​NANCY AND ARCHIE 2


 Before we left London I asked Mary if she would arrange for our furniture and clothing to be sent on to 61 Broomknowes road so that we could travel light with our new baby, which meant that until the clothing arrived we were obliged to go easy on what we wore. Archie was o.k. because he was wearing his uniform but I had very few changes and once more it was Sadie who helped out by letting me have the use of her wardrobe until my own clothes arrived. During the first few weeks it was great to be able to take Russell out around the area of Springburn and both Clifford and Taffy, the two airmen who were billeted with Sadie, were happy to help whenever they could, making our return to Glasgow more pleasant than we had anticipated. After allowing a few weeks to pass Archie started to look for a job, but jobs were not so easily got and after trying Barr & Stroud, Kelvin Bottemley & Baird, and as many other instrument makers as were in Glasgow Archie decided that he would look for any job that was available whether as an instrument maker or not. In searching around looking for employment we heard that a firm in Possillpark were looking for a machine setter, and while this was not the job that Archie was seeking it would be a step in the right direction in so far as we needed wages coming in, and so about the middle of May or thereabouts he applied for and was accepted for the job as machine setter. One night shortly after Archie stared work in A.P. Newall & Co. I was breast feeding Russell when he suddenly went completely stiff and his face went blue. I shouted on Archie and neither he or I knew what was wrong but he rushed to the telephone and contacted Dr. Naftalan and told him what had happened. The doctor said that he would come as soon as possible and meantime I was to spoon feed Russell with sugar and water until he arrived. The doctor was very quick in getting to us and was soon diagnosing that Russell had taken Gastric Enteritis and would require to be fed sugar and water every two hours throughout the night and also the next day. Archie suggested that I go to bed as soon as possible and get some rest and he would stay up and feed Russell until one o’clock and then I could take over and this would allow Archie to get to his work in the morning. I tried to rest as was suggested but in no way would sleep come and so I attended to Russell’s needs throughout the night and in the morning Sadie took over, and by night-time Russell had recovered and was back to his normal self.  Archie and I both had quite a fright with this happening and we both commented that we had never known that the "Terry Nappies" that we had could ever be as green as they were over the day and night of Russell’s illness. During the first month in my new job I began to get to know those work mates who were nearest to me in the factory and to find out that there were some dozen of them were members of the local Lodge of Freemasons, and this knowledge was to open up a completely new way of life for me and Nancy. However another incident happened which saddened me very much, and it was when my mother came to visit us to tell that my grandmother Mc Arthur was seriously ill and in Stobhill hospital, which was a local hospital, and she suggested that I put on my Naval uniform and visit her. I had a great regard for this grandma who when we were young always welcomed us to her house, and it was here that I saw grandma pour porridge into a tin lined drawer which when it hardened she cut into cubes for her many sons going to their various jobs. I arranged with my mother to visit grandma and wear my uniform on a particular day and I told Nancy when I came home that grandma had said to me “Oh Paul, you come to see me”.  At first I was taken by surprise and then I quickly remembered that my grandfather Paul was an artificer in the Navy, and although I never knew him, all of his grandsons were told of many of his exploits. I speedily said to my grandma “ Aye Liz, I came with Bella”, my mother was known as Bella. It was shortly after this visit that Grandma died. One day during our lunch time in the factory canteen we started to talk about certain things that we had done and which had left a lasting impression in our minds.  I told them of my two walks through the Lairig Ghru in the Cairngorms and this led to a discussion on “Could we arrange a day out that would be different from what anyone would do”.Each of us promised to ask around our friends to see if anyone of them could come up with a good suggestion, and if one of us did get a good idea then we would try it out. I attended my own lodge one Monday night and met with one of my friends from my hiking days and in discussion I told him about some of my work mates trying to arrange an unusual day out and as a result of this talk he promised to see if he could help me in my quest. A few weeks later I got a letter from him stating that if I could arrange an evening when we could meet he had a plan that may suit the outing I had spoken to him about. Some weeks later I met my friend and he told me that he had spoken to one of our mutual friends who worked in the offices of the L.M.& S. at the corner of Dundas street and George street and he had suggested that if I could come to the office he might be able to give me an original idea for our day out. This meeting took place about July of 1947 and resulted in me arranging a meeting of those interested in going on the trip at the factory at which we decided that as the holiday season was now upon us we would leave the final arrangements until the late spring of 1948. Meanwhile Nancy and I were getting on with our lives, our furniture and clothing had arrived from London and we were gradually getting into a routine whereby we were being obliged by Sadie who would look after Russell and allow Nancy and I to have a night out to the cinema or theatre. By this time I had made quite a few friends in the factory and one of those friends was trying to sell a large hut in the village of East Kilbride, and when I told Nancy about this she suggested that I arrange for him to take us out to see this hut, with the intention that if the hut was as good as he said, we could buy it and use it to give us a place in the country where we could spend our weekends. On a Saturday in July we were taken to East Kilbride and were told that we had a walk from the bus stop in the village of about three miles up the “Auldhouse road” to get to “Stirling’s Farm” where the hut was situated. It was a very nice day and we enjoyed the walk to the farm and were more than pleased when we entered the farm and saw the hut. The field was a large square with a line of eight huts lining one edge of it, and the huts were arranged so that a reasonable space was left between each hut. The hut that we came to view was 25 feet long and 15 feet broad with a veranda built right along the front, it had two windows on the front and back sides with one window on the two ends, and there was a fenced off section at the back. When the door was opened we walked in and in the centre of the floor there was a large American stove with its chimney going through the roof. Looking to the right hand side we saw a double bed with a paraffin lamp on a bedside table and a large easy chair at the other side of the bed. In the corner on the same wall of the bed there was a cupboard built which took in the right angle of the walls and was a grand storage place and following along under the window were built in tables which would be excellent working surfaces for preparing food for cooking and this brought you back to the American stove. On the left hand side of the stove was a large deal table and four chairs and also another easy chair. Hanging from the roof were two “Tilley” lamps and on the work surfaces there were two large primus stoves. There were various other pieces of equipment in cupboards and we were quite impressed with the fine way that it was furnished but Nancy and I had decided not to make a decision that day so that we would have the opportunity to talk about what we thought when we were alone, and so we said to my friend that I would tell him on Monday when I saw him at work in the factory if we were purchasing the hut from him. Over that weekend Nancy and Sadie and I talked about the hut and we thought that buying it would be a good idea, so that on the Monday I told my work-mate that we would take over the hut immediately. The next weekend we made our way to Stirling’s farm and we were both loaded down, with Nancy carrying the baby and a bag of clothing and me carrying a suitcase and another bag full of what we thought were the essentials for that first weekend. We went round to the farmer’s house and introduced ourselves to the farmer and his wife and the wife told Nancy that if she wished she could purchase potatoes, cheese, milk and vegetables from the farm and Nancy did this from our first visit. The next weekend I asked my brother-in law Steve Milton if he would take us to the hut in his car so that we could get a load of food, clothing and all the other things that we would require to stay at the hut. After a few weeks of travelling to the hut each weekend I was quite surprised to hear Nancy suggesting that where we were staying at the hut from Friday night till Sunday night we could change things so that we would stay at the hut from Sunday night until Friday night and this would allow us to be able to get a bath at