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Bessie Rodger Born: 1918 Old Craighall

That's me as a lassieI lived in a different type of house than you have now. It was the But ‘n’ Bens two roomed house in Scotland (but) the living room (ben) the bedroom, with a room and kitchen. There were two villages with 22 or 23 houses with a wee croft very small house at one end with a big house. It had a big orchard with apples and pears that they used to sell. I never stole them, but some of the boys did. School had two classrooms, a big one and a wee one with one toilet.

My dad worked on the railway at first and in about 1912 he was a carter a person that loads merchandise onto a horse drawn cart and delivers product at Carberry pit. He emptied the ashes from people’s houses. There was Carberry Smeaton Fleets. We got 7 tons of coal a year and delivery was every six weeks. My mother didnae did not work ‘cause she was very lame but it dinnae did not stop her travelling 3 miles for messages. She used to A trip wi aw the familyboil the clothes in the iron pot on top of the fire in the house. I sometimes carried the water home from one of the three wells in Old Craighall. I had a brother and two sisters. I was the youngest. We had beds in the kitchen and the bedroom. My brother got the bedroom.

Peter and me at the prefabSome people had far bigger families than that so we managed. I was 10 when we left Old Craighall and my brother started work on a farm. The house was the farm cottage with two bedrooms. A law came out that the cottages had to have running water so the farmer built a scullery as well. They built a stone boiler and a toilet. Before that the toilet was up the top of the garden. The kettle was on morning noon and night. Lamb and Dunn came round with the paraffin because we had paraffin lamps then.

Peter and me at oor weddingI was in the army royal artillery during the war. I joined up at Newbattle Abbey. I was a month there then I was posted to Reading then Coventry at the end of 1941. We were not there during the big raid. I was also in Bristol and Essex. I was demobbed in 1946. I would have stayed on but one of my friends was killed, and mamy mother got wind of it and that was that. After I was demobbed I went back to work for a doctor Robertson and his wife in Frogston Road West. I was in service. They called me their Peter me and oor dug at the prefabhousekeeper and I lived in. I got a half day off on the Thursday and Sunday. The house was a bungalow built by an architect. It was a lovely house. I had my own bedroom and toilet.

I left Newton Farm Cottages in 1954 and there was still no electricity there. Millerhill had it but I cannae can not mind the reason why. I went into digs in Danderhall. I was still single. I got married in 1956. I met Peter Paxton at a whist drive held in the old school at Newton Village. He came The girls at the prefabfrom Dunbar. He worked with Crudens in Musselburgh as a plumber and he lodged in Millerhill. It was love at first sight. We were married at the Methodist church at the Bridges in Edinburgh. Peter was a Methodist in Dunbar. I liked my own church, but I became a Methodist. Am no a Methodist now though! We lived with Aunty Madge till we got a house. We got a prefabPrefabricated homes, popular after the second world war. in 1957. Six years later we got a new house in Danderhall at 24 Woolmet Crescent. It had 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and kitchen. I travelled into Preston Street then Morningside station on a number 5 bus from Danderhall to work for the doctor. Peter and me at the new hoose in DanderhallWhen it was snowing I had to walk from the Braids to Morningside road. I worked for them off and on for about forty years. The doctor died in1969 and his wife died in 1976. They were lovely and so were their relations. You were treated as one of the family.

Peter and I never had any children. Peter loved his garden and I always had knitting needles in my hand. We were never off the dance floor as well. Peter was a good dancer. Before bingo got a grip there were always ceilidhs. We did proper dancing. We were in the Organ Society and Aberdeen on holidaysonce a month they put on a concert. It was held in the Blesma halls. I also did a lot of baking. Peter made the big cakes though! He also made ready cut rugs. Peter and I used to go to Aberdeen for our holiday. We loved the harbour and did this for twenty years. We loved walking and we went to the dancin' at Union Terrace Gardens there. It was great.

After Peter died in 1981, I was still in Danderhall and I tripped over one of his rugs. They went into the hut after that. There was only one Peter.

I moved here at Glenesk House on 20th February 2006. It is a very sheltered place. When I came here first they showed me how to use the washing machines, but I had to write everything down but I lost the note-book. I have mastered it now though. I love it here. I Everyone at the new hooselove the trees and the rabbits and squirrels. It was what I needed to sort me out after I fell. I woke up in Liberton Hospital, which I love by the way. I know it has some terrible stories, but they brought me back this far. I never thought I would be able to walk again. I look forward to going to the Woodburn Day Care Club every Monday. They do a wonderful job. They must knock hell out themselves because of all the entertainment they put on. There is so much they put into it.


Peter wi me and his sister















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