Dumbarton Road

Thistleneuk community

Jim McCall

We played football at the old football park in Sunnyside where Thistleneuk is now. There was a Sunnyside Park and that’s where we played most of our football, at Sunnyside. There was a strong community, and everyone got on pretty well. My recollection is that we didn’t really identify each other in terms of religion and that was the general tenor of things round Old Kilpatrick. You lived in Old Kilpatrick, you came from there... end of... whereas the dividing line was between Old Kilpatrick and Bowling, OK and Duntocher.

Thistleneuk orchard

Carol Cummings

This was an orchard... it was Smith’s orchard here. And see the two posts as you come up the path there [Thistleneuk], that was the orchard gate and we used to try and get into the orchard to steal apples but it didn’t work very well [why not, what was preventing you?] …Mrs Smith and her family would be around and any time you tried it, they would be there.

The Ettrick

Ken Miller

The pub was called ‘the vandal’s nightmare’ because there was absolutely nothing you could damage in the place. I even knew the architect that designed the new building. It lay for years and years before it was rebuilt. The building was taken down and the pub never closed. The ladies’ toilet was, you had to come out and go up the close, and leave a girlfriend standing at the mouth of the close and then you’d go out the back court and that was the ladies’ toilet. There was no ladies’ toilet in the place! Some tourists were in the snug one night and, Mary was the manageress at the time, they said where was the ladies’ toilet and, this is genuine, she took the lady,an English lady I think it was, outside and pointed across the road to the Telstar and said you go in the lounge door and through the back to the ladies’ toilet.

Pubs and shops

Jim McCall

I’m having to remember in the centre of the village we had the nursery – Freddie Laing who was a nurseryman opposite Kirkton. You had then auld Kirkton. There was the old Ettrick Bar and that was auld land behind it between the Ettrick and Erskine View and then there was auld land that is now the Thistleneuk housing estate - that was auld land - there was old housing in there. My picture is of quite a lot of changes. You had Kate’s Bar; we had Pirie the Chemist; you had Davie Graham, he was the newsagent; we had Bill Butler, he was quite a character and he had probably what you would call a deli /off-licence – but at one stage he had a chip shop in Station Road – near where the police station is.

Old Kirkton houses

Myra Mackenzie

Well it was the old Kirkton, you know where Kirkton is, where the graveyard is, well that was the old Kirkton and it was really old-fashioned and I had a few friends in there [who] had children the same age as mine. So, the first time they invited me up there, I think it was night time, and you went up, it was like a stair, and then it was a wee landing. And she took me in to what I would call the living room. So, she said “Would you like tea or coffee?” and I said “I would love a coffee”. So, she came out the living room, out the front door and walked, that way, you know in this wee corridor. And I went.., she said “It’s aw right, my kitchen’s out here.” So, they had to walk actually out the door, across this landing and into the kitchen. So, I said “Do you think I could use your toilet?” And she said “Oh wait a minute till I get a torch.” So, I went..., and she went “I’ll need to show you where it is.” So, she took me down the stairs, round the back, and a big, big long walk right up the back to the toilets. I said “How do you manage at night time and that?” She said “Oh we’re used to it and we love it.” But it was a lovely community down there, you know. Everybody spoke and helped each other out. If somebody wisnae in for their children coming from school, they would look after them. And then facing that was St. Patrick’s Well and it was a well then, with the wee iron cup and a chain.

Fry’s Shop

Rona Mirren

We went to Fry’s which was the ethnic shop, the one right at the top of Gavinburn Place, that belonged to a guy called Fry. We were in there every morning. He was a grocer, newsagents, he sold everything, he sold like stuff for your school like jotters and pencils and rubbers and groceries, newspapers. We were in there all the time. My Mum went there to get her paper and her rolls in the morning… and next door to Fry’s there was a grocer’s shop and it was a big shop and it sold like loose potatoes and vegetables and they sold meat. They had like a deli counter they call it now, but they had a counter with cheese and different things in it. And then there was a like a house and then down a wee bit there was a coloured gentleman who had that shop, we were quite pally with him, he used to let me work the tills and all that and let me serve just because I wanted to and he was nice, you know. And there was a café before that building society had that, but I don’t think the café paid, so it closed down.

Swing park at the well

Myra Mackenzie

There was a wee swing park there and it had two wee baby swings and two ordinary swings. So, I used to take [my son] down there so as he got bigger he was in the bigger swing and he’d say “Can I go up to the well to get a drink out the special cup?” But it came from a spring, this water. It was absolutely gorgeous and they had it all lovely. But look at it now, there’s nothing, except a plaque. As many people will come through and say “Can you tell me where St. Patrick’s Well is?” And you’re embarrassed to say that’s where it is now.

Jimmy Weir’s Garage

Rona Mirren

Jimmy Weir owned… he had a garage where Kirk Crescent is. See the new build that is in that wee bit, Jimmy Weir he had a… Weir’s Buses, that’s where he housed his buses, in there he had about four or five buses and that’s where he had his buses in there.

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