We lived at "Lilybank" Cottage No 63 Omoa Road Cleland in the county of  Lanarkshire. My father Matthew Brown was born on the 26 July 1891 in New Stevenson  near Bellshill. He was the eldest son of James Brown and Bridget Rooney.  He married my mother on 31st December 1915 at St Mary's Church in  Cleland. My mother Ellen Reynolds was the eldest daughter of Joseph  Reynolds and Ellen McDermott. She was born on the 5th June 1892 in "The  Square", Cleland  (near to where the Corn Park football ground is today).  I was born in Cleland and was the oldest of three boys my brothers were Richard Gerard (Gerry) and John Boyle. I had three older sisters, Ellen  (Lena), Bridget (Etta) and Mary. My father's mother married twice her  first husband was James Brown her second was Michael Ward. There were  nine children in all seven Browns, Matthew, James, John, Richard, Mary,  Jeannie, and Bridget (Beassie), and two Ward children Catherine (Kate) and Annie. My mother Ellen had four sisters and three brothers, they were,  Annie, Jane, Agnes and Rose, and Hugh, Patrick, and Richard. My father's  brother John and his two sisters Kate and Annie, they emigrated to  Australia in or about the year 1921. My earliest memories relate to my  boyhood in Cleland a mining village in Lanarkshire where I was born on  the 7th December 1924 at Lilybank Cottage, Omoa Road. They go back to the beginning of the thirties, when the country was in the grips of a  terrible depression and disease.  It was a time of hunger and the dole  queue and begging in the streets. The people of the village were of  mining stock, families depended on the local pits and mines for their  livelihood, but now most of these were closed or closing and the miners  had to look elsewhere for work. My father had worked in The Blackie pit  in New Stevenson until the 1926 general strike. When the strike ended he  was determined he would never work in coal pits again and so he went to  seek work elsewhere. He like a lot of the local men had heard that The  British Aluminium Company were erecting a factory for the making of  Aluminium in Fort William in the highlands. He went there and managed to  get work installing the hydro pipeline down the side of Ben Nevis. This  when completed would provide the power for the new Works producing  aluminium. He stayed there for a three years managing to get home every month. I surprised him many years later in the 1960s when I related to  him a story about when I was very young. I remembered I was with my  mother and we walked from a railway station, and then went up an outside  stairway with iron railings, it was raining very hard and we were wet. I  told him also that the train we had been on seemed to come out of the water. Firstly he didn't believe what I was telling him. I had described  the place where he was in digs and that my mother had taken me to visit  him in Fort William, this was in 1926. I was only 2 years old. When he  came home from the highlands in about 1929 he was fortunate to get a job  at the building of the new wing for the Hartwood Hospital (Asylum) near  Shotts. Whilst he was there and I was about 9 or 10 years old he built me  a barrow made from a set of pram wheels with an orange box bolted to it  with tram handles about three feet long and had a loop of fabric  attached. Each Friday after school I had to take my barrow and go up Omoa  Road to the Cross. Along Main Street to the Bellside Road and then up to  the bridge on the Bellside Newmains road (A73) and from there take the  Murdostoun Road to meet him about a mile from Shawstonfoot. He would be  wheeling his bike as he had a bag of small coal slung across the crossbar, he had picked the coal from the surface workings of an old  derelict mine. The bag was placed on the barrow. I got into the harness  and set off for home. It was warm work and we had to stop frequently for  rests. I did this every Friday in the summer holidays and on any other  days if we were short of coal. There was little or no work for those men  who remained in the village.

The coal owners had locked the pits and  refused to take on workers until they all agreed they would never go on strike again. Only those who agreed to take a cut of a shilling per hour  in their pay were taken back, men just hung about the cross, no work and  no pay. Those lucky ones who had a job had to travel away from home,  there was a great deal of poverty, as the wages were very low, all they  got was about three shillings a day. They were indeed lucky if they  brought home thirty shillings a week for six full days work and this to  feed maybe six or seven children. It was a depressing place to live but  we boys never experienced the really hard times, we were a part of it but  we didn't know any better; as long as we got a penny at Christmas, Easter  the summer holidays and Halloween we were happy. A penny trip on a tram  car during the summer holidays from Airdrie to Paisley was a great  adventure, even though we had to walk the five miles to Airdrie to get on  to the tram. My brother Gerry had managed to get himself a job delivering  the morning rolls around the village. The rolls were delivered to our  house at about  6:30am each morning by the baker Tony Petkevitch from Craigneuk. We got two big baskets handed in to the house and the rolls  had to be put into bags to be delivered to the various households.  