EILEEN Hart counts herself fortunate to have been born in Glasgow.

“My adventures really started in Springburn,” she says. “I was born in 1954 in Govan, but by around 1961, we were living in a tenement in Springburn, and it was great fun for us kids, out playing ropes or balls from sun up to sundown.

“We’d rake the middens – every one of us had our own ‘lucky’ midden. We’d build a shop, the frame made of discarded bricks, and our currency was made up of different-sized stones, with the odd leaf (which represented a pound). Our ‘stock’ was everything we collected in the middens. Happy days.”

Glasgow Times: A young Eileen Hart who grew up in Springburn. STY AF..Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times..13/5/22.

Eileen is hoping to write a book about her childhood memories – many of which are bound to strike a chord with Times Past readers.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some excerpts from her recollections of Glasgow tenement life.

“I remember the women out with their washings to hang on the back court ropes to dry,” she says. “Often, you would hear the call of ‘run a rag alang that rope, wull ye? ’ because if it had been raining, or a few days since used, it would be dirty and leave a mark on the clothes.

“My given monthly task was to go round the local shops asking for single shillings. There was a gas meter in our house, in which you had to insert shillings, and it was always the same near the time the gas man was due to empty the meters.

“Single shillings were as rare as hens’ teeth and I wandered the area far and wide looking to acquire some. If there were none, it was pieces for tea, usually with jam. I never knew anyone who didn’t have a gas cooker. Perhaps electric ones hadn’t been invented?”

Glasgow Times: Eileen Hart who grew up in Springburn with her extended family in 1959. STY AF..Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times..13/5/22.

Eileen recalls her mum boiling up water on the gas ring to make tea.

“I don’t recall ever seeing an actual kettle except for at a pal’s house,” she says. “Her mum had a fancy one with a metal thing over the spout which whistled when the steam came out.

“She had a brown teapot, and I recall a crocheted tea cosy that would be put over it to keep it warm. Everyone had a teapot and tea cosy back then.”

Eileen remembers it was not unusual to see a family and their entire possessions evicted from their tenement home.

“Terrible sight, but as children we just stood and gawped at the family out in the street with their worldly possessions in a heap on the pavement,” she says.

“Rent arrears and the final consequence of not paying up was the problem. Usually the family just took their clothing as they had no money and no other way of moving their items - never mind the fact that they had nowhere to put them.”

She adds: “I have no idea where these people went for shelter. Their furniture and household goods were left where they had been dumped and it was usually picked off by other families who needed stuff and if anything was left, the bin man took it away on his next round.”

The local shop was known as the dairy.

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“Seems a strange name now, but back then, everyone went to ‘the dairy’ - apart from being the local grocery store it was the hub for gossiping neighbours and nothing went unnoticed in the area,” says Eileen.

“‘ Ah hear thon Mrs MacGillvaray’s light goat cut aff the other day’. ‘Is that right?’ came a reply.

“All heads nodding in the queue. ‘Aye, she wis in Wee Jack’s [the local paper/sweetie shop] last night buyin’ caunles in, boat a boax ah 6, so she did.’

“‘Ahhhh.’ came the chorus of acknowledgement accompanied by tuts. Conveniently forgetting that most of the gossipers had had their lights cut off at some point…..”

Do Eileen’s memories spark your own recollections of times past in Glasgow? Get in touch to share your stories and photos.