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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History, Education, Place, Seasons

Schule at Abyne in Wartime     by: Gaffron, Aileen

I gaed tae Abyne schule, the auld schule at the far side o the Green. I sterted schule jist aboot the beginnin o the war. There wis jist ile lamps in the classrooms...there wis nae electricity in Abyne till efter the war. In Winter we gaed tae schule earlier in the mornin, bit we got a shorter dennertime because o that. That wis so we could get oot earlier at nicht, an save paraffin. I'd tae rin aa the wye hame an back fur ma denner, an wis fair pechin! In Winter ye didna get intae the schule till the set time. Ye froze till then. The eens frae the countryside didna get in either, even at dennertime, unless it wis affa coorse. If ye cairriet a dennertime piece, ye'd tae eat it cauld unless ye'd an affa fine teacher. Then, ye micht get tae heat yer piece on the radiator.

Ye war strapped for bein late, an some bairns hid 3 miles tae wauk tae schule. Ae wee loon o five year auld I myne on, hid tae see tae the coos afore he cam tae schule. Aa the country eens hid tae wirk on the fairms.The Glentanar bairns didna come tae Abyne till they war 11 years auld, an they whyles got aff the schule for a day tae ging beatin fur the sheets, fin the grouse season wis on.

We niver hid ony air raids, bit ye did get air raid warnins. It wisna een o yon lood sirens they hid in the toon. A wumman on a bike blew a fussle for the warnin an cam roon again ringin a bell for the 'All Clear'. If ye didna bide near the schule ye wis sent tae somebody's hoose nearhaun the Green, and peety help ye if ye didna hear the 'All Clear'. Eence, me an ma frien Libby, didna, an we got an affa row for bein late back!

We aa hid black-oot blinds at oor windaes at nicht, bit even so, if ma mither wis oot at the Guild or the Rural an ma faither wis oot wi the Home Guard, ma grunny widna licht the ile lamp, jist a wee caunle. An she even pit a shade roon it in case the licht keekit roon a corner o the blind and alerted the Luftwaffe!

The back o aa the classrooms durin the war war stackit up wi widden boxes. I believe they war full o emergency food supplies in case we wis invaded. Ilkie box hid eneuch for ten fowk. There wis fower in my faimly, ma grunnie, ma mither and faither and me, sae we wis paired up wi a faimly o six. Of coorse we niver needit the emergency food. We'd aa tae cairry gas masks. Ye got them in a cardboord box wi a towe tae cairry ower yer showder.

Fin they came tae the village the evacuees war like fish ooto watter. They'd come frae a puir bit o Glasgow. Maist o them war Catholics, wi different accents frae oors. It maun hae bin different for them, comin tae Abyne frae a big toon like Glasgow. They were different in aa kin o wyes an they'd hae bin fair lost wioot their femilies aroon them. Fit they did bring wi them tho wis an affa good teacher that hid us deein a schule play ilkie year that we pit on in the Victory hall.

The nearest thing we got that ye could caa war damage wis ae time that the Home Guard wis practisin on the Big Green. They wis supposed tae sheet at a pile o aal cars, bit it gaed fleein ower the heid o the cars an set fire tae a pailin ower bi the Huntly Arms!



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