LIFE AT ACHESON DRIVE - Isa Keenan
I lived with my Mother and Father in their spare room for four years
after I was married before being allocated a house in Acheson Drive
in 1955. I remember being particularly pleased because it had stairs
as I had never lived in a house with a staircase before. There were.
at that time. approximately sixteen houses to be allocated to the
people at the top of the housing list and it was great to find that
most of the couples that had received one were all about my age.
the girls having been at school round about the same time as myself.
Most had one boy in the family and my own son. Billy, was the First
baby to be born at Acheson Drive.
My neighbour was a Mrs Vincent, better known as Lizzie Walters before
she was married. At that time there were no gas Fires. Everyone
had coal fires so when we needed to have our lums swept we used
to contact the sweep to come and do at least five houses that morning.
We all took turns as to who he would come to first as the one who
got him first was reckoned to be the first to finish their cleaning
so everyone would come to that particular house when they finished
for tea and a blether.
Another day's activity was the visit of the trouser man. Mr CapIan.
who came from Causewayside in Edinburgh. As we all had boys we used
to look forward to him arriving as he made the boys trousers out
of spare lengths of mainly gaberdine suiting which wore very well.
We all gathered at the house he would pick to do his business and
word went round like wildfire as to whose house he was in. Of course
in these days the boys only wore short trousers but he used to make
us white fIannel shorts that were kept for Sunday School and trips.
This was another day's gathering for tea and a blether!
About the funniest salesperson to visit Acheson Drive was Noor the
Pakistani who had two cases filled with about everything you could
mention. We would bargain with him to try to bring his prices down
but it was hard work to try and get him to lower them. He used to
smoke a cigarette down so low it must have burned his lips. The
bottom of his case was where he usually kept his snack which consisted
of stale sandwiches and broken biscuits. He always offered us some
but we always refused. He thought I was very rich as I sometimes
gave him a whole cigarette just to watch him smoking it down to
the end. To this day I have never seen anyone smoke a ciggie as
low as he could. Another day's gathering for tea and blethers!
A lot of our husbands were miners and when the pits were on strike,
times were hard. Lizzie and I used to get bones from the Store butcher,
boil them and share the stock for soup. I'm afraid the fields were
plundered quite a few times. Stovies were another filler. I still
think of them as a poor man's dish.
When times were more affluent I used to run a bus during the Trades
week to Butlin's at Ayr. Tins used to come to my house to pick up
me and some of my neighbours. The children were young and they loved
it. They used to compete for the prize of a shilling as to who could
spot the flags at the entrance to the Camp first
Things have changed now and there are only four of the original
tenants left. Forty four years in one house is a long time. The
rest are scattered all over the Pans.
Although we had our ups and downs most of the early time at Acheson
Drive was good fun and everybody was compatible.