The first of the many letters I received is actually from my Guest book and is written by a Mr. John Duffy who is originally from Paisley but is now in Dundee, not far, but far enough. Hope you enjoy it, I did and I look forward to your comments, maybe your name could be on this page ??? Contact me with your ideas.
Am I a big saftie or whit, when I see things aboot Paisley I get a lump in ma throat, and am only a hunner mile awa’. Ma memories o’ Paisley ur Langcraigs Primary 58-65 (Miss Knox ma teacher and hur always geein us the belt (sadistic b***h) Stuart Adams always got it within ten minutes of beein’ in the class.
Fa’in in the Linn when it was frozen up and runnin’ away doon the braes before I froze completely. I was about 9. Oh! I must have been aboot the same age when I feel thro the school windae, heid first. That’s probably my only claim to fame as they boarded up the windows from that day to this. Some of the folk in my class at Langcraigs were Jean Reid (I thought she was lovely) Morris McCafferty, Brian Johnstone, Wee Willie Peacock, Carol Clark, (who was also my next door neighbour at 4 Craigendon Oval), Gordon Reid, Wendy Grant, Arlene Colquhoun (she fell oot with me on the day of the Qually dance), Tommy Cameron, Mary McNeese(she always had sweeties in her desk) etc etc.
Next off I went to Stanely Green 65-68. (Miss Knox made us all fail oor qualifing exam) I think I must have been in a daze at Stanely as I hardly remember much aboot it. Mr. Russell the science teechur and mibee only him cos he gave me thruppence fur gettin’ an answer right wance. Oh I remember them building the high flats just next to the school, buying thrupenny singals at Mrs Rankine’s at Braehead shoaps. Her husband had been the manager o’ St.Mirren at one time so she liked me ‘cos
I supported St.Mirren.
Oh! its all coming back, I remember I guy called Purdie used to wait at the front gate to get money aff everybody (B****y big bully) Probably he’s a missionary or somethin’ noo. Others in ma class there were Jean Reid, Duncan Harrigan, Myra Milton, Gordon Hunter, Robert Humphreys, etc etc. I left school and got a job as a gatehouse boy at Stoddarts (now I think a car park, is it) in Caledonia Street where my main job was to run along to the bookies (craigs) to put lines on for the men. That was where I had my first pint next door to the bookies. I knew there was a drink called heavy or something, but how can you just ask for a weight.
What if the barman was to ask how heavy was I say “dead dead heavy or no awfy heavy” so I just got a pint of lager. 1968 – In September o’ that year I went to serve ma apprenticeship with Babcock & Wilcox down in Tipton that is just ootside Birmingham. But I was back in Paisley a lot as we had to go to Reid Kerr College every three or four months. Went into some of those classes worse the wear for drink. Brabloch and Bungalow Bar were our haunts, a Mr Scott was our main welding teechur. He was spot on thank heavens. On Saturdays we would go to Baileys for oor drink then off to Love Street. Era of Jim (feed the Blair) Blair, Donald (give us a wave) Hunter who also worked in the broo as at a later date I was to find oot.
Then at 5 o’clock into the Club bar to get the results. (The pubs used to close then.) I came back to work in the Paisley area again in 74 where I basically went round closing all the factories as everyone I went to shut down weeks after I left.
I was in Fullarton Hodgart & Barclay Renfrew Road for a week or two (hudgie fudgies and budgies) I bailed out, next thing I know the place after a 100 years of trading closed down, then I had a wee shot in Ferguslie Mills left there next thing it disappears, I even went over to Clydebank to John Brown Offshore, leaves there it shuts down, Worked with two brothers in Barrhead leaves them they went bankrupt.
Here I better stop as once I start babbling I tend to go on a bit.
I must thank John Duffy for his work on this part of the site if you read the Guest book you can see more of his story.