First posted on SPDG 9 May 2004
Glesca Patter 20
Hullawrerr patter merchants! Ah’m back! Thanks Dave furr yer kind wurds an story eh yer childhood shenanigans. Let meh say this tae ye - thir’s nae wae ye’d hiv goat me across that pipe! So ah reckin ah widnae hiv bin allowed intae yer gang. Whit a tale, how ahm ah supposed tae match that? Thanks again. The reason furr mah absence oan Sunday is reportit in the ‘Success Stories’ bit eh the Discussion Group.
Right, take a brek efter a hard week’s sloggin through aw thae BDMs, pit yer feet up, an enjoy some patter.
Wiv goat quite a few ‘esses’ tae get through so wull probbly spread thim oot ower a week urr two. Affore that though, ah notice a growin intrest in things ‘Eastirhoose’. Noo that’s intrestin fae mah point a view cos maist eh us Garngad kids enditt up in Eastirhoose back when it wis still a fermer’s field. So ah thoat ah might take mah leave eh the Garngad furr a while an visit the Eastirhoose eh mah childhood ower the nixt few weeks. Quite a few Eastirhoose folk ‘emmagreatit’ tae Aussiland, eh States an Canada durin the 60s, so you folk ower ther might be wan eh thim, urr ye might be researchin rellies thit came fae Eastirhoose urr wan eh the ither hoosin schemes. So hopefully mahsell, an enibiddy else thit kerrs tae chip in, uh’ll shed a wee bit a light oan the greatest of aw the Glesca ‘hoosin schemes’.
Lik yiv gethirt fae mah previous ramblins, Garngad [the name wis chinged tae Royston tae protect the innocent!] wisnae the maist salubrious area in Glesca. A workin class, industrialised slum wid bae the best an only accurate description ye could gie. Lik aw these things, folk who lived ther tend tae look back at it through rose tinted glesses [some through beer glesses]. Ah suppose ah’m ah bit lik that masell, plus ah hiv the benefit a seein it through a wean’s eyes. Efter the war, WW2 that is, the need furr new hoosin wis apperrint thoughoot eh country, an eh ‘powers that be’ eh the time came up wae various ‘schemes’. In Glesca the main focus wis oan ‘the overspill’. This wis a euphemistic wae eh describin getting folk oot the auld flaky tenement slums afore they fell doon [the slums that is, no the folk – well sometimes eh folk as well!]
New tenements wirr built oan the fermland oan the ootskirts eh the city. These ‘Housing Schemes’ representit the thrust eh the city’s grand development plan tae hoose it’s minions. An a good plan it wis tae! Modern, mainly two storey tenements, wae inside toilets/bathrooms, individual bedrooms, livin room, kitchen, verandas, electrics, gerdens, claithes bilers [no evrybiddy hid washin machines yit, so each hoose hid a boiler in the ‘kitchenette’ furr daen yer claithes]. Thir wis fresh err aplenty, kids saw coos (cows) furr the furst time up close. Weans could run furr miles ower fields an play in eh long grass. Us kids loved it! The back coorts wurr clean, nae rats. The middin bins wurr huge – naen eh yer wee midgie bins thit the midgieman kertitt oot oan eez back. These big bins wurr wheeled oot wae big trolleys an hydraulically tipped intae modern midden motirs. We used tae gethir roon oan eh pavement, jubblys in haun, an watch the midgies getting emptied, wae wirr aw fascinatitt bae the big machinery an eh noise. Then wae’d try an get a huggie oan the back whin it moved aff!
The main hoosin schemes wirr; Easterhouse tae the east, Drumchapel (The Drum) tae the west an Castlemilk tae the south. Thir wir ither places that sprun up lik Barlanark (The BarL), Garthamlock, Ruchazie an Faifley but wae considirt these as bein extensions eh the big three. We flittit oot tae Eastirhoose oan 22 July 1958 [I recently found the original rent book for that house/flat at number 4 Easterhouse Path. The rent was £4: 6s:10d a month. £1: 4s: 8d was the actual rent and the rest was the rates.] Ah remember bein in eh back eh the removal lorry, in total darkness, wae mah wee brother an the furniture, the baith eh iz haudin oan furr dear life as the driver tried tae make the journey in eh fastest possible time. Evryhin wis skitin aboot aw ower the place. Oor main joab wis tae safegaurd Joey the budgie. As we goat flung aboot, the perr eh iz kept a haud eh the cage while Joey fluttered aboot in a panic, squawkin and peckin oor fingers. Wae aw arrived safe. Bruised, pecked, an featherless; but safe.
