A Base in Town
"My sisters and
I were children in the mid 60’s and lived at Gracemount.
We were fortunate that our Grannie Hardie
lived in Atholl Crescent, in the centre of town. Her house was very handy
as a base (and toilet) when we were in town.
She was also a larger-than-life
character and always seemed pleased to see her many grandchildren. Her
house was a spacious basement flat and we all have happy memories of that
happy home, including damp ridden walls and cold stone floors."
Saturday mornings we would get the bus down to Princes Street and go to
the Ross Bandstand. I don’t recall much of the
entertainment but there was singing and dancing which we all joined in.
Then, thanks to the proximity of grannie's
house, we would make our way to Atholl Crescent. Sometimes
when we arrived she was in the middle of baking scones or making pancakes.
There's nothing quite like either of these
delicacies hot, with melted butter on them.
Even turning up unexpectedly, we were
guaranteed something to eat and drink. Plain fare, but delicious. She
could conjure up a plate of chips and a cup of tea before you had time to
get back from the outside loo!"
"One of my own
treats during the school summer holidays would be to spend the day with
grannie. A typical day would be to get a number 31 bus from Lasswade Road
down to the stop at Atholl Place. Gran’s house was only a short skip and
jump from there.
I would sometimes be asked to empty the
mousetrap - a detestable job but one which made
me feel like a grown up in grannie’s eyes. She was always full of praise
for a good job done when the poor wee mite was buried in the back garden."
occasions I would chum her up to Dalry Road to help her with her shopping.
This was usually rewarded with 3d to spend. Other times she would ask me
to go and get one or two things for her.
I recall being sent to the
(Dumfriesshire Dairy Co) in West Maitland Street
for milk and, I think, Scott Lyons for bread (or was there a bakers in
Morrison Street?) I was to get 'a well-done
wheaten loaf'. I rehearsed it so many times
before arriving at the shop."
"If I had 3d to
spend, I would usually dally outside the sweet
shop just along from the 'Dummy'
gorging my eyes on the wonderful array of loose sweets they kept in little
glass bowls in the window. I don’t recall ever going into that shop as my
3d wasn’t up to it. Instead, it was round
to Jenny Halliday’s shop, I think
in Grove Street. The sweets had to be very carefully picked with a
mixture of nice tasty and long-lasting."
felt like a long, calm, relaxing day at my grannie’s house I would set off
home – often walking all the way to Gracemount, sometimes doing that thing
where I would run full pelt for a couple of streets, then walk again,
getting my breath back. It was a long walk but I was usually in a happy
mood – and it saved me 3d."
from 18A Atholl Crescent in 1972 and passed away in 1993 at the age of 98.
The whole family misses her.
A clear thinking cousin had the lovely
idea of placing a bench in her memory in the gardens at Atholl Crescent,
just across from the basement flat at 18A. It sits there proudly today – a
pleasant spot where we can still visit Grannie Hardie in Atholl Crescent."
Alan Fentiman, Bournemouth, Dorset,
England: July 5, 2008