Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Swimming Pool & Gang Huts.

Our Swimming Pool & Gang Huts.
In the 1940's this was our patch, we guarded this area, we had gang fights with the Chalmers St. mob, the Ladyburn building's mob, the Weir St mob, the Quarrier St. mob, and even sometimes the lads from the East side of the Gibby
Earlier on in my Blog I've explained all about the " Racers " " The Old Quarry " & even the " Wee Farm ", but there are a few other things I will explain, and I've marked it on this photo ( above )
The was a Burn ( Stream ) running down beside the Gibshill Brae, near the wee bridge, and in the summer we dammed it, and made our own swimming pool, the depth of the water was shoulder deep, we spent hours, diving and swimming, as the stream was constant running it overflowed at the edges giving us constant clean water, but the trouble we had to stop outsiders using it, we always had our sticks, catapults, and a selection of chuckies ( stones ) off the railway track on hand ready, just in case
Birds Eggs were a collectors item back then, and the bushes and small trees was very dense and about 6/7 feet high, because of our constant use, a series of tracks developed between our " Gang Huts " which we had built, about 4 /5 in all, we chased the egg hunters, and guarded the nests from either collectors or just kids that took a pleasure in wrecking the nests, yes we loved our patch
Because of our gang fights, or even just two or three lads trying their luck to muscle in, going to school every morning was a looking over your shoulder walk, you never knew who you would meet, I had many a scrap on the way and coming from school, but I loved my youth, never had a dull moment, fights & football, what more could you expect in the 1940's....I Loved it.
My house is the one with the X on it.....2 Irwin St., Gibshill, Greenock.

Starting work at the Greenock Ship Yards

Greenock Shipyards

Starting work in Greenock Shipyards as a young lad in the early 50's was an experience never to be forgotten, Mother helped me get ready, to enable to catch the " Big Gibby " at 7:30am, in time for my 8:oo am start,

Jas Mitchell & Sons ( Plumbers ) was sub-contracting in Kincaid's on one of the Clan Boats, I was an apprentice plumber, and felt really important going to work on the Big Gibby full of workers

Mother had bought me my tea & sugar tinny, a pair of heavy work boots, my own Bunnet, and most important my Tea Can, to make my tea at our breaks, a man called Hughie Cox from Cobham St was a Plumbers Labourer, who met me at the Gibby bus stop, I was his goal-keeper for a football team he ran, so I felt 100% safe in his company...WRONG !!! as soon as I was aboard the ship, I was surrounded, stripped of my new boots, bunnet, and tea can, plus my tea & sugar tin, and all the workers to great delight to kick them all over the deck, all I could do was look on, I daren't complain, my piece ( sandwich ) which my mother made up for me, boiled egg & apple, wrapped in grease proof paper, went over the side

When my mother bough my boots, my father got his last out, Segs ( Steel Plate ) toe & heel, and steel tacks all over, you could hear me coming from miles away, I was so proud of them, I felt 10 feet tall.

By the time I got my possessions back, my tea tin was all dented, my bunnet didn't look the same at all, and my boots, well, I was lucky they still fitted, they had all been kicked to beyond recondition, My mother had spent money that she couldn't afford to get me to work, and I was very worried of her reaction, considering how many, back-handers or skelps as we called them, but to my amazement her & my father laughed, remember I was only 14 Years