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Born: June Brown Moffat 1938 Tait Street, Dalkeith

Growing up in DalkeithAlthough I was born in Dalkeith, I didnae ken aboot did not know about aboot the Dukes until I met Tom, my man, in 1973. It wis him that telt me aboot it, and the Wheatsheaf pub. Those of you who know Dalkeith will think that’s really daft. I was too busy looking after mamy mother and faitherFather. We had a room and kitchen and the toilet was outside. We were on the ground floor and the toilet was in the passage. Mrs Dalgleish lived upstairs, but she was never there. I cannycan not mind All the family on a great day ootwhy. We had yon weethe old small gas mantels in the hoosehouse. My dad was a miner at Smeaton pit. MaMy mother was a hoosehouse wife. She had four girls and I was the oldest. Margaret, Helen and Elizabeth were ma weemy small sisters. I went to the school in Croft Street then Kippielaw secondary school. Bert the butcher used to come round with his horse and cart selling butcher meat. I wisnaewas not that bad at school. I liked writing and arithmetic. We all used to play in the streets and we would mark off the picky line wi' a more advanced game of peavers with weighted peaver tins, lines with chalk. We went to the matinee in Dalkeith for thrupence. Out wi ma ma for a picnicI liked Hop-a-long Cassidy, Jolson Sing's Again and the Jolson Story. I loved watch all the glamour girls in the films. I said to maself “I'll never look like thame”. Gone With the Wind was one of my favourites. I remember the prisoners during the war. They used come up the back street to work in McCluskey's dairy farm. There were Germans and Italians. Ma faither My father kent a Canadian soldier ‘cause mamy dad was in the Home Guard, playing at soldiers. They were right pals. Some of the prisoners made a wee barrysmall wheelbarrow for Stanley Hay, a weeSmall laddie that lived in the back street. The Germans were quite friendly. My mamy used to go to a shop, Ritchie’s for oorour clothes. I think she payed them up. There wisnaewas not much money in they days. One day me and mamy pals were all collecting widwood in Tait Street when the polis turned up. We didnae ken we wurnae did not know we were not supposed to take it and we all got a warning. I didnae ken where the polis station wiz did not where the police station was in they days, a bit like the Dukes. I used to go to Mary Allan's, mamy mother's stepmother. Her mother died when she was seven. She lived in the back street. I would get a bun and a cup of tea.

My sister and me we were aye closeLife was maremore exciting when I left the school. I got a job as a cashier at Cochrane’s doondown Leith Street. They were famous for their hats. It was a big store. I would get the bus into the bridges then walk doondown. When I worked in the main cash desk I would take the money that was collected in the store, sometimes up to a £1000, and take it to the bank. I never gave it another thought.

That's us gain away for the dayI used to go to the Regal in Bonnyrigg for dancing. We would get the bus up and just walk back 'cause there were naeno buses on at that time of night. Nae wonder mamy legs are worn oot up tae ma out ut too my knees. I never bothered abootabout men. I never smoked or drank and I didnae ken onythin’ aboot did not know anything about drugs. Mary Miller, Joyce MacLean and Famie Burnett were mamy dancing pals. I didnae ken there wis onny did not know there was any dancing in Leith, a bit like the Dukes again.

Tom and me, it wasnea a big weddingTom and I first met in Roslyn Lea hospital in 1973, but we didnae did not speak to each other then. It was when I was in Dalkeith going into Woolworth's when Tom said hello. I didnae ken did not know what to say so I just said “How's yeryour car”. I was in Roslyn 'cause I couldnae could not cope at the time. After Tom and I got together I was fine for a long time after that. Tom lived in Black Castle farm at Tynehead, just past Pathhead. He lived there on his own and he suffered from loneliness. That's why he was in Roslyn.

That's ma dad given me awayTom got friendly with Mattie Kerr who became his brother-in-law and he got him a job in Letts. He worked there for 30 years. Our relationship changed our lives. We used to go to the Juniperlea for the Humbie dancin'. We were engaged for about three years and married in 1976 at Newtongrange registrar office. Our reception was in the Harrow hotel. It was just the family but it was fine. We went to Blackpool for our honeymoon, and then we lived in Monktonhall farm cottage for abootabout six months. Tom then got the job in Letts and we moved to Bruce Gardens in Dalkeith. I worked for a weeSmall while with the Black Horse at Orchard Brae. It was an office job. Oxenford Castle School was another place I worked in. I'm on tablets now, ten a day but they help me to cope and I get a good sleep at night. Tom and I decided not to have a family. Me at one of the many partiesI was 38 and Tom was 34. I never ever thought I would meet someone, even when I was young.

Grannies Highland Hame, which is 40 miles past Inverness was our last holiday. We stayed in a caravan. Blackpool, Whitley Bay, Scarborough and Silloth were other holiday places. We would take our dog Rusty with us. He was a great natured dog. When he died we got another dog, Ben. We stopped going holidays when we got Ben. He wisnaewas not so well behaved. You couldnae could not trust him wi'with motorbikes or the like. He's a Jack Russell, a wee yipsmall dog always barking in a high pitch bark, but we love him to bits.

Just having a quiet drink hahaTam and mine silver wedding anniversaryHave you guessed it yet another party

It's a nice garden oot the backTommy Laidlaw used to live in the house we are in now in Woodburn Road. He was a miner and Councillor. He was also the secretary of Woodburn Miner's club. He was well known, but a lot of people didnae did not like him. He's dead now. MaMy mother lived three doors away in the same street. It was all right at the time, but I was running back and forth when they were no weelwell. They both died in 1993. Ma faitherMy father first, then mamy mother 5 weeks after. My sister Elizabeth lives there now.

You've guessed it another partyTom is enjoying his retirement and I like doing my crosswords. Sometimes I go wi'with Tom to take Ben a walk doondown the park. I like mamy cigarettes but I dinnae bother with the drink. I dinnae like it now. I daedo a bit of baking for the day club. Aye, we're reasonably happy, living oorour life quietly.

 

 


 

 

 

 

June

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Adapted by Iain Tait