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Betty Veitch Born: 1915, Drum Street, Gilmerton, Edinburgh

William and me getting marriedMy father worked as miner but was a prisoner of war for 5 years in WW1. We lived with granny during the war and when my father came home my granny said to me “Come on hen a term of endearment for a female., meet yeryour daddy”. I said “That’s not my daddy, he’s up on the wall”. I only knew him by his photograph. My mother was a laundry worker before she married. She had four children, me being the oldest. I was happy growing up, playing games on the street, not like nowadays where there is too much violence and murders. During the blackouts you could walk the streets without fear. Today you’re scared to answer the door. At school my favourite subjects were sewing and cooking. Next door to the school was a home for girls who stole or whose parents were alcoholics. I liked the lassies.Girls female siblings though. I have met some of them since growing up and they’re happily married now with their own children.

I left school at 14 and my first job was with Miller & Sons at Causewayside, putting the name through the stock of rock. I was there for 9 years. I made 10 shillings a week which went straight to my mother. I got pocket money to go to the dancing. I loved the dancing but I had to be home by 11 o’clock. That’s where I met William my husband. He always pestered me to take me home but I wouldn’t let him. Eventually we started seeing each other, had a two year engagement and finally married on 1st July 1938 at Liberton church. William worked at Monteith’s at the time. We couldn’t afford a honeymoon. We went to live with his dad at Allan Terrace and I stayed there till 1977. I was six and a half years married before my only child Agnes was born in 1944.

Christmas dinner wi ma palsAfter the war William’s brother bought him a new car. The three of us used to travel to Devon and the likes for our holidays. Going over the Shap was an experience then, no motorways in these days. It used to take us 2 days to get to there. We stayed on caravan sites and had a rare time. We didn’t have much money but that did not matter. Everybody was the same in those days.

When our house at Allan Terrace was renovated I got my first washing machine. I was frightened of it and wouldn’t put it on, but like everything else I got used to it. I worked at the Wheatsheaf for over 20 years as a cleaner. William had a part-time job as a barman there.

Having a braw time at ma wee clubIn 1977 my husband died. I gave up my house and came to live with my daughter Agnes and her family at the new houses in Woodburn Terrace. At that time I was still going out to the bingo and I visited my pal every day. We would have a cup of tea and a pie at 12 o’clock. I used to help run the lunch club at the community centre, which I enjoyed. When that finished I stayed on as a member of the Day Club. I like the company.

We moved to Whitecraig a few years ago but I still come to the day care club because that’s where all my pals are. I get a taxi there and back.No bad for someone in their nineties.

I feel I have been lucky in life.



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Adapted by Iain Tait