Sadie’s house at the weekend and see the family, and let Sadie have her house to herself during the week. This suggestion reminded me of one of the things that Nancy told me on many different occasions when we were sitting talking, she said that ever since she was a little girl she had wished that she had been born in and lived in a small village, and here was the opportunity to have this dream come true in a small way. I tried to tell her that this would mean that she would be alone with Russell when I left for work about 6-15a.m. till about 7-30 p.m when I got home to the hut. I also tried to point out to Nancy that coal would have to be got as the bunker was almost empty of the coal that was in it when we took over. I was then informed that she and the farmer’s wife had talked of the coal situation and she had ordered 10 Cwts to be delivered the next time the coalman was at the farm. I kept on about the various difficulties such as the chemical lavatory which was in a small hut to the side of the main hut, of the trouble of bringing water from the stand pipe which was at the entrance to the field and about 30 yards from the hut, but Nancy had an answer to all my objections and so we decided to give Nancy’s suggestion a trial run and after the first weeks trial we decided that we would do as Nancy had asked. This meant that she would make up a list of messages for me to purchase during my lunch hour and bring to the hut each evening, and on the Friday I would carry a bag of clothing for Russell and Nancy to my work in the morning and bring it to Sadie’s house on Friday night. On the Friday Nancy would get my A.T.B. (Air Travel Bag) which had a hard cardboard bottom and canvas sides and was about three feet long with a Zip along the top, and she would lay nappies and other soft baby things along the bottom and lay Russell on this soft bed. Carrying The A.T.B. with Russell lying in side and another smaller bag with bits and pieces in it on her other hand. Throughout the following months this was our routine and we both loved living on this farm, with me walking each morning the three miles to the bus stop and the same distance back to the farm. Nancy would walk down to East Kilbride village to get the bus to Glasgow on the Friday morning and on her first trip she told me how she stopped at the T junction to rest her arms and a milk float came along and offered her a lift to the bus stop which she happily accepted, and she was clever enough to note the time so that on the next Friday she was at the T junction at that time and got a lift for the rest of the way to the village. She started to give the milkman a 10 packet of Capstan cigarettes which cost sixpence at that time or two and a half pence today. One story she told me was that one Friday the milkman was late and a car stopped and offered her a lift and the first thing he said when she got settled in to the car was “Have you heard that we have a new Prince born this morning”. This was Prince Charles. The summer of 1947 was a great summer for our family, ducks and hens were often in the field from early in the morning and Nancy allowed Russell to crawl on the field beside the hut and laugh with excitement when the hens fluttered their wings. We had visits from members of both of our families, my mother and my sister Isa came one Saturday to visit and my mother told me that I should be ashamed to have my wife and baby living in such crude conditions, but little did mother know that the three of us were having a wonderful time and Nancy laughed at the idea that she was being deprived of anything, on the contrary she felt that this was all that she wanted. Nancy quickly learned how to handle the paraffin equipment, the Tilley lamps,  the primus stoves, and the American stove, so much so that she asked me if I could make her a small oven so that she could make pancakes or scones. I got one of the large biscuit tins and welded a stronger bottom on to it and four iron feet, one in each corner. After a few experiments at baking Nancy was able to bake her scones and tray-bakes in a very competent manner and throughout our lives she was a very competent baker and cook. Nancy’s sister Margaret and her friend May Kelly came to visit us one Saturday and it was with reluctance that they had to go back to Springburn that night. Both of them were delighted to be in such a lovely area and after lunch we all went for a walk to the valley where Hairmyers hospital lies and both of our visitors said that we were lucky to be able to walk in such beautiful surroundings. Russell was now toddling a bit unsteadily on his feet and it was a pleasure in the mornings to watch the hens or ducks come on to the veranda and be fed scraps of food by our baby, or to see him staggering on the field chasing whatever fowl were there. The summer gradually passed and autumn took its place, the bushes along the lanes started to turn to the autumn colours of brown and gold, and the mixture of both making our farm and the surrounding countryside into a glorious coloured picture. One morning I reminded Nancy that I would not be home before eleven o’clock as I was going to my Lodge meeting and about ten fifteen I began my journey from East Kilbride to the farm.  There was no light either from the moon or from the stars so I was walking slowly along the edge of the lane when I saw two large green spots in front of me, and all kinds of thoughts came into my mind----what were those green spots which were not moving, and when I bent down to feel for a brick or stone which I had been kicking all the way up the road I could not find one. I felt along the grass verge and pulled a tuft of grass out of the ground and threw it straight at the middle of the two green spots, and the animal that the eyes belonged to ran up towards the farm, the very road that I would require to walk. The next part of my journey was a nightmare, every rustle in the bushes had me stopping, and when at last I came to the farm I was quite frightened and when Nancy opened the door she immediately said “What is wrong, you are as white as a ghost” I told her the story of what I had experienced and how I was scared not knowing what type of animal I had encountered, and how because of the pitch black my imagination began to run away with me. As usual it was not long before Nancy was serving me with a steaming bowl of porridge and gradually easing the fears that had tormented me, and so the evening passed and we were soon in bed. Next night when I came home Nancy greeted me by bringing Russell up to the gate to the field and telling me that she had gone round to the farm for some messages and had told the farmer’s wife about my escapade, and the wife told Nancy that she was sorry that I didn’t tell her about it as a fox had killed most of the hens in the hen-run. The weekend following this happening I went round to see the farmer and he told me that the fox was probably terrified and was not capable of running away. I wish that I had known this at the time and saved myself a lot of worry. We talked about my job and his life on the farm and he told me that his car was in the garage in the village awaiting a new transmission joint being fitted and it was now over eighteen months since it was taken away. I asked him if he could bring the car to the farm and I would dismantle the joint and make a new one. He was delighted to hear this proposition and the next weekend I dismantled the joint and took it into the factory and made a copy of the broken one. On the following weekend I re-fitted the transmission joint and ran the car around the yard to be sure that it was o.k. and when Nancy was round getting her messages the next day the wife of the farmer handed her an envelope for me, and when I opened it there was ten one pound notes in it, nearly two weeks wages. About this time I decided that I would look out to see if I could purchase a motor bike and in a short time I negotiated with a man who had a hut on our field and was a weekend camper. He was selling an A.J.S. 750 bike at a reasonable price and after he had demonstrated the bike running on the field I decided to buy it, and this would be my transport into Glasgow to my work. There were other campers with motor bikes in and around Stirling’s farm and one of them volunteered to go with me on my initial run, which was very successful. I was not too sure of my ability to take the bike to Glasgow yet, and each evening I would rev up the engine and go for a ride along the lanes around the farm. One Sunday I was out for a run and was doing very well taking corners at what I thought was a reasonable speed, when I took this particular corner too fast and the bike and I went straight through a hedge. I was very lucky to survive this accident because some time later Nancy and I were passing the accident spot and we noticed that there was barbed wire running through the hedge right up to a tree, and the wire stopped at the tree, a few yards back and I would have been torn to bits, but the wee man above must have decided that Nancy didn’t deserve to be widowed so early and allowed me to recover from my small wounds. In the Autumn of 1947 the council held an exhibition in a local hall and this was an exhibition to show the people the layout of the proposed new East Kilbride. Nancy and I visited this show and were quite impressed with the drawings of the new town. The weeks rolled on and the winter was fast approaching and while I cannot remember