MY LIFE FROM BIRTH UNTIL 1941 BY NANCY MCARTHUR (NEE RUSSELL)
We travelled by tram to the Bridge wharf and boarded the paddle steamer for Millport. We thoroughly enjoyed these holidays and mother would occasionally send one of us to bring a pail of sea water to bathe her feet. I recall collecting mussels and whelks from the rocks and these were boiled in a zinc pail. On one holiday I met a girl of my own age named Nelly, and one day when we were playing on the sands I found a shilling coin, which was badly discoloured by lying in the sand and salt water. I cleaned it up as best I could and we both went to the local sweet shop, where the shopkeeper after carefully scrutinising the coin, gave us the sweets and change from the shilling. Millport had little or no traffic in these days, so were able to go to the shore in the morning and build sandcastles or climb over the rocks, and if my older sisters came down at the weekend they would take me for a walk round the island. My mother’s brother, Uncle Andrew, lived on the island, and sold fish from a flat cart. He had a hand bell which he rung while he shouted “Fish for sale”, and folks came out to buy his fish. My Aunt Mirren and he had two children, a boy named Duncan, after my grandpa Cameron, and a girl called Mirren. Unfortunately Duncan was born paralysed, and had to be in a wheelchair. He was ages with me and I used to visit him, and he always asked me to come again. I think he appreciated me giving attention, as he obviously had a lonely life when he could not get out to play. I remember that on the day we were leaving to go to Millport mother would go to the hair dressers, and I was always frightened that she would not get back in time for the boat. It is strange how little things like that can worry a child. Another pleasant memory is when my sister Anne took Margaret, Winnie and me, to the Springburn park. This is the highest point in the whole of Glasgow, and has so many interesting attractions. The lovely rockery where flowers bloom from springtime, the Glasshouse where many bushes, trees, exotic plants and flowers from all over the world are displayed. I well remember another day when mother trusted me to take Margaret and Winnie to the Park, and she made up sandwiches of bread and jam and a flask of tea. We arrived at the park safely and were enjoying our picnic when some girls started to fight with me. The result was a broken flask and a wasted picnic, and a mother not too pleased with the loss of her flask. There is a statue of Hugh Reid ( a man renowned for his expertise with steam engines) in the park, and he holds a scroll in his hand. Margaret and I named him the EMERY man, because the scroll looks like rolled up emery cloth. The boating pond was a favourite with children, and if you were fortunate enough to have a penny, (which was seldom), you could hire a boat which had a number painted on its side. There was a paddle on each side of the boat, and when you were sitting in the boat you put your feet on what was a pedal similar to a bicycle pedal, and when you pushed these pedals the paddles turned and the boat moved. When your time was up the attendant would shout out “Come in number two” and if that was the number on your boat, you brought the boat back to its station. When I was eleven years old, and off school after having my tonsils removed in the Royal Infirmary, Grandma Cameron visited us and took mother and me to the Ideal Homes Exhibition in Kelvin Hall. After walking round the various exhibits Grandma took mother and me to the restaurant, where she treated us to hot scotch pie with bread and butter and a cup of tea. This was my first experience of sitting in a restaurant and eating out. Before I leave what stories I remember about my grandparents, I can recall how Grandma Cameron would just appear at our house without warning. As there were no telephones in these days there was no way she could let mother know she was coming, hence her unannounced arrival. She would be dressed in a long silver grey coat, a large dressy hat, and would have in her hand a tall umbrella. The Cameron family called my mother “Nanny” and when Grandma visited she would say, “Nanny, get ready and I will take you out for the day”. My sister Anne worked in the Co-op fish shop and her day off would be a Monday. If Grandma Cameron came to visit on a Monday my poor sister would be told to look after the younger children while mother was away. My Grandpa and Grandma Russell lived in Springburn Road, and Grandpa had his own tailoring business in the Avenue, Springburn. As I remember them they were not”family folk” and we seldom saw them. I can recall when mother or one of my sisters would walk me along Springburn Road and we would meet Grandma