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 worked.

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 money.

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 things.

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 house.

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 sometimes.

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, so warm.

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 the station.

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 an order?

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?

One 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 the Navy.

Links between the village and landowners?

The Sunday school used to have the treasure hunts up at the Towers, and they would have an afternoon up there. They could pick flowers with permission. I remember taking part in a concert up at the Hall, 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 me.

Changing words and talk through time?

You 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 know 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 lives 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 to Alnwick.

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.

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