I was a Bully at 8 years old
1944 I was 8 years old, and as so as we got home from school, " Waant any messages Mammy ", if it was " Naw Son " then it was a piece ( Bread ) and off, nothing like an out-sider, loads of jam then out to play, if it was " Aye Son, doon the shops and get a loaf "
Now in 1944, every kid on Gibshill was at war with each other, Poplar St. hated East St, East St hated Mitchell St, everyone hated Landsbury St, Poplar St well they hated each other, high Poplar & low Poplar were always at each other, we used the Chuckies ( stones ) that was on the railway tracks, High Poplar would charge throwing stones, and Low Poplar would retreat back up to number 14/12, then they would charge are we would run like hell, back up to 22 Poplar St, this went on for ages, funny thing, can't remember anyone get hurt, but High Poplar and Low Poplar always joined together to take on other streets
So going down to the shops alone was hell, some people called them " The Lanes " we knew them as the " Long Stairs " there were 3 from Poplar St to the shops, Mitchell St Boys were sometimes waiting, not all the time, could have been the Dalmally mob, then down to Whitelee's Rd, then Thomas Muir St, going for messages was like walking the gauntlet
Coming back one day I came face to face with 2 brothers from East St, who didn't like me one bit, I had a mop of blonde/white hair, mother refused to let Wullie McKay from 2 Irwin St. cut it, he used to cut all the boy's hair, always the " Paint Brush ", which was , he shaved all your hair off and left a wee tuft at the front, if you look at " Class of 1941 " Craigeknowes School, you will see these paint brush hair cuts,
Well back to the 2 gorillas from East St, I was Punched, Kicked, mothers loaf went, I don't know where, my nose was bleeding, and the tears ran down my face, unknown to me my mother was looking out the window, 20 Poplar St was direct opposite the long steps, when I got in doors, " Whit's wrang wi you " she yells, " 2 brothers fae East St hit me Mammy " wallop on the side of my face " Wis it as hard as that, or this " wallop " or this " another wallop from mother., " Now my lad, you get back oot tae the long steps and wait for them, and I'll be watching you "
Who was I frightened of most....MOTHER !!! no contest, I met the brothers, knew my mother was looking out the window, which gave me extra courage, the next day I singed on to the "Port Glasgow Boy's " Boxing Club, from then on I thought I was top dog till it went to the Mount School, there I was brought into line