when the first snow fell, I do know that when it did fall it forgot to stop. I got up from my bed about five thirty one morning and at six fifteen I said cheerio to Nancy and opened the door which led to the porch. I was astounded when I found a solid block of snow blocking the path to the porch, and giving the block a hefty push I was able to clear a way to the field. Nancy was washing dishes by this time and was attending to Russell, and it was she who gave me the coal shovel that lay beside the American stove, and with that I cleared the porch of snow. It was still snowing and on the field there was about a foot of snow lying so I tried as best I could to clear a path to the well and I filled up two pails of water and put them into the hut. Nancy said that unless I left now I would miss my bus so I then left Nancy and struggled down to the village where luckily I was in time to get on to the bus just before it was leaving. That evening I brought home some extra groceries, such as tinned soup, peas, corned beef, flour and various other foodstuffs. The journey from the bus stop was not too difficult as the snow was being flattened by the folk who had to use the lanes for getting to their homes or doing whatever business they did. That evening  when I got home I anticipated a night of hard work clearing snow, but I was very much mistaken for during the day Nancy kept the porch clear and the path to the roadside was flattened in a reasonable way so that in the darkness all I did was to flatten the new snow that had fallen and as the water tap was not yet frozen I re-filled the pails with water. I asked Nancy how she had passed her day and she told me “ Very much as any other day except for keeping a path to the well open she had attended to Russell, cooked some food, and taken Russell out to the front of the porch where he had a wonderful time playing with the snow”. The snow fell for quite a long time that year, and in places was about three feet deep, but as far as Nancy and I were concerned we did not have any worries, I did not miss one days work at the factory and Nancy loved the peacefulness and tranquility of the farm. The new year was approaching and we decided to bring it in at Sadie’s house, and we three, Nancy, Russell and I, had a grand party with the Russell family and their friends. We returned to the hut at the end of the first week of the new year (1948) and settled down to enjoying another year in the country side, and although winter was still very much with us, Russell who was now 16 months old, enjoyed playing on the field and Nancy was her usual self, cleaning, cooking and washing our clothes on the American stove in a large zinc bath and getting the water out of the clothes by using a wringer, all without complaint, how fortunate I was to have married such a wonderful lady? We continued to live at the hut during the week and spent each weekend at Sadie’s house until about March or April we heard of a single end house becoming vacant in Keppochhill Road in Springburn. I went to the factor’s office and asked if I could rent this house and my luck was in for we got possession of the keys a week later. We shared the close with two other families and a communal toilet was situated on the left hand side of the back close just before you entered the back court. Once again we were faced with the task of cleaning a house from top to bottom, I got some very strong disinfectant from the factory and in a few weeks we were established in our new home. We now faced the task of bringing essential bits and pieces from the hut to put into our single end, Russell’s cot, some of our bedding and linen, some of our clothes and the other things that we would not need at the hut for a weekend. We were required to buy a new mattress for our bed and as space was at a premium we went to “Bows” warehouse in High street and purchased a melamine gate leg table and two chairs, which with two other chairs brought from the hut gave us enough seating for our needs. Once we were settled into our house we continued to go to the hut most weekends, and as Russell was growing fast we enjoyed the freedom of the countryside with him. Meanwhile I had got in touch with my friend in the railway office and made a date to see him at our house, where we would discuss whatever unique day out he was going to suggest to me. On the evening that he came Nancy made tea and offered biscuits to George, and then the three of us sat down to hear his proposition. George told us that he had arranged a day out for some friends of his some years ago, and they had thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which was something that very few people would ever have the chance of experiencing. He went on to say that our day out would start with a train journey to the southern end of the Forth rail bridge and then we would walk across to the Fife side of the bridge. We could stay on the bridge as long as we wished but before leaving Glasgow we would require to know the times of the trains going back to Glasgow, but if we were going on this day out then he would give us all the train times. George went on to say that each person going on this trip would require to sign a form stating that the railway company would in no way be held responsible for any hurt which might occur to them while they were on the bridge, and that a company of ten men at most or less would be appropriate. He promised to send me the forms at a later date and when I returned them signed by the persons going on the trip then he would send me passes for each person to be allowed on to the railway bridge. After that evening my mind was at rest, I foresaw no snags coming to create any problems so I called a meeting of my workmates and told them of my suggestion for our day out. About fifteen men attended this meeting and after quite a lot of discussion it was decided that nine men would wish to go on the trip, and of the others who abstained four were too old to tackle the climbing which would be required and two felt that it was not what they wanted to do. I then wrote to George and told him that we would like to have our outing on the last Saturday of June and in a short time I had all the paper work finished and sent to George who sent me on the passes and instructions of who to let see the passes at the bridge and so with all these necessary things done on the last Saturday of June we set out for the Forth railway bridge. We met the man in charge of seeing that no unauthorized person was allowed on to the bridge and he instructed us on how to behave if we were on the walkway beside the track, and showed us how to put our arms over the guard rails at the side of the track if a train was passing so that the suction of the passing train would not suck us in. We started to walk along the walkway to the circular ladder that led to the top of the first arch of the bridge and after a tough climb we eventually reached the top. The view from this height was magnificent, we could see the mountains on the Fife side of the bridge and the views of the river on both sides was a sight we will never forget. We later walked to the Fife end of the bridge and saw the “Golden” rivet that the King had hammered in as the last rivet to be put on the new structure. Returning to the south end of the bridge in the middle afternoon we went to a café and had lunch after which we caught the train back to Glasgow, each of us saying that this was one experience that we were happy to have had. When we returned to the factory on the Monday morning there was a very great interest concerning our outing, and at lunchtime we were inundated with questions of what it was like to be able to climb to the top of the bridge spans, and how did we manage when trains were passing. The group who participated in the outing met in our single end about a fortnight later and our discussion was to ascertain if it would be feasible to set up a Masonic club within the factory and I was able to tell them that Mr. Newall senior was a member of Business No.3 Lodge and if it was their wish I would write to him and ask if he had any objections to the formation of a club named “The Newall Keystone club” and if he or his son Archie Newall Archie Newall had no objections would he become our Honorary President. About two weeks later I received word from Mr. Newall that he had no objections to a club being formed and he would be delighted to become our first Honorary President. We were soon canvassing all the known Masons in the factory asking if they wished to become founder members of the “Newall Keystone Club” and the response was outstanding with some 38 members being enrolled. I was elected Secretary and soon had our first membership cards printed and distributed, and soon afterwards we held our first social evening which was a great success, with Sadie looking after Russell, and Nancy and I thoroughly enjoying ourselves and getting to know some of the wives of the members, and until I left the factory the “Newall Keystone Club” was still flourishing. It would be about this time that Nancy and I met with our first money problem. I came in from work one evening and as usual my dinner was on the table waiting for me to wash my hands and eat it. I had noticed that Nancy was upset about something when I came in, but I thought it best to wait until she was ready to tell me what was wrong rather than me asking. After dinner was over and Nancy had cleaned up, we both sat down by