Wae wurr emptitt oot in paradise!
Eastirhoose Path wis aff the main road (Eastirhoose Rd). We hid a ‘low doon hoose’ wae a front gerdin an a veranda. Jim an ah hid wurr ain room, nae merr sherrin wae wurr perrints. Nae merr recessed bed. Nae merr ootside toilet. An a bath – wae hid an actual bath! Wae runnin hoat watter! An up acroass the main road, wurr fields! As faur as the eye could see – the fields of Rogerfield an Lochend. Grass, trees... adventure. While the grown ups wirr busy unloadin the convoys of lorries an getting thir bits n’ pieces into thir bright new hames, we kids began tae congregate oot oan the pavement, wide eyed, open moothed, lookin oot at the fields, lookin at wan inither, waitin furr sumbiddy tae tell iz it wis aw a mistake urr sumbiddy’s idea eh a joke; getting ready furr the wurd thit it wis time tae go hame, hame tae the slums. But the wurd never came. The adults wurr too busy inside thir hooses noo, arguin aboot whit colour tae decorate the wa’s when the plaster dried oot, an whit the biler wiz furr!
Meanwhile we kids stertitt gettin tae know wan inither; names, who’s faither did whit, wher we aw came fae, wher wae aw stied.
‘Ah’m up aht close ther’.
‘Mah faither’s a bus driver’
‘We’ve goat a gerdin.’
‘How come ah’ve no goat a gerdin?’
‘Cos yer two up yah eejit. Whit’s yer name anywae?’
‘Jimmy, whit’s yours?’
‘Maggie. Ah live ower ther’.
‘Ah’m up that close as well. Ahm Davie, we’ve goat a veranda!’
‘Ah hink we’ve aw goat wan eh them.’
‘Whit’s that ower ther?’
‘Aye, bit whit’s that hing movin aboot?’
‘That’s a coo!’
An so it went oan, lassies, boays, dugs. Bikes wurr broat oot, them thit hid wan! Admired, envied. Leadership an group roles wirr established. Plans wir laid. Times wurr set for exploration eh this strange new land. While the grown ups shut thir doors an thimsells aff fae each ither, we kids wirr getting ready tae set oot ower thae fields, an doon the road, an through the back coorts. Groups eh iz (safety in numbers) aw wanderin aboot meetin ither groups, comperrin notes, findin oot the names a streets, wher the polis hooses wurr, watchin eh dumper trucks skite aboot. The whole place reeked a tar fae streets an paths that wirr bein surfaced, an the smell a putty fae the hooses thit wirnae finished yit an still hid thir windaes bein pit in [as opposed tae hivin thim ‘pit in’ if ye know whit ah mean!] Hooses wurr bein built evrywher! Bricks an nails wirr strewn everywher. Pretty soon planks a wid (wood), an boaxes wir bein half inched (pinched) tae build guidies (carties). Bae thae end eh that furst day nearly evry kid no only knew thir wae aroon, but could report back tae thir perrints oan who else lived in the street, whit the faimlies worked it, an evry buildin, field an construction site within a mile radius (and beyond in maist cases). The kids knew wher tae get stuff and wirr soon getting orders furr nails, bricks, putty, planks, cement, plaster, wheelbarras, tools, an aw the DIY things faithers wirr lookin furr. Construction foremen an police wurr frequently seen in the days, weeks and months that foalied, prowling through the streets, paths an gerdins lookin furr ‘loast’ equipment an materials.
Then sumhin dawned! It probbly happened aboot the same time in evry hoosehold that furst night. Efter faither hid submitted eez DIY wish list tae us kids furr the nixt day’s scavange, the mammy wid say;
‘Never mine that eh noo, we need breid, mulk, and totties (potatoes) an a load eh ither things affore yeez dae anythin. Wher’s the shoaps?’