Russell. She always had a bag of cinnamon balls in her pocket and would give us one of them. My Grandparents family of my father Peter, my uncle Willie, Uncle Robert, Uncle Adam, Aunt Mary, Aunt Grace and Aunt Maggie. Aunt Mary married Jimmy Anderson and lived in Station Road with their family Molly and James. Unfortunately Molly was born deaf and dumb, and Aunt Mary went to a school to be taught the deaf and dumb language, so that she could converse with Molly. Molly herself was taken to a boarding school when she was three years old, in order that she could be taught to make herself understood in the outside world. Molly later married John Currie and had two children Pearl and Marie. Uncle Willie Married Martha Shannon and they lived in Queenshill Street. Their family were two boys and two girls Peter and Martha, and Billy and Mary. Billy died as a baby. Aunt Maggie also married an Anderson, this time it was Samuel Anderson and they lived in Burnblea Street, Hamilton, the birthplace of my father. Their family was quite a large one, and like my dads they were mostly girls. My father’s brother Robert married and had a son called Robert, and they lived in Scotstoun. I do not remember Uncle Robert ever visiting our house. I have learned very little about my Uncle Adam, and I do not think any of my family know much more. His name came to the fore when a brother of Grandma Russell’s died, and left a considerable sum of money to be divided among his family. No one knew where Adam was living and after many years searching for him he was assumed dead. Father’s sister Grace suffered a tragic death. As a young girl she fell pregnant, and when she told her parents about her condition her father immediately told her to leave his house and never return. The poor girl sat all night on the cold stone stair and was struck down with pneumonia. She was taken to hospital and died shortly after entry. Grandma Russell died in 1927 and Grandpa hired what today would be called a home help, and it was only then that Margaret and I visited Grandpa’s house. I can remember when we visited him he would open the secret drawer in the mahogany chest of drawers and give us a ginger nut biscuit. As I have said above one of my Grandma’s brothers died, leaving a large sum of money to be shared among his family. As Grandma Russell was dead at this time her share was distributed among her family, which included my father. He received two hundred plus pounds initially in 1934, and later, because his brother Adam could not be found, another much smaller sum came to my father. Our parents now purchased a pull-out table and a three piece bedroom suite. Mother and Father were delighted at this turn in their fortunes after all the years that they spent struggling against poverty. In 1931 I entered Albert High School, Balornock, to begin my higher education, and I studied there for the next two years. I cannot say that I enjoyed being at this school, a more accurate description of my feelings would be that I endured it, and to be honest the lessons they tried to teach me were away beyond my capabilities. I just could not understand Algebra, Geometry or French, and when I left school after these two years I knew just about as much as I knew when I first entered it. I believe that this was caused by my parents wishing to give their children the best education available, but a child must have brains to start with , and I was lacking in the grey matter. I received what was called a higher grade education, but it would have been far better if I had been sent to a an advanced division school where the pupils were taught Cookery, Sewing, Art, Housewifery, English, History, Geography and Arithmetic. These subjects would have prepared me for the type of life most of my friends and relations were living. I can relate a few stories of Albert school. I remember our Art teacher, a Miss Smillie, who one day asked the class to bring two George Rowney pencils and a ruler to the next lesson. When I told mother about this she said that she could not afford two the pencils in one week, but she would buy one pencil and the ruler this week and I would get the other pencil next week. At the next Art class Miss Smillie said that anyone who had not brought two pencils and a ruler was to come to the front of the class. I and a few others came to the front of the classroom and we were told to hold out our hands, and she gave each of us a belt with her tawse. She told us that the next time she told us to do something we will obey. Our English teacher was teaching us the poem “The Vagabond” and the pupils made up a ditty about Miss Smillie.
“ Give to me the life I love
To be beside Miss Baxter,
And her assistant Smellie dove
You smell her as you pass her.