the coal fire as was usual and started to talk about the days happenings. After a short time I asked Nancy if there was something wrong and it was then that she started to cry. She told me that she had spent some of the rent money to pay for some other things that she had to buy and then to pay the rent when it became due she took some money from the gas or electricity box where we saved for our various bills, with the result that she was now in the position that she could not pay the rent which was due in a few days. I was just a little surprised at Nancy’s dilemma because in the years since we married she never once had a problem in handling her finances, on the contrary, she was an excellent housekeeper, and oft times would buy me a small unexpected gift. I was sitting thinking of these things when it suddenly occurred to me that there must be something new in her life to have this type of thing happen to her, and of course that new part of our lives was Russell. We talked for some time about the problem and slowly Nancy told me that when Russell needed medicine or pants or whatever Nancy thought he required, she just went and bought them thinking that over a period she would be able to replace the little amount of money taken, but that just did not happen. Nancy then said that over the last week when she realized that she had a problem, she had come to the conclusion that her problems would be over if I paid the bills when they became due, if she or Russell or the house required something then we could discuss what could be afforded, and if I gave her the money we both thought was adequate to run the house for food, cleaning materials, and other household necessities then she thought that she would be much happier. I immediately agreed to think over her plan and after I had cleared her mind of the rent problem we talked of the practicalities of her suggestions and agreed that we would try her scheme out for a month to see how it went. Nancy’s scheme gave me a few headaches at first, whereas in the past we managed fine regarding our finances, because Nancy saw to all the bills being paid and she received from me my complete wages from which I took travelling money and money for cigarettes, or an odd shilling for a night out, where now I would be responsible for paying for clothing, all the bills, holidays, and anything else that came up that no-one could foresee. However we embarked on this plan and over almost all of our long lifetime together it has worked. In the days that followed Nancy and I talked about all the ways we could save money, cut down our weekends to East Kilbride, I could walk to work instead of spending two pence a day on tram fares, we could join the Co-operative Society and receive dividends on all our purchases. This last suggestion was the best decision we ever made at that time, the Co-op had a massive section of shops on the Springburn road which included a dairy, a butchers, a fish shop, a hardware, a clothes shop and a furnishers, and wherever you shopped, for every pound you spent you received two shillings and sixpence in dividend which was marked up in a Co-op bankbook every quarter. For quite some time this became Nancy and I’s only bankbook and we became very enthusiastic Co-op customers. If the factory was busy and I got a few nights overtime, and that was when I was able to start to save by opening a bankbook with the Glasgow savings bank (which later became The Trustees Savings Bank) and so we now had two bankbooks but very little money. One evening my brother Charlie came to visit us and as we were just about to finish our dinner Nancy suggested that he join us for a cup of tea which he did. After Nancy cleared away the dishes we sat talking until it was time for Russell’s bath which Nancy soon got ready, and in a short time Russell was bathed and had his night clothes on. Charlie started to play with Russell first of all by tickling him and then throwing him up towards the pulley which had nappies and other clothes on it to dry. Russell was delighted with this new playing and was screaming with excitement but I could see that Nancy was frightened that Charlie would let Russell fall and be badly hurt. Charlie left about nine o’clock and as Russell was still a bit excited so I did what I often did, took the baby into my arms and sang to him. I was not blest with a singing voice but Russell had to endure hearing me singing “The Grandfather’s Clock” or “Bonnie Dundee” quite often, and as the years passed Russell was able to sing an odd piece of each of these pieces. After some time the baby was asleep and I laid him in his cot for the night. The sequel to this story came at three o’clock in the morning I heard Nancy screaming to me to get Russell down from climbing the curtains which dropped down from our bed as he would be killed if he fell. I dived out of our bed and looked up to the curtains and seeing no Russell looked at the cot and saw him lying fast asleep. Poor Nancy had suffered a bad nightmare. My mother arrived to see us one night, and after we all had a cup of tea Nancy began getting Russell’s bath ready. Mother and I sat talking about what we were doing with ourselves and I told her that all of our time was used up looking after and entertaining the baby. When Nancy completed bathing Russell I lifted the bath and took it to the sink to get rid of the bath water and dry the bath before returning it to its place under our bed. Mother and Nancy were talking while I was doing these little jobs and it was not until mother had gone home that Nancy told me what they had been talking about. Mother had noticed something wrong while Russell was being bathed, and while I was engaged putting the zinc bath away mother took the opportunity to tell Nancy to what she thought and advised Nancy what to do. Her advice to Nancy was to take Russell  to the doctor as soon as possible and seek his advice on what should be done, but she only told Nancy that there was something strange about Russell’s privates. Next morning the baby was put in his pram and taken to the doctor’s surgery where after hearing about my mother’s observations the doctor said that the advice that mother had given Nancy was very good because she had noticed that Russell had “Hydrocele, which was not uncommon in new babies and older men. This would mean that Russell would require to go to hospital for an operation and depending on the Matron he could be in for two or three days. The doctor told Nancy that there was no need for her to worry as the operation was a very small one and there were no after effects, and he would now arrange a date to be set for Russell to be taken to the hospital and get his operation. In a few days we received a letter telling us that we were to bring the baby to the Royal Infirmary on Wednesday night and he would be operated on the next morning. We took Russell to the infirmary as we were told and the nurse told us that it would be better if we did not visit till Saturday morning when we came to take him home. On the next night we sat in the house wondering how things were going, Russell was coming on for two years old and would more than likely be shouting his head off for his mother and giving the nurses a bad time. On the Friday night I suggested to Nancy that we take the opportunity to go to the cinema which would have been an unexpected treat and Nancy thought this was a brilliant idea. On the Friday night we both got ready to go to the cinema and were on the street when Nancy suggested that we could go to the cinema beside the infirmary, then go to the ward that Russell was in and perhaps get a glimpse of him before we went to the pictures. When I pointed out to Nancy that we would be bringing Russell home in the morning she said that she would be happier by seeing Russell and then going to the pictures. We made our way quietly to the ward entrance and peeping round the door we saw Russell sitting in a cot with two tapes sewn to his vest and tied to the bottom of the cot, which we later learned was done to prevent him from standing up in the cot and perhaps harming the wound made by his operation. Unfortunately Russell saw our heads protruding from the door and you never heard such a noise coming from a small child, “Get my clothes and take me home” was one of the cries, and in a moment the nurse was up to see what was going on. We apologized to the nurse for coming to the ward without permission and she told us that now that the damage was done it would be sensible for us to take him home as he was only going to carry on crying and possibly damage his small wound. After the nurse had examined Russell and instructed Nancy to sew tapes to his vests for the next two or three days we carried our son to the tram car and home. We did not get to see a film that night because my very caring wife was desperate to get even the slightest glimpse of her child. Doctor Naftalon attended to Russell for a few weeks after he came home and in a short time Russell was back to normal and playing about the house. In the factory things were just moving on in the same way day after day, until one lunch time I was talking to one of what today is known as a dinner lady and she was talking about how difficult it was to bring up her children these days, with little money around for any little thing that would maybe make their lives more happy. I took my tray over to the table and sat down to eat my lunch, and started to tell my mates what the dinner