Gerry  would take the Main Street and Parkside round and because I had to catch  the bus to school in Motherwell I was given the easy Omoa Road and Chapel  Street round. It was always a contest to see who could get finished the quickest. Sometimes my mother would come and give us a hand if we were  running short of time. On the Friday evening after school we would go  around and collect the money from the various customers who hadn't paid  in the morning, many a time we had to go back the following week before  we eventually got paid.  The rolls were sold three for a penny so the  weekly bill for a typical family was about one shilling and sixpence (  71/2 P in today's money). Our pay for all of this was two shillings and  sixpence for the week (Half a Crown)      ( 12 1/2 P.). When you consider  my father's pay for a weeks work was about 1-10 shillings,  the half a  crown was quite a handsome addition to the family income. Gerry was very  much involved with Wilson's piggery across the viaduct over the Quarry  Well. I have known him during his summer holidays to spend a whole night  with an expectant sow, and he would remain with her in the sty until the  piglets were born He would then come home tired out and go to bed after a  good nights work, Gerry was probably only about ten or eleven years old  when he was doing this and my mother always said he was going to be a Vet  when he grew up,  I am sure if the war hadn't come along that is the career he would have followed. About this time I was becoming aware of my  father's involvement in local politics, it was 1935 and a General  Election had been called. There were lots of important visitors to our  house and I learned they were all members of a neo socialist organisation  called the "Independent Labour Party". Jennie Lee a young school teacher  from Lochgelly in Fife had been adopted as the ILP candidate to fight our North Lanark constituency. The sitting MP was Mr Anstruther Gray. Some of  the visitors included, Jimmy Maxton (he had a hair do just like  Hitler's), Jimmy Carmichael, Fenner Brockway, John Wheatley, Manny  Shinwell, Harry McGhee (he was from Greenhill hamlet outside Cleland) and  Nye Bevan. They were the leading Socialists of the day and made quite an  impression on me. (They were all elected to the House of Commons in the Labour Victory just after the war in 1945).  Every Friday after school I  had to deliver about forty copies of the ILP's Newspaper "THE NEW  LEADER". It was a four, page paper and always had stark and striking  black and white caricatures on the front page. They depicted happenings  in The Spanish Civil War, or The Japanese invasion of China, or  Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia, or Hitler's antics in Europe. One  particular cartoon remains vivid in my memory it depicted a slant eyed skeleton like creature holding up a rifle with a fixed bayonet and a  Chinese child impaled on the end of the bayonet. This had a very lasting  effect on me. My father was Jenny Lee's Election agent and the committee  had arranged an Election Rally up in Westwood Glen near the Newmains Road  beyond Bellside. All the notables were there, and games and stalls were  organised, The celebrity who came that day in support of Jenny Lee was  the film star Constance Cummings.  (She starred in the film Blithe Spirit  by Noel Coward) a red headed lady who sang and spoke from a platform that  had been erected in the Glen. Later that day she made a speech at Cleland  Cross in support of Jennie Lee.  On the day of the Election I remember  some of my pals, boys and girls from the school running up and down Omoa  Road singing, Vote, Vote, Vote for Jenny Lee Kick Anstruther up the pole We  will find a penny gun And, we'll make the bugger run And we won't see  Anstruther Gray any more Needless to say Jenny Lee was unsuccessful and  that was the last election until after the war in 1945.  My School Days I  went to St Mary's primary school when I was four and a half and left  there just before my 11th birthday. My teachers throughout the school  were, Mrs McMaster infants teacher, Miss Annie Reynolds (my mother's sister), Miss Susan Ellis, Mrs Graham and Miss Annie Lavery. I don't  remember a great deal about my early years at Cleland School I do however  remember vividly my later years there. In my class were Arthur  McConnachie, Francis Tamburrini, Joseph Cavannah, Michael Sammon Alex  McCafferty, Joseph Henderson, John Mulhall (Ribbie), John  Reynolds,(Minch), Patsy Mooney, Thomas Stewart, Danny Kane, Andy McNeil,  James Lavery and Thomas Vallely,  the girls  Nan Currie, Elizabeth  Slavin, Catherine O'Keane, Sarah Brady, Nellie Cassidy, Margaret Devlin, Mary Nolan, Mary Farrell, Catherine Mooney, Annie Reynolds and Lizzie  Clarke. There were also boys and girls whose names I don't remember, who  were orphans and lived in The Poor House. (Now Cleland Hospital), down  the Bellside Road, they were always escorted to school were poorly  dressed in Parish issue clothing, the boys wearing heavy boots and brown  and grey herringbone tweed suits, the girls wore skirts and jackets of the same material. We were never allowed to mix too freely with these  children, they were outcasts of the society as it was then.  