then, we were not as street wise as the lads & lassies are today, the nearest we got to seeing a pair of Titties, was if someone got hold of a book called " The Health & Efficiency Book " which was very seldom, we saw naked ladies then, not being funny but in the late 40's all the girls were flat chested, I remember one girl, her name was Nan Naples, came from Morton Terrace, she spoke posh, and I don't know to this day why or how she joining our Gibby Gang, but one day I noticed a Bra Strap, OMG..if she wears a Bra she must have something to put in them, Now my mind went to a plan for a game of " Stations ", but I could never get the two together, either Nan wasn't there or mother said No....so I tried my Billy Sinclair approach " Nan..Will you be my girl-friend "..." Get Lost "

Monday, June 24, 2013

3 Reasons we carried a knife

Mid-40's...3 reason's we carried a knife

Knife carrying today is an offence, but in the mid-40's every Gibshill lad carried a knife, a pocket knife or sometimes called a pen-knife, only the very rich carried a Swiss Army Knife, it was never used as a weapon, nobody was threatened with it, it was never used in a fight, but a Pocket Knife was a must to have

1. Was a game called knifey, now knifey was played anywhere a flat short grass piece of ground could be found, minimum of 4 players were needed, and up to ten, all stood in a circle, monies were place in a pot, usually a penny sometimes 3 pennies or thrupence as we knew it, once all had put their money in the game started winner taking all, the object of the game, was to hold the tip of the blade, and throw it to the ground, it had to make at least one 360 degree turn before sticking in the ground, some knife's hit the ground at an angel, but as long as the handle was 2 fingers high off the floor, it was counted as a hit, those who never made it was out, then started a series of moves called by the leader, who was chosen before the game, holding the blade with the handle on your shoulder, and throw, then head & throw, then 5 of your fingers, each time the knife had to turn 360 degrees, your wrist, your elbow, your chin, all parts of the body was used, the winner took all the cash, this was a serious game, no arguments, no fights, some times 10 lads were involved

2.No TV, nothing to stay indoors for, so we had to make our own enjoyment, everybody hated us when we decided it was tie the doors together, lot's of woman left their washing lines out at night, so with our trusty Pen-knife we would cut the rope, and pick a down-stairs flats, of someone who maybe told the lads off for playing football, or making a noise, sometime during the week, as I said we cut the rope, and tie the knockers of the two down stairs flats together, not tight, but enough slack that just one house could just about see out, then knock the two doors and retreat to the back yard in the dark, this so called game couldn't be done in daylight, you would then hear at the top of their voices " You little Bastards " " I'm gonna tell your mother", and lot's lot's more, someone in the family had to climb out of the window to loosen the rope, we never tied the 2nd or 3rd floors, only the ground


3. In the 40's not only did we not have a TV, we didn't have a Fridge, nobody had a fridge that I knew, all our milk and butter, cold meat, etc was left out on the window ledge, now if you were daft enough you leave it out on the scullery window ledge, it made it easy for the boy's to climb up the waste pipes that ran down beside the scullery windows, and nick the bottles of milk, nothing else, that included the 2nd & 3rd floors, no one was safe, so tenants began to leave the milk out the back bedroom window ledge, or the front windows, I remember when I first took Cindy to Gibshill to meet the family, Cindy being helpful, was helping mother to make tea, " Where's the milk Mrs Sinclair " In our Fridge " was mothers reply, Cindy looked but couldn't find our fridge, till mother took her to the front room window, and showed her, now people thought their milk was safe, because it was away from the windows that didn't have the wastepipes running along side them, so our trusty Pocket Knife went to work on the clothes line, and a lasso was made, and the bottles of milk were lassoed and brought to ground, now me being the 2nd best goal-keeper in the world, Jimmy Cowan Morton's Goalkeeper being the 1st, it was my job to catch the milk bottles before they hit the floor, now the tenant's on the 3rd, floor were safe, we were not that clever, but the 2nd floor and the ground floor at the front was easy, we only took maybe one or two bottles a weeks, which we passed around and drank