Welcome, guest. To view other discussions and access other features free of any adverts, consider registering - it's free.

Signs of the past (6)



Locked
User avatar
Archivist
Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:31 am
Location: Doon the watter.

Signs of the past (6)

Post by Archivist » Mon May 12, 2014 11:11 pm

From: "Richard Maxwell" <dickiemax@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

I recall a time early 1940 when I met two of my friends who told me they had just joined the Home Guard. After explaining that you had to be 16 to join, I asked how come you got in you're only 15?."We said16" come on up and join. But I'm 14. They said tell them you're 16. The barracks were above the YMCA dance hall in Stevenston, behind the Cross Keys pub. So up I went and told them I'd like to join. The old sergeant who lived on New Street (old Harry) said "you don't look 16, but I guess you are"..... so I was now a Home Guard.

My duties were 12 hrs a week Sat. nights from 7 p.m. to 7.a.m.- first hour drilling, then cleaning the grease off hand grenades for the army. There were 16 people on duty every night patrolling different areas of the town, beginning at midnight. We travelled in fours. Our 4 was myself, Tam MacKenzie, James Barr and Alf McClymont from Saltcoats. (horse and cart Alfe). 4 tough guys in army uniform. Armed with 303 Remington rifles and 5 bullets each, old Harry handed us the bullets before we left. He didn't know we'd been in the lock up and helped ourselves to 10 each when he had to go out on "business". Always half drunk when he returns, we 4 had to patrol the beach, watching for Germans trying to land in small craft like commandoes, and anyone on the beach area was challenged by loaded gun.

Like---Halt, who goes there,---come forward and be recognised, produce your identity card. If they had no card, we took them to Stevenston police station, if they had a card they were warned it's prison to be on the beach after 11pm or perhaps shot by mistake. We patrolled from Stevenston Station to the far end of Saltcoats prom.

One night just coming to the prom, here comes a drunk, really staggering bad- Tam Mckenzie calls "halt who goes there", the guns are up, the drunk keeps coming, we were all in a line, He goes between Tam and Alfie, pushes alfie aside and say's "come to f--- out my way or I'll wrap that gun round your fn head". So now the drunk's past about 15 steps, big Alf says I should have shot that B. I said to Alf, you "probably would have if you hadn't been so scared" Alf says who's scared, lifts his gun up points it toward the drunk and lets go 2 shots....I'm telling you an Olympic runner would not have a chance against this guy, dead sober too. He went from the prom to Stevenston station in 20 seconds... This incident got us in the shooting mood, so on the way home Tam took a few shots at the swans in the White Wife ( the pond at the golf course) and I took a couple of shots at Stevenston town clock. I think with the shooting going on around Stevenston / Saltcoats that night, the Gerry's would never try landing!!! Dick


From: <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Loved that wee story Dick. I can remember around 1948 we found an old parachute on Saltcoats shore - think it must have been a cargo parachute 'cause it was not that big. Anyhoo just about where White's Ponies used to trot up and down on the sand some of the older lads would use the parachute to jump off the promenade wall on to the beach, well maybe not right there - perhaps up nearer the deckchair hut ;-) as you know even that was a fair height.

Hugh McCallum



From: <AVaneyten@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

I remember my mam telling us about finding a parachute on the beach at Stevenston. Since there were 3 or 4 girls in her family they carried home and my gran cut it up to make clothes for them stuck the cloth in dye so you could not tell where it came from. also, this I remember for myself, windows covered for the black out and don't dare open the curtains.



From: <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

In Ardrossan just after the WW2 I can remember the air raid sirens being tested on a Saturday morning about twice a year. Ours was located in the Gas Works administration building behind McDowall Avenue and across the Ardrossan to Largs railway line from Eglinton School. It was unbelievably loud. Where were the other sirens or air raid alarms in the three towns? Did they use the church bells?

Hugh McCallum


From: <scott.mccallum2@xx.com>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001

Did they use the sirens in the fifties to call the auxiliary firemen to the fire station before everyone had telephones - in the fifties and early sixties

scott mccallum


From: <hewmac@xx.net.au>
To: <threetowners@ topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001

Hi Scott,
I was a retained fireman at Ardrossan before leaving for Australia in 1964. I had a bell in the house that used to go at anytime throughout the night. When I was at work (Iron moulder at Winton Foundry near the Gas Works) I would hear the Fire Brigade Siren from the Fire Station in Barr Street. In both cases I'd be on my bike pedalling like mad - was all right in the dead of night but I think I must have scared a few folks during the day speeding on my bike.<grin>

Hugh McCallum

Click here to check out our archived topics from earlier times.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests