My mother and granny Shell were cousins, and my father wouldn't
go anywhere else for his holidays but Craster. We lived in
Gateshead, actually before that we lived in Tyne Dock in South
Shields, and my father used to send the case, advanced luggage,
to Little Mill. Then we came up on the train perhaps a couple
of days later, and the luggage had been delivered. We had to
walk down from Little Mill.
Who would collect the luggage?
It was Lena Shells nephew, who lived at Boulmer, he worked
for the rail way and he was the one, they called him Alee Rough,
he used to drive a wagon and deliver all sorts. The case would
be here when we arrived. We had to walk from Little Mill, which
was fine when it was a fine day.
To cut a long story short, I've been coming to that house
since I was six months old. 1930 when I first came, and I have
photographs of Jean, me and Granny Shell, who I called auntie,
because she was my mother's cousin. Alfie with the old butcher's
van for the coal and all sorts of photos. We were living in
Gateshead at the time, when the war was threatened, and we
were evacuated, through the school, before the war started.
We already had gas masks given, and had been shown how they
Did you feel scared as a child?
No it was great, it was exciting, we were going away. We were
shown how to put the gas masks on, and we also had a pannier
bag, it had two pouches joined together with a strap. The name
was embroidered, we made them ourselves. This was how much
preparation went in before the war. We went to Gateshead East
station, which wasn't used as a passenger station then, and
by the time the train pulled out, we had eaten all of our bait.
However, we were sent to Stokesley in Yorkshire, and nobody
wanted us, because me two other cousins were there and an aunt,
and my mother said if nobody would take the 4, we were to come
home. We were issued with brown paper carrier bags with iron
rations in, like tins of milk, tins of meat, different tins.
So in the Market Place in Stokesley at 5.00 in the afternoon,
nobody wanted 4. However there was this butcher, his mother
and daughter (the wife had died), so there were 3 generations,
living in the house. They had an upper storey which we used.
This was what was called the 'phoney' war, because nothing
happened, and we came home after 5 weeks.
When we got home, there were no schools opened, because they
had all closed down, when the kids were sent away. We went
to some ones front room, for about 10 or 12 weeks. With this
lady, I don't even know if she was a teacher. There were about
10 or 12 of us. Then my mother decided to send us to Craster.
It was done through the government. There was 6 shillings a
week paid to my Auntie Mary, just me - my other cousins didn't
come, and once we got home from the school evacuation we split
up. We were all only children. I came up here in 1940, and
I had to register at the school.
That was an eye opener, Dunstan school. Auntie Mary said,
you can get those petticoats off for a start. I had to two
petticoats on, 1 flannelette, 1 liberty bodice and a silky
petticoat on the top and long stockings, which hitched onto
these rubber buttons on my liberty bodice. She said you can
get them off for a start, so I did, and went into knee socks,
which if you fell down you didn't put the knees out. I registered
at the school and there was Winnie in particular, Winnie Hogg.
My education was finished off in the toilets outside, not in
the inside. I sat the 11 plus here and I hadn't a clue, not
a clue, because the papers I sat came from the Gateshead education
and the standard at this school wasn't as high. So I hadn't
any idea but it didn t make any difference to me at that age.
I had a wonderful time here during the war for the 2 years
I stayed here. This is where you don't catch the fact that
you are maybe not academically taught to a high standard, but
I did enjoy it.
Did the children in the village accept you?
Yes. We used to walk up to school, so if one was late, then
everybody was late and you got the cane off Mr Blackburn who
was the teacher. Mrs Coney used to be in the girls at the other
end. Miss Barber was there for a while, but Mrs Coney was the
teacher The girls used to go into her end for sewing and she
taught the young ones. I enjoyed it, I just remember the nice
things, I don't think you remember the rotten things. Being
away from home didn't seem to affect me. My mother used to
come up once a month to see me. Now Chris Grieves was in the
army, and he used to give me a penny. He used to mark the edge
of the penny with a chopper, and if I had that penny when he
came home, he used to give me another one. I was telling Carol
Grey the other day, that I got paid 6d a week for delivering
the papers, by her grandmother. Her dad was in the army, and
I didn't know Betty then, cos Betty was about 17 then and she
was nursing. She came from Wales. She met Edward when she was
nursing in London, and he was in the army. So it was the grandparents
who paid me I delivered papers on the Saturday and I'm not
sure about the Sunday. It seemed quite a lot and mother gave
me a shilling for my pocket money for the week
What did you spend it on? Sweets?
