Document 1674

Interview with Stan Kirkpatrick, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SAPPHIRE, SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F1189 It's the eleventh of February, two thousand and nine, and I'm at the home of Stan Kirkpatrick in Waverley, //er which is a a//
M1191 //Yes.//
F1189 suburb of Dunedin, in Otago, in New Zealand, so I'm a long way from home. //[laugh]//
M1191 //You certainly are, Linda, but er you're very very welcome here.// //Thank you for coming.//
F1189 //And it's a pleasure,// it's a pleasure to be here. //Now,//
M1191 //Yes.//
F1189 can we begin at the beginning Stan, ehm if I could just ask you where you were born and when you were //born?//
M1191 //Yes.// Well, I was born in Perth, Scotland //on the third of August nineteen twenty-five,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 which means I'm now into my eighty-fourth year,
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 and eh I've eh lived in New Zealand now since nineteen fifty-two, //when I first came to settle here//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and I married here and I've two children and eh life is a s- very pleasant //eh in old age.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Now you've kept a Scottish accent. //Mm.//
M1191 //I don't think you ever lose your mother tongue.//
F1189 Mmhm? Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //You never never ever lose it.//
F1189 Mmhm. Can I ask you, you know, how how do you feel now? Do you feel Scottish still, or?
M1191 No, th-that has gone. //People have said to me//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 "why don't you go home for a trip?" And I say it would be a punishment.
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And by the look of you, you're rather amazed at that,// but I was at sea for a number of years //eh//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 and going back eh eh to Scotland after long trips abroad //eh I found that eh I was a stranger in my own country.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //I'd grown away from it// ehm a little village, I didn't know a soul eh there and eh //mine was a generation that was well scattered by the war//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //so that eh// //eh I've found very very little of interest in Scotland//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 and my final l-leave there my mother had said to me "eh look you haven't been home I think, for something like fourteen, fifteen years for Christmas
F1189 Mmhm. //Mm mm.//
M1191 //would you stay for Christmas?" This was September nineteen fifty-one.// And I said yes I will do. And in fact eh the year moved on, eh and I eh d-decided by this time to come to Dunedin to settle //but was finding great great difficulty getting a passage out here.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //There were no passenger ships then, no aircrafts if long range aircrafts// so getting out was a very very difficult operation. And I'd gone round shipping companies endlessly and with some of them new building of ships in the Clyde, //I went to all of these ships eh see if there's any chance of getting a job going out//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //and I can remember we'd been climbing a huge long ladder down to an engine room with a ship in Greenock,// and the chief engineer standing by the vessel, he said "what do you, what can I do for you, son?" and I said eh I said "well I'm looking for a trip to New Zealand". He said "look I've got a fo'c'sle full of [inaudible] for the moment", he says "and there's no way I could give you that". So in the finish, eh it got near Christmas week //and the company I'd been with was originally a Scottish company, Bank Line//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 of eh Glasgow, and their head office was then in London. And the chief superintendant rang me and said "are you still looking for passage to New Zealand?" I said "yes", he said "well eh I'm looking for a senior second mate for the Commadore ship." I said oh, he said "would you like to take that?" I said "oh yes please". And I said "when do you want me?" He says "now". //So there was a very hurried eh packing of eh bags,//
F1189 //[laugh]//
M1191 eh I got down to London. They had laid on a taxi for the the the train and then I drove v-v-vvery fast to Tilbury, went up the gangway, shipping master was there to sign me on the articles of agreement, eh that was duly done, he walked down there //and we cast off the lines and sailed for, as I thought New Zealand.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 But it was the normal company run, //US Gulf to Australasia it was called//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //Mm.//
M1191 //and I found that when we got to US Gulf, that we weren't actually going to New Zealand, we were going to Australia.// So, t-t-the navigator who got the wrong ship. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //So that's the very basics of it, there.//
F1189 What made you choose New Zealand then?
M1191 Eh I had eh t-t-the post-war years I was a very free agent, I'd no eh bonds to ttt-to ship-shipping companies. I'd served my apprenticeship with eh Ardrossan //line called the Baron Line.//
F1189 //Mm.// Mm.
M1191 Hugh Hogarth, the Baron Line, and I'd no particular wish to go back to them. But eh we had a Merchant Navy Pool and you went to the officer pool and //so I'd gone and said "I'm looking for a ship, what can you give me?"//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm mm.//
M1191 //And they offer you various ships.// And I had eh gone to, eh now where was it? Trying to think where it was. I'd gone to, to, to, to ship and w-was given this job as Second Mate //of eh a liberty ship.//
F1189 //Mm.// Mm.
M1191 Eh and eh I'd never sailed a liberty ship before, //it was good experience.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 We went down to West African co- ports, came back to the UK and the the skipper of the ship was eh Peter Stewart. //He came from Lossiemouth//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and this was his first command and my first job as second mate //and we got on swimmingly.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 A really really good friendship. So he said "what are you going to to do?" And I said eh "I haven't made any plans." He said eh //"Well there's a company that's going to buy the ship and she's gonna be renamed Corabank",//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 eh and he said "we'll be eh going out to the Australasian run."
F1189 Mm.
M1191 And I said "do you go out to New Zealand?" He said "oh yes, Australia and New Zealand". //I said "you know I've got two aunts in New Zealand I've never ever met."//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //They were First World War brides,// //eh married two Scots who'd settled in New Zealand,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and I said "I'd love to meet up with them." And that initially was what brought me to New Zealand. //The family here.//
F1189 //Ah the fact that you had family here. Mmhm.// //Mmhm mm.//
M1191 //And they had kept in touch over the years// //with their mother, with my eh my mother who's their sister of course.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh and it was a very wonderful occasion to meet with them// //eh when I first came out, I think it was nineteen forty seven.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm. //Mm.//
M1191 //Eh and I wasn't at all impressed by New Zealand, it was all humpytickery.// //To me it seem a very laid back town.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 I couldn't get over the verandas over the shop fronts.
F1189 Mmhm. //[laugh]//
M1191 //The tram cars had been thrown out of Glasgow I think about nineteen hundred and nine, or nineteen hundred and ten,// //and these enormously wide-brimmed eh felt hats that the men wear,//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 and the womeneh well I've no [?]guide[/?] to women's dresses but they all looked rather antiquated, //old-fashioned.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //So I had a mental picture that was way way behind the times.// //And it was quite some number of visits later before I began to really like the place,//
F1189 //Mmhm ah.// //Uh-huh mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //and appreciate the people,// //who are a wonderful people to work with, and be part of,//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 these days.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 So that is the basic scale of that. //Yeah, yes I, yes, no I//
F1189 //So-so you'd decided on New Zealand then, rather than Australia or?// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //I had eh gone on ship eh// one called the eh [?]Hazelbig[/?].
F1189 Mm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //I joined her in Cardiff, we sailed away from there, we did// eh went out to Newz- came back to New Zealand, I think it was //and did a few trips round the Pacific, did this, did that.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And we were in Australia //loading grain for Madras//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 at th-th-the little place called Port Lincoln on the Spencer Gulf.
F1189 Mm.
M1191 And the captain of the ship sent for me and he said eh eh "would you be willing to transfer?" And he explained that eh there was a ship in Melbourne, and the captain of the ship had his wife aboard and she took very ill, not expected to live, and he wanted to be relieved. //So, the five ships were involved in playing m-m-musical chairs.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 So I finished up going back eh to w-w-w-we were away from Port Lincoln by this time, went back to Port Lincoln to join another one called the Titan Bank.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 Another eh Liberty boat. Eh and I was on her for I think, I think I was away for about three and a half years from Scotland. //So it's a long way to go away, that's what sort of//
F1189 //That's a long time. Mm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 makes me sad going away from it, there. But eh one of the ports we called into on that Titan Bank trip //was the eh, was Dunedin in New Zealand. I'd never been here before,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and as I mentioned earlier I've had a lifelong interest in the Scout movement
