By Sheila Anderson
It amazes me that Archie and I and a handful of others are the only people with memories of Dunscore that go back 50 years and more. There has been such an influx of new people in the community and the sad loss of so many of the old characters over the past decade. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Pam Mitchell and I were the young mums who attended church regularly – probably thinking that most folk there were pretty ancient…. and now we are creeping relentlessly towards that category!
I’ll take the most sensible route and start from my earliest memories and work up until my memory starts to get hazy …. Short term memory lapses probably started kicking in about 10 years ago!!!
Being a fermer’s dochter … I’ll start with my pedigree! My dad farmed Garrieston (turn right at the Crossroads when heading up the Glen – first farm on the right). He went there with his elderly parents and his sister in about 1938 I think – having been further up the Glen at Glaisters prior to that! My mum meanwhile looked after her dad and 5 brothers at Milton farm (just in front of where we have lived for the past 34 years) – she also ran a wee shop and post office in a tin hut attached to the house. And so it came about that my dad romantically trotted down the glen on his gallant mare for his stamps and his 20 Capstan cigarettes … and the rest is history!
Anyway …. I came along in 1951 and one of my first memories (circa 1954) is of being on my wee white pony Snowball when aged about 3 and going to the Glen school for Sunday afternoon tea with Miss Gallacher the teacher. She was a very close friend of my mum and dad and a real character …though that is more from heresay as she retired just before I started at Glenesslin school in 1956. She had been there for many years, having taught by uncles and my mum in their primary school days Miss Gallacher and my dad were frequently the speakers at Burns Suppers – dad would toast the lassies and she would reply.
Glenesslin School was wonderful! There were about 13-15 of us throughout the 5 years I was lucky enough to be educated there. Mrs Setz our teacher (the only one) taught us all wonderfully well in a classroom attached to the school house. I remember it as a very happy time. It must have been very difficult for Mrs Setz to keep us all going – it was individual attention at its best! But it must have been a bit like spinning plates at times to keep us all in work!
One problem I do remember she had to contend with each year was… in the days prior to playgroups,… the trauma experienced by shepherd’s children who came from very isolated and outlying cottages up the Glen – Nether Craigenputtock, Craigenvey etc. Children whose parents didn’t have cars and who had rarely been away from their homes and never from their mums – they rarely saw other children and some were almost feral .. but in a nice way. Suddenly they were deposited in a large roomful of children … and they howled … it seemed for days!
All through this 5 year period my classmates remained static – there was myself, George Moffat (who farms Glenesslin) and Colin Kennedy who is Isobel Hastings’s son. We mostly all played together – the 13 of us – in the playground at break time – skipping, beds, ballgames and a game called Black Peter which involved all of us running from the top of the playground where the shed was to the dyke at the bottom. Another reason for us all to run down the playground and hang over the dyke was when a young Brian Easton roared down on his motor bike…. We all waved furiously and he did the same.
The toilets were in the playground and were roofless. This caused two quite awful problems – in the winter they froze solid … which proved most unpleasant and secondly, as there was a high dyke immediately to the back of them, it was very easy for the boys to climb up and peer down at the embarrassed girls below – my sister became amazingly adept at urine retention until she got home from school. My bladder was not so accommodating! Another embarrassment I remember involved me falling in the burn in the wood across from the school. It was our play area at lunch time (Health & Safety would have a field day nowadays!)
We knew all the easy trees to climb and the accommodating branches that were easy to get to and would bough over but not break. Unfortunately I fell in the burn one day and remember suffering the indignity of having my knickers exposed to everyone for the afternoon! They were unceremoniously rinsed out by the teacher and hung on the railed guard surrounding the large anthracite burning stove in the middle of the classroom. Many a pair of wet breeks or socks were dried off over the years in this fashion!
The mornings were always pleasantly interrupted when Davie the Dinner Man in his brown overall, appeared in his maroon van with the school dinners in metal boxes. The meals were diabolical – especially the soup and the Irish stew! Two farmers wives – Mrs Lamont and Mrs Brown – came along on their bikes from Skinford to serve them up to us at our desks and then wash the dishes.