Even though  they were happy days, we made our own enjoyment playing games in the  street under a gas street lamp. In the wintertime it was common to see  boys and girls of all ages playing  "Peever" (now known as hop-scotch),  or kick the "knacket" a variation of " hide and seek " a small tin can which was placed in the middle of the road and one boy or girl kept an  eye over it and at the same time had to spy out the others who were  hiding in all sorts of cover. Being able to run fast to free the " den "  was absolutely essential. Another similar game called "Levoy" was only  for the boys, it was a bit more rough and tumble and attracted the bigger  boys, Joe Jordan, Racker Nolan and some others.  These games went on until we were called home at about 8 o clock. I recall vividly how we  were called home by my mother or my elder sister, they would come to the  back door and call out our names to come home. If we didn't get home  quickly we were in trouble and wouldn't get out the next night The young  ones of all the other families were in the same boat and by 8.15 the  street would be empty. In the Summertime the weather was so hot we played  games in our bare feet and went swimming down The Calder ( we called it  "The Cawther") at the bottom of The High Road, The hot weather caused the  tar surface of the road to bubble and run and we got it all over the  soles of our feet, we had to use butter to get the tar off, in the Winter  the weather was very cold with plenty of snow and ice, most of the boys  had ice skates and we used to skate to school. Behind The Hib's Hall was a pond which we used for skating when it froze over. Some of the older  boys and parents would ensure that the ice was safe before we were  allowed on to the ice. The Summers in those days were much earlier and  warmer than they are today, The Winters were very long and bitterly cold  starting in October and lasting to the following March. they were happy  days An incident happened to me in 1935 which involved Mary Currie and one or two of our other neighbours including Mrs Daly and Nellie Henderson. It was a Friday afternoon probably early Summer May or June,  my mother told me to go and get washed in the wash house which was out in  the yard. (We also had an outside toilet which we shared with the Daly's  )  The Wash House was a brick building with a door which was always  unlocked, inside there were two wash stands with wooden tubs. Each stand  had a wringer which fitted to the back of the stand and where it could be  fed with washed clothes directly from the wash tub. The wringers were  manually operated and were very effective for getting all the water out  of the clothes. There was also a brick built structure which housed an  iron boiler and which had a round cover with a handle. this cover was  placed on top of the boiler to prevent any water bubbling up over the top  and also I suppose to stop anything from falling in to the boiler. A coal fire in a grate below the boiler kept the water at or near to boiling. I  went out to the wash house and climbed up on the edge of the boiler and  was about to take my socks of when it happened. I really don't remember  what happened but I must have let out a yell and I ran to our back door  screaming. By the time I got there the neighbours who heard my screams  were also at the back door, they pulled the clothes off me and Mary Currie ran down to her shop and came running back with a bag of flour  which she poured all over me. Seemingly I had fallen into the boiler and  was severely burned. Someone went for The Doctor and he arrived very  shortly after. He was very annoyed when he saw I was covered in flour. I  was put to bed in a cage to prevent the bed clothes from touching the  parts of my body which had been badly burned and were covered in large  blisters. Doctor Lithgow treated me with a liquid spray from a scent spray, it had a rubber bulb and a long tube and a nozzle. By squeezing  the bulb some liquid was sucked up and sprayed on the blisters. He came  in every day and treated my wounds with the spray. I looked forward to  him coming in and treating me as it took away the pain. I was in bed for  over a  month and I remember that I was wheeled to the Corn Park to see  the school sports arranged to celebrate The Silver Jubilee of King George V. I like all the rest of the school children was given a New Penny a  gift from the King. The treatment given to me was so effective that I  bear no scars whatsoever as a result of the accident. On a sadder note a  few days after this Margaret Brunton a girl about the same age as myself  was cleaning the fireplace of her uncle's house and her apron caught  fire, she ran out into Omoa road ablaze, someone rolled her in a blanket but her injuries were so severe she died that night. Across the yard from  our house lived the Boyle family at the back of Big Frank and Lizzie  Melons and Mary Currie's shop, they had a big family as was common in  those days, I think they had about 9 or 10 children. James, John, Joseph,  Patrick, and Vincent and Tom, Mary Magdalen, Elizabeth, Josephine, and  Anne. ( They were an enterprising family the father Big Johnnie had a  circular saw in the yard where he cut railway sleepers into logs and the older boys chopped them up into sticks to kindle the fire. The younger  boys gathered the sticks into bundles and tied them with string. These  sticks "firewood" were sold for a penny a bunch ).  Incidentally the  roads and streets in those days were completely free of motor traffic at  night, except for the Midland bus which came along Omoa road every hour  up to 9 pm, it travelled between Airdrie and Newmains coming via Chapelhall, Newarthill, Cleland and Newmains. There were no cars on the  roads at night and during the daytime it was all horse drawn carts and  vans such as The milkman Geordie Scott, The Co-op Baker "Rab" and  Ramage's fruit van. Only three people in the village of Cleland had cars  and these were used  during the daytime a Morris 12 belonging to Father  Dollan a Ford belonging to Mr Mann the Church of Scotland Minister, and a  Ford 10 belonging to Mr Peter Tamburrini, affectionately know as "Peter the Tally",   John Howley a cousin of my mothers was the driver of the  priest's car. It was during these days that we boys were beginning to  notice that girls in the class were a bit different from us, we were  beginning to grow up,  we had a few secrets to hide,  making dates with  the girls to meet them along the Carfin Road or the Newarthill Road.  Sometimes in the Summer we would arrange to meet them down the Wishaw  High Road near to the Calder burn at Swinstie or down the Wishaw Low Road at the bridge near to the old Mill and at Fisher's Cottage. Some of the  girls were great fun to be with Nan Currie and Sarah Brady ( both girls  died very young in their 'teens ) were particularly keen to join us for a  walk in the warm Summer evenings or make arrangements to meet them at one  of the Wishaw Cinemas in Kirk Road , The Plaza, The Main Street or The Green's Playhouse. The films of those days were real classics, starring  Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, George Raft, Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford,  and Bette Davis. Carmen Miranda was also a  favourite amongst the older  ones. Of course as I said before some of the boys including myself were  keen footballers and played for the school football team. We were so good  that even the bigger girls were keen to be seen supporting us at our various matches. Charlie Dobbins, the janitor of the school  was a very  strict man and his word was law, we all respected him immensely, he was a  grumpy old figure. To all the school children he was a strict  disciplinarian and never missed an opportunity to report any misbehaviour  to the headmaster  Mr Vallely.   Charlie was also the school team manager  and loved to take his boys to play football throughout the Lanarkshire Schools area, The boys  I remember who played in the team regularly at  that time were,  Joe Henderson James Lavery Joe Brown Patsy  Mooney         Arthur McConnachie Joseph Donnelly Willie Delaney   John Reynolds     Paddy Nolan John Mulhall     Robert Brunton   These boys thought the world of Charlie they also brought credit and fame  to the school and the village. I was one of the team at that time and we  won most of the trophies we entered for, The Lanarkshire Schools cup, The Uddingston Rose Bowl Tournament and the Lanarkshire Catholic Schools  League were all won in season 1935-36. Six boys of that team  were picked  to play in the trial match for the Scotland International team to play  Wales at Tynecastle park in Edinburgh this trial of The West of  Scotland  Boys V The Rest of  Scotland boys was played at Royal Albert's ground in Larkhall Hamilton. The six boys were Arthur MacConnachie (Centre Half),  Joe Henderson  (Goalkeeper), John Mulhall (Inside Right), James Carr  (Right Half), Wee Paddy Nolan (Inside Left) and myself at Left Back. We  all played with our Cleland St Mary's socks on, these were alternate  bands of sky blue and gold. Arthur MacConnachie was a big lad he stood  head and shoulders above all the rest of us and he was the only one picked to play for Scotland in the 1937 team. We were all proud that one  of ours had been