(Post by Mark Arbuckle of Glasgow – May 2022)
These two photographs were posted to a Facebook page devoted to the town of Clydebank .
They immediately stirred up a few memories of myself and friends playing around this area in the late sixties.
The area beyond the building on the far right hand side was a bomb site left by The Clydebank Blitz in March 1941. We used to play in it when I was about 10 years old.
The stone foundations of the long gone tenements were still there and we used to jump on and off them reenacting scenes from a cowboy or space adventure film we’d watched at the ABC Minors the previous Saturday.
I slipped and fell on a shard of glass. One of our group said that it was the actual window glass from the 1941 bombing….but it was more likely a smashed Eldorado bottle!
Anyway I got a deep cut on my left palm and there was a lot of blood.
It added realism to our games for a while but eventually I had to go home to get it seen to……and I still have the scar!
On the left of the pic where the van is parked was Branks General Store. I was rarely in it but I do vividly remember the story about a man, that lived in one of the tenements close by, that had flashed/molested/ abducted/a young girl!!!….. everytime the story was told it was exaggerated and embellished!
It was probably an urban myth but we always ran past it anyway just in case!
My last memory also involves running…..A LOT of running!
There was a local guy, Joe, with learning difficulties, who lived in the local Children’s Home.
One hot summer’s morning our 5 strong group were gathered on the corner deciding how to spend our day when we spotted Joe about 200 yards away at the top of the road.
Someone shouted at Joe….It would’ve been something innocuous like ‘Whit ur ye daein’ oot?’
Joe was about 14/15, small but very powerfully built!
He started to run towards us like a bull charging with his head down!
We all took off down the road towards the school.
We reached the bus stop, in the pic, and still Joe chased us! Maybe he just wanted to join in with us but we weren’t taking any chances. So we ran!
We were hoping the bus would come but no such luck!
We continued to run up Second Avenue past Branks shop and still Joe gained on us!
We were all really struggling now with ‘stitches’ and shin splints…..the curse of growing 10/11 year olds ….and still Joe came!
Eventually we risked a glance back and Joe had stopped about 50 yards behind us and had turned around and was walking back towards the shop!
Had he continued he’d have caught us in the next minute or two! We were all exhausted and vowed never to taunt Joe again!
But we never saw him again…maybe he was moved to another home?
He was some runner!!!
4 thoughts on “running on empty.”
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Back in the late 70s and early 80s, when I was a kid, getting to my teens, I was getting into photography and took a lot of photos of my hometown for basically, just practise … a lot of shots of the home neighborhood, its houses, school, the factories downtown a few miles away. I wish I still had those photos because so much has changed there, many of them are gone and of course, a lot of the open fields and woods are now wall-to-wall subdivisions and offices. Surprising which photos evoke nostalgia in people, isn’t it?
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Indeed. There are a few Facebook pages devoted to ‘old Glasgow’ and surrounding areas. I love looking through them. 🙂
I love looking at older pictures… espcecially then and now pics to see how things have changed. Sometimes it’s for the better but other times the personality gets ripped out of a place.