Yes but they got rationed after that. What I can remember
mainly was, when I came I didn t like vegetables. I didn't
like this and I didn't that, but when I got here I had to eat
them. There was a garden full of vegetables and they were nice
and fresh. I do remember, Ralphy Shell was still at home, Jane's
husband was in the army and she used to sleep here. Ralphy
used to be a good shot with the sling and many's the rabbit
that was caught. I used to be fascinated to watch them skinning
it, because when you live in the town they were already skinned.
I was fascinated to watch Auntie Mary break the legs over the
end off the bench, cut the head off, and pull the skin back
It was a lovely dinner, gorgeous with all the fresh vegetables.
That was one thing that stays in my mind. My mother used to
come up once a month, and there was a shilling a week pocket
We used to sneak on the rocks. That was the little sketch
we did. We used to get under the wire and play down on the
rocks. I can remember Edward Dawson was one of the kids that
found these tins. and we never thought that they could have
been booby trapped. When they hit them open, they were full
of coffee or tea. They came off a boat? Something had gone
down. I remember the mines coming in adrift, there was 2 of
them. They bobbed about off there, it was 1940-42. I watched
one of them and it went off as I watched it. It hit Muckle
Carr and exploded. The second one, the tide must have been
coming in, and the coast guard were keeping a watch on it,
and we were evacuated out of those houses. I went to stay with
Mrs Straffen, you know Mamie Straffen's mother. Alec Straffen,
they lived next door to where Joyce Archbold lived, where John
had the joiners shop. So we slept there for one night, and
it did go off during the night. There were no windows left,
there was shrapnel stuck in the garden. This house that I'm
living in now has got signs of mine damage You can see the
lines have been filled in, it's not a very good job.
Talking about school - we went to chapel twice a day and the
church twice a day on Sunday.Did you rebel against that?No
everybody went. We used to go to the Chapel Sunday school and
the Church Sunday school, then we would go to the Chapel in
the evening and the Church in the afternoon. Very reverend.
I joined the Guides here. We used to go to Currie's hut at
the Guides along there. It was a shed, it's just for storage
now, down on the farm. We used to walk over this back way.
I can't remember who ran the guides, but she was a Miss.
Were there scouts as well?
I can't remember Scouts being there. When we used to walk
back, we used to help ourselves to the turnips in the field.
I went back home eventually because my mother thought that
if anything was going to happen, there was only the 3 of us.
I went back in 1942, and went back to school, the schools were
open then. They thought I had a funny accent.
Did you miss the life at Craster?
I did really. When I left school I used to come up and stay
with Lena, she was very easy going. Alfie was in the Navy,
and she used to like the company. When I got to the stage when
I was engaged to Wally - where did you meet Wally? - at home
in Gateshead. He worked as a railway fireman and I worked on
the railways as a clerk.
My cousin and her intended husband used to come up as a foursome,
for a weekend. Not holidays just the weekend, and we used to
have some good weekends with Lena. I can remember her buying
a dozen kippers and a whole loaf of bread was buttered and
that was our tea.
When we got to the stage in 1953, we got a house of our own
in Gateshead, and Wally s health wasn't very good. He went
to the doctor's, - he used to work shifts on the railway as
a fireman - and the doctor said he would have to get day shift
job or he would end up with ulcers. So we thought about it,
we had a holiday in a caravan at Longframlington, and I think
that decided we would leave Gateshead altogether. There was
only the two of us, there was nothing to worry about. We came
up here and stayed with Lena in 1954, that will be 50 years
this year, and Wally came up first and he got a job at the
quarry. Then I followed him, I was working at the time in a
temporary job and had to give my notice. I was working at the
food office in Gateshead. Prior to that I had been working
at Clarke Chapman's.
