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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History, Education, Place

Schules an Sheep Faulds bi the Dee     by: Taylor, Alistair

Miss Grieve wis my first teacher. And then Kipper Reid. I dinna ken fit wye she wis caad Kipper. . .an affa perjink body. I can see her legs yet. We war sittin in tiered rows in the auld classroom, an as she walkit up an doon, us wee bairns sittin at the desk got an impression o knee height. She’d affa bonnie leather shoes. Immaculately dressed.

Efter that, it wis Thrashin Mill. She wis a fearsome character! She’d an affa temper. She eesed tae thrash ye. That wis the wye she wis caad Thrashin Mill. If ye grat. . .ye seen learned tae bubble. . .she relentit an put her haun in her desk for a pandrop an shoved it in yer mou. It wis a mixture atween the strap an the pandrop.

The war arrived in the middle o Thrashin Mill’s class. Then the evacuees descended an we gaed ontae half day teachin. Tarland wis still a junior secondary school. . .there wisna sae mony bairns comin frae ootside intil Abyne as there is noo. We hid the Glen bairns frae GlenTanar. There wid hae bin Dinnet Bairns. The Thomson loons come doon frae the fit o Mortlich. Their father wis a gamekeeper. They must’ve walkit fower mile. Een o the games we played I thocht wis caad ‘Barley Door’! Bit it wis ‘Bar the Door’. It wis jist naethin ava. ‘Twis jist a line o loons that stude atween the kirk waa an a tree staunin bi itsel an you formed a line across there, an the ither hauf tried tae get by. There wis nae subtlety, nae cleverness at aa. It wis sheer brute force.

We hid an Empire day at School in the middle o summer.Every year, Lord Glentanar gaed us a title fur an essay.. .something to do with the British Empire. On the day itsel we aa wore little red an white daisies in wir lapel, an we formed a hollow square roon the flag pole. The dominie said something. We sang the national anthem, an we aa trooped doon tae St Machar Kirk Hall. The laird an his dother, the Honourable Jean . . .an affa bonnie lassie, we aa fell in love wi the Honourable Jean Coutts. . . made a speech aboot the Empire an he announced the winner o the prize. I won it once. Then we aa got a half day.

Meikle Fair wis held in October. The green wis white wi sheep. It wis a sheep sale, an it went on fur a week. An there were special trainloads o sheep gaun awa. Abyne wis full o sheep.They werena teen in on floats, they war aa wauked in. An ivery road ye went till wis full o sheep comin in! The air wis full o bleatin sheep, an they grazed them on the Green.

Fin ma mither wis wee,she gid tae Braemar schule. There wis twa schules, the Catholic schule an the Protestant schule. Roughly speaking, the village wis split bi the Cluny and most o the Catholics bedd in Auchendryne an most o the Protestants bedd in the Castleton.
Away back we war affa hame-drauchtit. We didna wander aboot an affa lot. We hid a rhyme aboot Logie Colsdtone, though...

‘The Tarlan Tinks The Migvie Gents And the Coldstone Cavaliers!’
Goodness knows fu the cavaliers got intae Coldstone!



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