Scottish Snippets

14 February 2015

Number 676

The Scottish Snippets Newsletter in its original format began in April 1997 and continued in an unbroken series for 591 issues. Although no longer produced in that style, there is now this regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site including "Scottie's Photo Diary From Scotland".

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Memory Lane

Some of Tam's Tall Tales pages have prompted a number of readers to write in with stories about their early experiences in Scotland. It was great to find that they wanted to share these memories and it seemed that it would be a good idea to create a section within the Rampant Scotland web site in which these reminisces could be recorded. By doing so, we can pass on our stories and experiences of those days, particularly to the younger generation, so that the lives we led while we grew up are not forgotten and so they can better appreciate what they have today!

To set the ball rolling I've created seven pages under some initial categories - see below! I must say that I enjoyed casting my mind back to my childhood and recalling what life was like then. I was also prompted to do a bit of rummaging in my attic for old photos - I've included one of me, aged 3 I think, wearing my Dad's "Home Guard" jacket and forage cap!

Memory Lane Index

The initial page categories are listed on an Index page along with an introduction to the project. See Memory Lane Index

Individual sections so far are:


The Second World War and later conflicts brought their hardships and joys too. Individual topics include Barrage Balloons and Gas Masks, the Blackout, and VE Day and VJ Day. See: Wartime


Going to the cinema was a favourite past-time and listening to radio shows such as "It's That Man Again" (ITMA), "Tammy Troot" on Children's Hour and "Dick Barton, Special Agent" became a routine. Before the days of TV there was a lot more reading - including "comics" such as the "Dandy" and "Beano" and "Eagle" and we read a lot more books then! See: Entertainment

Holidays / Vacations

These days families often have more than just the one "summer holiday" as they had in the past. My recollections focus on the annual stay for two weeks at the east coast resort of Carnoustie with its golf course (for my dad) and the beach (for me and my sister). See: Holidays / Vacations

School Days

Looking back to going to school for the first time, were they the happiest days of your life? I vividly recall my first day at a small primary school in East Renfrewshire and writing with a slate pencil - and discipline imposed by thick leather belts (known as "tawse" or "Lochgellies"). Pupils had to hold out their hands as the teacher whacked them with the belt! See: School Days

Food We Ate

The range of foods available in the past were not nearly as wide as they are today. My memories go back to the days of wartime rationing of food (and no refrigerators or frozen food) but then again we got glass bottles of milk delivered to the doorstep by a local farm. When fresh eggs again became available after the war I actually preferred the powdered eggs we had imported from the USA during the years of rationing! See: Food We Ate.

Childhood Games and Toys

Children had far fewer toys than nowadays and those they had tended to last longer than today. I've recalled the toy guns we played with and the skipping ropes the girls used in the school playground as well as Hop-Scotch, football (soccer), Dinky model cars and Meccano sets. See: Childhood Games and Toys.

Coal Fires

There is still some nostalgia associated with coal fires with flames dancing in the hearth but they required a lot of work. Coal fires kept burning because the delivery men carried 112 pound sacks of coal on their back to our coal bunkers - even if it was an apartment up five flights of stairs; Chimney Sweeps swept the soot from our chimneys at least once a year and getting a coal fire going again each morning was a fine art! See: Coal Fires

YOUR Stories Please!

Send your own stories and anecdotes by email to preferably with "Memory Lane" in the subject line and the editor will add suitable ones to the appropriate pages. New category pages will be added as required. If you have any illustrations you want to include, feel free to attach these - but they are not essential. Depending on the volume of emails, it may not be possible to include all contributions and some may have to be reduced in size.

Yours aye


Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in an Archive. The Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here.

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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