We came up to Lena s and were with her for about 6 weeks when
we got the house at the square, it was empty. In the village
here? No where Eleanor is, that's how Eleanor and I are friends
you see. I lived in the top house where Nancy Grey and her
parents had been, and nobody had lived in there till we went
in. So we were able to bring furniture up with us, but we were
only there about 11 months when Mr Rowell wanted the house
for a farm worker. Well what do you do with the furniture?
The old houses in Craster Square were still there and George
and Nancy Grey had one, and they had it as a tattie store down
at the bottom so we put the furniture in the top which was
dry. It was easy to get anything out of' the wardrobes and
We came back to Lena for about
6 weeks again and I worked at herrings for my sins. I wasn't
very good. Gutting them? I couldn't keep a hold of the fish,
they would go scooting
along the bench and I think they thought I was a right one.
They had their own knives, they used to hide them at night
time. You never knew how much you were going to get. You didn't
know how much the splitters got. Did it depend on how many
herrings you did? It would just depend on how long you had
been there, I think. The likes of Annie Jane Norris and Belle
Straffen and they all had a better wage. I mean I was just
a rookie, but I worked there for about 6 weeks, when I found
I was pregnant with Pauline and got this house. We got time
to clean it, cos it was in a terrible state. Do you remember
the Simpsons, do you? Matt Simpson, he lived here. He worked
at Little Mill as a porter, his wife was blind. Lisa. Nobody
helped them out in those days. So we got 2 weeks to clean this
I worked at the herring and I claimed my money that I had
worked for, and I got 12 pound for 6 weeks. I wasn't very good
at it. I could tenter all right. You used to put bandages round
your thumbs so you didn't stick them, but you hung on to them
Pauline was born the next year
in 1956, and David in 1957. Jack Browell used to live in
the house over there, where Ann
lives now. That was Mr & Mrs Browell and they were coast
guards, part time. Jack was in the Royal Navy then and when
he came home he used to bring Molly some tobacco from the ship,
and he came over one time and says are these any good for you.
He gave me a pair of bell bottom trousers, wonderful material,
At the time, there was a sewing class up at Dunstan, and I
made David a duffel coat. He was only about 5 or 6. I bought
the toggles and everything, and I was so proud of it. There
was a sewing class and the lady used to work for Dodds in Alnwick.
Mary Short served her time there. The material was excellent.
Wally worked at the quarry for 7 or 8 years. He was fit, but
when there was a job going at RAF Boulmer and he didn't know
what to do. I said, you might be fit now, but if you look at
the next 10 years time, will you still be as fit? However,
he went to RAF Boulmer and he was there about 20 years. I went
to work at Willie Robson's. I went after Mrs. Baxter, in the
office. She had a wonderful system and I never changed it.
I was there 20 years. It was handy, the children were 7 and
8, and they could come down on their own. They had their own
keys to get in with.
When Wally went to Boulmer the wages weren't very big, nobody's
were, but there was a pension scheme, which I still get a little
one now. I never see it, it comes in and goes out. That's more
or less up to date.
The whole idea of coming to live in a village, if you don't
join in with anything, it means you are not mixing in at all.
So first of all when I lived with Ganny Shell and then with
Lena, they were both church women. It was just a natural thing
to get up and go to church with Lena. I had already been confirmed
in Gateshead, not until I was 21. Church played a greater part
in peoples life then.
Women didn't go anywhere, apart from going to Warkworth, because
we didn't have transport. There was only about 2 cars in the
village, George Grey and Willie Robson, and Pop Rutherfords.
He had ran a taxi service and he used to run up and down to
If the weather was good my father said work.
When I came to live here I joined the W.I., and I've been
a member since. I didn't join when the kids were too little,
but then Wally used to like to go for a pint, and when I went
out he would be waiting with his coat on, for me coming home,
so he could have the hour down the pub. I used to love dancing.