‘Didnae find any,’ we kids wid reply.
‘Whit dae ye mean? Ther must bae shoaps!’
An wae wid patiently explain tae oor folks that ther wisnae a shoap within miles eh iz. No only that, ther wis NUTHIN within miles eh us. Jist hoff built hooses, an streets, an…fields! Suddenly, that coo’s potential life span drapped significantly!
‘Och! We’ll soart it oot in eh moarnin.’ The faithers wid say, takin control eh the situation. ‘It’s bin a long day, ah’m aff furr a pint, whers the pub?’
‘Yer no listnin Da! Ther’s nae pubs either!’
As faithers teetered oan the brink eh apoplexy at this devastatin news, we also realised thir wis nae doactirs, clinics, hoaspital urr amblance station!
As the reality eh this sank in, roon aboot the same time that night, wae aw the maws n’ paws in the street, we kids smiled big smiles, cos we knew sumhin else… sumhin even merr importint… sumhin wonderful!
Thir wurnae any schools either!
Merr aboot Eastirhoose next week.
Contraction of the first part of certain words that begin with S eg. s’ppose for ‘suppose’. Comes out ‘spose’.
‘Dae ye want wan eh mah sangwijies?’
‘Whit hiv ye goat oan em?’
‘Choaclitt, tuna n’marmite’
‘Whit, aw oan eh wan piece?’
‘Naw thanks, ah hink ah’ll gie it a bye!’
In eh days afore trainers, sandshoes ruled. Canvas sports shoes thit seem tae bae makin a come back!
As in Housin Scheme. As menshint above.
Bed. ‘When urr ye gonnae get oot yir scrathir ya big lazy sod?’
To ‘screw the bobbin (boabin)’. Means tae get control or a grip eh the situation. Must originate fae the auld weavers urr sumhin.
‘Heh! Wull ye calm doon! Ah know thers nae shoaps but jist screw eh boabin wull ye!’ or ‘Eh’ll pass eez drivin test this time, if eh jist screws eh boabin.’
Type of beer bottle.
‘Eh hit im ower eh heid wae a screwtap!’
‘Oor wee Jimmy wis actin up. Throwin a right tantrum eh wis.’
‘Whit ye dae?’
‘Aw a wee bit a parental guidance wis called furr – a scudded im acroass eh lug!’
‘Ah didnae realise Auntie Flo wis in eh bathroom. Ah jist barged right in an err she wis, jist staunin ther – in eh berr (bare) scud!’
‘Whit ye dae?’
‘Ah asked err furr the toothpaste!’
It’s best to describe this in the context of it’s use;
‘See you Jimmy, if ye don’t get oot mah face, ah’ll swing furr ye!’
‘Gonnae see’s a quid tae Friday?’
‘See these shoes, thir killin meh!’
‘See me? Ah’m sick n’ tired a hivin tae soart things oot so ah’m urr!’
sel. sell. -
Contraction of self or myself. Also himself. As in; Masell, Himsell, Eezsell.
Scene: In the bar of the Dalriada Public House circa.1974.
‘Wher’d ye get aht scabby dug?’
‘A guy in eh pub selt meh it. It’s a Pharoah Huntin Dug’
‘It’s a whippet!’
‘Naw it’s no, it’s a rerr breed. An Egyptian Pharoah Huntin Dug!’
‘Hey guys come an hiv a look aht iss.
A crowd gethers roon, bleery eyed, unsteady oan eh pins, pints in haun.
‘Whit kinna dug wid ye say aht wis?’
‘A whippet!’ ‘Pretty scabby wan ett aht!’
[Note: The above conversation took place, word for word (bad language ommitted), in the Dalriada Pub (now gone) in Glasgow’s Carntyne in the mid 70s. I was in stitches watching this old guy try and convince everybody in the pub that his scabby mongrel whippet was an exotic Pharoah Hunting Dog. It was made funnier by the fact that he himself was convinced he had invested in a rare breed! Funny how some things just stay with you forever.]