RETURNING recently to the tenement home she lived in for more than a decade was a bittersweet moment for Margaret Nicol.

“It felt weird – the close tiles and the banister were the same but of course, the outside toilet had gone,” she smiles.

“I made my way to the top landing, and stood looking out of the window. There was no wash house, just a modern bin was very different. I stood and remembered my childhood…”

Our recent feature on life in the old Glasgow tenements prompted readers to get in touch to tell their stories. Over the next couple of weeks in Thanks for the Memories on Tuesdays and All Our Yesterdays on Fridays, we will be sharing some of them with you.

If you would like to add your memories and old photographs, email or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB.

Glasgow Times:

Margaret grew up in a tenement on Holmlea Road in Cathcart, with her mum and dad Nancy and brothers Andrew and Mark. Her older brother Paul sadly died at a young age.

“It was the 1950s and we had a room and kitchen on the top floor, with an outside toilet,” she says. “We had no central heating, of course, just an open fire.”

She adds: “My brothers and I had our chores to do to earn pocket money. I washed the landing stairs and outside toilet for my sixpence and my younger brother took out the rubbish.

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“My older brother took the washing to the ‘bag wash’ and collected it a few days later.

The neighbours, recalls Margaret, were all lovely.

“Our next door neighbour, a lady called Margaret, was especially nice – she was always beautifully made up with blonde, coiffured hair and she nearly always gave me pocket money when she passed me on the stairs,” she says.

Like many Glasgow tenements, Margaret’s building had a back green with a communal wash house.

“It had a wringer, but I never went in there as someone told me there were mice inside,” she smiles.

Glasgow Times:

“My dad used to keep the wee bit of garden tidy weeding and planting flowers.”

Margaret adds: “Over the back wall there was a massive area called “the back park” where football was played every Saturday.

“Sometimes, the puddles froze over. I had hand-me-down ice skates and what fun I had skating there – despite falling over and getting soaked a lot.”

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Across the main road, there was a bowling green, Margaret explains.

“We were not allowed to cut through it,” she says.

“Now and again we did make it through without being caught but it was scary. The main man would shout at us to use the gate to the swing park, but being kids, we chanced it.

Glasgow Times:

“There was a parky too, who went round with a stick, spiking litter, and keeping an eye on any misbehaviour.”

Margaret lived on Holmlea Road for around 12 years.

“Mum and dad had their names down for a council house and eventually, it came up and we moved to a three-bedroomed flat in Shawlands,” she explains.

“It had a living room, a separate kitchen, a bathroom and a long hall with lots of cupboards.”

She laughs: “It was like a mansion to us….”