Earliest memories: 1953 – 55

Dad had an old tractor. It was a brown- orangey colour and had no seat. I’m not even sure if it had rubber tyres. He let me ‘drive’ it from the butchers shop down to the farm and I couldn’t really see over the steering wheel. I remember thinking the steering was off a bit as it seemed to pull to the left! It couldn’t have been my driving could it?

Dad had Clydesdale horses when he first came to Moss side. He would lift me up on to their back when he came in from ploughing and my short legs stuck straight out either side and I had to lie flat down along the horses neck to squeeze in through the stable door.

Dunscore Village was a thriving place. Farmers only went to Dumfries on Wednesday and then to trade livestock. Dad and I took a bag of corn to the miller down near Dalgonar bridge and had him thresh it into flour for Mum. We had two kists in the scullery; one for oatmeal and one for flour and they were huge. I could easily have climbed in, but I never did. The dirty laundry was gathered in an under-the-back-stairs corner of the scullery called ‘The Dookey Hole’.

The local tramp was called Tyler. He came to our door about twice a year. I particularly remember Mum being kind to him, but in a quiet, respectful way. We gave him sweet tea in his billy can and a huge doorstopper sandwich and he sometimes slept in the barn. I had never met anyone called Tyler and thought it a great name.

Do you remember the Cobblers hut, near Dick Farish’s ? The cobbler had a chair for visitors to stop and chat and his shop had a wonderful smell of leather.

Rita Phillips (McFadzean)