Although this talk is supposed to be about ‘Growing up in Dunscore’ … in actual fact for the first nine years it was really ‘Growing up ‘Up the Glen’! Dunscore was the equivalent of Dumfries to my younger sister Moira and I in those days. Our schooling was at the Glen school, our entertainment –hallowe’en and Christmas parties, whist drives, concerts, ceilidhs etc were all held in the Bowling Hut – which stood half way between Milton and the crossroads. Much of the entertainment was provided by Geordie McNeil and his fiddle … who was the dairyman at Glenesslin – he used to say he ate neither ‘Eggs, tomatoes, butter nor cheese’ which my mum found a pain when she was feeding the men from other farms when they came to help at hay and threshing times … or memorably pig killing times – but we won’t go down that particular memory lane – except to say it was very noisy … and I used to run and hide under the bedclothes!!!
Similarly, our Sports/Fun/school picnic days were always held on the lawns at Dunesslin, just down the glen from the school, courtesy of Mrs Milne. I can remember mum telling me that when she was a wee girl at the Glen school in the 1920s, her mum, my granny saved her silver threepenny bits to be handed out to the winners of races and to the poorer children at the end of the summer term!
One of the more daunting annual events I remember was the joyous inter-school sports day … I think they were held at Thornhill … but can’t be sure. We were all bussed somewhere. It comprised of half a dozen small schools (probably those with under 25 pupils) competing against each other. This proved extremely exhausting and not very lucrative for me! As mentioned earlier, I was the only girl in my class … so in every girls’ race for that particular age group … there was no choice for the Glen school – I was it! I have never been sylph-like and so staggered home near the end of the 100 yards to be grabbed and bundled into a meal bag for the sack race …. And then tied to one of the two boys, the aforementioned Colin or George to undertake the three legged race…. And so it went on …. It was a blessed relief to get back on the bus for the return journey!
Mrs Setz did provide me with lots of encouragement and never was the phrase ‘It’s the taking part and not the winning that’s important’ more appropriate … despite the fact I was never going to be a Mary Bignal .. if anyone remembers her …. I did my best and was always enthusiastic … at the beginning of the afternoon anyway – I was totally knackered by the end! In a photo looked out by Isobel, we won the shield on one occasion – I presume I must have done better in my age group that year!
Anyway, the only time we visited Dunscore (2 miles away) was on a Friday after school when dad went to get petrol and sundries at Rankine’s garage and large shop – more an ironmongers – you could buy anything from paint to ploughshares as well as cars and bits for tractors, bicycles etc.
My mum, on the other hand, didn’t need to go anywhere for her household provisions – she had the luxury of everything being brought to her by way of numerous vans that came round. On a weekly basis there was Rennie the baker and the fishman from Thornhill on a Monday, while McMichaels the bakers came on a Tuesday and Thursday – I really looked forward to the latter as it was Ronnie Hamilton who was a regular at church before he moved south (large moustache) who was vanman. He was always full of fun and we loved the banter. Tuesdays and Fridays the Dunscore butcher Bob McFarlane came in his van – “sausages are the boys” was one of his phrases – haven’t a clue what it signified. Tuesday was indeed a busy day as the greengrocer Jimmy Stitt who lived in Pam’s house peddled his wares too. He had a whole different way of speaking English from the rest of us …. He always called mum Mistress e.g. ‘How are ye the day Mistress’ but he muddled his pronouns about e.g. “Mrs Smith up the glen had a wean this morning … it did she” or “it was a right rough night o’ rain … it was it’ and many more such interesting turns of phrase.
But I digress …
There was most important of all – Kirks Van on a Friday – with Len Goudie behind the wheel or if he was off, Jean Dourie came along. Kirks van was huge to our wee eyes in that you climbed in and there was a passage up the middle so that you could see all the groceries. We always got a 3d packet of crisps – plain only and they were always stale! Not only Kirk’s van but Kirk’s whole business – Derek Kirk at the helm – was huge! There were about 7 vans on the road in those days. Agnes Melville worked in Kirks shop in the village and as well as the top shop they had the wine store(!) and the bottom shop cum Post Office (part of Willow Bank) which sold overalls, men’s working clothes, jumpers, shirts and carpets … and I’m not sure what else. I remember going in with dad to be measured for his new bib and brace overalls and Mrs Crocket who worked there teasing him about her chance to get her arms round him – I was very deeply shocked!
As well as food vans there was Raymond Binks alias ‘Johnnie a’ Things’ who had a van filled with everything from a needle to a bucket and mop.
