|Signs of the past (1)
Topic Of The Week: April 27, 2001
"Signs of the past"
-Signs visible in the three towns pointing to the past.
Possible discussion topics:
-Air raid Shelters
-Outdoor Curling Rinks
Topic of the Week is simply a tool to promote conversation and bring up
subjects which have not necessarily been covered before or very often.
Hi all ,
I seem to remember an air raid shelter in the back door of Barrie
terrace ( railway side ). I never was in it but I do remember you could
catch a glimpse of something round one of the back door perhaps around
111 or there abouts. Maybe I'm completely wrong !
I remember the Mill Farm when the McKinnons owned it. It was a really
old building with lots of roof space and a farm workers cottage attached
to it, that is before it was made into separate dwellings. I also lived
in Ellwood in Arran place ( no 6) it is a dreary old building although
the outside is a horrendous colour scheme ) with a very strange basement
which MUST flood when we get a really high tide. Anyone got any clue
about the air raid shelter ?
Regards to all
My name is Grace (Leckie) Mann and I was born in Stevenston in 1907.
I've lived in Canada for the past 22 years. I am currently visiting my
youngest son, Alistair, here in San Diego. He has recently discovered
the 3Ts website and prints all the stuff for me to read - my how
memories come back! He is typing this for me. The mention of air raid
shelters took me back.......
We were living at 90 Glencairn St. in Stevenston and we and two other
families had an air raid shelter behind the house (don't know if it is
still there). It kept getting flooded and we had to keep bailing it out
with pots and buckets. I remember very clearly the night German bombers
came over to bomb Ardeer factory. When the air raid siren went off, my
husband Willie, had to go out on warden duty and I gathered my three
sons, Bill, Harry and Robert (Alistair wasn't born) and ran to the
We sat there huddled up listening to
the planes passing overhead and the bombs exploding. I think they are
still finding unexploded bombs in the sand around Ardeer. This also
reminds me of one of the funnier moments of that time. My son Harry was
coming home when it was dark and noticed that our black-out curtains
were not completely closed. He rushed in and exclaimed "Mum, your
shite's lining out!"
If any of my old friends are still alive, please say hello through
Alistair's e-mail. I'm here for a month.
Hello to Grace:
I hope you are having a wonderful visit with your son and his family
(and hello to them too). I wonder where in Canada you live. I am
writing to you from Calgary, Alberta. My father was born in Ardrossan
in 1907 too - but unfortunately he has been gone for 24 years, in fact
25 this June. I hope you keep in good health, I presume that you must
in order to have just traveled down to San Diego and I hope that you and
your son enjoy your time together. San Diego is a lovely city, and it
will probably be getting quite hot there now. Your son is very lucky to
have you with him, and also it seems that you remember things very well
- that's wonderful. My own mother lives in Calgary also, and will be 81
this year (a spring chicken you say!) and lucky for me her memory is
wonderful. She has been a tremendous help to me with my genealogy. She
is not Ayrshire. She was born in Glasgow as was I, but I emigrated to
Canada with a friend at 18, (in the 60's).
I save some of the three-towners tid-bits on my computer to let my mum
when she visits. Yours will be a saver! Thanks for contributing to
this wonderful list - it IS wonderful, isn't it !!!
Hi to Grace Leckie and Alister,
I am assuming your hubbie was Willie Mann who ran the YMCA dance hall
for years during the war, If I'm right I knew him well, so did every one
else. I also knew your son Willie, though he's a little younger than I.
What would be the relation to you of the postman I met here in Toronto
25 years ago, drove him home from a Scottish dance, He was a gaswork
'Mann" I never saw him again.
I learned just last week that Cathie had passed away, chatted with her
daughter on e-mail. Cathie and I were same class at school, I used to go
up Glebe st and pull her ringlets, she had 4 blond ones, thats when we
were 11-12.You lived at 90 Glencairn, must be close to Sanny Ballantine
the Policeman, and across from Norman Gaw. I lived at 13 Glencairn isn't
that lucky. Can you remember when Lamont's the butcher on new street
burned to the ground? First barbecue I ever smelled. Well Grace, it's 4
AM I could not sleep, so I thought I'd just get up and have a chat with
you, It's been a pleasure, We'll do it again soon, have fun.
Richard Maxwell, "Dun's son".
Hope you are enjoying your wee break. I was born in Ayrshire central,
Irvine in 1972 and therefore don't remember any wars but I do remember
an air raid shelter that stood behind a house in Barrie Terrace in
Ardrossan. Your memory of yourself and three sons huddled together in
the air raid shelter while your brave husband was out on patrol brought
a tear to my eye because I can't imagine what it must have been like for
you. Worrying about your husband, protecting and reassuring your sons
and all of you being so brave. I don't know how you all done it and I
think everyone who survived any war deserves a medal. Enjoy the
threetowners I'm sure you'll get a laugh and a few forgotten memories
Hi everyone, Here's a little story
from 1940 from the Higher Grade School, 11AM out the school everyone,
"quickly" no coats, just run. Three Policemen standing outside chasing
everyone up new street, "go home". On the way, my cousin and I heard,
there's a bomb in the school football field. So At Stevenston Cross, we
headed up bogle mart st, crossed over the sandy hills going towards the
caley, over the wall and into the old grave yard and across to the far
wall. Now over that wall was the school football field, the clothes
change hut, was higher than the wall, so I said let's climb the wall at
the hut, then we can peek round the hut, in case the police are there.
