Document 1446

Interview 17: Glasgow man on growing up in Govan

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F606 So y- you grew up in Govan, is that right?
M691 I grew up there, aye, I was a wee boy in Govan, just eh durin the war.
F606 Mmhm.
M691 Don't remember much about that though.
F606 Aye. [laugh]
M691 But eh I remember the the horses an cairts, there was a lot o the horses an cairts in Govan, an eh wasnae too many lorries aboot, well I I I remember. Maybe that was somethin tae dae wi just eftir the war, everybody was skint, ye know? I can remember gettin the the food u- the f- the coupon for the food ye know, gettin the first bar o chocolate for a six- for sixpence, that was a massive big treat, I never had anythin like that yeah, we used tae follae the the horses an cairts, especially the one that was, ye know wi the water in the street, ye know, eh tae keep the dust doon in the summer, ye know, an then that's how they swept the streets in these days.
F606 Mmhm.
M691 An we used tae run eftir that an get get aw soakin wet. //[laugh]//
F606 //[laugh]//
M691 But I suppose everybody's got that story, everybody that's the same age as me would would remember that as well, ye know?
F606 Mmhm.
M691 I used tae go doon tae the Dai- Cuthbertson's Dairies, an they had the big Clydesdale horses there an eh the men would let ye in an they'd let you be touchin the the, groomin the horses, help them oot wi that, ye know? //that was really//
F606 //Mmhm.//
M691 good good memories. An then there oh there was the terrible memory o Sandshoe Harry //apoch- apochrycal, apocryphal tale.//
F606 //[laugh] Who was?//
M691 Sandshoe Harry, this guy was goin aboot Govan [laugh] an aw, he would, a lot o the the hooses in Govan the s- the front door was right at the street so ye could open the door no- nobody locked their doors in these days,
F606 Mm.
M691 ye s- we had a [?]cheque cased[/?] up in the door for aboot nine year, //stuck on the ootside.//
F606 //[laugh]//
M691 But eh what he would dae he would creep up an have his hand dipped in flour, an [laugh] op- open open a door an stick yer haund roond the door an eh laugh an run away, ye know? //Ye'd be sit- [laugh] folk'd be sittin in their hoose an see this white haun [laugh] comin roond the door here, fright o their life an that was the, he was the big bogey man when we were boys,//
F606 //[laugh]// //Aye.//
M691 //yeah.// Sandshoe Harry, cause he wore a pair o sannies an that's how he would run away an cause aa sorts o trouble. //[laugh]//
F606 //[laugh]//
M691 [laugh] That's the these are the the good memories, playin roond the back a the time in the back court, an eh, ye know, the [inaudible] ye remember the the men comin back fae the war they were aw, maybe couldnae settle back intae life an they were the the street singers, they would come roon the back courts singin songs an
F606 Mm.
M691 the women usually women would throw them a couple o pennies oot the windae.
F606 Mm.
M691 I can remember the- these guys up at Buchanan Street subway station, you see I don't, I I'll never forget the song they sung it was [laugh] they sung eh opera, ye know? Pretend opera there's a there's a, ye know? Guys that'd been injured in the war an they're aw musicians but [laugh] maybe I'm thinkin too fondly o them, maybe they were aw beggars or, I don't know anyway, but they played the big accordian an one o them belted oot the voice an he used to sing a song "Yellow Car tae Bellahouston", ye know tae tae that //"yellow car tae Bellahouston", ye know? An he filled in [laugh] he filled in aw these wo- daft words//
F606 //[laugh] Mmhm.//
M691 tae make it sound like the opera, //ye know?//
F606 //Yeah. [laugh]//
M691 That's that's that was the- the good times, ye know?
F606 Uh-huh.
M691 Yeah.
F606 An what did you do after that?
M691 Eftir that? We got re-housed, we went tae sunny Barlanark, //which was//
F606 //Aye.//
M691 just finishin bein built, still bein built when we went there. So it was a- it was aw brand new an big an airy an an eh Easterhouse hadnae been built, so it was aw farms just across the Edinburgh Road, an that's where we used tae wander up there an make your way up tae Hogganfield Loch, an that was a nice wee place tae go, ye know, go on the wee boats there an they had a wee pitch an putt. It was quite a trek but eh gradually it got all built up an an different territories evolved then, so ye ye had tae be careful where ye went aboot, ye know, ye
F606 Mmhm.
M691 but eh didnae have too much bother cause we we played at fitba an ye were kinda accepted by, if ye played at fitba ye had it as a passport, ye could go anywhere.
F606 Aye.
M691 Ye know, whereas some o the other kids didnae have it so easy, ye know, they had tae watch where they were goin. That's the an an we moved across the road to another house there, an eh, yeah it was it was awright, an things were still brand new an then gradually things start tae get a wee bit depressin ye're in, //ye know?//