Then there was the most exciting visit of Jim ‘Rags’ Fergusson whose hair turned white overnight when he was in a Japanese POW camp (facts of these kind were very impressive to a youngster and always remembered!!). Jim worked for Kerr’s the drapers in Thornhill and came at about 3.30pm on a Thursday afternoon every three months (I think!). He would methodically and meticulously open up his brown paper string-tied parcels to reveal, shirts, towels, tablecloths, trousers, nightdresses, long drawers, summer pants, women’s knickers, liberty vests for us etc. for mum to examine and buy or not buy. After each viewing of the contents of the brown paper parcel he would methodically and meticulously tie it back up again and move on to the next. He was much respected and liked … and always had afternoon tea with us.
On the farm. afternoon tea was served every day at a laid table at 4pm – the men came in from the fields, just before starting the milking and it was ‘Darling Buds of May’ stuff – the table groaned with home baked scones, pancakes, sponges, gingerbread etc. Mum did massive bakings at least twice a week! Another six monthly visit was from a very sophisticated tea seller from Edinburgh from whom mum bought her supply of teas – sadly I can’t remember either his name or the company’s … but it was all very ‘upmarket’ he spoke with a best Edinburgh accent and we reciprocated in our pit-oan posh Dunscore dialect! There were too the packmen who came with their suitcases … but they were never made too welcome … mum preferred her regular local sources whom she knew and trusted.
As well as these regular visitors to the house there was also the daily visit at 9.30am of Chris Little and the Caledonian milk lorry to take away our supply of milk in 10 gallon cans – the name of our farm and registration number were inscribed on the metal lid of each can (Garrieston ??256). As kids we loved the visits of all the above as our lives were quite isolated during the summer holidays – dad was always very busy on the farm, as were the workers who we were not supposed to keep off their work. So the van drivers, milk lorry, travellers (reps for farm products) were always a source of interest to us.
During the summer holidays Chris would often let Moira and I get into the passenger side of the big milk lorry and we would go up the glen with him to all the dairy farms collecting their milk and returning their empty cans … and he would drop us off at the crossroads on his way back down. Today, Health and Safety, Health & Hygiene, Motor Lorry Insurance and a lack of Disclosure Scotland to name but a few, would prohibit any such dreadful activity taking place – but we loved it, sitting up high in the lorry cabin feeling really grown up and important! Bill Foster, the Insurance Man from Moniaive, used to do the same … but he only had a car so it wasn’t nearly so exciting!
The monthly overnight visit of Betty Turnbull, the Milk Tester, was always a highlight. She was good fun and we loved to be in her company and smell the chemicals she used to test her little test tubes of milk for brucellosis etc. We rarely had holidays as dad always had the milking … but we once spent a happy week at Betty’s house in Cumnock.
Hay time on the farm was wonderful. Even when I started working in the University in Edinburgh I used to take my holidays to cover haytime so that I could drive the tractor and help stack the bales. My memory was jogged by mum a few weeks ago. Mum has dementia now but remembers things automatically when she doesn’t have to think about it! She was over at our house one Sunday afternoon in July and kept asking and forgetting that Archie was baling the Lowry’s wee field of hay across the road from us at Milton for Charlotte’s horses. When I was taking her home she asked when Archie would be home and I said somewhat tersely ‘When he’s finished baling!” At which she remarked ‘He’ll be fine though as he’d get his tea and scones in the hayfield and his dinner there at night’!! It brought back memories of all the wonderful days I walked with mum across the fields helping to carry the basket with tea towel over the top… hiding scones, pancakes, Victoria sponge etc. When I was old enough I was allowed to carry the big teapot! When I got back from taking mum home that day last month, I let Frances Lowry know that a glass of orange juice was really not what was acceptable for workers at haytime – not at least in my mum’s eyes!!!
When I was little, our 200 acre farm supported 2 full-time workers as well as dad and a few others who came part-time to help with dyking etc. These were a great source of entertainment to us – Billy Waterhouse came to us from Pollock in Glasgow when he was 15 – he looked like Billy Fury and when 16 got a motor bike and was much fancied by all the girls in the community. Jimmy Clarke, who came to dyke said he had a niece called Peculia who sang – I’ve often wondered if indeed Petula Clark was a relative!