picked for Scotland. Charlie Dobbins hired Lamont  Watsons bus and took all the team and the new Headmaster Mr Docherty and  his assistant Mr McConville to Tynecasltle that day, needless to say  Scotland won the match 2-1. ( In the summer of 1935 I and about ten  pupils from Cleland went to Motherwell and sat the Entrance Examination  for "The Motherwell Higher Grade School"  Out of the ten, six girls, Elizabeth Slavin, Nan Currie, Sarah Brady, Catherine O'Keane, Annie  Reynolds and Lizzie Clark, and four boys Joseph Cavanagh, Francis  Tamburrini, Thomas Vallely and myself were successful. We had to start our new school in August that year, Liz Slavin and Thomas Vallely were  brighter than the rest of us and they started in class 1a all the others  went to Classes 1b and 1c. It was whilst I was at Motherwell in my second  year that the name of the school was changed from "Motherwell Higher  Grade " to "Our Lady's High School " our uniform was also changed from Green and Gold to Royal Blue with white piping. I recall that day when  the school was dedicated to "Our Lady". We all assembled in our classes  in the Quadrangle and Canon Doyle who had previously been Parish Priest  in Cleland  took  the service and gave the school its new name. He  together with the Rector Mr Tom Lynch appeared on the East Balcony where  a veiled statue had been erected. The cords were pulled to reveal a  lifesize grey stone figure of The Madonna and child. Prayers of dedication were said and after the service we were treated to a party in  the common rooms.  The present Cardinal Archbishop of Glasgow Thomas  Winning was a pupil in Class 1a of my entry year. I met him many years  later when he was Archbishop of Glasgow at a reception for my Cousin  Sister Martha who was celebrating sixty years as a nun in the order of St  Francis. The reception was held in the Convent at No 19 Park Circus Glasgow. I spoke to him about our days together in Motherwell but he  never remembered me.  Some of the teachers I had at Motherwell were :- Mr  P.Walsh  Class Teacher, Mr Miles McCann, Mr H. Naughton (Games), Miss  Grillo (French), Miss Gallagher (Science).Mr Hughes (Maths) Mr Glegg  (Science) )    Omoa Road and Main Street were the two main thoroughfares  through the village and where they met they formed Cleland Cross. Omoa  Road went in a westerly direction downhill past the Kirk, to Paddy McKeown' s barber's shop.  Also from the Cross, the Main Street ran north  passing Fuller Fergies barber's shop, the road down to Louden's Saw Mill  the Miners Welfare, the Co-operative store, Bob Davie's butchers shop,  The Commercial Bank, and McMillan's pub then to the junction of  Biggar  Road and Bellside Road at the  railway bridge.on the other side of the road, was John Mackies grocer's shop, Pattersons building, Leezie Love's  shop, The Tartan Building and Joe the Tally's, the Public School  the  Post Office and Baxters Garage. Going south from the cross was Peter the  Tally's, Top Smith's grocers shop, Jimmy Allen's bakery, Maggie  Johnstone's sweetie shop, a row of cottages and a two storey building,the  railway bridge and the junction of the Wishaw Low and High Roads. On the  other side was Collins' house, Johnnie McMullens , St Mary's presbetry then the church and the billiard hall (burned down about 1936), Brunton's cottage and the Castle Bar pub at the Cross. The Castle Bar, a  pub much frequented by men of the village particularly on Friday nights.  Visits to the pub during the week were very rare as there was little  money around and few men worked. Most days miners and their unemployed  cronies were to be seen at the cross sitting on their hunkers gossiping  and putting the world to right. It was a common sight after  9 O'clock on  a Friday (closing time) evening to see maybe a dozen or so drunken men  staggering their way home from the pub. Always the same faces, we got to  know them by their nick names and sometimes in the long summer evenings  we boys would gather near the cross to watch the goings on between the  police and those who were the worse for wear in their drunken stupor,  they called out abuses to anyone who came near, and always their language  was colourful. It was usual for the Sergeant of Police and a constable to  make at least one arrest and march the offender down past Peter the  Tallys to the Police Station where they would spend the night in the  cells. Always next morning they would be released without charge,  promising to behave until the next Friday night. Sometimes we  would push  the swing doors of the Pub open so that we could have a better look inside to see what was going on.