F606 //Mmhm.//
M691 They don't there's nae shops or the shops get vandalised an there's nae picture-hoose an, yeah, remember they, ye had tae walk tae Shettleston. Used tae go with my mother walkin tae Shettleston, that's where she got aw her messages, cause in these days ye went tae different shops for different things an aw the //wee shops//
F606 //Mm.//
M691 were still well open an ye'd get a good butcher an a good fishmonger //an aw this,//
F606 //Mmhm.//
M691 an then ye'd be heavy-laden comin back up the road, an it was always always walkin, it was a good two or three miles. An that was always a good walk but comin past the old graveyard was //[laugh] was quite frightenin at times,//
F606 //[laugh]//
M691 [laugh] cause cause there was eh the story o the polisman who was found dead there, an eh they they sorta tried to work oot that his uniform had caught on the barbed wire at the cemetery, an this would be n- there's nae streetlights there, ye see?
F606 Mmhm.
M691 An he'd be walkin past on his own, patrollin, an obviously grabbed by the the barbed wire an that was the story. //Whether these stories are true I don't know, but that was the//
F606 //Tha- [laugh]//
M691 that was the the sorta stuff ye got, ye know?
F606 Mmhm.
M691 Er, then I left, I left when I was auld enough tae go an start work in the carpet factory. That was a heavy heavy job.
F606 Mmhm.
M691 Aye, big six hundredweight carpets ye had tae shift aboot, put them on tae a wee barra, an that was a skilled job, they'd a big steel pole doon the middle o them an they weighed six hundredweight an you had tae lift that on tae the barra yourself, //which is//
F606 //Mm.//
M691 it has a wee knack tae it ye know? Ye gie it a wee twist an a wee jerk //an it//
F606 //Yeah.//
M691 more or less bounces, otherwise ye'd have nae chance. But that was it an the wee wooden barra with only two wheels on it so it flopped back an forward, but that was a hard hard job.
F606 Yeah.
M691 Aye. Enjoyed the carpet factory though, it was good fun.
F606 [laugh]
M691 There was this this guy who was wan o the owners, an he'd been in the war an he'd, shell-shocked durin the war, an he [laugh] he used tae have these long long holidays where the the family would tell us he was away in Switzerland on holiday but he was obviously away gettin a wee bit o treatment somewhere. But he used tae come in his Rolls Royce tae the factory and he'd come in wi his bowler hat, an then the carpets aw stood up on end just like your filing cabinets here only much higher, //twelve feet.//
F606 //Aye.// //Mmhm?//
M691 //An// they could be pretty dangerous from a, like that an he used tae go aboot an ye'd pick up bits o fluff like selvage an he would be throwin his hand grenades at ye, //an [laugh] jumpin oot, jumpin oot fae behind carpets at ye an aw this [laugh] mad as a hatter!//
F606 //[laugh]// //[laugh] Yeah.//
M691 //vocal desc="laugh"/> But it was aw it was aw good fun, ye know? Aye.// //[laugh] Aye happy da- happy days in the carpet factory, aye.//
F606 //[laugh] Yeah. [laugh] What did a carpet cost in those days?//
M691 I wouldnae know, we couldnae afford one. [laugh] Cause [laugh] ye couldnae buy a carpet if you were an ordinary person, ye had tae go, had tae be the black market. //Or the wee//
F606 //Mmhm.//
M691 the wee man used tae come an collect aw the the cuts, aw the off-cuts an he would sew them aw thegither
F606 Mm.
M691 so ye couldnae really tell, if you're lookin at the top if ye turned the carpet over ye'd see aw the aw the seams that were aw sewn up, he made a beautiful job o it //but that's the sorta//
F606 //Mm.//
M691 that's the sorta carpets that ordinary folks would have, ye know?
F606 Yeah.
M691 We didnae have, the stuff that we were makin a lot o it was for export so it was really high quality
F606 Mmhm.
M691 an eh ye had tae, ye had tae sew it up in big hessian sacks. An that was a skilled job ye- ye'd a big needle sewin up with the jute, ye know? //An eh//
F606 //Yeah.//
M691 but eh w- the only wey we could afford a carpet is if it was in a sale, or the or the carpet factory let ye buy it cheap because an order had gone wrong,
F606 Mmhm.
M691 well generally speakin ye couldnae be intae that kind o world, //ye know?//
F606 //No.//
M691 Aye, it's different now cause they make aw sorts o cheap rubbish now that
F606 [laugh]
M691 [laugh] ye could spit through it, ye know [laugh] but we'd a nice, a nice one a the guy- the carpet factory there was this guy, we cawed him Cherry Blossom cause [laugh] the carpets used tae go from the ground floor up on the big roller
F606 Mmhm.
M691 an so they get, when they're upstairs they wo- ye would call it flats up tae the the upstairs flat whaur they would be workin on maybe the surface, an then it gaed through another roller an come doonstairs so that they could work on the back.
