Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This old photo, taken from the Cross in Kirkintilloch looks down the High Street with the Black Bull Inn on the left. When the town became “dry” and the pubs were closed, the building became the Black Bull cinema. After the Second World War, like so many small cinemas it closed down, re-opening as a Bingo Hall, and for a good few years now it has been a night club.

The High Street was the main road into the town from the east, but some time ago it was closed off just past the old Black Bull building to make room for a new road.


This used to be a popular traditional song -

Yestreen the Queen had four Marys
The nicht she’ll hae but three,
There was Mary Seaton and Mary Beaton
And Mary Carmichael and me.

Oh, often have I dressed my Queen
And put on her braw silk gown
But all the thanks I've got tonight
Is to be hanged in Edinburgh Town

Fill often have I dressed my queen
Put gold upon her hair
But I have got for my reward
The gallows to be my share.

Oh little did my mother ken
The day she cradled me
The land I was to travel in
The death I was to dee.

Oh, happy, happy is the maid
That's born of beauty free
It was my rosy dimpled cheeks
That's been the death o’ me.

Many people thought that the four Marys were ladies in waiting to Mary Queen of Scots, while others believed that they were at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and that the fourth Mary was Mary Queen of Scots herself.

It’s known that, while Mary Queen of Scots was in France, she was accompanied by Mary Seaton, Mary Beaton, Mary Livingstone and Mary Fleming, and another Mary - Hamilton has also been linked to the story.

So, is it fact or fiction? No one really knows, but the general opinion seems to be that the song has no historical basis.


This is a slide show of old Kirkintilloch. Some of the pictures are scenes from the distant past, but others aren’t so old.
At 1 minute 11 seconds, there’s a view of the High Street from the eastern end looking up towards the Cross.
At 1 minute 26 seconds, the photo shows the Eastside flooded.
At 2 minutes 6 seconds, half of the picture is modern and the other half is old. Strange!


I’ve been remembering that, when I was a boy, the Co-operative Society had an amazing number of premises in the town.
There were 5 groceries, there was the baker’s shop, the butcher’s, the fish shop, the drapery shop with clothing and shoes, the furnishing and electrical department, the bakery, the creamery, the catering department for weddings and social functions, the coal depot, the funeral office, and stables for the horses which pulled the vans and lorries, delivering all your requirements to your door. And not forgetting the message boys carrying your groceries on their bicycles.

The whole organisation was directed from the Townhead offices under the ever watchful eye of wee Tommy Duncan.(I used to hear all about him, for my father was manager of the main grocery shop.)

Today in our district the Co-op has just 3 outlets, 2 food shops, one in Kirkintilloch, one in Lenzie, and a funeral and undertakers department.


One of my EIGHTY PLUS blogs at Christmas included a video of a man with a Santa Claus hat, playing a recorder. Here he is again, miming to a 1934 record of Roy Fox and his Band with Denny Dennis.


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