IN AN air raid shelter not far from the Briggait during the Second World War, Robert McKenna cuddled in close to his granny.

It was 1943, and he was just a young boy – but the moment lives long in his memory.

“It’s my earliest memory, I think – all the people huddled together, and singing,” he recalls.

“My granny brought me up – I was well looked after.”

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Robert is now in his 80s and lives in Harzburg in Germany.

His memories tumble out of him, sparked by reading our Times Past pages, and his stories and photographs paint a picture of a life well lived, of a busy family home in the heart of the city, where children played and bickered, and were surrounded by love.

“I was raised by my Granny, who had five children with her first husband, William McKenna, and five with her second, John Doran,” he says.

“The McKennas were Protestants and the Dorans were Catholics, but we lived happily together.

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“My mother was known to me as Aunty Jeanie, and I never knew who my father was.

“But my Granny was always ‘Ma’ to me.”

William McKenna was killed in France in World War I. He is buried in the British War Cemetery in Souplet, France.

Robert explains: “My Grandad McKenna was killed on October 23, 1918, just a few weeks before the war ended.

“He received the Military Medal for bravery on the battlefield.”

The family lived at 165 Stockwell Street, in a tenement now demolished, where the Clutha Bar now stands.

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“We lived above the Popinjay bar, as it was called then – it’s now the Clutha,” says Robert. “I have a photograph of the building years before it was demolished, leaving only the pub underneath.

“I went to Gorbals Primary, then passed my exams to go to Strathbungo Senior Secondary, along with a pal called Raymond Beltrami, who lived in the Briggait.

“He ended up at the Glasgow Evening Times as a photographer – but we lost touch.”

Robert recalls a busy childhood.

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“I was always doing something – playing football with my pals, or making pennies boxing up the farm eggs at Frank Noble’s, and at night, in the Briggait, separating the rags from the woollens in the old rag stores.”

Out of all his aunts and uncles, only one remains, says Robert.

“Out of all of her children, only my Aunty Kathy survives – she is 88 years old,” says Robert. “I don’t have many photographs of them all left now – a couple of my granny, one of Granda McKenna in his uniform and one of my mother, Jeanie.

“I have a great photograph of my three brothers, Jeanie’s sons, at her marriage to Jim McMahon.

“I am on the right – I was back in Glasgow from Germany, where I’d moved to. Next to me is Lonnie, in the centre is Jackie, who played football with Kenny Dalglish, then Harry, with his son James and daughter Caroline.”

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Robert adds: “I always have in my mind, even though I am now in my 80s, the way we were brought up.

“These stories of Glasgow remind me of the ‘good old days’.

“I love to reminisce about my childhood, because I was brought up so lovingly by so many, in the happy house where we lived.”