F606 Mmhm.
M691 An it got aw treated, well we'd be upstairs workin on the surface o the carpet, an [laugh] Cherry Blossom would be doonstairs an he'd forget that ye could see through the floor an he'd get his wee his [laugh] his wee tin o black Cherry Blossom boot polish an rub it on his bald spot, //cause he'd he'd black hair, ye see?//
F606 //[laugh] Yes!// //[laugh] What a shame!//
M691 //[laugh]// It was a shame [laugh] but that's what he did, that's what he did, wee tin o Cherry Blossom boot polish rubbed on the wee bald spot, there, so he was known as Cherry Blossom. //[laugh]//
F606 //[laugh]//
M691 They'd another wee guy who was called, he was called Treb, aye he was called Treb because his big brother was a a big fat guy an we called him Beer Barrel, he was quite proud o that by the way. //So Beer Barrel//
F606 //Mm.//
M691 had a wee brother who got called naturally enough Beer Barrel Bung, //cause he was a lot weeer an Beer Barrel Bung was a treble B.,//
F606 //[laugh]//
M691 so [laugh] so he, that got shortened tae Treb, //so [laugh] Cherry Blossom an Treb worked on the same machine//
F606 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
M691 //that's [laugh] couldnae make it up could ye? [laugh]// Aye.
F606 Did you have a nickname?
M691 No, never had //but do you know wh- when I worked there there was nine o us in a squad, you know you're in a squad,//
F606 //Uh-huh.//
M691 an we were aw caed some form o Wullie, Wullie or Bill or Billy or Wull or Billy, every wan o us, ye don't get that nooadays, kids are called Jason or whatever, they're no called Wullie or Jimmy any mair, or Johnny it's, Davy, they're aw gone
F606 Uh-huh.
M691 aye but we're aw there were nine o us called Wullie. //Aye, it's like bein in Wales [laugh] yeah.//
F606 //[laugh] Yes.// Uh-huh, so it's a far cry to Helensburgh where you live now?
M691 Oh aye, aye. Yeah, Helensburgh's quite a mixture o people, there's folk from all over the world in Helensburgh.
F606 Mmhm.
M691 Aye, it's it's quite cosmopolitan. Ye hear all sorts o languages in Helensburgh.
F606 Uh-huh.
M691 Oh it's a good pla- good place to live.
F606 What, being by the sea an, //well not the sea is it?//
M691 //Yeah, well it is eh// I suppose it's the the firth
F606 Yeah.
M691 the Firth o Clyde. The seafront could be a lot better than it is. //It's been neglected over the years.//
F606 //Mm.//
M691 Well it's a nice place tae wander aboot. We just had the Cherry //[inaudible] I was gonnae say the Cherry Blossom Festival [laugh] that's exactly what it is,//
F606 //Cherry blossom. [laugh]//
M691 ye know, we had the Blossom Festival on on Saturday an Sunday there.
F606 Mmhm.
M691 Unfortunately there was no blo- no cherry blossom, because [laugh] the weather hadnae been good enough. Last year it was wonderful but this year //we did withoot but//
F606 //Uh-huh.//
M691 we had some good shows on aye, ye know, a lot o, few bands on an dancers an pipers, that sorta thing. //It's a nice sorta thing tae be//
F606 //Mmhm.//
M691 involved in, ye know?

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Information about Document 1446

Interview 17: Glasgow man on growing up in Govan


Audio audience

Adults (18+)
For gender Mixed
Audience size 2

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2006
Recording person id 606
Size (min) 13
Size (mb) 51

Audio setting

Recording venue University Archive
Geographic location of speech Glasgow

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio speaker relationships

Family members or other close relationship

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 631
Year of transcription 2006
Year material recorded 2006
Word count 2325

Audio type

General description Interview about growing up in Govan


Participant details

Participant id 606
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Academic
Place of birth Edinburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's place of birth Leith
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's place of birth Edinburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work


Participant details

Participant id 691
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs None
Occupation Retired Social Worker
Place of birth Govan
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Helensburgh
Region of residence Dunbarton
Residence CSD dialect area Dnbt
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Joiner
Father's place of birth Govan
Father's region of birth Glasgow
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Domestic
Mother's place of birth Govan
Mother's region of birth Glasgow
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Work and home
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Occasionally