I was only once given the belt at school and I believe that I did not deserve it, but I also believe that discipline is very necessary, and maybe the return of the tawse would cure much of the bullying and truancy in the schools of today. Another humiliating episode occurred when the school choir held their annual concert in the Springburn Public Hall. The girls were all asked to wear a white blouse and a gym slip. Mother said that she could not afford to get me a white blouse, but there was a blouse that had a white background and a small rose pattern on it. I was the only girl in the whole choir who did not have a white blouse, and I felt very small. However in those days if you could not afford something you did without, and I do that to this day. When I left school in 1933 I got my first job in a tobacconist shop in Stockwell Street, Glasgow. The shop was owned by a Mister Niman, and my working hours were from 7-30a.m. till 6.00 p.m. on week days, and from 7-30a.m. till 8-00p.m. on Saturdays, and for this I was paid the princely sum of 8/- per week. From this I was allowed 1/-3p for pocket money and 1/3p for travelling. The travelling money was not sufficient for me to use the tramcar for every journey, so in order to save the 1/2p tram fare I would walk to or from my work whenever possible. My duties in this job were numerous, and arriving at the shop at 7/30 a.m. I had to scrub the floor on the Staff side of the counter, and then do the same on the customers side . Next I would clean the doorstep brasses and the door brasses, and when these were shining bright I would clean the back shop and the toilet. Having finished these little tasks I would put on the kettle and prepare tea for the morning break, and when the break was over I would wash the dishes and clean up the back shop again. I would then make my way to the Wholesale warehouse to pick up magazines and special papers that customers had ordered, and returning to the shop I would be told to dust the shelves and restock shelves where necessary, and also serve customers. There were two lady assistants as well as the boss, but they only served the customers. I was the scivvy, the maid of all work, and this was expected of all juniors in this era. When I was going to or coming home from my work, I would pass the building which housed the waxworks and the Britannia Music Hall. The well known Glasgow character , Albert Earnest Pickard, better known as A.E. Pickard, bought both these premises and re-named the Britannia “The Panopticon”. As I left work in the evening I would pass this music hall and there was a very large black man in a commissionaire’s uniform standing at the door. Now to see a black man at all was strange in these days, but to see this big black face under the flat hat, was to me very frightening. I worked in this shop for ten months, but the hard unceasing drag was having an effect on my health, and my father being the considerate man he was suggested that I leave this job, and after a rest try to obtain employment in an office, which was something I had always wished for. In the month of August of that year my father and mother rented a house in Dunoon, where my sisters Margaret and Winnie, my brother Peter and I had a wonderful holiday, and believe it or not, this was my father’s first holiday for more than 15 years. I remember that my parents were so happy and we children spent a fortnight of magic, playing on the sands or paddling in the water. Margaret and I were given 3p each per week, which meant that we had a 1/2p to spend each day on our favourite sweets. During these early days of the 1930’s, working men or women did not get paid for holidays, so for father to take two weeks unpaid holidays was an enormous sacrifice, yet all of us were happy, and that was all that mattered at that time. It is difficult to tell the next part of my story without relating to things that happened long before I was born. When my mother and father met and fell in love, they were both from different social backgrounds. Mother came from a family of business people while father was very much working class. When mother spoke to her father about her intentions to marry my father who was a brass moulder to trade, her father told her that if she married this man who dirtied his hands to make a living, then he would disown her. Grandfather’s brother, Uncle Fergie, said that if my mother was his daughter he would kick her arse down the stair. Both of these two Gentlemen were pillars of the church, and both were hypocrites. My Grandfather did what he said he would and cut my mother off from the family, and it was not until our Margaret, his seventh grandchild was about to be born, that he came to our house. At this time (1921) my father and many thousands of men like him were made idle during an industrial depression, and grandfather told my mother that if my father wanted a job in his coal depot bagging coal, then he could start work. My father took this job gladly as it gave him back his dignity, and allowed him to provide some little extras for his family. His hours