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 and I was then part of a branch called the Deep Sea Rover Scouts. //They were young lads who like myself had gone to sea//
F1189 //Oh right, uh-huh.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //after being involved in scouting// //eh became part of the sea-going branch Royal and Merchant Navy.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 And I said, saying to them wonderful mm we had scouting //eh in my years at sea, it was really wonderful.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 And the first night in Dunedin I made contact with the scout people here and was eh invited to a meeting that night eh and it was very good and I was introduced to a lady that night, and eh we seemed to click off quite well //and then [?]Faith[/?] actually became the love of my life.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Your wife. [laugh]//
M1191 //So eh we// //we were here at actually the tim- the nineteen fifty-one war strike//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //still spoken// //very seriously about in New Zealand, was a very//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 traumatic experience for a lot of people. It lasted for many months.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 eh and we were here in, in Dunedin for many many weeks //and of course there's no work to be done, no nothing.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 And my wife-to-be at that stage was a //supervisor at the old manual telephone exchanges//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //eh look after a bunch of girls at the telephone exchange.// //And she had a lot of off-duty time and so had I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and eh //I was a- t-treated a lot of Dunedin places, gone to here, did this, did that//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //eh my wife's family made me very very welcome// and eh //her brother, and eh and her mum and dad had all been involved in Scout movement.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 So the upshot was that eh //I went away from Dunedin, rejoined th-th-the the world of shipping, went around the world again//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //and I think we did four times that, so four times right round the world.// //And eh eventually got back and then that was September 1941, I'd mentioned getting home, my mother's eh//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 wanting me to stay till Christmas and eventually getting out here and I can remember there, I arrived in New Zealand //on the fifth of April nineteen fifty-two.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And it was eh an auspicious day for me because the centennial //of my old school in Paisley, the John Neilson institution in Paisley,//
F1189 //Mm uh-huh.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //eh and eh this was the centennial// //and I was always sorry I didn't make the centennial.//
F1189 //Ah uh-huh uh-huh.// //Yeah, so-//
M1191 //But however, that brings you up to the age so far.// //Mm.//
F1189 //when you were coming back that time, you were coming back again,// //to see your//
M1191 //Yes.// //Coming back yes. Yes, yes.//
F1189 //th-th-the woman who was going to be your wife. Uh-huh.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //We'd eh// //We'd, we'd corresponded//
F1189 //So there was an incentive?//
M1191 mm? //Oh very very much so, and ah we decided there that//
F1189 //There was an incentive to. [laugh]//
M1191 eh I had eh //no real thoughts of settling down at any time during my career,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 I've been with a few ladies but eh //never anything terribly serious, and eh//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 this one was very serious. //Eh yes she was a New Zealander.//
F1189 //An-an your wife was a New Zealander then? Mm.//
M1191 Her eh folks eh came from Airdrie. //Her grandmother came from Airdrie//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh mmhm.//
M1191 and had come here, out here in the eighteen seventies
F1189 Mm.
M1191 as a //hired help eh//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //job to come to one here in Dunedin// //in the old sailing ship days.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Eh and eh //she had a very, so my wife had a strong Scottish background//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //so [?]was[/?] the story// //and th-th-the like.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 Eh so I //came back and was settled in, quite friendly.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //A-and did you get married here then? Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Yeah. Yes. Yes, yes. I eh// //we were married here at Knox Church in Dunedin//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //and eh// our eh daughter was christened there, //our daughter was married there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 You know, came all the way from London back to //Dunedin to get married.//
F1189 //To get married, uh-huh.// //Well, that's as it should be. Uh-huh.//
M1191 //Brought her, brought her English husband with her too.//
F1189 Uh-huh well that's fortunate. //[laugh]//
M1191 //Yes, yes, yes.//
F1189 Now, could we go back to erm, when did your family move to Paisley, Stan? //Or to Renfrewshire anyway?//
M1191 //Eh not, not too sure, I'm not quite sure.// //We were in Perth I believe until I was about two. I never enquired very deeply.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Well we went back to Paisley when dad had to change departments,// went to the Inland Revenue, //and accommodation was a a problem even then in Scotland.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //And we got accommodation in a little village// //eh about what would it be? Six or seven miles out of Paisley,//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 at a place called Georgetown //which had been//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //er been used as munitions factory in World War One.// //Eh Lloyd George of course Minister of Munitions, the place was called Georgetown.//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh mmhm mm.//
M1191 And what they'd done, they'd put rows of wooden houses, Canadian built houses //to create this village for the workers.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
M1191 And of course the p-place had gone, //been closed down completely.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh it had been built as a forestry compound with five square miles of pine forest// and eh it was a walk to the station in the morning //to go to school,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 a train to Paisley, then a //a half mile walk up to the up the brae, Stony Brae.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //to the John Neilson school in Paisley.// And I was at John Neilsons from nineteen thirty-four //till nineteen forty-two.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 Eh I sat my Highers in nineteen forty-two and eh was very very keen to become a vet, //very keen to become a vet.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 But, eh places were hard to come by //and then I discovered that eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 the Veterinaries course was eh //eh a reserved occupation and I wouldn't have been able to eh join service or do anything.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 So my good friend at school, one of my best friends at school a few months earlier had joined the New Zealand shipping company, //had come out here as a cadet.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 and gone home and I met up with him. And he was very very enthusiastic about this sea-going career. So I broached it with my father, and eh //my father said, "you know, you've gone to school with the Hogarths//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 in Ardrossan" and so the upshot was I was engaged for my four years of eh service to //the hu-Hungry Hogarths.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //and they were called the HH.// //Mm.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Eh did you say your d- father was a Civil Servant? //Right uh-huh.//
M1191 //Yes, Civil Servant.// //And he, I did tell you earlier, he had//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //damaged an eye in the First World War, went blind in that one,// and eh also, eh a //further blow to the other eye made him blind so,//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 he left the service there and eh was blind for //I can't think how long it was//
F1189 //mm//
M1191 but he made light of blindness and eh learned Braille. //Eh he was a good public speaker//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and he would speak at functions and //talk to people about being blind.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //mmhm mmhm//
M1191 //"Please treat us normally, we're not any different from anybody else."// We're, we just can't see you, we can hear you and //do this and do that.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //And you say he learned Braille?//
M1191 //And// //Mm. He learned Braille,//
F1189 //He learned Braille? Uh-huh.// //Mmhm uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //and became very involved with the talking book service// eh and did, I think did a lot for the blind.
F1189 Mmhm. D-d-did he manage to carry on working though? //af- after the... right uh-huh.//
M1191 //No, he didn't, you see he had to retire at that stage.// //And when he came out here//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
M1191 he became involved again with the blind //the Blind Institute.//
F1189 //Oh right, so, so he// //he came to New Zealand, did he? Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //He, yes, we brought them out to New Zealand eh// I think it was about... what year would that be? //I can't just remember the exact year,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm uh-huh.//
M1191 //eh nineteen sixty something like that, early fifties, sixties.// And eh //he became involved with the Blind Institute and eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //did a lot of good work for them.//
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //A lot of good.// And so was eh, quite a, //a, a busy fellow in the community despite his blindess. Mm.//
F1189 //Mmhm. Sounds like it, yeah.// //Now, who would you say w-w-was//
