Neilson's where one could enjoy a
penny vantas drink. The next close at one time housed the town
council offices and then John Antonelli's shop before he built
the New Cafe.
A stretch of the old sea wall came
next before Jock Hastie's garage where at one time a big part
of his business was charging accumulators for wirelesses. Pat
Cullen's low roofed house was followed by Mary Machie's with her
outside stair before Belfield's house and his famous pottery.
On the corner was the Cuthill store, now the Lady Susan, and then
round to Mathieson's Yard before the Cuthill School.
We did talk about the kids and the
brickworks, but it would take too long to mention all of them
so coming back again on the other side we have Brodie Allison's
and her mother, with her man's bonnet on, sitting smoking her
Cuthill was a village on its own with
Front Street, Middle Street and Summerlee Street, and each one
had its own set of characters.
Going back you reach the Gothenburg,
at that time one of the best pubs in East Lothian and the publican
Mr Fewell always immaculate with white shirt and black tie and
well parted moustache; then the Redburn with old Cockielaws yard
and Johnny Turnbull's shop at the corner. Next Jock Samuel's and
then up three steps to Balquanqual, joiner and undertaker, before
some low cottage type houses with one of those old iron wells
in the middle of them.
Cookies Wynd came next and the old
Salvation Army hall with a barber's shop next to it. The latter
became Hay's Groceries and many an apple was stolen there from
the boxes on display outside the shop.
As you continued, you came to the
gas works, then the old cemetery, which is said to have the grave
of either Burke or Hare, those body snatchers; after the headmaster's
house the gas works offices, then Tarn Hood's the bootman. The
store hairdresser's in those days was in place of the Bakers Dozen
but then came our town hall.
On the other corner of New Street
was Willie Wilson, draper — the Royal Bank of Scotland — Aggie
Bagnall's, fruiterer extraordinary (what a woman, she used to
go her rounds with her old horse and it was hardly fit to pull
the cart), Greig's ironmonger's, and where the new shops now are
before Mathers Pub or the Railway Tavern were some houses which
stood back a little from the rest and these housed the Bellanys
and the Baillies.
Ayres Wynd had the Buttercup on the corner and Bob Galloway's chip
shop a few doors up, McLennon's dairy, then Kennedy the grocer's
and a more or less second-hand furniture shop, Bryce's Close with
the cobblers shop next, then Grants Buildings and the Queens Arms
Hotel, at that time