were from 7a.m. till 6p.m.six days a week, working outside in all weathers, and on Friday he received his wages of £2-8/-per week. After we returned home from our Dunoon holiday I began work in my first office job with Ferguson Low & Co. 56 Jamaica Street. There was an elderly Cashier, Miss Kirkwood, a typist, May Fraser, and myself to do the office work. In the warehouse there was a young man assistant, Charlie Millar, a lady assistant Esse Miller, and the two directors Mr. Houston and Mr. T. Mc Murray. The last named gentleman comes into my story again some years later, but for now I will tell a few anecdotes of my time with this firm. The firm was a mantle manufacturer selling to the retail trade ladies coats, frocks, suits and gents raincoats. A side line of this firm was the making of shrouds and other material paraphernalia, such as brass furnishings for coffins. I know that it sounds gruesome to be handling such goods, but after a short time you treat them as you would a coat or a frock. To aid me in this job I attended night classes for book-keeping, and no one was more surprised than me when I came top of the class, and I realised that I had found my niche. I was very happy in this job and my fellow workers were all nice people. I remember at the time of the Derby race day of 1934 one of the staff was talking of putting a bet on, and with me being the junior, I was asked to pick the horse. After looking at the names I chose a horse called WORKMAN and it came in first. At Derby time every year after that I was asked to pick a horse, and by pure luck I always picked a winner. On the 12th of November 1936 my father was making his way to his workplace about 6-30a.m. and had walked as far as Haig Street, when he was struck by a motor cycle. His head hit the kerb, and although he was very badly stunned, he managed to make his way back home. Mother opened the door and was shocked to see coming from my fathers head. I believe that it was my mother and my sister Anne who used the telephone on the other side of our road, to get a taxi and take father to the Royal Infirmary. As was usual in these days mother and Anne were told to go home and come back later, and then about eleven a.m. my mother was informed that my father had died. It was when I came home from the office at lunchtime that I was told the horrible news, and there are no words to illustrate the grief and devastation I felt that day. I phoned the firm from the telephone box and the boss kindly told me to take whatever time off that was necessary. Alex Smith and Bert Anderson made all the arrangements for fathers funeral, and he was buried in Riddrie Cemetery. At this late date I find it difficult to remember all those who attended my father’s funeral, but I do know that Uncle Sam and Aunt Maggie Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Mary, Uncle Willie and Aunt Martha, and Marion Mary and Anne. I stayed at home with Margaret and Peter being too overcome with grief to attend. I do not recall any of my mother’s family attending my father’s funeral. When my father was employed in grandfather’s coal yard bagging coal he was able as an employee to purchase coal for himself at the cost price. Shortly after my fathers death my mother asked my sister Mary to go to grandfather and ask if we could continue getting our coal at cost price. Grandfather was not in that day but Uncle Fergie, who was grandfather’s partner, told Mary to tell her mother, (who was his own niece) to get the local coalman to supply her with her coal. Unlike the selfishness of mother’s family, I remember one day, just shortly after I had returned to my work, Mr. and Mrs. Houston asked me if I would join them on a day out to largs and I was delighted to accept. My boss took me in his car to Gourock, where we boarded the paddle steamer to take us to Largs. I recall that it was a lovely day, and the bakers shop, McKays I think, sold boxes of six individual apple tarts, and Mrs. Houston bought two boxes, and told me to take one home. I remember the Houstons as happy people who sang as they drove along, and I remember one of the songs was “The donkey’s Serenade”. All of our family were saddened by our sad loss, and mother tried hard to soften the blow. The following summer, 1937, she rented a two room and kitchen from a Glasgow woman, and we happily made our way to Arbroath. There was mother, Sadie, myself, Winnie and Peter, and Anne arrived the next day. On that first night there was one of the beds not used, but the next night when Anne had arrived she and Sadie used this bed, and Sadie was tormented all night by being bitten by something in the bed, and Anne and she put some of the insects into a match box, and took this to a local doctor. The doctor informed them that the insects were bed bugs, and advised them to burn the night clothes that they had worn in that bed. Next day Anne and I went out to find another place to live during our holiday, and we were lucky to get a single apartment to rent. After this bad beginning we enjoyed playing on the seashore, climbing rocks, having a ride