lady had said and one of my fellow workers said that she was hardly alone in her dilemma as with wages being low and women being put into the position that they had to go out to work to supplement their husband’s wages children were to a great extent denied many of the small pleasures which most folk took for granted. This talk set me thinking about what could be done in the factory to give the workers children something to brighten their lives. The war was over but many restrictions still existed, Rationing was one big problem with quite a lot of necessities still requiring coupons. I pondered over various different things that could be done and about a week later I spoke to Nancy and asked her what she thought the workers reaction would be if I suggested that we organize a Christmas party for the workers children. We had quite a long talk on the subject trying to see all the things that could create problems, would the Newalls allow us the use of the canteen? Would the canteen staff be prepared to cook a Christmas dinner? How many children were we speaking of? and in the end we both agreed that I should speak to the boss to see what he thought of the idea. Before going to the boss I thought that I should speak to the people who would be participating in and working for the event, such as the dinner lady who spoke to me about her children. At the first opportunity I spoke to the dinner lady and asked her to keep what I was saying to her to herself until I had spoken to other people. I asked her what she thought of the idea of a Children’s Christmas party being held in the canteen and if it took place would she and the other canteen staff cook and serve a Christmas dinner for the children. She told me that she was certain that she could speak for the other dinner ladies who all had children, and until I told her otherwise she would not say anything. I then approached some of the staff workers and men and women who worked on the factory floor and from each of them I received the promise of practical aid if I was successful in organizing this event. After I was satisfied that I could get the organization of the party going I approached Mr. Archie Newall and explained to him that it was our intention, if he agreed, to hold a Christmas party for the children of the factory staff and workers in the canteen and that I had already been promised by many of the staff their full support for this project. Mr. Newall said that he would require to speak to the Management staff about this and that he would give me an answer as soon as possible. A week later I was called into the office and told that I could have all the facilities of the factory at my disposal for the Christmas party and would I keep them informed of what was happening from time to time. When I came home that night I told Nancy that we were going to have the Christmas party and brought her up to date on what I had done, and that I was at the stage where I would require to have a Committee of six or seven men and women to be the people responsible for the various parts of the party, for instance, one member would organize the decorating of the canteen for the big day, another would look after the presents for the children, someone else would arrange Santa Claus and have a cardboard chimney built on the platform, and this would be the task of this Committee. There was only one snag I told Nancy, the committee would need a place to meet, could I ask them to meet here. Nancy immediately said yes and said that if there was anything that she could do to help she would do so happily. I was fortunate to have Nancy as a partner as well as a wife, in everything that I attempted to do she was my finest and most ardent supporter, and when the odd time that I would feel despondent she was ever ready to give my fading enthusiasm a boost. It would be about May of that year when we first set up our committee and met at our house, I had first of all approached two of the members of “The Newall Keystone Club” and  explained to them what I would require them to do, and both of them agreed to serve on the committee, I then asked two of the lassies who worked on the shop floor but they both thought that it was too big a responsibility, so I went to two of the office staff and one of them said yes which left me a woman short so I asked the dinner lady if she would come on to the committee and she accepted, leaving me wanting another two committee men whom I eventually got and with myself that made seven of a committee. At our first meeting the committee elected me as chairman and I then told them some of the things that I had in mind to do, and they thought that this was a good start. I asked them how we could finance the project and I was faced with a set of blank faces and after some discussion it was agreed that we would hold a weekly Raffle in each section of the factory and those parents who were going to send their children to the party would participate in this raffle. I suggested that the committee member for each section ask one of his or her work mates to gather in the money for the raffle and give it to the committee member who would in turn hand it to the Treasurer. I asked each committee member if they would take the name of every worker who was sending a child or children to the party, and take the name age and sex of each child, and when all this information was collected I would put it into a ledger, where at a glance we could ascertain how many children were coming to the party, their sex and age which would be invaluable when we were coming nearer to the Christmas season. Over the next weeks I had a steady flow of the lists of what children were going to be at the party with the relevant information I had asked for and slowly the ledger was showing some one hundred plus children from three years old to twelve years old which was the age group that we had decided to cater for. By this time the holiday season was approaching and I asked Nancy where we would go for our fortnights break and we both thought that we would like to go to Port Banantyne on the isle of Bute. At this time workers did not receive any holiday pay which meant that I had to put aside rent money for the two weeks we would be away, food money for the week we would be coming home, money to rent our holiday accommodation which was a room and kitchen, and pocket money for spending. The Glasgow fair fortnight came all too soon and we were soon joining a paddle steamer at the King George’s bridge and sailing down river to Bute, Nancy handling Russell and me carrying a suitcase. A hamper had been packed a fortnight before our sailing date and would be at our holiday house when we arrived. We had a nice time on this holiday with Russell enjoying playing on the sand and although we brought a buggy with us he was walking quite a bit and at times even running about like the  almost three year old that he was. One day we were walking into Rothesay and I was pushing the buggy with Russell sitting on it, when I heard my name being called, and looking around I noticed a Petty Officer standing at the door of a public house on the other side of the road so I said to Nancy let us cross over and see if it was he who had shouted my name. As we came nearer the P.O. came to meet us and I recognized him as one of the P.O.s who had passed his exams with me on H.M.S . Warspite and we both shook hands and I introduced him to Nancy. He asked both Nancy and I to join a small group of P.O.s in the pub but Nancy declined and suggested that I join my friend for a little while and she would hurl Russell to Rothesay where we would meet up again I followed my friend into the pub and found that there were five P.O.s sitting in a corner and I recognized another member of the “Warspite” P.O.s in this group. I was introduced to the other three lads and learned that they were all serving on H.M.S. Maidstone, a submarine supply ship lying in the Clyde waters, which moved between the Holy Loch and Rothesay Bay. I cannot be sure but I think that my friend who called on me was named Jim and he asked me if I would take a dram, to which I replied that I would, but only one as I had my wife and child in Rothesay, and they would be waiting for me. I was handed a glass with a good measure of spirits in it, and took a sip to find that it was the rum which we were issued with every lunch time in the services, strong pure rum and it was lovely. This was a terrible mistake for me to make, for after a few of the type of measure these lads were giving me I was fast becoming a bit groggy, and I was sensible enough to say goodbye to them saying that I would walk into the town and find Nancy and Russell. I came out of the pub and started to walk to Rothesay, and I knew that I was going to be in Nancy’s bad books, as we had looked forward to having this day out with Russell, and having a picnic in the garden grounds. I eventually found Nancy and Russell and I was perfectly correct in my assumption that Nancy would not be pleased when she found me a little under the weather, but I was fortunate that the day was fine, and after we had eaten our picnic Nancy played with Russell and I fell asleep on the grass until I was awakened to be told that it was time to make our way back to Port Banantyne. The sleep and the walk home did me a lot of good, and after Russell was fed and asleep in his cot, I apologized to Nancy and sait that it was silly of me to take even one drink, never mind three or four, and Nancy being Nancy forgave me, and I promised that I would never again leave her as I did on that day. We had a wonderful time over the days that were left of our holiday, and all too soon we were on board one of the Clyde’s famous Paddle ships and heading home to Keppochill Road to start a new session of work. We stocker our larder, paid any bills that were due, and in a short time we were back to our normal life, getting a start made on the organizing of our fast approaching Christmas party.   