M1191 //Oh yes.//
F1189 you- an influence on you becoming a reader //in your early life?//
M1191 //[cough]// //Both my father and mother were great readers.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 Eh and I lived in a house with a lot of books
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 ehm some of them were eh eh //pretty flimsy, and I think back and I see that to//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 The Wizard and The Beano and the various comi- boyhood books, Hotspur,
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 and Rover
F1189 Mmhm. //Uh-huh uh-huh mmhm.//
M1191 //and the like, all these books. I remember them so, so well.// Eh //and enjoyed reading them.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 But eh my father eh and my mother were great readers and it was just a normal thing to do to sit down //and read.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 And so I was eh very early introduced to //a lot of very interesting books.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// We-were you an only child then, //Stan? Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //I was an only child unfortuately, there was// //another but one died and it was all there was to it.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //So eh.// //My mother//
F1189 //What do you recall of your mother reading then?// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh// //lovely lady. She'd been a nurse in the First World War.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 In the... was it the F.A.N.Y. units //eh//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //trains auxiliary nursing UK service.// And eh she'd been involved in //sick nursing a lot of men and eh//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 up round Kirkintilloch way,
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 and there and eh she was a very placid type of lady. //And eh a very lovely lady in herself.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mm mmhm.//
M1191 //And I got on very well with both my parents. I was very lucky with them.// //Er, she was probably the [?]RAS[/?] one.//
F1189 //And w-w-w-what was her taste in reading then? What sort of thing did she like?// //Yes.//
M1191 //And the People's Friend// //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //I can remember them seeing my name// the first time I ever saw my name in print. I won a, a prize in some weird and wonderful competition in the People's Friend.
F1189 Uh-huh. //[laugh]//
M1191 //It had my name printed in it eh.// //[inaudible] Mm? No, no, it was just a, a eh//
F1189 //Was that a writing competition?// //Uh-huh mmhm.//
M1191 //oh I can't remember what, I can't think what kind of thing it was, but it was just a very simple thi-// business there. //Oh yes, very much so, very much so. And dad.//
F1189 //But your mother would have been proud. [laugh]// //Did you ever read the People's Friend yourself?//
M1191 //Eh// //no, not really,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 eh and any of the others though. Now dad would get me on to //a few of the better children's books, eh Ballantyne and eh//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //eh some of the, the sea stories and some of the derring-dos of pirates and the like.// Eh, //the good old eh cut and thrust of the pirate ships and that type of thing,//
F1189 //Mmhm yes uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 you know, but er I-I-I, when I went to sea eh we were very lucky eh old merchant ships had eh //put on board the ships a collection of probably over a hundred books//
F1189 //Mmhm mm.//
M1191 eh and these were part of the Mission to Seamen, eh the [inaudible] working with seamen. //That was the Anglican church really, the eh mission statement.//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 And the //eh the books were always good sort of quality books. There was nothing too too rubbishy.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Th-th-there was enough to cater for everyone.// So you, you just worked your way steadily through these books and that was that. Eh and in ports throughout the world where there was a Mission to Seamen //your books were changed.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //So there was always books coming aboard, coming aboard.// Eh and my diaries, even looking back into the forties and fifties, my diaries eh eh I had had recorded //"Very deeply engrossed in such and such a book. Must finish it today."//
F1189 //Mm.// [laugh] //[laugh]//
M1191 //You know that kind of thing.// //But I read a lot.//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 Eh the nature of the thing was eh we were long hauls between ports usually eh the longest was usually about //between Panama and Auckland, that was twenty-nine days.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Now,// you work eight hours, eh //two er four hour watches in the day,//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 the rest of the time was your own, //apart from a few duties//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //you had to do here and there, navigation-wise.// But eh ehm by and large, you you s-s-settled into a book, and you just //loved reading.//
F1189 //Mm.// So you got, you got spare time then //whilst you were... Mmhm.//
M1191 //Yes, got plenty of spare time// eh ehm //in the post-war years.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //mmhm//
M1191 //Eh// //we were four hours on and four hours off during the war years and eh//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 ehm //it was hard, hard going. Very hard work [inaudible].//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 But as you rose up through the ranks it became easier and eh //you eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Was that the//
M1191 //[inaudible].//
F1189 the main means of, of recreation then? //Right, okay mm mmhm.//
M1191 //Yes reading is, to some degree.// Eh for instance radio was a //almost unknown then,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 eh you were getting out into the midst of the ocean, now you can't eh tune into a Scottish station in the middle of the Pacific. So the only way you were going to get any radio contact was //through a special maritime radio.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 And I remember one brand that was sold in the United States //and that was Hallicrafters.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 And a Hallicrafter set was a box set eh metal case. And in most parts of the world you could pick up something, //local or//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //even distant there.// But eh //the old turn-table gramophone//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //was another one.// Eh at the end of a day's work you, between four, six and eight at night you'd find on a cargo ship a lot of the //the crew would assemble on number four hatch,//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //and just have a quiet day, the ships were dry, no drink, no nothing.// But you'd have a gramophone there //and inevitably somebody would produce a guitar.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And you'd sing away some of the old Scots song, or// do this or do that. //So it was always a companionable hour that eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //that's the dog watch, second dog watch.// //Yes. Yes, there always were, good Scots eh reputation.//
F1189 //Was there a good representation of Scots on the merchant ships? Mm mm.//
M1191 I sailed the Dunedin crews for a long time and greatly admired them. //They were very wonderful people.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh all of them [?]Chittagong[/?] and eh// I was very fortunate in my early days that chief officer said you "you'll learn to speak their language, boy", and I managed to get a good smattering of Hindustani //or [?]Cooliba[/?] that what it was, Mmhm eh eh eh//
F1189 //Mm mm.// //Mm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //a form of Hindustani. The [?]Cooliba[/?].// //But eh occasionally ph-phphrases still pop up and you think oh//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 [inaudible], //you know the wee little phrases come up here.//
F1189 //Oh.// And what does that mean?
M1191 It means "watch out". //[laugh]//
F1189 //Oh right. [laugh]// //Very useful to know. [laugh]//
M1191 //[inaudible]// //Yeah.//
F1189 //The, th-th-the songs that you would sing then// would eh other nationalities join in with //the Scottish things?//
M1191 //Yes, yes. This is right.// //Eh could I take a wee break here? And I'll get a little book//
F1189 //Mmhm. Sure you can, uh-huh.// //[short break in recording]//
M1191 //of songs.// //See, but I mentioned scouting a little while ago and eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 scouting was very kind to me, I //eh my father had been a scout and was very keen that I join the movement.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 And there was only one other lad in the village eh who was a member of scouting. //Eh this remember was the depression years when everything was very very difficult.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 This lad was the assistant scout master. //So he took me in each Friday night. We went in by train and got on a tram car and went to eh the old hall,//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 eh Scouts, suburb of Paisley. //And I've a great deal to thank them for because it opened a new world with eh//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //badges to earn, and different interests,// //camping, outdoors.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And I just loved the whole thing of it there. And one of the things, I'm talking badges and with this, this little book //was b-b-made for my actual//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Book Binders Badge. Now that's going back to the nineteen thirties, that little book. And you've mentioned the songs. //And I've got a lot of different songs//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //in here, and the old Scots ones.// "So goodbye Mary dear, I'm sorry I'm leaving you. Although this parting grieves me, I'll never prove untrue. So cheer up my darling and don't look so forlorn. Cheer up Mary dear, we're bound for Cape- around Cape Horn" //[laugh] And all sorts.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Mmhm. That sounds marvellous.//