on the model railway, and doing all those things that we would normally do on holiday. During these years after father died I tried as well as I could to do all the things that I would normally do, such as on a Sunday evening I would join my best friend May Roddy, and we would walk along Springburn Road and make our way to Bishopbrigs and return to Balornock. Most of our young friends did this and sometimes we would have a little money to go to the Caf’e and buy ice cream, or a bowl of hot peas and four spoons. May Roddy’s father was a driver in in the fire brigade, and lived in the fire station at Keppochill Road. I used to envy the fact that May would get new clothes every season, and was surprised one day to hear her say how lucky I was to live with my family, because we were always telling stories and laughing. I was still active in Johnstone’s church, attending Bible class and taking part in most church activities, including the dancing classes, where we had many young friends. In July my sisters Margaret and Sadie and I had a holiday in Bangor in Ireland. This was a super holiday, the sunshine and the sea, the excitement of seeing all the new scenes and doing things for the first time, made us so happy that in 1939I returned to Bangor with May Roddy, and again the weather was wonderful, our guest house and the food were beyond reproach, and it was just as well that we did not know that by the 3rd of September of that year, World War two would begin. If I remember correctly mother and Peter were evacuated to Thornhill in Dumfriesshire, just days after war was declared, and our family were saddened by turn of events. However it is amazing how life goes on, we adapted ourselves to being out in the pitch darkness with only a small torch to guide us, we got used to dodging the baffle walls which were built on the pavements outside the close mouths, to protect the people who would shelter there during an air raid, and also got used to the horrible sound of the sirens, warning us that bombers were on their way. In December 1939 my mother and Peter returned home, it seems that mother was fretting and had too many hours to think, and she felt that she would be better off at home. My mother never recovered from my father’s death, and over the three years since father died she grieved his loss, and in February 1940 mother died of a cerebral haemorrhage, and once again our family were shattered with grief. I deem myself very fortunate to have had such wonderful sisters and my brother Peter, who as a family gave support to one another, sharing whatever joys we had, and also sharing the sorrows. One day when the staff of Ferguson Low’s were having their lunch break, one of the ladies spoke of justice, and after listening to the discussion I said that in my opinion there was no such thing as justice in Scotland. I was asked why I took this very strong attitude on the question of justice, and I told them how my father had been killed by a motor cycle and the driver had not been charged with careless driving. He got off Scot free and our family received no compensation for our loss. Mr. McMurray listened to my story and he spoke to his brother who was in the insurance business, and who had a close friend who was a solicitor, and he asked him to look into our case. The solicitor friend of Mr. McMurray took our case to the courts in Edinburgh and won our case for us. Mother received £100, Winnie got £50, Peter got £50, Margaret and I got £25. Mother wrote a very grateful letter of thanks to Mr. McMurray for his great kindness to our family. The loss of my mother in February was softened when I met Archie Mc Arthur in March 1940. Archie and I were the same age, he was born on the 22nd of February 1919, and I was born on the 26th of May 1919. The manner of our meeting was rather strange. Archie had two friends from Kinning Park, where Archie was born. Both of these friends were hikers, and used to go out to the country at the weekend, and both of them were friendly with two of my sisters. My sisters Sadie and Anne were organising a social dance evening in Springburn for some charity, and Bobby brooks and David Wark were asked to come to the dance and bring a friend. They went to Archie’s house and found him dressed for a weekend in the country, and they persuaded him to come to this charity dance. The result of these activities was that the trio arrived at my house later than expected, and as I was doing the Friday night chores cleaning the bathroom, scrubbing floors, polishing brasses and all the other things that had to be done to keep the house clean, I was hardly dressed to meet someone for the first time. Archie first saw me with a scarf tied round my head , and a pinny round my waist, hardly the way I would have chosen. I had been instructed to tell the lads how to get to the venue where the dance was being held. Archie suggested that as he was not a dancer he would stay and keep me company, but this suggestion was unanimously rejected. I think that it was the following Sunday night that Anne and Davie Wark and Archie came to our