Going to church – This was not too regular an occurrence I have to say, despite my grampa having been a staunch Elder in Dunscore Church who read the bible to his family at home daily and twice on a Sunday! I remember a number of occasions when we got all dressed up (best coat and hat!) and then not getting to the kirk as a cow was calving or dad had temporarily lost three sheep in the far away field or whatever. The Setz family walked from the Glen schoolhouse – they were the equivalent of Alison, David and the Ball family now. In the days long before healthy lifestyles were the norm, the idea of walking to church from Glenesslin school, a distance of about 2 miles was considered stone mad when they had a perfectly good car in the garage!
As is the case today, Dunscore Gala was much looked forward to. My dad, a piper, led the procession from the school (now the pre-school) down to the playing field – I was first, followed by my sister and then my cousin from Dumfries and then everyone else …. On one occasion I was dressed as Hopalong Cassidy – I had no idea who he was as we didn’t have ITV! On another occasion my friend Kay Boyes and I dressed up as ‘Auld Ireland’ – I wore a long skirt, a tartan plaid etc. and Kay was dressed as a working man with a bunnet and a beer bottle in her pocket! The reason for this choice was that I had a very good and accommodating donkey as a pet at the time and thought it would be great to have him in the line-up!
As well as races, and other activities, Dad would entertain everyone with a sheep dog demonstration but on one occasion this went somewhat awry as it was running alongside the clay pigeon shooting – the sheep and sheepdogs were not impressed! Dad also brought along his tractor and a wide board – like a large thick ski. This was attached to the tractor and like water skis – participants held on to two ropes as they were pulled along the field …. Again Health & Safety would never condone this form of entertainment today! But there were always long queues for a ‘go’ on it at the Gala.
When I was 9, The Glen school tragically closed and we were taken in Mrs Hastings landrover to Dunscore School. I remember being really sad and worried when this huge transition from the Glen to Dunscore was about to happen. I don’t much like change, and the thought of going from the wee Glen that I knew to a big school with I think 50 pupils, as it was then, in Dunscore, was really daunting. We also felt we would be away behind in our schoolwork compared to these suburban Dunscore children!! This proved not to be the case – our excellent individual teaching by Mrs Setz, meant that we were in fact ahead of our fellow pupils, which I remember gave me an instant confidence boost over the first few weeks.
Mr Simpson was our headmaster. A good man and a good teacher. He was a member of the Church Board as well as the Scout Master and probably involved in other village committees too. He was a good Christian … BUT he was volatile … to put it mildly!! He had an awful bad temper and would suddenly blow up, turn very red, shout and then belt the offending children – as was the case in those days. I remember getting terrible ‘frights’ when he went into these rages … and I made sure I was never on the receiving end of them!
Memories of school playtimes at Dunscore were not quite so happy and serene as at the Glen school. There was a difficult time when I remember a gang-type culture. One person was ousted and not spoken to – although you had to be in the ‘gang’ I remember hating this side of it – especially when I was the one that was ousted – albeit only for a week or two – but it seemed forever! Girls then could be really bitchy aged 10 or 11 – but I’m sure that’s not the case nowadays in Dunscore school!! There were, though, lots of happy playtimes. I loved the times when we re-scripted the latest episode of ‘Laramie’ on the television – I wanted always to play ‘Jess Harper’ the handsome cowboy but usually ended up playing Daisy Cooper – the plump, cosy housekeeper in the series!
When I was in Primary 7 and one of the ‘big ones’ we were much excited in the final term by the construction of the new school just up the road. There were a couple of really nice looking brickies that we became quite fanatical about. We did a lot of wandering up and down to the junction in our lunch break to study the bricklaying techniques used!
School plays and concerts were great fun – I remember playing the leading lady in a short comedy in the Glenriddell Hall at the end of P7– and also reciting a couple of Scottish poems along with Derek Clark (Merlin Office Supplies) – which I loved doing … and still do!
In my final year at Dunscore (aged 10) I remember biking to the Hall with Isabel and her daughter, Daisy, to a Daffodil tea or a Sale of Work and seeing Archie (my other half – probably aged about 20 then) walking along Church Crescent pushing his racing-type bike with his left hand … while his right arm was around his then girl-friend’s waist. I distinctly remember thinking I wanted to be that old and be in that kind of set-up… he must have impressed me .. even then!