M1191 //So anyway, so that was the kind of songs we would sing.// //And eh I've kept that as a souvenir for my grandchildren//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.// //Now//
M1191 //and...//
F1189 these were the kind of thin- yo-you sang these in the Scouts? //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Yes.// //Eh all sorts of things there.//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And I, I loved every minute of it there// eh.
F1189 An-and //so for the book binding badge you made this small book and it's all in your own handwriting. Uh-huh.//
M1191 //The book binding badge I got that, and I earn- I earned badges in a lot of the things there.// //And eh toda-, to this day I'm still able to use a lot of those skills.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh They were probably childish little things in themselves,// //bu-but being able to, to do that was, was something very very wonderful.//
F1189 //Mm.// eh th-th-there's one here called "On Mother's Knee". //Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //Yes, oh yeah, all the, all the dreary songs, you, you had a weepy song at those sessions, there was always, Bonny Strathyre, and you that kind of thing?// //[laugh] Road to the Isles, yes.//
F1189 //And we've got The Road to the Isles here. Mmhm.// //And the Welsh national anthem, Stan.//
M1191 //Yes, Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.// //I th- th- met a little lady in Wales and we, we corresponded corresp- to a lot of girls over the years.//
F1189 //[laugh] Uh-huh mmhm uh-huh.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //She was [inaudible] Evans.// And she came from the Rhondda Valley. //And eh she taught me the Welsh national anthem.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //And what age were you when when you met her? Right uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //Oh I was seventeen, sixteen, seventeen, you know, that kind of thing?// //Yes, and English, yeah.//
F1189 //So you have it in Welsh here and in the English translation.// //Uh-huh Westering Home, obviously.//
M1191 //Yeah. Westering Home yes, yes, yes yes.//
F1189 I've got a picture of you all singing that //[laugh] in my mind's eye. Mmhm.//
M1191 //Have you? Oh. [laugh] Yes, yes, yes.// //We'll Gather Lilacs, that came from eh eh//
F1189 //And We'll Gather Lilacs.// //That'll be First World War. Mmhm mm uh-huh.//
M1191 //oh yeah, I would say worl- well post worl- World War.// //We'll Gather Lilacs, that was eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //now, I'm trying to think of it. It was one of the early musicals.// //I can't eh recall the//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //the author, eh writer.// //Uh-huh.//
F1189 //And there's one here in French.// Ehm. //Now, eh//
M1191 //J'attendrai?// //Yeah, yeah. Yes, I'd five years and//
F1189 //Yes, J'attendrai. ehm Did you learn French at school?// //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //I did eh fi-higher French for my s- my// ehm //Higher Leaving Certificate.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And eh //I was able to keep this up, and I've still kept it up//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 because both my granddaughters //have learned French from five year old.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 So grandad occasionally has a little chat with them on the phone in French ehm //to get them giggling at grandad's funny way of sounding things.//
F1189 //Uh-huh. [laugh]// //That's marvellous that you remember it though.//
M1191 //[laugh]//
F1189 I mean what do you, looking back now what do you //think about your education in Scotland?//
M1191 //eh I think was very lucky to have the education.// Times were hard but there was a fee-paying school and eh it was a strain //eh for my parents and so forth.//
F1189 //Mmhm mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //But I was very very lucky.// //I was given a very good education//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //despite the fact that I didn't know it at the time.// But eh //eh so I've been at pains to do the same for my children.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And eh that's it.// //Yes they have done, they have//
F1189 //And do you think, do you think they've fared as well in New Zealand? Mm.//
M1191 also eh carried on with the //th-th-the hobbies of th-th-their parents and things into//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 eh fancy eh hmm //needlework and things like that.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh my lad with his carpentry tools and so forth.// //Th-th-they've used all the skills. They've kept them going.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And that's good.//
F1189 Eh eh the model of education in New Zealand, i-i-it's quite like Scotland's, //isn't it? Mm mm.//
M1191 //It is to some degree but I'm, I'm beginning to be very very critical now after all these years// of the time spent in sport.
F1189 Mm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //If I go back to my own school days, yes there was sport.// We played football, soccer //between four o'clock to five o'clock every Thursday afternoon//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //a-a-away from the school and I was goalie and all I did was leaned against the goal posts.// //Eh never ever eh eh felt worried about, I was never a great football fan.//
F1189 //Right.// //S-sso you didn't have a team that you supported no? Mmhm.//
M1191 //No no. No no.// But eh again eh //I was lucky getting on and then of course having to study for that and eh//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 I carried on //the learning process. I've been able to//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //go and do this, that and the next thing.// //Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah.//
F1189 //You certainly have uh-huh.//
M1191 I went back and redid French, I did a year of advanced French //when the kids, eh granddaughters were growing up,//
F1189 //Mmhm mm.//
M1191 eh thought I could, you know, //get back to conversing again.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Now what age were you when you left school?//
M1191 //Now we were talking.// When I left school eh just eh //coming up sixteen. Yeah yeah. Went to, straight to sea. Yes, yes, yes.//
F1189 //Sixteen. And yo-you went straight to the Navy? Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 I had as I say planned for veterinary college. //The, the Highers were//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //eh ta-, set early in the year from memory. Would it be// February, March period? The exam results didn't come out until //June, July?//
F1189 //Yes.// //Uh-huh. That's right.//
M1191 //And well, well this was a// a hiatus //period where you're just//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 uh uhno-not doing any. Some of the boys had left. //We were down to a small small class by the time we finished.//
F1189 //Mm mm.//
M1191 Ehm yeah. //It was very small classes all the way there.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 But in a way I-I-I-I had nothing //er planned other than yes I want to go to vet college. I'd studied the//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //literature th-ththe// //enrolments etcetera.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 But eh in the finish the sea won, and er it was all done very very quickly. //My father got in touch with the Hogarths and eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 yes up for interview, yes very happy. ehm come th-there's the list of clothing you'll need. Come up, sign your thing, the indentures are //framed on the wall in there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Not to frequent ale houses or houses of ill repute.// //er except on His Master's business. [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
M1191 But however, that was, that was that.
F1189 Then your education in Scotland then //what kind of introduction did you get through that to//
M1191 //Yeah. Well,// //eh//
F1189 //to reading?// //Mm mm.//
M1191 //reading. I was very very fortunate that// my, my five years of secondary education //I had some wonderful teachers, I look back to them,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 ehm one man particularly, David Livingstone, strangely enough for a teacher ehm he had eh the Master in English and English and History. //eh and he... those were the subjects he took.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 He instilled in me at any rate a love of history, ehm //not just the dates per se, the events rather than the, than the, the tableau that unfolded//
F1189 //Mm mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //from the events.// But eh he was also ehm a very good eh poet. Eh he love-loved poetry, and it was, it was he who instilled the //the, the love of poetry.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm.
M1191 And eh //mm. They stayed with me all of the years through//
F1189 //That's stayed with you, hasn't it? Yes mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //and I've got that to thank for, and particularly Burns// //eh I can remember that the fifth year//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 eh we studied Burns //er almost ad nauseam.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Uh-huh uh-huh mm mmhm.//
M1191 //But you know we got to know Burns and Burns's work and why and what not// //eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //without being critical.// //There's so much criticism.//
F1189 //And it didn't put you off?// //No?//
M1191 //No.// //No, th-the poems themselves//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
M1191 eh the, there's an old saying here in Dunedin when the early settlers came out //the first se-settlers eighteen forty-eight.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mm.//
M1191 //Eh and subsequently more and more settlers came out.// But there's eh eh an old saying that eh every settler had two books in his eh kist, //his wooden kist.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //One was the Bible// //and the other was a copy of the works of Robert Burns.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Now,// //whether that's true or not I don't know. But I would suspect it's fairly true//
F1189 //Uh-huh mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //of th-the books that came to New Zealand with the settlers.//