Wally had two left feet. Mrs Brewer who used to live at Seahouses
and Rachel Thompson came to start a class, Scottish Dancing
Class, through the education. I said to Wally that I was going
to join. If it hadn't been for her getting me interested in
Scottish Country Dancing. I went with Allison, she couldn't
remember the dances and I couldn't drive, so we helped each
other. Once Mrs Brewer was finished here, we used to go to
different places. 30 years we went dancing. The W.I. really
been a backbone, cos I didn't join anything else. It has done
a lot in the village.
I can remember being on the Hall committee as well. There
was a notice up in the shop, that if people didn't come to
this meeting, it was going to be closed. Eva was desperate
to get rid of the job, and so Allison and I went to the meeting,
and we ended up by her taking the Treasurers job and me taking
secretary's job. I did that for about 30 years. If you don't
get interested in the village, you only get out what you put
in. At the end of the war, nothing had been done. There was
no improvements, nothing had been done to that hall. Purely
because of apathy. There was a committee, but they didn't look
forward. Like a house you have to do jobs every year. Allison
and I put a lot of work into the hall. I took over the summer
school when Alice Durham wasn't well, and Mary's daughter,
Eileen, she used to do it. Jean and I did it for a long time.
I can remember coming to services in the village, the Sunday
school being involved. You used to go to the Tower and pick
the snowdrops for Mothering Sunday. There were Scouts here,
and they were just ticking over, with the two Greenley boys,
and their father who used to take them to Seahouses and the
girls used to say there was nothing for girls. So when she
got to about 12 years old, I said to Pauline, we'll see what
interest there is. So we had a meeting and there was about
14 turned up. So we started the Guides here.
One of the years there was the tidiest village competition.
Everything was grand except one of the judges said that the
church ground had let them down, because it was so high in
weeds and grass. This was in the 70's. Willie Mitford by this
time had taken over the scouts and Mr. Alton took the cubs.
Mr Alton was the Chapel minister, he was younger and dedicated
to the Scout movement. So there was the Guides, Scouts and
Cubs, decided to do the Church garden. The boys were doing
the hard work and the girls were doing the leading. We got
everything done, put grass seed down, raked and made borders
for people (I remember Bessie Morris put those first roses
in by the doorway). Then you could buy a rose and dedicate
it in the bottom strip. It was just a wilderness.
That was one of the things that came out of the guides. Plus
the fact that we used to go camping. We went to various places.
Not too far. We went to Budle. We took the leaders on camping
training to Chillingham farm. She was the commissioner and
she was very keen. That was wonderful. They had a pig farm
and they were all different ages and sizes. The little ones
got out one morning. Somebody must have left a gate open and
they ran around all over the place. The tents went down, the
kids were screaming, the piggies were screaming.
We went up to Ford Castle, cos the scouts had a camping ground
up there. The last one was Scremerston, and there wasn't enough
to make a camp, so I cancelled and that was when the guides
closed. When you got girls who were indifferent, there was
no point in doing it. Pauline, Audrey, June and Kay Charlton
all the ones who were keen, were 17 and they weren't interested.
Seasonal work, can you remember anything about seasonal work
in the area?
Only that I worked at the kippers. I'll tell you a little
anecdote about when I lived up at the square. We lived there
rent free, 'cos if you took rent you had rental rights as a
tenant, which we didn't. I was expected to work on the farm.
Well I had come straight from the office, and I hadn't a clue.
Do you remember Nellie Butters, George Butters - his wife and
she was from Glasgow. She had a great sense of humour. You
worked in pairs picking potatoes, tattie picking. This was
on the farm at Dunstan. Billy Lumsden was there then, working
on the tractor. Every time he came down, he told you another
story. The first morning I went out, I had my gloves on and
my lipstick. What a laugh. It wasn't a very nice year to be
picking tatties, that year, 'cos it had been very wet and they
had gone boshed?, they were blue. It was awful 'cos they were
all squashy. I was glad I had my gloves on. The second day,
I couldn't get out of bed. I didn't know what had hit me. I
couldn't move. It was very heavy work, and all stooping. I
can remember the tractor coming from Longbank with all the
ladies on the trailer. Well the same thing used to happen for
the snowdrop pickers in the woods at Howick, and daffodils.
