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My mother Father brother and myselfBorn Isabella Jeans Wyse Born 1933 Elmfield Square, Dalkeith

I was born in the house at Elmfield Square. I had one brother, Walter Duff Wyse. I have lived in Dalkeith all my life. My dad was a miner at the Woollmet and Monktonhall. The only time ma mamy mother worked was when mamy dad broke his leg, it was an accident at the pit. She went oot tae the tattiesout to the potatoe picking. The hoosehouse at Elmfield Square was mamy dad's cousin's hoosehouse. We lived in one room. Our first hoosehouse was at 34 Woodburn Drive, brand new. We were up the stainstone stairs, but it wiswas carpeted. At the top landing there was the toilet and coalhoosecoalhouse. The men delivered the coal in the hoosehouse, but it wiswas a dark carpet we had. We stayed at the Drive till I was fourteen. My dad and my brother played in the Dalkeith Brass Band. My dad played the bass trombone and my brother played the tenor horn. They practised doondown at the school. My dad, my brother and Jock Wilkinson started up the bowling at Woodburn Miner's club. It didnae did not have a bowling green though. They were aye gonnaegoing too get one. They played at King's Park. MaMy mother donated a rose bowl to the club, and every year they played for the David Wyse Memorial Rose Bowl.

I was born with mamy fingers all stuck together in my left hand. They operated to try and separate them. When I was 9 they operated again for two of my fingers. Am awfyI am very self conscious of it. I was still able to knit though. If bairnsYoung Children said what happened to yer hand, I told them ahI stuck it in a jar of jam.

I left school at 15. I went to work at the cotton mill in Musselburgh. I got the bus to work, filled up the wooden bobbins and ahI lasted a year. I left there to work in the brewery in Dalkeith, in the back street at McLennan & Urquart. The brewery was smelly. All I did was put the empty bottles on the conveyor belt. They went doondown the stair to get washed an’ that. I was only a year in there as well. I went to Duncan's Chocolate factory at Cannon Mills, near Powderhall. I was there for 17 years. Did ahI no put on the weight. My favourite sweetie was the cherry brandies. I packed the chocolates. You wore a white overall, a hat and a hair net. I got the SMTBus company, now called First bus into the post office in Edinburgh, then I got a tram doondown to the Ritz picture house. I also worked at the woollen mill in Dalkeith, Laidlaw and Fairgrieve for 11 years. I did the wool winding. At New Year we would take in a bottle to work and drink it. One couple got caught at the back of the bales in an awkward situation. I’m no really a drinker. No now.

A small family get he gither

I liked the dancing a lot. I went to the PallyPalace dance hall and the Cavendish. The Cavendish was just a weeSmall hall. Even in Dalkeith I went to the Corn Exchange. The hall was divided up into two bits. The first bit had all the tables. You could get a cup of tea but there was nae drink. I used to go to the PallyPalace dance hall on mamy own, and I came back on mamy own (‘am no tellin you oanie thin'). I liked the Tango but sometimes when I got asked I widdnaewould not get up, cause I didnae did not like the look of him.

My pal Margaret stayed doondown the stair fifrom us. She had two older brothers. She comes doon every Thursday to this day for a blethertalk continuously . She does all the bletherntalk continuously about nothing, ahI just listen.

There were two picture hooseshouses in Dalkeith. The Pavilion and the Playhouse. Two of them were the githertogether. Tommy Blaw wizwas a character here. He wiz ayewas always black. He played the bagpipes. That’s why he got called Tommy Blaw.

I never married cause mamy mother put the kybosh to put a stop to; prevent from continuing; halt on that. Ma maMy mother was an awfyvery interferin’ woman. I lived with my parents until they died. My dad died in 1976. We were at the caravan at the time. We had six vans that we used to let out, two at Port Seton and four in a field further doondown the coast. We were just spending the night doondown there and he took a heart attack. We went to the farmer to get the phone. When the ambulance came they couldn't resuscitate him. I was left wi my mother, I retired in 1978 to look after her. She died on the 13th November 1999.

A picnic wi wasps and everythingI used to go out to America for mamy holidays. 1970 was the first year a went. It was a charter flight. I joined a travel club, and I paid money into it to pay up yer fare. I went to Florida. I felt great flying. The plane went to Toronto, New York and to Florida. I went on mamy own. I was going to visit mamy pal Margaret's younger sister Moira. Moira and Charlie took me all over the place. I went back the following year. I couldnae dae it noocould not do it now. Florida was flat. We went to Bush gardens. They make beer there which I sampled. The beer there is a lot weaker.

Dalkeith has changed now, there are hardly any bloomin shops. I liked it in the auldold days, there were plenty of pubs, too many. I live in Woodburn Gardens now with mamy nephew Stephen and Yvonne his wife, along with their four children, and a dog, two cats, and a hamster. I would be lost without them.

 

Isabella

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Adapted by Iain Tait