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 They were //a very practical bunch of people//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //eh book reading was not perhaps// part of the //establishment. That was to come later with the Carnegies and all those other people.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm mmhm.// Now, you as a a lover of //poetry, I-I-I see you have Burns on your your shelves//
M1191 //Yeah. Yes, oh yes. Yes yes.// //I've a lot of books for Burns, I've studied Burns and eh//
F1189 //eh mmhm uh-huh uh-huh.// //Were those ones you brought with you?//
M1191 //eh.// No, I didn't, I was kee- I only carried two books during the war.
F1189 Mm
M1191 Bible of course, copy of the New Testament, copy of Burns. //The only thing could have been one flash of a torpedo and you had lost everything,//
F1189 //Mm mm mmhm.// //Mmhmmmhm.//
M1191 //if not your life, well everything.// //Ehm//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 so you didn't take anything valuable. //And that was it, my father said,//
F1189 //Right. Mmhm mmhm.// //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //he gave me a copy of Burns.// And he was eh a very great Burnsian, //there.//
F1189 //Right. Uh-huh uh-huh//
M1191 And I don't know if you've ever heard of a man Harold L Whiteman. //You haven't?//
F1189 //No I haven't, no.//
M1191 Well he was probably the voice of Scotland //as far as Burns was concerned.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //He was from Saltcoats.// He was eh a noted //eh amateur artist on stage.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm//
M1191 Eh and he's had a wonderful //Scots voice.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 And later on I'll show you //one of his l-l-l-long playing records.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Anyway, ehm// the name crops up here Kenneth McKellar. //Ken was a year behind me at school,//
F1189 //Yes. Ah.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //and I just remember him as a// //young fellow, I knew his older brother better and that was it.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //But I've eh// //caught up with Kenneth, he's come out here over the years and so forth.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //In fact, we traced that there were five ex-Neilsonians in New Zealand,// //so we're keeping the country, country going.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Now one of the questions I was going to ask you wa-was whether or not//
M1191 //[inaudible]. Yes, yes.// //Mmhm.//
F1189 //as well as the library of books that you had access to at sea,// //if you had brought books with you.//
M1191 //Yeah. Oh yes, y-y-y-you took books with you.// //Not during the war, no, no.//
F1189 //But not during the war? Mmhm. Right.// //So wha-what//
M1191 //You'd to...// //th-the influence during the war was just, you just didn't eh take anything of any value.//
F1189 //Yes. Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.// //But you had Burns and you had, you had the Bible. Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. But, mmhm.//
M1191 //We had Burns, a copy of Burns a-and the bibl-. And a New Testament, which my old aunt gave me.// //And that was it.//
F1189 //Were your family quite// //religious then, Stan? Mm.//
M1191 //No, not really, eh// //I was born and brought up in the Anglican church, baptised in the Anglican church.//
F1189 //Oh really?// //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //Eh my father was a, he used to call it a lapsed presbyterian.//
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 Eh, //mother was Anglican. I was brought up Anglican.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 And I went over to Presbyterianism when I married. //So that was the, the thing to do and I was quite happy. Yes, yes, yes.//
F1189 //Now that's interesting that happened here.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Yes, yes, yes.//
F1189 Mmhm. //Ah.//
M1191 //Now we were talking of books of influence I've got this one I just// reached for
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 Have you ever heard of the author of that?
F1189 It's called "Two Little Savages" and it's by Ernest Thompson Seton, the author of "Wild Animals I Have Known", "Life of Game Animals", and this is quite old but it's still got its dust cover. Ehm, How long have you had this, Stan? //Mm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Not very long. I tried my whole life to buy one,// //and I got that it a second-hand book sale, closing down,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //five or six years ago.// //Now th-the//
F1189 //Now why did you want to buy this?//
M1191 the, this is a book that eh eh eventually I got up to senior Scouting level
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //and was very keen on outdoors.// And in the nineteen-thirties ehm //I was at th- under another influence.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 Do you ever know the name Grey Owl? //You know Grey Owl, Wa-sha-quon-asin?//
F1189 //Oh yes uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 Now, Grey Owl was preaching his conservative views of the Beaver
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 and so forth, and I can remember going to a lecture by Grey Owl
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //in the Paisley town hall.// And being greatly influenced by this man,
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 and his Beavers. Now I was very interested in live //eh th-the living animal was living next to the forest.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 My father used to reckon I knew every fox by its first name //and the rabbits by their second name.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //[laugh] Uh-huh mmhm.//
M1191 //But we were, there was rabbits, there was birds, there was// plenty of eh //wildlife around.//
F1189 //Mm.// Mmhm. //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And I became very interested in the wildlife.// And I could //comfortably spend hours//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //sitting watching the fox// //eh vixen with her cubs.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //So this was a//
M1191 //This was it.// //So this was a-an American book on the same kind of subject.//
F1189 //a- uh-huh uh-huh// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //The story of two boys//
F1189 Mm.
M1191 who eh living //th-the primi-primitive life on//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 eh //early settle of New Zea- eh eh America.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 eh and their desire to live like the Indian. //Now this is what the book is about.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //About living for the Indian.// //Eh and we tried that, we practised that, we did this, we did that.//
F1189 //mmhm// //And what sort of age was//
M1191 //And it was a wonderful introduction.// //Again fifteen, sixteen.//
F1189 //that when you first got this// //when you first got your hands on this one because//
M1191 //Yes, yes, fifteen, sixteen.// //[cough]//
F1189 //the original publication of this book is nineteen oh three.// //Although th-this is a later edition from nineteen fifty-nine and//
M1191 //Yeah, yeah. Yes. Yeah.// //In London yeah.//
F1189 //it's published in London, so// someone must have brought this over //to New Zealand mm.//
M1191 //Yes, yes, something like that mm.// //Now, it's greatly influenced me//
F1189 //Mmhm uh-huh.// //uh-huh mmhm//
M1191 //eh and I've always wanted a copy and I was thrilled to get it.// and I've read it since then //several times.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 And the same feeling //of eh//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //warmth and awe// //comes over me when I read that book and I think back to those days//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. Yeah.// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //when we learnt to live like the Indian,// //eh//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //be part of the outdoors.// And this can happen when you're an only child sometime, you'll make your own fun, //your ow-own interests and so forth.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And I was just interested in the outdoors.// //Eh.//
F1189 //Wh-where did you get the// //the first copy of this?//
M1191 //I bought this here in Dunedin,// //eh//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
M1191 and it was th-, w-we had one one of the Scout boys had a copy and it just went round //everybody, it was borrowed there.//
F1189 //Oh right. You borrowed it. Uh-huh uh-huh.// //Uh-huh mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //eh and there was a copy I think in Paisley library.// And that was it. //But I tried and tried to buy a copy for years.//
F1189 //Mmhm mm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Was never able to do so.// //Yes. Mm yes.//
F1189 //Now you mentioned Paisley library there// //and you anticipated what I was going to ask,//
M1191 //Mm.// //Yeah?//
F1189 //which was whether or not you used the public libraries in// //in Scotland.//
M1191 //Eh well I'd use the public libraries in// in school days. //Very much so.//
F1189 //Mm mm.//
M1191 Eh and then eh in sea-going days no, it was just a case of what I might have picked up in the bookshop //sort of the shop and that//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //eh the train station or something like that.// //And you just picked up a book, you read it and that was it.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// You had the th-ththe sea //the sea-going libraries from uh-huh from the missions. Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Yeah, the sea-going library, and you carried your own. I had one or two favourites.// Ehm and again poetry.
F1189 Mm. //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //I liked the, I liked my poetry, even then,// //so I'd get into other poets. I used to love Palgrave's Golden Treasury.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Yes. //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //It was delight-delightful//
F1189 Did you own that? //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //Oh yes, yes. And I've since continued// to buy poetry //I can't resist buying an old book of poetry.//
F1189 //Mm. [laugh]//
M1191 And I'm very sold that my two granddaughters are very much into poetry.