There you go – although by the time we started going out together –I was 16 and Archie was 26 … he had a sooped up Ford Cortina which roared a lot and could be heard changing gear at Milton – I lived not there but at Garrieston remember… which was fully a mile away! As you can imagine this romance was not initially much relished by my parents …. But I went off to College and they grew accustomed to it – and Archie eventually became my father’s much loved son-in-law – since he could fix all the tractors, the ancient and also much-loved baler and all other farm equipment! Many a night I was dressed up to go out on a date … only for dad to hi-jack Archie to come and have a wee look at something that wasnae’ working just right – and we would end up staying in!
I digress though …
Two of my father’s pastimes provided the somewhat limited social life we had growing up on a farm in the Glen.
Sheep Dog Trials – I have no desire ever to go to one again – and the series on TV ‘One Man and his Dog’ was a definite no-no as far as I was concerned. Dad had about 8 collie dogs – all kept outside. He was well-known nationally as a good trainer and breeder of collies and he took part – on many Saturdays of the year in sheep dog trials – I learned much of my geography – not in the school room – but from the location of sheep dog trials – Wanlockhead, Dalry, Penton, Moniaive, Lesmahagow – and the bigger ones – the National sometimes in Dumfriesshire – sometimes as far away as Oban or even Golspie in Sutherland where we had a lovely few days holiday as well! Anyway many Saturdays saw my sister and I in a field somewhere watching dogs chase sheep! As we got older we even got to present the prizes at the smaller Nursery Trials in the area – especially when they were held at Garrieston!
A happier part of my upbringing involved the Dunscore Concert party. This was ‘huge’ in the 50s and 60s … or so it seemed to me …– with about 20 local folk involved. They were all very talented and took their entertainment round many village halls, schools etc in Dumfries & Galloway. They raised at that time a lot of money for charity and were once featured in the centre pages of the Sunday Post! Mr Warren (Katie’s dad) was, I think, sometimes the MC … as was Jake McNaught – owner of the builder’s business at Burnhead – and Archie’s mum’s cousin. He also was the magician – who did amazing things with his magic wand. I remember one day when he was at our house – and after a particularly annoying morning of squabbles with my sister Moira – asking him if he could get me a magic wand – I distinctly remember relishing all the nasty things I would do to her when I had the power!
There were singers –Lorna McNaught and Miss Harvey. Dorothy Black – now Dorothy Martin who many know from church – accompanied on the piano … she was also the church organist and Brownie leader at one time. All were excellent. Mary Johnstone, an accomplished pianist and Davie Johnstone, her father, was the most wonderful violinist. There were also accordianists, fiddlers, a miming act, and a singing double act – Jimmy Menzies and Ivy Anderson. My dad contributed not a little as he played about 14 instruments in all – the best known being his musical glasses (featured on Antiques Roadshow), his bottles, bagpipes, mouth organs, banjo, ukelele, jaw’s harp, bones, spoons, etc etc. He was also the comedian and could tell jokes continually for ages – a talent which our son Finlay inherited. Finlay once told jokes from Ayr to Thornhill non-stop – by which time his sister Iona was attempting to silence him by whatever methods were available to her!
Anyway, the concerts were great fun. Many of their ‘practice nights’ were held in our sitting room and I remember when I was wee being really angry that we had to go to bed for school the next day when there was such wonderful accordian and fiddle music being played, and Scots songs like ‘The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen’ or ‘The Road and the Miles to Dundee’ being sung!
Pastimes we enjoyed on the farm including guddling in the burn – dad dredged one area of burn on Garrieston ground near Goosedubs and so we had a deep pool to swim in . I remember swimming in it every single day of the school holidays when I was 10 – we shared it with cows and sheep … but came to no harm(!). I also had a pet calf – Goldie – who I remember cuddling up to when I had been chastised for some misdemeanour. She went on to produce the highest milk yield of any cow my father ever had and remained pet until her death. We inevitably had Pinky, Topsy, Snowy, Rosie – pet lambs over the years whom we loved and fed each morning before school and when we came home. I also loved going into the warm byre at milking time after walking home from the Glen school on freezing cold days to help with whatever tasks were needing doing – though my sister, Moira, was far better at this – she did lots of jobs on the farm… I preferred the warmth of the farm kitchen and a good book!
We didn’t much get away from the farm – which was the norm in those days. There were Brownies, Guides, Sunday School in Dunscore – but it was too far away to cycle in the winter and dad was too busy to take us…. though Moira did make it to Brownies! Milking cows was a very demanding lifestyle! We did however have a tourer cum static caravan at Sandgreen near Gatehouse – it sat on it’s own on a piece of ground away from the few others that were there! Dad would leave us there and come back when he could – between milkings.
