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My dad and David  Jean Henderson Born: 1924 Armadale, West Lothian

My dad was a butcher. We lived off the fat of the land, where butcher meat was concerned, and we turned our nose up to it as well! My mother had six of a family, two sons and four girls, I was the third child. We had a room and kitchen, and a box room with three in a bed. Mum and dad slept in the living room. I slept in the box room. We had a tin bath every Friday night. We played peavers and would get shouted in for yeryour bath. I went to the local school in Armadale till I was about 5 or 7. We moved to Edinburgh, a mean that was posh and I went to Dalry School. Then I went to Tynecastle school right opposite the football ground. At half time the doors were open at the football and I used to slink in and pick up the beer bottles. You got money for them. I wid buy sweeties wiwith the money. My mother didnae did not mind the laddies.Boys male siblings going in, but she didnae did not like the lassies.Girls female siblings goin in. We could see the ground from the balconies outside the house. School was quite good but I got the belt for talking, although I usually did what I was told. My school friends lived in McLoud Street beside us. My best pal was called Winnie. We got a leatherinBeat or thrash someone until they are black and blue one day for pickin up the beer bottles. In fact ah got many a leatherinBeat or thrash someone until they are black and blue!

I left school at the age of 13 or 14. My first job was in a shop that sold everything, a Johnny awethingeverything. It was in Gorgie Road. I went to the WAFS when I was 17. It was smashin. I wasn't called up, I joined up. I went to various places in England. You used to get drinkin like the men. We packed parachutes and felt that we saved a lot of their lives. I came ootout cause there was a paragraph that said something about "pregnancy." That's when I had Brian.

My husband was in the Territorials when I was in the WAFS. I went to the Pally dancing, and that's where I met him. It was a good time for meeting soldiers. The boys were a lot better in those days than they are now. David was handsome. He lived in Edinburgh. I didnae did not see him that often but before he went abroad we got married, and the result was Brian our son. David was a Lance Bombardier in the Gordon Highlanders. He worked in the Maypole general store delivering groceries when he was a laddie.boy man.

We stayed with mamy mother when we first got married, and then we got a room and kitchen at Abbeyhill. Every time a train went by everything shook. David was demobbed and became a horse groom with the Dick Vet. We stayed in the house there, then we moved out to the Bush in Penicuik. David had started work in the building trade, building the electric pylons. They built 4 houses especially for the staff. I worked at the Junction Bar pulling the pints. You had to go where the money was. Then I worked for an awfyvery nice couple in the Navaar Hotel. They didnae did not know anything about the licence trade, so I took over as the licencee. Then I worked at the Caribbean Hotel down by the Minto Hotel. I was in charge and kept everybody in place. They all spoke wi bulls in their mouthswith a posh accent. I had two children by this time, Brian and Helen.

I used to go on holiday abroad for a week with women friends twice a year. I liked different places in Spain. That would be about the mid seventies. David liked to go up North. Davy enjoyed his ain hooseown house. Effy and Jimmy were our good friends who we went up north with. I remember Drumnadrochit. Effy passed 4 or 5 years ago.

David and me getting wedw

I worked very hard and enjoyed my life. Me and my brother were fantastic singers. I used to sing 'You'll get a bunion on your Spanish Onion if I catch you bending tonight' Listen. My dad was a great singer. On a Friday night, pay night, he would sing ‘Ah love mamy Jean my bonnie bonnie Jean’, and mamy mother said ‘a dinnae do not mind yae havin a drink but dinnae do not let the neighbours know!’ He never did a thing in the house but if my mother was ill, he would do everything. He wiswas a smashin cook too.

Life has changed a lot now. When you read the papers it seems worse. I am happy here just now, and I have got my family round me. I've got a lot of memories, ah just wish I could remember them all!

 

Jean

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Adapted by Iain Tait