They took them to the markets, but they had to be tied up in
little bunches, and put into baskets. That was hard on the
knees. Betty Williamson and Doris used to go, and Sybil. That
was seasonal work, with the potatoes at the back end.
Lena's the one you want to ask about seasonal work, 'cos she
worked on the farms as well. There was quite a few, they used
to come from Pasture House, when the Weatherson's lived there.
Lena worked for a long time in the fish yard. There was a lot
of the women were seasonal workers. There was only one grocery
shop and the butcher's. Mrs Nelson didn't sell a great lot,
she sold lovely bacon and sweets, and probably cheese. Edward
had the main grocery shop and post office. The post office
used be at the north side, next door to the rented one. That's
why the telephone box is there, I think. When Edward took it
over it was handy for here. The buses always stopped on the
north side, they didn't come over here. They used to go down
to the bottom of the bank and then back up, in front of Mrs
Nelson's house. She was the parcel office as well. I think
that all of the drivers used to be pleased of her cup of tea
in the morning. Waiting for the first bus in the morning. She
was very generous in that way.
To go back to when I worked at Willie Robson's, they built
that little shop for sweets and ice cream, adjacent to the
garage, where the Bark Pots is now. This day auntie was in
the shop and I was in the office and she shouted for me to
go in. There was 2 ladies who had missed the bus and they had
a couple of hours to wait. They weren't young. She said was
there any way of making a cup of tea for them. I had all the
makings in the office, so I said just tea in a mug. So I made
it and took it into them, and was stood talking to them, and
that's how the Bark Pots was started.
They bought these wooden tables and benches to put outside
and it was all right if it wasn't raining. If it was raining
then I had to go over and open the big garage doors, but there
was nobody to help really. I was in the office then I had to
make the tea. There was things to buy, but wrapped things,
nothing cooked. When we did start selling teas, Nancy Grey
used to make the scones, but it was just in the old garage.
Peter Browell used to come and drape the roof with a herring
net, and put some floats in. Then he got some old photographs
enlarged, he had a wonderful selection. Michael used to have
them around the new Bark Pots. Unfortunately that's all gone
now. I don't know what's going to happen now, 'cos really the
place needs somewhere. I don't think Billy Silk can manage,
he won't manage with extra numbers. He hasn't got the space.
Have women's lives changed a lot since you were here?
Yes, because most of these young ones drive, and they think
nothing of going shopping in Ashington, Blyth or Newcastle.
Whereas we didn't. I can remember not being out of the village
for about 5 or 6 weeks at a time. Not that I minded, I had
plenty to keep me busy. When you have two kids with just a
year between them, and then there were shops where you could
buy things from. I always bought my meat at the butcher's,
and the greengrocers would come. Bob Smith from Embleton. Then
the store used to come, Howick store used to travel. Geoff
used to work for them, he was on the bakery van. He came around
two or three times a week. The store traveller used to come,
once a fortnight, say you came on a Tuesday and they delivered
on a Friday. That was the only way, if you didn't have any
transport, 'cos you didn't bring things from Alnwick.
You bought things from the travelling shop, and gave them
The travelling shop was nothing to do with the orders. The
traveller came, Joe Punton took that over, but before that
Barty's daughter, Brenda and one of the Norris twins did it.
I think it was Jean. You used to jot things down, I still have
one of the old books Joe Punton had, because it was the old
money. I kept it because of the old money. That was the village
life, 'cos as I say, you had to join in things, my father was
the first chairman of the over 60's.
Did your parents come to live here?
Eventually, they lived with me for a while. When they first
came up, we got a cottage, do you know Embleton Mill? You remember
the long row, well the little one at the end.,It's only got
1 bedroom. That came vacant and I got that for my mam and dad,
1957. David was 6 weeks old. They moved up in 1957, but 3 years
on they had to get out, for a retired farm worker. So they
came to me here, and they stored, very similar to what we did.