house and had supper with the family. That night he asked me if I would like to see him again and we made an arrangement for Archie to visit 61 on a week day. My friend May Roddy came to visit me on that night, so Archie stayed in our house for the rest of that evening. When he was leaving to go home he asked me if I would like to go to the “Flicks” , as there was a film showing in the town called “The Wizard of Oz”, and he would like to see it. We agreed to meet, and our courtship began with our sharing this film. Archie was about to complete his apprenticeship as a Scientific Instrument Maker in Barr and Stroud’s factory in Anniesland, and his job was such that overtime was worked regularly. He worked Saturday mornings till 12-oclock, and brought to the factory his hiking boots, kilt, and anything else he needed for a weekend in the country. My sisters were regular visitors to Carbeth on the Stockiemuir Road, and Archie introduced me to hiking by taking me to Carbeth. I was introduced to Archie’s family shortly after this, and during our short engagement I would stay over at his house at weekends. I began to look forward to going away for the weekends, and for that reason we both joined the Scottish Youth Hostel Association. I remember one night when Archie was on L.D.V. ( Local Defence Volunteers) duty in Barr and Stroud’s, and I met at 9-30p.m. at Anniesland cross. We boarded a bus which took us to Balloch, and started to walk along Loch Lomond side to our destination, Inverbeg Youth hostel. It was one of those nights you only dream of, the moon was shining bright on the loch, a perfect stillness, only the sound of our boots disturbing the quiet. I was so pleased with the setting that I said, “Can we not sleep out somewhere on this lovely night” but Archie said “No, I have been on my feet from 6-30 this morning, and I am looking forward to getting into a bunk at Inverbeg. Some miles further on I again said that I was tired, could we not just sleep out. At this time we were about a mile or so above Arden and Archie said, “All right, against my better judgement we’ll climb over this wall and the hill behind it where I know there is a running stream, and we will sleep beside it” We had a primus stove with us, ( fires were forbidden in case they attracted overhead bombers) and after our meal Archie made me a bed of bracken, put a waterproof groundsheet over it, then my kilt and sleeping bag. My pillow was my Bergan rucksack and another groundsheet over me completed my bed. Archie then prepared his own bed and soon we were both asleep. About two hours later I was wakening Archie to tell him that I was soaking. The heavens had opened and every cloud in the sky was aiming its water at we two, and I, having never slept out before this night, had inadvertently knocked my groundsheet away from my bed, and I was truly soaked. Poor Archie, he had been as snug as a bug in his bed, and now he had to get up to help me. Luckily we always carried spare clothing and were soon dressed in shorts and dry shirts, and resumed our journey towards Inverbeg Hostel. The Hostel closed at 11-p.m. and did not open till 7-a.m., and we arrived about 5-30a.m. The hostel was built on stilts with wire netting nailed all around it, to protect the stilts from damage from animals. Archie carefully eased part of the wire aside, and we crept under the Hostel to wait for it opening. Archie apologised to the warden, Tony Capaldi, and said that under the circumstances he would break the rules, which said “No sleeping after 8 a.m. and sleep till the afternoon. I did not go into the Ladies section and get into a bunk, as I didn’t want to break the rules. Archie found me sitting in the common room when he awoke in the afternoon, so much for my initiation to sleeping out. My birthday in 1940 was celebrated by our family holding their first 21st party. I remember with joy the pleasure I got when Sadie brought the birthday cake in, I had never seen its kind before, but learned later that Lewis.s Polytechnic had began making number cakes, and my sisters had purchased a two and a one for my birthday. Archie’s mother and his sister Betty were invited and we all had a lovely day. During our courtship Archie and I saw many of Gilbert and Sullivan’s light operas, the Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, being two of the many, and in the Opera House at the top of Hope Street we saw many of the grand opera’s, such as La Boheme, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville and Tosca, were some of the shows we attended, and we did not spend a lot of money, nine pence took us into the “GODS”, where if you smoked you had your smoke free, for a cloud of smoke was always in the air in the Gods. Glasgow was a wonderful place for its entertainment venues, and in every district cinemas abounded, many Theatres and Playhouses were spread across the city centre, and Archie and I were happy to visit as many of them as our money would allow. The King’s Theatre and the Empire, The Pavilion and the Greens, The Scotia and the Queens, were some of those that come