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Scottish Memories • December 2011 Our cover image, painted by David Young, features a festive Princes Street in Edinburgh in the 1950s
M m i is published by Warners Group Publications plc, 5th Floor, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5JD, UK website: www.scottish-memories.co.uk
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M m i
W lc m t My earliest memories of Christmas conjure up images of beautifully wrapped presents stacked high, and the excitement of opening them all during the course of Christmas morning as the smell of turkey (mmm!) and brussels sprouts (yuck!) wafted across the house.
But with two elder sisters, I can also remember the almost unbearable wait for the pair
But with two elder sisters, I can also remember the almost unbearable wait for the pair of them to drag themselves out of their bedrooms while I had been sat up wide-eyed in bed since about 4am trying to listen for the sound of sleigh bells and waiting for daylight to come! The long wait was always worth it, and I can still remember most of the presents I received from Santa – a shiny red electric guitar was the one that left me gobsmacked – television programmes we watched, the food we all ate, and the laughs we shared!
It is these wonderful memories that come back to me today, as my family and I prepare for this year’s festivities. These days we often worry that Christmas has become too commercial as kids demand the latest gadgets and gizmos in their letters to the North Pole and high street shops clamour for our attention, but for most of us the spirit of the season is just as strong as it ever was, even if times have changed a little.
It’s been great fun to share readers’ memories of Christmas for this issue (page 14) and to see how the season has been celebrated in years gone by. Here’s hoping this Christmas is just as memorable for you all.
C t ts 5 Then and now £1 million funding for historic buildings, ancient Olympics at Pictavia, and the international porridge making championships!
12 Memories mailbox Readers’ letters. Plus, George Forbes’ popular Writing to Remember column
Matt Hill, Editor
35 A Scot in South Africa The story of an Edinburgh businessman who, thanks to a chance encounter, was buried thousands of miles from home 36 Made in Mauchline The story of Tartanware, the popular souvenirs which were one of Ayrshire’s most successful exports
14 My first… Christmas Readers share memories of their Christmas firsts, including Christmas on the beach and wartime festivities
18 Scotland’s last explorers TV presenter Neil Oliver follows in the footsteps of four Victorian explorers
36 From the archives Festive items from the past 39 Reader memories Christmas at the fire station, a Sixties Christmas, amateur dramatics in Ayrshire,and growing up on the ‘Costa del Clyde’!
22 The secret detective The fascinating story of the man who inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes
24 Year to remember: 1964 Films, music, headlines and prices from the mid Sixties
27 Destination Argyll Your in-depth travel guide to a picturesque region steeped in history. Win! Historic Scotland family membership worth £84!
44 Oh, what a circus! Aileen Torrance recalls the sights, sounds and smells of the Kelvin Hall Circus
48 Sights and sounds of Scotland We give you the lowdown on the latest books and CDs with a Scottish flavour
50 A country constable Our 1950s fiction series following the adventures of Fifties WPC Joan McReadie concludes as Joan deals with a spate of poaching in the village
32 Thou shalt not! We remember the days when whistling or hanging out the washing on a Sunday were serious transgressions
52 Puzzles WIN! Put the kettle on, sit back and relax with our page of puzzles and competitions!
J Sc M m i today n v 2012 c l n r n i ry! S ag 23…