Stored their furniture in the north side, beside where Mr Cray
lives now, then they applied for a bungalow and they got the
bungalow in South Acres. So they were there for 14 years. They
settled well, my dad was a great walker. It must have been
very different from their life in Gateshead. He did love to
walk, in fact we had to ask him latterly to say where he was
going, because it if he had fallen when he was on his own,
we wanted to know where he was. He hadn't got a garden before.
I hadn't either. I had to learn the hard way. Wally did the
vegetables and I did the front garden. When he couldn't do
it any more, we just put it to grass.
Names of people from the school?
or two. We used to call Dennis Dawson, Duffy. Andrew Straffen
was always called Mick
for some reason. He went to live in Sunderland, he joined
Links between the village and landowners?
Sunday school used to have the treasure hunts up at the Towers,
would have an afternoon up there. They could pick flowers
with permission. I remember taking part in a concert up at
and your grandmother wanting to know who the child was singing
something to do with 'daddy being in the army'.
We are still in the same house, both kids were born in the
house, I didn't go away. They were born in Craster. I've given
them a heritage, a goodly heritage. There was a ship grounded
just past the big hill there. It was within the last 50 years.
Wasn't there a Russian one that came ashore in the bay at the
side of Dunstanburgh? Eleanor always calls that the ship ashore
That must be the place, but I can't remember that. The other
one was Polish and it was there for a while. I'm not sure what
happened to it. I heard about the submarine, but I can't really
remember it. The whale came up, a beached whale.
In my time I've worked with the National Trust, which was
very interesting. That was in the quarry, Winnie got me the
job, because she knew she would have to go into hospital. The
Trust didn't want the responsibility of the toilets, so the
council does that, and the information bureau is through the
council. I wrote a couple of times for a job and we were there
for the opening. It was opened for 3 or 4 months before it
was officially opened. I enjoyed that very much. Avril Ions
shared the work, 3.1/2 days a week. I worked Saturday, Sunday
and Monday and Friday afternoons. I got less work until I was
only working Sunday's which was fine, good pay. Then I had
that disc in my back and I couldn't stand, so I had to come
out. They've got computers now, which would be no good for
Changing words and talk through time?
don't hear the kids using the old words, the old place names.
Pauline's lad used
to like to put pots out at 'Harry's Skier'. I said where's
'Harry's Skier'. I've never heard of that before. Well it's
down the front of Harry's, but I said that's Chammy's Hole?,
and he said it's not, it's Harry's Skier. We always knew
the south side of the harbour, the rocks were always the 'baggie
rocks', the kids never call them that. Do the children have
a name for them at all? No, just the harbour. They know about
the 'hole in the dyke', that's through the first gate, near
where the school was. There's the 'black hole' and further
along the 'Cullernose'. Going the other way, I don't suppose
any of them know, apart from say the 'big hill'. I didn't
myself that the 'Scotchman's quarry' was up at the top of
the Lonnen, the bottom of the pastures. The kids always played
in the quarry. There used to be a pond there that froze over
in the winter, and they skated.There was also one where Mrs
Coney used to live up at Dunstan, behind where Elizabeth
now. There was a pond of some sort up there, 'cos I used
to go up there when it froze over.
At the school, when the hounds came, we all disappeared to
watch. Nobody went back after lunch. In the winter we used
to take bottles of tea, and Mrs Sinclair used to heat them
up, and they had a stove. It was only a pot bellied stove,
and we used to make Horlicks. The little mugs that were in
the church are the Horlicks mugs, and they had a mark on the
inside where the hot water went. In the summer you sold Horlicks
tablets, they were lovely. It was really different from a town's
school and I loved it.
