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Christina McCorkindale Born: 1925 Poltonhall

Colin my son and meMy dad was a winding engineman in the pit at Rosewell and my mum was a house wife. There were three children, Alec, Smith and me. We lived in one of those weeSmall miner's row cottages. They weren’t big. The school was at Poltonhall. We had to walk hail, rain or snow to get there. A gang of us skivedstayed away from off school one time and we went away down the glen, jumping across rivers from ropes on trees. We were caught more than once ‘cause I had to take mamy brothers wi' me and Smithy told on us. I got a rattle across the jaws. We got away with nothin’. The teachers had a big belt which I got once or twice, but I wisnaewas not a wild child. Alec was the quiet one but Smithy was the wild one, very wild. We had a bogeyhand built by children wooden cart with four wheels and rope for steering it, used for going down hills and one day coming down a hill, bang! I fell right out and broke mamy collarbone. I can still feel it where it was broken. Smithy was guiding the mamy. My dad was very strict. You got rattledhit around the face with an open hand for anything. Smithy got it that day. He thought he could run away but he didn't get very far. My dad had a motorbike and I used sit on the back with my arms round his waist. It was great. I wore a tammy on mamy head with some ties round it to keep it on. He also had different cars which was quite unusual. He was quite clever my dad. He painted with water colours and he was a studious reader. When tape recorders came in he could do anything with them, editing and stuff. Another of his hobbies was clocks. He used to go round and find these broken clocks and get them working perfectly. He fixed all kinds of clocks, motor bikes and cars. Cars were his main passion.
Charlie and me at oor wedding
I quite liked my weeSmall school but I didnae did not have to go for very long. I was fourteen when I left. I got a weeSmall job on Lethem’s Farm for three years. I done everything. Cleaned the houses and took the dogs a walk. I lived in Lasswade at that time and I had to walk away up the hill and down the other side to get to the farm. I was frightened at first because it was eerieaffected by a fear of the supernatural which gives rise to feelings of uneasiness or loneliness, but I got used to it. You had to. Then I worked at the Ever Ready munitions factory. I was on the belt and you watched everything going by. There were three of us on the belt where we had to check the shells and the ones that weren’t right we put in a box for someone else to check. We couldnaecould not wear our own clothes so they gave us overalls. I think they were green. We had a wee toorieSmall hat round the top of your head. The men and boys were in a different department.

There was nothing to do except going to the pictures and the dancing. It was the old fashioned pictures, black and white. Silent at first, then they started to talk. There was a picture house in Bonnyrigg High Street. It was a right old thing. Mr Redshaw owned it. He was a weeSmall butter ball, a weeSmall fat man who was always there. I was too young for to winchTo court, to keep company with one of the opposite sex. then. Anyway mamy dad would have killed me. I never went dancing. I didnae did not fancy it.

Alec and Smithy joined the navy. Alec sailed through it and he was awarded the BME. I went to Holyrood with him for his presentation. Smithy was the complete opposite. I remember mamy parents getting another telegram saying that Smithy had jumped ship again. He was a mischievous bugger.

Our family gathering

 

I met Charlie mamy husband at the cinema during the war. There were two or three of them all together and I just started talking to him. He was on leave from the Royal Engineers and had been abroad. He had his uniform on that night so I think that’s why I looked at him. I started seeing him the following week and we just went walks because there was nothing else to do. We were married in 1946 at St. John's Manse in Dalkeith. We went to my Aunty Jean's in Dumfries for our honeymoon for two or three days. Our first house was in 130 Dalkeith High Street above the Cavaliere. It was a two end with a box room and an inside toilet. He was a brush maker at that time, just up the High Street. I had my first child on December 20th 1947. We named her Carol Roseina Gowrie. My son Colin All set for tht galadaywas born in 1952. I used to love showing them off. We had a tin bath we put in front of the coal fire range and I scrubbed them every night. Dr Nomani used to say you will have those children washed away. We had gas mantles for lighting but I didnae did not like them. When we got electricity it was great.

My two best friends were Rena Tweedie and Ellen McClusky. We never went out socially but we would go shopping together, or they would come to the house for tea and a blethertalk continuously . Rena could talk, she still can.

We moved to a bigger house in Woodburn ‘cause we got an exchange with a woman who had a club foot. We loved our prefabPrefabricated homes, popular after the second world war., 11 Woodburn Grove. It had a garden, a fridge, a coal cellar and a bath. We used to take the bairns by bus to Portobello for a day out. I didnae did not go into the water ‘cause I really don't like water.

My dad came down one day when we were at the prefabPrefabricated homes, popular after the second world war. because he thought my daughter Carol had been killed. Somebody had come into his work at the pit and told him a relative of his had been killed, but it was my uncle's daughter.

We moved to Gibson Drive in 1961. My father died not long after we moved there and my mum had died a few years before that. Charlie and I split up in 1968. I was working in Ferranti’s at the time. I think I had fancies for others after that but I can't really remember. I used to like Alec Crawford though; he was a great weeSmall singer. I started going out with Millie and we used go to the miners’ club for a drink and a blethertalk continuously .

Enjoying the garden wi ma dug

Carol got married in 1975. I wasn’t very happy about it because I was losing her. She looked lovely on the day though. I never saw very much of Colin. I would not say I was happy on my own but you just had to get on with it. I like life just now because I’ve got my weeSmall clubs and a better social life than I ever had. I have a lovely home and my daughter is good to me. I have three lovely grandchildren who come to see me.

 

Christina

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