At the beginning of August I held another committee meeting at our house and got reports from each member on how their particular section of work was progressing. On the financial side things were going very well and on the kitchen side everything on the cooking and serving of the meal was O.K. but the canteen ladies were concerned regarding the tables and seating, did we have enough tables for the almost one hundred plus children, plus the management guests. I reported that I intended to go to the toy warehouses to ascertain if we could negotiate a deal whereby we might get a reduction on the prices seeing we were an amateur club, and I would like if our Secretary Margaret could be with me on this occasion to help in the choice of gifts for the girls. I took the opportunity to suggest that I ask Mr. Archie Newall if we could get the canteen given a new coat of emulsion and ask him if we had within the factory enough seating and tables for the number of adults and children expected to attend and also that we would be glad if he could give me a list of management who wished to attend.  I also suggested that the committee member in charge of the canteen decoration find out where to buy paper table covers and napkins, paper decorations and any other colourful bobbles he thought he would need. My register of names, ages and sex was nearly complete but I pointed out that we must decide on a closing date for anyone wishing to attend so that when we were counting numbers after the closing date then that number was definite. I then asked if there was any other business and as there was none I closed the meeting. One of the committee members asked the committee to give a vote of thanks to Nancy for the use of her home and the tea and biscuits. All of our plans were coming to fruition over the following weeks and each of our members was becoming expert in his or her task, the management had given the canteen a clean up, the committee member attending to the entertainment had organized a punch and Judy show, a choir to encourage the children to sing Carols, a magician to make their minds boggle and various other forms of entertainment that would keep the children happy during the hours of four o’clock in the afternoon until seven o’clock plus in the evening, our joiner was building a dummy fire-place with a wide chimney so that Santa could bring his bag of presents through to the children. At this time we were only able to go to East Kilbride on a very odd occasion and as Russell was growing out of his cot we talked of buying him a folding bed. We discussed this question of a new bed for some time and came to the conclusion that there was no money available for this purpose unless we sold the hut. Here was a real dilemma, both of us wanted to keep the hut because it was a place we both loved to go to, it was a place that we were both able to relax and rebuild our strength, but common sense prevailed and we sold the hut just about Russell’s third birthday. I banked the money we received from the sale of the hut and we started to look for a new bed for our son, it had to fit into our limited space and be able to fold up during the daytime. About the end of September Nancy saw a bed she thought was just right for us in the co-operative, and we went to see it on the Saturday morning. It was very like a small wardrobe with two doors which when they were opened showed a folding bed complete with mattress and just perfect for our needs, even to the extent that it had lid on its top which when lifted showed a cavity for storing bed linen. We decided to purchase this bed and Russell slept on it for many years. Meanwhile the arrangements for the Christmas party were going very well, and at the next committee meeting I put forward the suggestion that as we were nearing the final months with which to get everything together we should be thinking of recruiting some men and women from the factory to aid us to look after the children at the dinner tables and during the time they were watching whatever entertainment was going on. Certain men and women would be required to take the youngest of our guests to the toilets while others would be on hand to help then to climb the steps to the platform to receive their gift from Santa. It was also nearing the time for Margaret and I to go to the toy warehouse and purchase the toys, and this led me to raise the question of how much was to be spent on each child. I intimated that we had accumulated a little more than three hundred pounds and assuming that one hundred children were present we could afford to spend two pounds on a toy for each child. This led to a long discussion on how much per toy, some of the committee felt that two pounds was rather a lot, as in 1949 two pounds was a lot of money for toys. After much discussion we agreed what we would spend on toys and decorations and this meeting came to a close. 1949 was a busy year for both Nancy and I, and reading directly from Nancy’s notes I quote, ”My sister Sadie married Tommy Brooks in August 1949, my sister Margaret married Reg. Tarling of Romford, Essex in September 1949 and my brother Peter  married Elsie Topping in December 1949. Tommy Brooks had a house in the Gallowgate and Sadie left 61 Broomknowes road to live in Tommy’s house, Margaret lived in London and Peter took over the family house at 61 and as Winnie was the only one of the family not married at this time she lodged with Peter and Elsie. As Archie didn’t come home for lunch it left me all day free so on one or two days in the week I went to the Gallowgate (I think the address was 549 ) with Russell and I would help Sadie with the house work, sweep the stairs every day and when it was the turn of washing the stairs I would do them for her. You see Sadie’s health wasn’t of the best, she enjoyed my company and she looked on Russell as her own son as did Tommy. I made these regular visits from 1949 till 1955 when Sadie died.”  The weeks before our party came and went very quickly and I suggested to the committee that I should once again see Mr. Archie Newall and report to him how our arrangements were coming on, and about the middle of November I had a meeting with Mr Archie where he expressed his delight that everything seemed to be going all right and he told me that about ten management staff would attend the party and he gave me a donation towards our costs  to be put to our funds which allowed us to spend a little more on each child. Margaret and I went to the toy warehouse one Saturday morning and I asked if I could see the manager and when he came I told him that I was holding a Christmas party for the children of the factory workers and was planning to spend some £250 pounds  on toys for children of both sexes from three years old to twelve years old and as funds were very tight could he let us have them at a reasonable price. He was exceptionally good and asked us if we had a list of the children with us and I brought out the list that I had made up with each age group and the sex so that he was able to see how many four year old boys or girls were in need of a toy. Margaret and I were delighted when he showed us the gifts that he had in the warehouse, and before we left he asked us to come back in a fortnight and he would have all the toys ready. Gradually everything was falling into place, we had checked that we had enough seats and tables, that the chimney was ready to be placed into position on the morning of the party, that the dinner ladies had ordered more than enough food for a hundred odd hungry children, and there were enough funds to pay for all the bills, that the committee member in charge of the decorating of the hall and the tables assured us that he had more than was needed in the way of decorations, and the other member in charge of obtaining ladies to look after and serve the children assured me that they were all very willing to do this job, that Santa had his dress ready and fitted to him, and the member in charge of the entertainment told me that all the entertainment was ready to perform at the appointed times. Christmas was now only a week away and Nancy must have been frustrated with the amount of people who came to the door asking all sorts of questions regarding the party, were parents allowed into the hall?, when did the party start?, when did the party stop?, all questions that the parents of the children going to the party had been informed about in the factory, but Nancy never got upset and answered the questions to the satisfaction of the person asking it. On the night before the party all the presents were stored in the canteen, all the food was delivered and as far as I could possibly think of every little detail had been given thought and our committee were certain that if some little thing went astray we would soon put it right. On the day of the party the committee and some helpers arrived at the factory at nine o’clock and immediately started on the decorating of the canteen and when that was satisfactory accomplished we set the tables and seats into place. While this was being done other helpers were sorting out the platform with steps for the children to mount to meet Santa and making sure that there were enough men and women to supervise this part of the proceedings so that no child would fall and be hurt. The dinner ladies made all the helpers and the committee a lovely meal which was very much appreciated and after cleaning up and giving the canteen a thorough going over we awaited the hour when the first of the first children would arrive.  