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //They're both into this so// //I've been able to give them//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 little books of //eh New Zealand poetry.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh. So, that yes there's an evolution there. Mm.//
M1191 //And this is good, given the way that they're faring because they're dual nationality these youngsters.// //And I'm sure they'll come to live here at some stage in their lives.//
F1189 //Mmhm yes uh-huh.// Uh-huh. //Now if you go back in your mind to Paisley library.//
M1191 //Yeah. Yeah.//
F1189 Can you remember any particularly favourite texts //from the, the years that you used that?//
M1191 //[cough]// //Not really, eh//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 as I said there was, //I was willing to read anything eh,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 novels, no.
F1189 No. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //No, I woul-, I would read them and then sort of eh groan a bit.// //And say oh so thank goodness that's over.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //[laugh]//
M1191 //[laugh] That kind,// and that is still true today. //Eh I'm a non-fiction reader.//
F1189 //Right so you-you're a non-fiction reader? Righ-// //mmhm.//
M1191 //Ehm,// Though again, I-I've just read "All Things Bright and Beautiful" eh th-ththe vet, the Yorkshire vet. //That kind of thing still attracts, yeah James Herriot.//
F1189 //That's eh ehm James Herriot. Mmhm// //mmhm. [cough]//
M1191 //And eh during sea-going days// //the Reader's Digest played a very large part in your life because always//
F1189 //Mm.// //mmhm mmhm//
M1191 //heaps of Reader's Digest coming as part of the// //ship exchange library.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 So you became eh //almost inured to the American way of saying things,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 eh their spelling //and some of the, what were to you, very peculiar ideas.//
F1189 //Mmhm mm.// //Mmhm mmhm mm.//
M1191 //But you became inured to that thing, and, and probably influenced// //to a fair degree too.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Now how did they arrive o-o-onboard, the Reader's Digest? Right,//
M1191 //Right. Well they came as part of the school, eh sorry, the library exchange.// //And magazines came with it too so you got a whole heap of//
F1189 //I see uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.// //Uh-huh mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //ehm ba- ehm ki- carton after carton of book [?]Patrick[/?] would bring down and it's fine.// //He'd get the cadets to bring them aboard ge- and take the other ones back and things like that.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Did you indulge in fiction then, when you were at sea?//
M1191 //So this was ongoing.// Eh //fiction, no, not to any great extent.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Ehm I think of the Maltese Falcon //ehm//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 I wasn't greatly into ehm crime. Though I loved Agatha Christie, some of Agatha Christie's. And eh I'm trying to think of the there was no n-n-n-no greats //oh the E-EEdgar Wallace of course, writer of crime, a-as a writer,//
F1189 //Mm mmhm// //mmhm.//
M1191 //er they were ones.// And of course eh through boyhood and even into adulthood //and I still enjoy ah Robert Louis Stevenson//
F1189 //Mmhm// //mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //very very much so.// And I can remember early married years eh buying a complete set, I think of twenty-two volumes of Scott's eh //[inaudible]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Now, have you read them all, Stan? Mmhm.//
M1191 //for twenty I-. Yeah, I had read them all// //eh and I re-read them all//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and I can remember telling //s-s-stories of them to the children. This is my children when they were growing up.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.// Mmhm. //Did you read them as a child too? As a young man?//
M1191 //Yeah. Yes, as a young man.// //[inaudible] first for that.//
F1189 //Right. Uh-huh.// //And where would you, where would you have...?//
M1191 //Tha-that was from the library,// //Paisley library.//
F1189 //Right. Uh-huh mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh we'd a small school library but eh// it was eh it was well used, //you know?//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //You had your own favourites in that one there.// //Eh.//
F1189 //And what was your favourite?// //Mm.//
M1191 //Probably Scottish history// //eh in those days.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 The influence of eh //Sir Walter Scott's writings.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 Ehm which of course are eh very much a part of Scottish history, aren't they? Even though we, we, we can't always be sure eh how truthful they are. //I recently read a book of, talking about myth or fiction.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Myth and fiction in Scottish... now I can't remember the author, can't remember the exact title. But this was a a very learned gentleman who
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 he was [?]Bill Brown[/?] by name or something, he returned to [inaudible] as somebody or other //in private life.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Eh one of the border families. And he had t-to extensively sea- eh research the myth //of, some of the myths of Scottish history//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 eh and said that some of them definitely were myths, they did not occur.
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And others, well there was yes there was reason, etcetera, etcetera.// //That's only just been published last year that book.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.// There's been some eh television programmes recently in the UK about //Scottish history.//
M1191 //Has there? Yes.// //Yes, yes. Not really.//
F1189 //Ha-have you had them here? Mm.//
M1191 Not really. Eh this was a favourite.
F1189 Mmhm. //Right.//
M1191 //I h-h-haven't managed to read the others in the series.// //Yes, yeah, yeah.//
F1189 //Now this one's called "On the Trail of Robert the Bruce".// And it's by //David R Ross.//
M1191 //mm Yeah.// //Have you read that yourself?//
F1189 //And// //and it's published in Edinburgh.//
M1191 //Mm.//
F1189 Ehm //I haven't read that. No. Mmhm.//
M1191 //Well it's worth reading.// //Eh yeah.//
F1189 //Published in in nineteen ninety-nine.// //A-a-and you, you bought that over here then? Uh-huh.//
M1191 //Now what he does. Yes, yes eh// //oh ther- we've got lots of good bookshops here.//
F1189 //Uh-huh w-w-where do you buy books here, Stan?// Mmhm.
M1191 And I was in eh a lot of my time was spent at a a a a //th-th-th-there were boo- book sellers as well, book printers, publishers.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 But eh there were also eh //printers and stationers and that. I had about twenty yea- o-odd years with them.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 Ehm I got involved first when I came ashore was stevedoring
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 for the short server in Albion. //But I found that the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 time spent at work was quite eh //eh frightening eh//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 I a-a-a-at times never saw my son awake for weeks on end, //the way I was working long hours.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 Ehm //then I j-j-j-joined a, this company called Coulls Somerville Wilkie//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //who were the country's top printers.// And //they were based in Dunedin here and had//
F1189 //And where were they based? Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 factories eh right through the country. Eh and after I'd been with them they //they, I went into them as a salesman,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 and my job was to go round and eh eh always wearing a hat //and a suit and say "Good morning Mr Smith, my name is so and so, I'm from so//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //can we assist you with anything in the way of printing or stationery or anything like that?"// //And they were the country's top printers.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //When did you start working for them, Stan?//
M1191 //I started working for them about fifty-five.// //Fifty-five.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And they greatly influenced me.// //They're a rock solid company.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 Ehm //very very highly re-re-regarded in the country.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //Eh they printed every single thing you could imagine// //from these plastics here//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //to books, to// //eh the butter wrappers to the ice-cream wrappers to//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //anything you'd like to name printed. They had eh, they did it.// All the cigarette packs, //cigarette cards,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //greeting cards.// There was a factory somewhere doing it. //There was eleven//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 units of t- the company. And I'd been with them about two and half years, and the managing director sent for me one day and "Sit down Stan." I said "W-w-w-what have I done wrong?" You know? And he said eh eh he said "We've been watching you." He says "Would you like to eh take the opportunity to open a branch for us?" And I said [inaudible] and I said "Well what's the story?" He says "We eh //we want to open a branch in Invercargill.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And eh we'd like you to take on the job."//
F1189 Mmhm. //Mm.//