The loos used to freeze up in the winter. There was only 1
for the girls and 1 for the boys. There was a porch for the
girls, and you would think they wouldn't meet in the middle,
but they did. Segregated by age. That was another thing I didn't
know anything about. I had been at a school for the girls,
it wasn't a private school, but the boys were upstairs. We
weren't educated together, and we had all lady teachers. Even
the play grounds were separate. Mr Blackburn, I was a bit frightened
of him at first, and he used to remind me of Will Hay. He had
those little pince-nezs and he used to look at us over the
top. It was different kind of environment. Often we used to
have a quiz at night, for the last lesson. If you gave the
right answer you got out quick. It did encourage you to know
a bit about general knowledge.
When David and Pauline went to school, they used to walk up,
but in the winter. Smith's delivery van with the papers, there
was a little driver called Dicky and he came from Newcastle
and he used to take half the kids up in the van to the school.
Bob Smith used to go on a Friday. You always had to have money
for Bob's. Apart from that, during the war we didn't have sweets.
I can eat a couple, but I tire of them. I used to go to school
with a carrot. There was always very frugal rations, but there
wasn't any fat people.
Has there been a lot of changes for the use of buildings?
The sheds of course, where the cars are. The other side was
made into houses, on the way to Dunstanburgh. Whose yard was
that? The lady who used to live next door to me, Maggie, her
parents brought up about 8 kids in there. They were very hard
up. She used to tell me about living along there. It wasn't
looked, after the property, it just went into disrepair. It
would have been a beautiful hotel and restaurant. It would
have been ideal. Then it was demolished and the new houses
were being built. We still call them the white houses. I can
remember working at the garage when they were being built,
and the man who was building them. It was the one and only
time I got a tip from putting petrol in. He gave me a couple
of shillings. Then of course the joiner's shop not a joiners
any more. I don't know what is going to happen to that.
Of course the school was built and then pulled down after
about 14 years. That was a shame. When Pauline and David were
young there were quite a lot of children, and they went to
Seahouses. That was only the two tier, they hadn't gone comprehensive.
They went to Dunstan school and then to Seahouses. Sarah went
to Embleton, then at 9 to middle school, then at 13 they went
Other buildings of course were the quarry place, where all
the machinery was. That was changed. Where Willie Robson's
2 old garages were, 2 nissen huts, they were pulled down when
they built the new Bark Pots, which has closed. Of course that
was of course a first world war nissen hut. Tommy Dixons. Did
Tommy convert it to a house? No Rutherford's lived there, then
Bob Baxter lived there. He had a taxi service didn't he? That's
right. I took these photos 'cos I knew it would disappear.
It's amazing to think that he lived there until a few months
ago. It had deteriorated. The prices of houses have gone crazy
now. When we first lived at Lena's they were just building
the houses at the back here, Heugh Wynd, 1954. Tommy Alston's
house is for sale for 260,000 pounds. Tommy's has got 3 bedrooms
and 2 reception, but no outlook. It has got a garden, but it's
not attached to the house. Those grounds are owned by a lot
of the houses. Some of them have been sold to new owners. Vincent
Hope bought one at either side, and he made it into a playground,
but it's never used. All the children go to Rock.
Billy Smailes used to use his hut, it was lovely. The fishermen
all used to have their own huts. It was like a gathering place.
That white one on the way to the Chapel, that was Barty Dawson's.
Eleanor keeps it immaculate, she's got net curtains at the
window. They all had them. Billy Smailes has one behind the
houses, up on the tattie grounds. It has tiles, all shaped
tiles, and he used to sit there for hours, making nets for
Eddie. Did they store their nets in them? Yes, in the winter.
They had nice little stoves with the chimney sticking out of
the roofs, really cosy. The crack must have been good. Katherine,
that poet, Katrina, she stayed with the fishermen in their
huts, and that is how she made friends with Charlie Douglas.
They were places for men to meet.
When we first came here there was a club for the men, it
was Reading Room, not Memorial
Hall. Was that part of the Memorial Room? No it was the Reading
Room. A lot of people still call it the Reading Room. They
were in like a club, and if they were sick, they got a little
bit back. So if you did any work when you were sick, people
would report you.