At three-forty five Nancy arrived with Russell, and as she was going to help in looking after the children at the tables she was not long in being given a note of her task by the committee man in charge. A few minutes after this a very deluge of mothers with their children were coming into the hall, and their coats were taken and hung up in a room set aside for that purpose. Each mother or father bringing their children to the party were asked to pick their children up at seven o’clock in the evening so that the workers would be able to clean up after everyone had left. As the children were coming into the hall a helper took him or her to their place at the table where they put on one of the paper hats and listened to the Christmas carols being played on a gramophone, and without anyone prompting them they were soon singing the carols. At half-past four the meal was placed in front of the children and the management guests and all the committee and helpers were kept busy until the meal was completed about half past five, and as planned, the tables nearest the platform were dismantled and chairs put in their places, and so on until all the tables were stacked in an appointed place and the chairs were being occupied by the children. All was now ready for our programme to begin, and our committee were delighted that all of our preparations were now bearing fruit, the Punch and Judy show was greeted with shouts of laughter for about three quarters of an hour, the choir sang carols and popular songs to which all of the audience joined in, the magician had the children astounded and shouting out at his skillful tricks, one of the local school teachers sang two or three popular songs which had a chorus to which the kids sang with gusto, and it would be about then that the gramophone started to play Jingle bells and the roar of delight from the audience was tremendous. Santa appeared at the opening of the fireplace with his red uniform and a big bag of toys and our helpers had given each child a tag with a number on it which was pinned to their jersey or dress, and number one was shouted out and when the child came to the steps leading to the platform a helper took him or her up to the platform to be greeted by Santa and given a present. As Santa gave each child a gift the other children clapped and shouted and this whole operation went very smoothly. As the time was nearing when the parents of the children would be coming to collect them, the helpers were beginning to man the cloak-room where each coat had the same number on it as the number the child had for receiving Santa’s present, so we did not anticipate any problem here. The choir and the other entertainers were all on the platform singing carols, and the children all joined in until each mother or father collected them, got their coats and said good-bye. When the last of our guests had left Mr. Archie Newall gave a hearty vote of thanks to our committee, and as this was the first time that A.P. Newall & Co. had held such a function he hoped that it would be followed by another one in the future. He also told us that we were all to make our way home whenever we wished and he would arrange for some labourers to reset the tables and chairs on Monday morning. So ended our Christmas party and for the next weeks we were congratulated by almost every worker on our achievement. I arranged a committee meeting for the second week of January and after settling our bills and agreeing that what cash was left over should be kept for a future outing. I suggested that over the last month or so, when the success of our party was almost assured I had been thinking of keeping our committee together and in the summer organizing a day out for the members of both staff and shop floor workers and their children. This suggestion met with a unanimous yes and I told the committee that I had thought of hiring a railway train or trains, or a fleet of busses, but the proposal I wished to put to them was that we hire a paddle steamer and have a day out to one of the Clyde coast resorts, where we could have lunch and high tea in pleasant surroundings. This last proposal was met with enthusiasm and it was left to me to see what the feasibility of organizing such a big event would be,? what would the cost of hiring a steamer be?, what would be our destination?, and all the other necessary information required for such a vast number of people. I told them that I would want Margaret to continue as my Secretary, and as soon as Margaret and I had some concrete proposals I would call a meeting of our committee. This was agreed and I knew that on the next day at work everyone in the factory would know that we were organizing a day out for the workers and their families. I had mentioned to Nancy that I was considering organizing a day out for the workers but I don’t think either she or I anticipated what a big thing I was attempting to do. We talked about how we were going to go about hiring a paddle steamer capable of acommodating some one thousand five hundred men, women and children, and how we were going to arrange for them being fed and entertained. However, as always I had the full support of my wife,  and I started to put into action my thoughts on our day out by writing to the shipping company and inquiring if we could hire a paddle steamer for the day which would accommodate some 1500 hundred men, women and children. The reply that I received was to the effect that they did not have a paddle steamer suitable but we could hire “The Queen Mary 2nd”, which would cost £2000 for the day sailing to Rothesay from the bridge wharf at 9 o’clock a.m. leaving Rothesay at 6 o’clock p.m. for Glasgow. I then wrote to the Provost of Rothesay telling him of our plans to visit his town sometime in May with between fourteen and fifteen hundred men women and children who would require lunch and evening meal and also a park where we would be able to organize races and other types of entertainment for our guests. I received a reply to this letter in about four days inviting me to come to Rothesay on the next Saturday when ( Not he, but she) would be happy to meet us and discuss our needs. I arranged with Margaret to accompany me to Rothesay and we were more than surprised at the enthusiastic manner in which we were greeted and the manner in which the Provost had gone to the trouble of arranging that “The Meadows” would be available for our sports and if we wished “The Rothesay Victoria”, the local football team would arrange to play a selection of workers from Newall’s in a football match. The towns “Pavillion” would seat 500 for each of the meals and the towns best hotels would supply the rest. This all sounds very simple and although the organization of the day out was made much more easy with the Lady Provost’s co-operation, many things had to be done before I could call the committee together and get them to agree to Margaret and I’s arrangements. We left the Lady Provost that day with the promise that as soon as we had discussed all her suggestions with our committee we would be in touch. Returning to work on the next Monday morning I arranged for a committee meeting to be held on the Wednesday and here Margaret and I reported on what we had done in Rothesay and how the Lady Provost was very keen to help us in every way possible. We discussed how would we find £2000 for the hire of the ship and the money for two meals per person on the day. I told them that I had made some rough calculations and found that if we started to collect approximately 2/6 from each of the workers for the next 14 weeks that would give us £2537, and at a time nearer to the cruise we could calculate how much more money we would require, and keeping the cost of the day out to the minimum per person, charge each worker say ten shillings which would make their cruise, two meals and all the entertainment cost 45/-, which even the lowest paid worker would realize was a cheap day out, and the money would not be coming out of his or her pocket at one go. The committee all took notes on that evening and in the same way as we had done with the Christmas party we asked each member to approach the workers in his or her section and take the name of the worker and how many of his or her family would be going on the cruise, and explain to them how much the day out would cost each individual. Over the weeks that followed I was constantly taking notes from our treasurer regarding the weekly income and reporting to the committee members the state of our finances. At the next committee meeting we decided that the date of the outing would be the 20th of May 1950 and that the Queen Mary 2nd would leave the Bridge wharf at 9 o’clock in the morning and leave Rothesay at 6 o’clock in the evening. In order to finalize all the arrangements regarding Hotels and times of the meals being served and all the other things that an outing of this magnitude required such as each of our workers would need a ticket telling them the name of the Hotel where they would be eating and the times of serving the meal, it was decided that Margaret and I should travel to Rothesay and visit each Hotel and so have had personal contact with the Hotel staff.  