Sunday, June 16, 2013

During the war, when a fleet arrived at the Tail of the Bank, the troops were transported by train to different parts of the U.K, so the railway which ran above Gibshill was always busy, it didn't look it but it was uphill from the Lady Octavia Park to the Nine Arches, even with two engines on, the route was slow, there were that many carriages on filled to busting with troops, mainly American
You could hear the whistle of the train, and the noise of these engines from a long way off, no matter what you were doing we made a dash to our back gardens on Poplar st., 20 was our patch, and adults didn't allow outsiders in
Woman & children would cheer, wave what wee flags we had, some hand made, anything to draw attention too your-self, wanting the troops on the train to notice you, all the troops would hang out of the compartment windows waving and shouting, god knows where the were off too, but any thing they could throw to you , they threw
I remember the back gardens all along Poplar St, filled with the tenants, hoping to catch some gift or other, remember, at that time there were no sweet shops, cigarettes were like gold dust, a Banana had not been seen for years
Soon the train was on us and the troops would throw out mainly Silver Dollars, Half Dollars, a Polo with a hole type fruit sweet called " Life Savers " and the prize of all prizes a packet of Cigarettes, mainly " Lucky Strike " or " Camel ", which if the children caught or scrambled for were taken from us, by our parent, my Maw, as dad was away in the army
Some children managed , when they heard the troop trains coming, managed to cross the line, and were standing on Donnie's side of the track, the express coming from Glasgow direction, and being downhill, plus the bend on the line from the Nine Arches to where we wee at 20 Poplar St., the train couldn't be heard, resulting in some of the children being killed, I don't know how many there was
The back gardens on Poplar St had quite long grass, as nobody went out with the Lawn Mower, so after every troop train had passed, every inch of the back yard was finely searched on our hands and knees, in case we missed a coin, or any thing small

Give our spoils to mother, we had the Life Savers...Then waited for the next train

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