 There were no tables other than a card   table where some men played Dominoes or Fat a card game popular amongst  the Cleland miners, The bar was the full length of the room and the  barman Mick Brennan, had a long white apron which had a bib and ties  which tied behind his back. On the floor throughout the room were  spitoons where tobacco chewing miners vented their mouths with the foul  tobacco juice. Spitoons were round receptacles made of steel and  enamelled in white with a blue rim, they were about nine  inches in  diameter with a removable insert which the pub cleaner had to wash out under a running tap in the yard at the back of the pub. Disinfectant was  never used only sawdust was sprinkled on the floors as this was the only  means of keeping the floors dry from beer spillage and the missed aims at  the spitoons. The Public bar was lighted by gas mantles and paraffin  lamps. These were mainly used when it got dark particularly in the Winter time.  The gas pressure was so low at times the lights would fail  getting dimmer and dimmer the more lights that came on. Women were  completely forbidden to enter the pub, except when they had to identify  their menfolk. Next to  the pub was a house which later became a sweetie  shop and then a newsagents, later still the newsagent Jimsey Keeveney  (Cavannah) had erected an old railway goods van on a spare piece of land  in front of Bruntons house, this was the only newspaper shop in the village. Cranston's Cottage was next and then The Dalrymple Bar a pub set  back off the road just before the Dandy Row ,The Kirk with a tin steeple.  Paddy McKeown's Barbers was next to the Kirk. Paddy was a  little round  fat man  who when he cut your hair his fat belly was pressed into your  face, he was always cracking  jokes and at times he would frighten the  life out of you by opening up a razor and flick it up and down on a razor leather strop. I personally was always glad  when the ordeal was over to  get out of the barbers chair. The shop was also used by men of the  village who would come to place their horse racing bets with Mick  McConnachie the bookie. Behind Paddy's shop Bob Davie had his slaughter  house before he moved up to Main Street near the bank. The road went on   past St Mary's school gate, Jordan's house and Casserley's to Mickie  Daly's at the junction of Gibb Street, then on down the hill passing the  Hibs hall, and Mrs McGlinchy's shop. Hendersons Cottage and our house "Lilybank". were on the opposite side of the road and Mary Curries  sweetie shop stood at the corner of the Stable Row. From here there was  a two storeyed house and then a row of miner's cottages with access to  the Cockyard, then came the Band Hall and Stewarts Cottage. Opposite the  miners row stood the Brick Building where Maggie Heron had her shop and  behind the building were the remains of The Square and Pottery. The road  continued to Lower and Upper Ravenshall and as far as Stevensons big  house at the crossroads of  the Newarthill Road , Carfin Road and the  track into Dick Marshalls Farm. On the opposite side going down from the  cross there was a long row of miner's cottages with their doors onto the  pavement. I cannot recall any families who lived in these cottages. Where  the cottages ended there was a dirt lane called Scott's Close running  back at an angle and this  came out between  Leezie Loves sweetie shop  and the Tartan building on the Main Street. ( it got the name Tartan from  the coloured bricks  used for the building  Red and Yellow).  After the  entry to Scotts Close came Carrickvale a fairly large two storeyed  building which accommodated about eight families.  Charlie Dobbins and  his sister Mary lived at the front next to Kelly's and Lafferty's. Also  living there at that time was Dominic Nolan's family which included the  above wee Paddy probably one of the best footballers ever to come out of   Cleland. They lived at the side of Carrickvale just behind  Bean  Kelly's.  Round the back lived another Nolan "Paddy The Racker", (no  relation to the above family ), his wife had died probably in childbirth when all his family were very young the oldest being Patrick aged about  16. There were other families living in Carrickvale including Joseph  Lafferty and his sister Vera. At the side of Carrickvale opposite the  Dandy Row a new  road of red ashes was built to give access to the public  park when it was opened to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of  King George  the V in May of 1935. Frank Fisher who was the lamplighter for the  village up to that time became the caretaker for the park when  Electricity came to Cleland in 1934-35. the previous lamplighter was a  much older man called Tam Johnstone, we boys and girls used to run after  him as he went about Omoa Road lighting the gas  lamps. The gas lamps  were put out about eleven O'clock each night and in the Wintertime were  lit again at about 6 O'clock each morning. Just past the entrance to the  Public Park, was Aitken's fish shop it was always full of fresh fish from Aberdeen and the East Coast fishing ports but not many people could  afford to buy it. The tradition in those days was that fish particularly  in Catholic homes was eaten on Fridays no meat was allowed. Only the  better off families could afford fish from Aitkens it was just too  expen