to mind, and it was in the Kings that we saw Robert Donate play in “The Devil’s Deciple” and in the Alhambra we watched the Wilson Barret Company playing “Old Lace””French Leave” and others of its Repetoire. I remember on one Friday night when Archie and I were sitting in the Gods of the Royal Opera House, and Joan Hammond had just finished singing “One Fine Day” when the manager came on to the stage and told us that the city was being bombed. He informed us that the show would go on, but if anyone wished to leave would they do so quietly so as not to disturb those who were staying. Archie and I stayed on in order to get our nine pence worth. We left the theatre about 11-oclock and the air raid was still in progress, we could hear the crump of the bombs dropping some distance away. We began to walk down Hope Street when police told us that we had to go to an air raid shelter under Transport House in Bath Street. We were forced to do this and found that the so-called shelter was only a vast open concrete cellar , no water, no seats, nothing but hundreds of bodies standing ubtil we heard the “All Clear” just after 7- oclock. Archie and I made our way down Hope Street and into Union Street, where people coming up Union Street told us that some of the bridges were down, but when we got to the George V bridge we realised that this was not true. We attempted to enter Nelson Street but police stopped us and directed to take a detour of this area. We found out later that two or three landmines on parachutes had been dropped on Nelson Street, where two filled tram-cars simply disappeared, and two or three tenement buildings were flattened, killing hundreds of people. Arriving at Archie’s home we were glad to see that no damage was done, and after something to eat Archie’s mother made me have a few hours sleep, before I made my way home to Balornock. We planned to be married in June of 1942, and were officially engaged at my birthday party in May 1941, but our plans were badly upset one night when we were visiting Archie’s brother Paul, at the beginning of December of that year. We were sitting down to tea when Paul showed us the Evening paper with the headlines saying that all unmarried women over 18 would be conscripted into the Armed Forces, The Land Army, The Air Force, The Navy, or they would be directed into a factory if they were still single at the end of December. As I had no desire to do any of these things, we decided that we would bring our Wedding forward, and hurriedly made arrangements to be married on the 20th of December 1941. I can imagine the look on Archie’s mother’s face when he told her that that he was getting married in a few weeks. At the beginning of 1941 I had changed my job with Ferguson Low’s to be cashier in a Plasterers office in Eglinton Street, next to Messrs Hugh Roberton, Funeral Undertaker, who later became Sir Hugh Roberton of the Orpheus choir. This firm, Alexander Calder & Co. paid me £1 more than I got at Ferguson Low’s, raising my wage to £3- 10/-. Throughout the two to three weeks we had to prepare our wedding, every spare moment was used for this task. Archie’s brother Charlie would be best man, my sister Margaret would be best maid, and owing to the speed of our marriage, and the lack of money, it was agreed that after our marriage we would stay at Archie’s home, temporarily. We visited Govan Town Hall to arrange the details of our wedding, showing birth certificates and confirming that the date would be Saturday 20th of December, 1941 at 11-a.m. It was strange that the Registrar pointed out that he had registered my birth at Springburn. On that Saturday morning Archie and his brother Charlie arrived at 61 in a taxi, to take Margaret and I to Govan. I did not have a flower to put on that day, but Archie and Charlie both had buttonholes, and to this day, (2003) Archie has that flower crushed between the pages of his Bible. Our wedding was arranged that only Margaret, Charlie, Archie and I would be present, but Archie’s mother and his sister Isa came along. We had booked a dinner in the Cadora Restaurant in Gordon Street, and then the four of us returned to Archie’s mother’s, where she had prepared a lovely lunch and brought in a beautiful wedding cake. My sisters and Peter enjoyed a lovely afternoon with Archie’s family and a few of his relatives, until it was time for the wedding party to leave for the King’s Theatre, where J. B. Priestly’s “Goodnight Children” was playing. This turned out to be a bad choice as none of us enjoyed that show. Charlie took Margaret home to 61, and Archie and I made our way to the Bath Hotel in Bath Street, where owing to wartime regulations I made an embarrassing error. We were asked to sign the register, and Archie signed his name and handed the pen to me. When I looked at the register I found that I had written Agnes Russell, and were our faces red. The girl receptionist was very understanding, and with a smile asked me to sign my married name. This ends my story from my birth to my marriage, and if time permits Archie and I will begin to write OUR STORY.