Now that hut was standing three feet from the wall on the playing field
Well up we go, and lo and behold, the bloody bomb was lodged between the
hut and the wall. It came in at that angle missed the hut and dyke. Two
feet wide, showing three feet above ground, two more feet below where it
kicked the sand out.
Grey colour stencilled in German. Three fins connected by a metal ring,
it was ticking like hell. We stayed ten minutes clapping it, I was using
the ring as a steering wheel, then Got hungry and headed home. Dick
Dick Maxwell wrote in part: I'm
right in the mood Hugh---What's next.
Hi Dick, Be interesting to know if you recall any outdoor curling rinks
in the area. I know there was one behind the mansion houses in South
Crescent Ardrossan. That is beside the bowling club and on the track
from the Cannon Hill over the railway bridge on the way to South Beach
It's a sunken asphaltarea and they used to flood it.
Grace it's so nice to hear from you, that was a lovely bit of nostalgia.
As I recall the "Bonnie Lesley" monument is on the street where you
lived - Glencairn Street. I read the memorial was put there in 1929.
Rabbie Burns was fair smitten by Stevenston's Lesley Baillie hence the
two songs written about her by him. I was and still am smitten by my
Stevenston lass. There I'm almost sure to get bacon and eggs for
breakfast tomorrow. <grin>
I remember when I lived in Union
Street, Saltcoats when the air raid siren went we all went into a Mrs
Kelly's house on the ground floor and there we all waited huddled
together until it was all over. My distinct memory was of an older woman
wailing and crying all the way through. I remember her name but I won't
mention it here, not wanting to offend any still living relatives.
Another time mum and I were going visiting someone. The warning came. We
went back home, collected our gas masks and then continued on our
journey.Then my mum and I went to Aberdeen, I was about 6 or 7 at the
time, because my father was stationed there, ski training for the
invasion of Germany via Norway, as I found out much later . The siren
went during the night and we all had to go into this very dark air raid
shelter Someone shone a torch through a closed fist just to give a
little light. I was so frightened I went outside and stood beside my
father and watched the search lights in the sky. We were OK that night.
Later in life I became very claustrophobic and it has been traced back
to that time in my childhood. Dreadful time altogether in my childhood.
I am fair enjoying the stories about the air raid shelters, I
remember there was one at the bottom o Dalry rd; in Ardrossan? to the
right as you go down when we were at Eglinton we used to go and play
there I wouldn't go in but the big brave boys did & some o the lassies
but even then i was clostra phobic!! well that's my excuse & i am
sticking to it. when I had my first house ( a prefab in Stanley rd;
Ardrossan ) we had big tin coal bunkers massive big things someone told
me that people used them for shelters during the war? I don't ken if
that was true? probably someone having me on as usual!!.
Anyway the closest I got to air-raid shelters was playing on the grass
on the top of them & making daisy chains for oor necklaces & rings!! I
would have the odd peek through the door but that was enough too feert!!.
( i would never have able to go in one ) gid job I was born in 48. keep
the good stories coming. Liz Scott.
Well Grace, you've certainly evoked a lot of e-mail this weekend.
That's wonderful. Since you're from Stevenston you'll remember the
air raid shelters at the Sandy Hills near the scout hut on Boglemart
Street. I was never in them, but we used to play on top of them. The
parents of course, had us scared with stories about bad things that
would happen if we went inside! So I was always too chicken to go
in. Like someone else who wrote, I can't envision having been stuck
in one of these places for hours on end. I remember my mum saying
that she'd rather be outside watching the bombs drop than in a
shelter. She was from Cambuslang, and was forced into war work at
Ardeer (like a lot of women). Before she came to Stevenston, she
said that when the bombs started their neighbours would come to
their house and they'd all huddle under the table for protection!
She told me that my dad and her stood in Auchenharvie and watched
the sky as Glasgow was being blitzed. It seems the sky was bright
like daylight. I think it was the only time she was glad to be in
Ayrshire. She said it was like coming to a foreign country
what with all the Ayrshire expressions. And my dad, Sandy Park,
certainly used a lot of those, having been born and bred there.
Keep the stories coming. It's like taking a walk down memory lane
Jean (Park)& Jim Kelly
I used to play in the one which is now "Millglen Caravan Site"
Ardrossan, on the backroad to West Kilbride, back in the 50's. We made
it our "wee den", and sat up there at night round a fire tellin ghost
stories, jeese it was creepy. We carried the old curling stones back
home, nae wonder ma back gees me trouble. We also had another wee den at
a farm (name ?), which Lawson Drive Ardrossan, is now built on. That was
owned by 2 sisters (Cissy Anderson I think was one) don't know the
Hello grace, I hope you are pleased
with all the interest that you have sparked, I thought that I would let
you know that my aunt lives in 76, Glencairn st and her next door
neighbour is bella McCreadie aged about 82yrs, upstairs is Mrs.
Matheison who is blind. my aunt is married to George McKay (louie), his
mother is lizzie McKay who will be about the same age as yourself and
father is Geordie McKay (from the H.L.I.0 or so he used to sing.
I was telling my uncle about you and he asked me to find out if you
remember the egg farm? I hope you inspire people to find out more about
the local history and all the stories that you remember, I find it
fascinating, I always loved to hear my own granny telling me about
during the war when she would whitewash or distemper the walls in her
house/sublet. I hope you keep good health and have a lovely time reading
all the e mail, bye for now,