classroom on occasion. One master,
who shall remain nameless, was heartily disliked by all, more
so when he doubled up as sports master and insisted that we play
with footballs that were always out of shape.
Our weekends never seemed to vary,
at least for those of us who were still at school. We would go
to the local picture house, better known as the "Scratcher". In
the days when we went, there was a partition in front of the screen.
Behind the partition was a piano which was used to provide background
music for the silent films. The pianist was known to us all as
"Auld Shiny Broo", and as he played, the top of his bald head
could be seen above the edge of the partition. The poor man was
often demented by the pieces of orange peel, apple cores and bunched
up paper bags which often found their target on his bald head.
Sunday was not a popular day for us.
We used to wonder why our Catholic pals, who all went to worship
at Drummohr Monastery in the morning, could be allowed to play
games, while we Protestants were forbidden all forms of games.
Sunday school, boys bible class, the church and the lads meeting
in the Town Hall in the evening, these were all on the agenda.
The penalty for poor attendance was that you were not permitted
to take part in the Sunday school picnics or the lads' meeting
outings. The threat of missing but on the outings ensured a fairly
regular attendance throughout the year. I recall a couple of Sunday
school picnics at Roslin and Craigmillar. These two areas were
relatively unspoiled then so we were able to have a great time
in the countryside surrounding the picnic areas. The Boys' Brigade
camp was really special. We spent a week under canvas at Belhaven
near Dunbar. At six o'clock in the morning we would be out of
our tents and washing up in the local farmer's horse trough. At
that time in the morning the water was freezing. Following the
completion of camp duties, making up beds, washing the dishes,
etc, we were free to go to the beach. Although it was summer,
the beach always seemed to be swept by a chill wind. The wind
however did not prevent us from enjoying ourselves. By the middle
of the week, most of us had run out of money and we were looking
forward to Parents' Day, which was a sports day, but even more
important than the races and five-a-side football was the thought
of much needed sweet money.
After the camp had finished, we resumed our normal activities back
home. The beach was just across the road and a great deal of our
time was spent on the sandy stretch of beach which extended from
the Belfield Pottery to the "Craig". Before going in the water we
kindled fires with driftwood and coal, gathered further along the
beach. Mussels, limpets and "buckies" were left to boil in cases
filled with salt water until we felt hungry enough to come out of
the water and enjoy what was known as the