M1191 //Well this was just completely out of the blue.// So that's what I did. I went to Invercargill. //And I'd nine years down there and it became the top branch in the country.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 Eh and then went to Hamilton and did the same thing again.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 And fell out with them eh over procedures. //eh which we both thought were childish when we made up//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 a year or two after. Eh [cough] but eh eh [inaudible] left them and came back then //worked for a company here called [?]Williamson Geoffrey[/?] Limited//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 who were the top //manufacturing stationers in the country.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And I became national stationery manager for them eh //marketing manager,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //export manager. Y-Y-you name it I was it.// I headed the whole division. //A major division there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Four hundred staff and// eh //nine, nine units around the country, five subsidiaries.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 So I had five subsidiaries to worry about as well as //four branches.//
F1189 //Yes.// //Uh-huh. You've had an interesting career. Uh-huh.//
M1191 //But it was goo-good experience.// //Well, I've always been lucky that I have a job, I-I've enjoyed working and eh//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //So yo-//
M1191 //what they didn't tell me was that they were barely in the red and had been for many years.// But in five years I put them back in the black again. But it nearly cost me my health, my marriage, my home. Everything. //Just you know, y-y-you just got to go.//
F1189 //Working too hard.// //Mm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //I've got to go and do this and do that.// And eh I took sh- took, sat down one night and though well //you're not going to live very long if you carry this on.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 And at that stage I wrote my eh resignation out then I //sat down.//
F1189 //Mm.// //You retired then? Uh-huh. What age were you when you retired, Stan? Mm.//
M1191 //That was it. Retired. And I I retired first at fifty-nine.// Eh //and I did work for a year or two, I just had to get back on to an even keel again.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //Then I started to get odd jobs here, odd jobs there.// And finish up with I was doing six, working for s-s-six different companies one day.
F1189 Mm. //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And making three or four times what I did as a senior executive.// //There you are, you know?//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //This was it.// //But I enjoyed it, you know.//
F1189 //Now,// //so you gave up the sea then when you, you came here and got married? Mm mm.//
M1191 //Yes, I did to some degree but when I came back to,// //I went to Hamilton eh then//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Hamilton publicity officer, city council [?]though[/?]. He came to me, he says "Stan", he says eh "Would you like to take on eh a wee job for me?" I said "oh what's that?" And he said eh "I've been running a little class with eh about //b-b-basic navigation, so forth, for the yacht club here." He says "But I'm leaving, I'm going so and so.//
F1189 //Mm mm.//
M1191 Would you take it on?" So, I said "oh yes", so anyway, I started the thing. He didn't tell me he had sixty-six students in one small class. And that eh they had eh so many big eh eh //yachts,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 eh motor boats, etcetera, etcetera. Eh and I finished up running it under the auspices of //the e-external unit of Auckland University.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mm.//
M1191 //And I used [inaudible] at university which was only a building then.// //And I got to know th-th-them very well in there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And eh was supplying a lot of the //work, the printing work, the stationery,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 furniture, and goodness only knows what. Ehm but [cough] //anyway, I took that on and I quite enjoyed doing it in a way//
F1189 //Yes, it's mm// //mm.//
M1191 //w-w-which was quite successful.// But I came back to Dunedin here and eh I'd only been back a week when my phone rang and it's the fellow captain Mike Parry here and he'd just arrived from New Zealand shipping company, chief officer there. And he'd eh eh been appointed head t-to start //the School of Nautical Studies here at the polytechnic.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 Eh and I found myself as the first part-time tutor. //And I carried that on for twe- oh twenty-five, thirty years.//
F1189 //Ah right. Uh-huh.// //So you were doing that whilst you were working and...? Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //As a part-time tutor. I was doing that while I was working. At night, doing this there.// And I enjoyed it.
F1189 No wonder you were over-worked. //[laugh]//
M1191 //Well,// //you know that was it [?]in those days[/?].//
F1189 //Did you get much time to read// //for your own pleasure? The-, uh-huh//
M1191 //Yes, I m-managed to read, I always read, yes.// //There was always time to read. Yes I did.//
F1189 //uh-huh uh-huh.// //Well that's evidenced by//
M1191 //But eh// //Yeah. Yes, yes, yes, yes it is there.//
F1189 //lots of the books that, that you have in your house.// //Before I move on to ask you about them, Stan,//
M1191 //Yeah.// //Yeah.//
F1189 //could I just ask about your war time experience and ehm// you know eh what that was like?
M1191 Eh, //well.//
F1189 //Whether you spent any time reading that Bible when you were// //[laugh]//
M1191 //[laugh] Yes.// //Funnily enough. [cough]//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 I was just //eh last Sunday we, eh were down at Port Chalmers.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //It was a church service er Merchant Navy// //eh Association's annual church service.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 Eh and the minister's //Reverend John Sinclair.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //John and I have got to know each other very well over the years.// The previous year I'd given him a poem //ehm//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 about the Merchant Navy. //And he had used that at the church service.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 So I wasn't able to go this year.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 Ehm but anyway, I thought well I'll ring John and see if he needs any help. So John //said "I'll come up and see you." So he came up and eh//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //that was last week,// eh and I got one of those books out there. I thought there's //bits in here you might be able to use, John.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 I said "Well alternatively I have a little book" eh //you know, notebook like this type of thing//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 eh here, and I said "I've got a s- right at the back here, it's a... my poem by a fellow called Gilbert Frankau."
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 And he'd written the poem during war. Gave us the ships. We need these ships to win the war. //And there was//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 truth in that because in nineteen forty-two the ship losses //had grown so alarmingly//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //it was outstripping the capacity to build.// I think we saw it was a very very distinct gap and we were nearer losing //the war than ever in that nineteen forty-two//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 period there. Ehm so anyway, John had said "Can I use that?" I said "Yeah take the thing there". But I-I'd forgotten was that this was a diary of my first voyage to sea. //So John rang me last night and he said "I hope you didn't mind but I used your diary//
F1189 //Uh-huh mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //as well as the poem."// And I said, "How did it go John?", he said "Very good thanks to you." And I said look ehm... So I'd //kept the diary for my parents//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 ehm //very boyish, anyway.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 ehm //it was a traumatic experience that first voyage because//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 ehm //I hadn't thought much about it, known much about it. You don't think of consequences or anything like that.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 But we left the Clyde //eh on a forty-three ship convoy//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 with an under-, eh under-trained and under-staffed eh //escort of Canadian vessels.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 Eh we got out on Christmas day nineteen forty-two passed //quite peacefully, convoy.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 But the next day eh [inaudible] had gathered the largest concentration of U-boats //for the war to date at that stage.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 Ehm and we lost fifteen ships //eh the next week.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh and over five hundred men.// And eh
F1189 How did you get news of how the war was going generally then when you were //so far out at sea and living with such stress?//
M1191 //You knew nothing about it.// //You knew nothing about it.//
F1189 //Right. Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 All you got was a little hand-written page //[cough]//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //eh with some football results, or something like this then.// I remember in the book there's one I put wee page like this of our own message [inaudible] //[inaudible] today was assassinated so and so.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And this is the wireless operator through this, and it was just circulated round anyone who wanted to read it. That was your newspaper.// //And you might get that once a week.//
F1189 //Right mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And that was all.// [cough] //But//
F1189 //And you ke-// //and you'd be away for long periods of time then, I imagine, mmhm.//
M1191 //It was a horri-. Yes, yes, I was away for about eh// //nine months that time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh we were carrying eh Russian convoy cargo to// the US, the Persian Gulf.
F1189 Mm.
M1191 Ehm and as I say it was- so I had actually eh //put my thoughts down in that one and the [?]debut voyage[/?] and//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //anyway. But eh...// //[?]And we got...[/?]. Mm?//
F1189 //And there would be no letters then either, Stan? Letters?// //I'd imagine.//