I remember the McFadzeans coming with their tourer to join us – Mattie and Henry and some of their 4 boys and 2 girls. We were already quite a company – my mum and dad and sister, 2 cousins and an aunt and uncle who came up from the Midlands each year. An aunt, uncle and cousin from Dumfries and their three friends would also come for the day on Saturdays and Sundays! Those who stayed slept on the beds and the floor of the caravan, in a tent outside and in a Ford Prefect my dad owned. We had wonderfully happy days there – dad would produce his bagpipes and we would be performing eightsome reels and drops of brandy on the beach late at night! Noise abatement laws would probably kick in today! My cousins taught me to swim when I was six in the sea at Sandgreen.
It’s sad to be without The George Hotel at present … when I remember how it was in the 60s and 70s. In the days when Norman and Roma McLeod were ‘mine hosts’ and when we were ‘courting’ it was really difficult on a Saturday night to push the front door open to get into the hall!!
Members of the concert party – particularly Bruce Cullen and probably Jake McNaught and sometimes dad, would be entertaining in the ‘big room’ and many regulars with a good voice came along to do their particular ‘party pieces’. You had to be there by 7pm to get a seat! Folk came from as far away as Gretna on a regular basis to Saturday nights in Dunscore Pub (the George Hotel) and it was known far and wide as a popular venue – not for meals .. just for entertainment and a drink. The Drink/Driving laws saw the numbers decrease and this form of entertainment became outdated! But it was fun while it lasted! Although…. My mum was not that happy about Archie taking me to the George as it was a pub-type place without a restaurant and she would have been horrified if ever I had gone into the main bar – which was mostly a male domain in those days! Not where young ladies should be going on a night out!
Talking of what I should or should not have done – Finlay, our son, maintained that he lived by the rules not of his parents or grandparents but great-grandparents. He, for example, wasn’t allowed to meet up on his bike with his mates at certain popular spots when he was 10 or 11 because I wasn’t allowed to by my mum when we lived at Garrieston and she in her time was not allowed to do so by her parents when she lived at Milton! So he felt it was a great disadvantage living at Milton where the same ground rules applied over three generations!
I passed my Control or 11+ and went to Dumfries Academy – again a daunting experience as I had rarely been to town on my own. Suddenly I had to leave the house at 7.35am to walk down to the crossroads to be collected by the Hastings landrover at 7.45am… to get the 8.10am bus at Milton. The process was repeated on the way home and I didn’t get back to the farm until 5.15pm – a long day when you were 11.
Unlike today when children go into school for a couple of days the term before starting in their secondary school, you were straight in at the deep end. I hated my first few weeks at Dumfries Academy – but grew to love it – particularly the last couple of years when I was involved on Committees and was Secretary of the School Magazine Committee!
I decided to go to Edinburgh to train as a medical secretary on the advice of the Dunscore Minister of the day who we were friendly with – Jack Masterton whose daughter had done the same training before me. I started going out with Archie in the summer before I went off to College for 2 years … but came home to see him on a fairly regular basis. I then worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Edinburgh University as a medical secretary for 2 years. But I missed community life – Edinburgh at times seemed a cold place where neighbours hardly knew each other – and I missed Archie – and there wasn’t a hope in hell of him coming to Edinburgh to live … so I returned to Dunscore to work first at Crichton and then at Cresswell Maternity Hospital as a medical secretary.
In those days, and probably now, not many young people returned to the village – so within a few weeks, I was a Sunday School teacher along with Jean Farish, a Guider – and a Youth Club leader along with Dick Farish and our policeman Davie Tait. The first Disco held in Dunscore took place for the Youth Club in Glenriddell Hall – kids from all over the Upper Nithsdale area appeared and enjoyed dancing to music on twin turntables borrowed from a Youth Worker in Dumfries and operated by Archie and myself! Tastes were a lot simpler then!
We got engaged, got married here in Dunscore Kirk in 1974 where I was baptised and joined the church and the pair of us moved – Archie from Moss Cottage below the school and me down from Garrieston … to our home at Milton – marriage is about meeting each other half way at times … well we really did meet half way geographically between our two abodes –to set up house as a married couple …. Had two kids …both became Elders of Dunscore Church … and lived happily ever after!