GOING TO SCHOOL IN VICTORIAN DAYS
by Cowie Ramsay, of the Braeton, Glass
Fin I wis a laddie in Glass public school
The roads wis a tracket an narra an ful
McAdam wisna born then, neither wis Ford
But Edison Bell had jist come to record.
I cam doon an up the glen for eight long years,
Widen among dubs an snaw an sometimes tears.
Rubber beets wis bit a dream, as the eens I hid wis afa shoddy,
An fin the slush cam ower the mooe, I fen wid envy Norrie’s cuddy.
Corrie Sma sa me awa, an Tammy More watched me go
Doon the park sometimes fast, but more than aften very slow.
Oot at the Loan gate an I wis on my way,
Past such local land marks as the Sprottie Howe an the Pinkie Brae,
Then doon past mother Green’s peat stack an her bonnie honeysuckle buss,
An if I poo’d a floorie man, she kicket up sick a fuss.
I got a wag fae the Sodger fa wis doon tethering Jeannie the coo;
He wis afa fine company fin he wis sober bit I didna like him fin he wis fu
“Dinna litter noo or ye winna be on time”
I sometimes wisna half wakent fin I was past the Loan o’ Aldyne,
I got a smile fae the Glasga bobby, fa’d noo cam tae farm Aldyne,
I didna see ony loons aboot the place yet, bit there is a stump o’ a quine
Doon by the yalla ha, an roon tae the new brig
For Annie Hoote’s hoose wis sighted an she keepit it aye sae trig.
“O God of Bethel by whose hand
Thy people still are fed,
Who through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led.”
I said my verse a time or twa to mak sure I hid it richt
An awa doon the wimplin burn the Haugh cam in sicht
Wi twa mile ahen me noo I gaed in by the shop
An sa some early customers and hot a look at the clock.
There wis aul Jeemes Malcolm a stonemason in his day,
An Crack the busman’s widow that wis aye sae blithe an gay,
An Mrs Gaul the gamekeeper’s wife, far aften nursed the laird,
An Maggie Fynn wi a new clay pip smoking bogie roll by the yaird.
Doon by the smiddy noo tae see the mightyman
Sweat comin fae his broo an a horse shee in ilka han.
Up past the coal heep noo tae view the slater’s manny,
He wis aye fechtin wi the ween,
An I heard the mullart’s pigs complainin
Because their troches were teem.
I didna dally on the brig bit gaed doon tae the mineral wall
To get a houpie oot o’ the iron ladle – an oh boy- the water wis cal.
To get up the brae for the last lap
Fit did it maiter tho I fyles got the strap.
My father said it wis for my ain good,
So I jist gaed in an startit anither day wi Dominie Wood.
An that is over seventy years ago as I left the school in nineteen-o-three
An a great many names on the war memorial are of laddies that played wi me