M1191 //No no. There was, you all just sort of you know. You were lucky if you got it.// //But eh//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //and that was it. So there-. John said he would bring it back this week, and s-so you might get a look at that before you go back.// //And see now this is another one and this again is,//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh that would be very interesting.//
M1191 is,
F1189 Yeah, mm Stan's just given me a-a notebook. Your name's on the inside. //And there's a list of//
M1191 //Oh.// //Ships I have sailed on. And these are all the places I have visited during my//
F1189 //what I imagine are your coll-. Oh Right, uh-huh,// //uh-huh.//
M1191 //years at sea.//
F1189 Yes. A complete record. Yes. //Ehm,//
M1191 //Yeah.//
F1189 I'm just looking at here, you arrived in Singapore, Friday the eighteenth of August, nineteen-fifty. //[laugh] "Arrived Penang, Saturday the twenty-sixth of August."//
M1191 //Mm.// //We were round the world service you see.//
F1189 //You certainly got around, didn't you?// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //So you did a little in the Far East for US Atlantic coast. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore. Then down to// //eh Galveston, Houston and Texas ports so//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh.// //Uh-huh uh-huh.//
M1191 //up the Mississippi to// //eh New Orleans there.//
F1189 //mmhm// //Now, you mentioned the Reader's Di-Digest ehm//
M1191 //Etcetera, etcetera. Yes, yeah.//
F1189 singularly ehm, any other eh books that you remember coming across unexpectedly when you were at sea in these libraries that you enjoyed? //Mm mm.//
M1191 //Not really, Reader's Digest was something that eh// proliferated.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 You never seemed to //see the end of Reader's Digest.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //Excuse me. And some of it was quite good. It was interesting.// Eh but there's no doubt it probably influenced //eh thinking in many many ways,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //w-w-way of doing things.// //Eh...//
F1189 //Did you get fed up with the the same things?// //Mm.//
M1191 //no, you weren't, you weren't consciously er finding fault// //eh as a reader those days, you were//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 reading for your interest and you'd eh //you'd give a wee sort of sigh, finish a book, and say "Well thank goodness that's finished."//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //But eh th-th-then they all, but at the same token, the next two or three so// //gosh I wonder if this fellow a-a-anymore, that was good, I enjoyed that.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Can I do a bit more? Etcetera, etcetera.//
F1189 Now now who would have fitted into that //category for you?//
M1191 //Ehm// //probably the y-you, i-i-influenced the way you thought about things.//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 Ehm //there's an American way and there's a rest of the world way of doing it.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //But you learned some of the American ways of doing the things there.// //You learn first of all that the//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //eh the spelling was different. That was your first thing you notice.// //You thought "oh these poor ki- people can't spell." [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh.//
M1191 //But there it went on you see, there.// //Mm yeah.//
F1189 //Now after yo-you settled here in, in Dunedin// //eh and you had a little bit of travelling around New Zealand, I think, erm,//
M1191 //Yes. Mmhm yes.// //Mm yes, mmhm.//
F1189 //But you've com- you came back to Dunedin and made your// //your home here.//
M1191 //Oh y-yes.//
F1189 Ehm when did you buy this house, //by the way? Ehm,//
M1191 //We came back from Hamilton, [inaudible] branch here,// //to head Williamson Geoffrey's in nineteen sixty-eight.//
F1189 //mm mm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And we bough- built a new house in Hamilton and it was a very nice home.// And eh //my wife was very much in love with her new house and so forth.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //And we looked around here, we had to get the children back to school. Rob was// //fifth form. Jan was still intermediate at that stage.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 Ehm yes, fifth, sixty-eight, //I came back here.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 And we looked and looked and looked and couldn't just see anything. //And I spotted this in the paper one morning and we dashed out in the car,//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 came up here with the agent, had a look at it eh went away, thought about it. And eh I thought, yes I could do something with that.
F1189 Mm. //[laugh]//
M1191 //Now, when my wife saw it she nearly had kittens. [laugh]// It had been //eh squatters had been in.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mm.//
M1191 //It was derelict.// //Broken windows. It was just a mess. Now, oh to go.//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.// Mmhm.
M1191 Have a look in there.
F1189 Now, I should say that this is quite a historic house. //Ehm//
M1191 //It is too.// //Eh well t-t-the house was built eh eighteen//
F1189 //tell, tell, tell us about it eh Stan. Mmhm.//
M1191 ehm //sixties.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
M1191 Sixty-six, sixty-seven //for the Reverend Doctor Thomas Burns who was//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 eh eh //a nephew of//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //eh Robert Burns, our poet.// Now, the the house has had a long and chequered career. //It's a large house and it was eh always known as the big house on the hill.//
F1189 //Mm.// Yes. //Uh-huh mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Eh originally it came with, when it was on its own, with a hundred and twenty-one acres of land here.// And eh the //Arthur Burns, that was the Reverend Doctor Thomas's son,//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 eh he had grown potatoes and wheat and grain on here. //And some of those potatoes were actually exported in the seventies//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Ah right.//
M1191 //to Sydney, Australia.//
F1189 Uh-huh.
M1191 But eh over the years we set to eh t-to //rebuild the house as it was.//
F1189 //Uh-huh uh-huh.// //Mmhm mm.//
M1191 //I was very fortunate, had plenty of money,// //and was able to do this. We let the builders in for about three months//
F1189 //Mmhm mm.// //Mmhm.//
M1191 //because my wife said "Well I'm not moving in there" and I couldn't say I blamed her.// So the house was this, that and the next thing.
F1189 Mmhm.
M1191 And then, over the years //eh t-t-the four of us, the children as well, m-m-mum kept the, the cups of tea and the soft drinks coming.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm right.//
M1191 //But the children found that they could mix cement for dad.// //They could carry this, they could do that.//
F1189 //[laugh] Mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And it became their house as much as mine.// //Yeah, yeah. Yes, yes, yes, this//
F1189 //I-I-I'm just looking at a photograph al-album which is the sort of evolution of this// //the reclamation of this house.//
M1191 //how the children, children cleared the whole of that area// //at the side there. And...//
F1189 //N-now did you consult books at all,// //Stan? To... Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //Yeah, w-w-we went to a lot of books and said "well will we do this, will we do that?" There was a lot of discussion went on.// But eh no, that was that was it. //And eh//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 today it's eh //it's very very much a//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //It is indeed. Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //a restored home. It's very very comfortable.// And it, needless to say it's eh //worth an awful lot more than the money I paid for it.//
F1189 //Mm.// //I'll bet, yes uh-huh.//
M1191 //Mm.//
F1189 N-now you said you like DIY. //Ehm. It certainly did.//
M1191 //Yes. This was a very very good way of letting off steam at the weekend.//
F1189 Now, did //did you, did you buy books or borrow books from anywhere to help you with that? Uh-huh.//
M1191 //Yes, I got the library and got books there and bought in// //how do you do this, how do you do that and//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm.// //Mm mmhm.//
M1191 //basically I had very little knowledge of do it yourselfing.// But eh //I was fortunate. A lot of very good friends//
F1189 //Mm.//
M1191 who suffered me sometimes in silence //and said why I wanted to know how to do this, how to do that, etcetera, etcetera.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm mmhm.// //Mmhm mmhm.//
M1191 //And it went on and on and on from there.//
F1189 Mmhm. //Would you like me to pause now,//
M1191 //Yeah, now I// //Yes I'll have go- a wee pause.//
F1189 //Stan? Okay.//

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Interview with Stan Kirkpatrick, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 3 December 2023, from

MLA Style:

"Interview with Stan Kirkpatrick, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 3 December 2023.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Interview with Stan Kirkpatrick, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project," accessed 3 December 2023,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1674

Interview with Stan Kirkpatrick, Part 1, for Scottish Readers Remember Project


Audio audience

For gender Mixed
Audience size N/A

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness N/A
Degree of spontaneity N/A

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2009
Recording person id 1189
Size (min) 64
Size (mb) 311

Audio setting

Recording venue Interviewee's home
Geographic location of speech Dunedin

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other N/A

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 1220
Year of transcription 2010
Year material recorded 2009
Word count 12193

Audio type



Participant details

Participant id 1189
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 16
Occupation Research Assistant
Place of birth Ayr
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Journeyman joiner
Father's place of birth Ayr
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Domestic
Mother's place of birth Ayr
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Participant details

Participant id 1191