We did this trip in April and spent a hectic day finding the various Hotels and making sure that the Hotel owners would realize that sometimes at the last minute one or two people would not turn up on the day and therefore there could be a slight difference in the numbers being present for the meals. At our next Committee meeting we discussed the number of people going to each hotel , and made the decision that we would have a different coloured ticket for each hoteland that Margaret and I would  draw up a programme for each of the people on the cruise which would be a guide for them to know what events were taking place and the time of that event, ,,and this programme would also tell them when the football match between a select five a side from  Newall’s factory and Rothesay Victoria was on and the times of the various races in the Meadows and the time of the ship’s departure, and it also be a lovely souvenir to keep. We were now sensing that our venture was going to be successful, the workers were backing our committee in every possible way, the cash was coming in ever week and I was more than pleased to see that we would have a slight surplus to our requirements, all we prayed for was a dry day and as At our next committee meeting we discussed the number of people going to each Hotel and made the decision that we would have a different coloured ticket for each Hotel and that Margaret and I would draw up a programme for each of the people on the cruise which would be a guide for them to know what event was taking place and the time of that event, and this programme would also tell them when the football match between a select five a side from a bonus a sunny one. I approached two different companies to sponsor our outing by donating some half bottles of spirits for prizes for our raffles and was delighted when both of them gave very generously which meant that we were able to give far better prizes than we could have done without the sponsors. I spent a lot of time and energy on making the souvenir programme one that the workers would be pleased to keep. Over the next few pages I will attempt to copy the programme for our day at Rothesay so that a record of the immense job can be kept, and hopefully show the patience and support that I received from my ever helpful wife Nancy, and considering that she was not only attending to Russell and doing her housework , but also helping me by calculating my income and out-goings while I was at work. The final arrangements were now made and the morning of the 20th of May came along all too soon, and as Nancy had arranged with Sadie to look after Russell the two of us made our way to the bridge wharf to board the Queen Mary 11.  I introduced Nancy and I to the Captain and he gave me the key to a large cabin where I could store the various prizes and other bulky goods until they were needed, and we then made our way to stand near to the gangway and greet our guests coming aboard. At nine o’clock the horn of the ship let out a loud blast and we were casting off and preparing to be on our way down the Clyde. A photographer got as many of our people to line the ship’s side as could find a space, and some photographs were taken as the ship was leaving, and with our pipe band playing a selection of Scottish tunes we had a very happy send off. On our entertainment programme was a Milngavie amateur drama club named the “41 Club” as they had been formed in 1941, and they began a series of 15 minute concerts in certain parts of the ship, while a small band consisting of a drummer, a violinist and an accordionist played dance music on the   deck for those couples who wished to dance, and as the sun was to shine all day there was plenty of dancing. We had arranged for one of our men to walk about the ship and he was our mystery man, and every one knew that if you approached him and said “You are the mystery man” then you got a prize. We changed the man around at certain times and gave boxes of 50 cigarettes or a half bottle of spirits  as prizes. We had a choir of six girls and three men who moved about the ship and led the cruisers in community singing which was very much a favourite with the majority of our guests. With lots of entertainment and a blue sky above we were approaching Rothesay before we realized we were so near our destination, and the folks on board were astounded to see a multitude of people on the pier and a pipe band playing a welcoming tune. Nancy and I left the ship first and were greeted by the Lady Provost who looked after Nancy very well.  I believe that the Rothesay Victoria were more than generous when the match finished as a one-one draw, and both Nancy and I congratulated both teams on playing a very entertaining and friendly game. When the greater part of our members had left the ship  the pipe band started to play, and we followed in procession to the Pavilion and other hotels where we had our mid-day meal. After we had all dined we made our way to “The Meadows” where at 2p.m. we watched the five a side football, and our committee members began organizing the various sports events, such as the Tug O’ war, and all the different races for adults and children of all ages. Nancy or I did not participate in any of the sporting events as I felt that I should move about the grounds and see that things were going to plan. We both thoroughly enjoyed doing this as it allowed us to spend some time together, and also allow Nancy to meet some of the members whom she had not yet got to know. “The Meadows” at that time was a very large piece of ground with the Rothesay Victoria’s football stadium taking up one corner, and as the five a side football match was the first part of our afternoon’s programme quite a large number of our folk made their way to see this match . it was very nice to stand around the football pitch with the pleasant warmth of the sun, and hear the cheers of the crowd give encouragement to our players. I believe that the Rothesay Victoria were more than generous when the match finished as a one-one draw, and both Nancy and I congratulated  both teams on playing a very entertaining and friendly game. Leaving the football pitch we went to where the children’s Tug O’ War competition was being held and we were both delighted to watch the enthusiastic manner that the children played the game. It was very fortunate that the sun was shining and the grass was dry, or some of the mothers would not have been too pleased to see their child’s trousers being dragged along wet grass. After watching the children we waited to see the adult Tug O’ War and it to was played with much puffing and panting. I said to Nancy that I was glad that I had not volunteered to take part.Our next call was to the adult mixed races where an age group would compete whether they were men or women, or as in the picture below a woman’s race only. The pictured three were !st—2nd and 3rd As we stayed here for some time many men and women came to congratulate Nancy and I on our organizing such a wonderful day and both Nancy and I were a little enbarrassed but pleased with their praises. It was here that Nancy noticed one of the men who had acted as the mystery  men passing by and she jokingly said to him “You are the mystery man” and he quickly replied  “Yes, and you have won a prize” He then handed Nancy a half-bottle of Glay Va whisky and although the mystery man’s game was long over he insisted that Nancy take it home. It was at this time that I noticed Margaret our Secretary coming towards Nancy and I, and looking at my watch I realized that the time was approaching when Nancy, Margaret and I would require to leave in order to pay the hotels for their services. Margaret and I had written out the cheques and signed them so that only the amount had to be entered. We had left ourselves enough time to be able to walk slowly round the Hotels, and where this chore might have been tiresome, it actually was a pleasure, and when the last Hotel had been paid Margaret went to the Victoria Hotel while Nancy and I returned to the Pavilion.After we had enjoyed our evening meal I paid the Pavilion management their cheque, and along with Nancy I joined the some 500 members to the pier head to join the ship home. At the appointed time of six o’ clock The Queen Mary 11 left Rothesay pier and began our journey home, the sun was still shining and the beauty of the Cowal hills was really breath taking, while the entertainment on board was a repeat of the outward journey, with dancing, singing and just sitting back and enjoying whatever was going on. When we reached the Bridge wharf our committee stood by the gangway and said goodbye to our guests, and the congratulations we received made all the hard work very much worth while. We thanked our small group of Saint Andrews nurses for the efficient manner that they attended to a lady who had fainted, and the small boy who had an abrasion on his knee. Nancy and I were the last to leave the ship and after I had handed the key of our cabin to the captain and thanked him for its use we left the ship and boarded a tram-car for Keppochhill Road, and so ended A.P. Newall’s first and only cruise