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19

Saturday afternoons were often spent at "The Scratcher" the picture house in the high Street. I suppose it must have had a proper name, but it was always referred to as "The Scratcher", as people claimed you went in with a jersey and came out with a jumper! It was never renowned for its high standard of cleanliness.
The adventures of Rob Roy, Tarzan and Roy Rodgers fired our imaginations. When we poured out of the darkness into the bright Saturday afternoon light, we had the choice of two roads home. One, the safe predictable pavements of the High Street, or on the other hand, we could go home via the sea shore, jumping from rock to rock, reliving the film, evading either redcoats or red indians. We usually chose the latter. Unfortunately, as part of the Saturday chores, we had to collect a box of six cakes from Ford the bakers our teatime treat. This was duly tied up with yellow and brown tape, a loop being made to slip over our wrist. It was unusual to see a meringue in one piece when the box was opened on our return from the Saturday matinee.
Gradually, the houses of Front Street and Back Street were becoming empty as families were rehoused in the newly built schemes behind us in what used to be turnip fields. By the time I was seven, "flittings" were a daily occurrence, and we too moved up the hill to a house with a garden. Staff and pupils of Cuthill School were transferred to Prestonpans School and the village awaited demolition.
Today, the only trace of this village and community is a solitary red sandstone post at the entrance to another new housing complex. This is the post which held the iron gates of Cuthill School. Everything else is a memory.

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