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Born: Margaret Frame 1922 StrathavenPronounced: Straven

That's me looking guidThere was Larkhall, Stonehouse, Lesmahago and then StrathavenPronounced: Straven. It’s a lovely place, Straven. Harry Lauder was born up inStraven. I was there till I was 4 years old. I lived in these auldold fashioned flats. I had three brothers and two sisters. My dad was a miner and my mother was in ill health all her days. She was only 50 when she died.

I was a bit of a tomboy, into everything, rounders and cricket and things. There was a great big green doona large park down where mamy mother stayed, and the laddies.Boys male siblings used to set up the cricket. We the lassies.Girls female siblings, used to run for the balls, we never got to bat. There was one night we were all playin and somebody had bought one of they guns wiwith the pellets. He gave me a shot and did ah no did I not fire it and the pellet went right into his neck. I never knew I had hit him till he telt me. He said “If you were a laddie I wid batter yiboy I would beat you up by fighting with you.”

Arthur and me the githerWe had to grow up fast and help in the house. You never got away wi nothin'with nothing. MaMy mother's coal cellar was way down in the ground, and you had to carry the coal up three flights. The laddies.Boys male siblings did that. My oldest sister cleaned the range but when she went to work my next sister cleaned and when she went to work it was left to me. I will never forget my mother wiwith they stairs. MaMy mother would inspect them and if there was one weeSmall bit she didnae did not like we had to do them all over again. That happened to me twice.

Then the war came. MaMy oldest brother was at Dunkirk. MaMy Mother got word he had disappeared. That put a damper on things. He was missing for a good three months, and then we heard he was in hospital abroad. He was brought home but he could not hear a thing, his ears were damaged. He never ever spoke about it, but he was never the same after it.

I left school at 14. MaMy two sisters left at 12 to help mamy mother ootout. I worked in service, then in Stonehouse hospital till I got married. That’s where you seen it all. I seen some sights. We had to help ootout. We had to take our turn working in the operating theatre, cleanin' up. Sometimes I was ill with it.

That awe us and Arthur and me are the proud grandparentsI met my husband Arthur Renwick when I was 16 years old. He was a miner. I met him in mamy mother's house. He was a friend to one of my brothers. We married on the 2nd January 1941 when I was 19. We had a Glasgow Fair in Larkhall, and he came in to mamy mother's to ask me out. Arthur was kept in the mines for the coal. We stayed in a friend’s room for 5 years. We had two children there, Mitchell and Mary. Then we came through here for the work. There was no work for the miners through the west ‘cause the pits were shut doondown. I was not very happy, a didnae did not want to come. It meant leaving mamy mother and mamy sisters. Arthur worked at Bilston Glen and Monktonhall pit. We got one of the yellow houses in Woodburn Avenue. They were lovely wee hoosessmall houses. We didnae did not want to leave them. We were among the last to get put out but we ended up with a bigger house, a four apartment in Primrose Crescent. There were a lot of us from Larkhall and we used to have rare parties. The folk through here didnae did not like us and told us we were interlopers. When our bairnsYoung Children were ootout playing we went ootout to play wiwith them. The locals were amazed that we did that. We used to take turn abootabout having parties in the back greensCommunal garden at rear of a block of flats. Life seemed to change when we moved to Primrose Crescent. The atmosphere was not the same. We had a marvellous time in the wee prefabs.small Prefabricated homes, popular after the second world war. prefabs. I worked in Newbattle Abbey cleaning the student flats when the bairnsYoung Children went to school. I served the meals. In the morning I went in at 7.00am, finished at 1.00pm, then started at 5.00pm again to serve the lunches.


Arthur and me at GullaneThat's me at GullaneArthur Jessie and me at Gullane

We as a family used to like going to the pictures on a Wednesday and Saturday night in Dalkeith, and then come ootout and go to Joe Smith's fish and chip shop. Jessie Smith and I knew each other from when we were wee totssmall children . Jessie moved here one year before me. I was with Jessie when she gave birth to Bobby, her son. This was in Woodburn Avenue. Sandy, her man, came running for me. I dinnae kendo not know who calmed who doondown. Bobby Smith became a great football player. He played for the Hibs Hibernian Football club and Leicester.

Arthur and me enjoying lifeMitchell mamy son married young. I was not very happy about it. He should have been going to Australia but Susan didn’t want to go. They moved to Nottingham and had a happy life though. I got on well with Susan and she did Mitchell proud when he became ill. She visited him every day. Sadly Mitchell had Alzheimer’s from the age of 50. He passed away in August 2007.

Arthur died 20 years ago on the 9th November. He was riddled with arthritis and it went into his lungs. He was in and out of hospital all the time. One time when I visited him I was late so I got a taxi in. Money wisnaewas not very great in they days and he saw me getting ootout it. He said “Did yae enjoy your taxi ride". I eventually brought him home to look after him.

My daughter lives in Bonnyrigg and I see her all the time. Life is just a waiting game now but I am happy enough. The wee totssmall children come doondown to see me and 'ave got mamy walls to look at wi' mawith my photos.

 

Margaret

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Adapted by Iain Tait