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Memories - What People Remember

September 10, 2009 - I'm told by Jackie Whyte, aged 81, that Jim Mollison and a female companion (Amy Johnston perhaps) landed an areoplane on Braehead Golf Course some time between the two world wars.
Andra' Whyte, Jackie's older brother, says that the plane was a Tiger Moth. The plane flew low over the village and him and other village boys followed it to see where it went. It landed on the golf course fairway near to Arnsbrae House. Andra' says that he and the other boys were writing their names on the plane's wings when the pilot came out of the big house and told them that it was all right to do that.

Nikki Lawrence, who left Tullibody for Canada in 1985, asks if people remember Jean McKechnie's shop, Punch & Judy shows in the hall next to Abercromby School, Neil Craik's Bus, Jerimia Jude (the old tramp that lived in Ochil Street in the wee house next to the tree). The man with the one arm that used to go round with the horse & cart with fruit and vegetables. Also Mr. Brown the chimney sweep who used to go round on his bike, Onion Johnny's, Tinkers selling clothes pegs and fishing for taddies in the pond at the war Memorial.

Alexander Main remembers - I was born and brought up in Tullibody and lived there from birth in 1940 until I left for Glasgow in 1970. I was born at no 2 Ochil Street (This was at that time two semi-detached houses) I lived there with my younger sister and parents till we moved to the newly built houses of Baingle Crescent (No 11) next door neighbours were the Rennie's (no12). I could if requested give the names of all the occupants of all 14 homes. Baingle Brae used to be a grand place for sledging in winter snow. I noticed myself in the Picture of school pupils taken during the forty's and also in the Scout picture were skip J Dewar is holding the shield. Ochil Street at this time connected straight to Tullibody Cross, Alloa road to the East and Stirling road to the West, Menstrie Road straight a head.

Jackie Whyte remembers Mr. Simpson ---- before World War II one of the teachers at Tullibody School was nicknamed 'Daddy Simpson'. He was an ex First World War Army officer and a keen sportsman. He lodged with the Miss Ewings in a house ('Woodlands'), which still exists (2001), on the Menstrie Road. Mr. Simpson began each day with a cold bath. He appears to have gone to Norway every year for his Holidays.

Betty Rutledge (nee Pattison), who now lives in Canada, remembers - I went to the old Tullibody School, and was a second place Ramsey Tullis Memorial Medallist. Laurence Thompson was first that year. "Daddy Simpson" was our Headmaster and I remember him taking the class to the Pool in Tullis' garden. A group of us would climb the fence from the War Memorial into the orchard and "pick" the apples. Mrs. Latimer used to own the Fish and Chip Shop and, Meg Irvine from Manor Crescent worked there. She made the best Fritters! In the winter we used to skate on the Delph or watch the "auld" men Curl on the Wee Delph.

During World War II, there was a Land Army Hostel at Cambus. Women joined the Land Army and worked on the farms. There was a Polish army camp on both sides of the Cambus Brae where the Bowling Green and Abercromby School now stand. There was also an Italian prisoner of war camp near Fishcross.

In 1947, 85 people worked at the Tannery, 120 at Cambus distillery and 20 in Knox's Brewery at Cambus. The big expansion of Tullibody began after WORLD WAR II when many new houses were built and then in the 1960s when most of the old village was demolished. In 1951, Tullibody had 216 private houses, 252 council houses and 360 Scottish Special Housing Association houses. Many new houses were also built in the 1960s to accommodate the new workers for the new Glenochil Mine. The mine failed to live up to its expectations. The mine site on the King o' Muirs road is now occupied by a prison and a new village called Glen Ochil.

David Comrie who now lives in New Zealand remembers- 'The Scotts from Clackmannan came to Tullibody in the early 50s and lived in Ladywell Drive The first new houses were on the north side of Stirling Road below the cross. At that time the Ladywell in the field at the Ditch Farm still bubbled up water and coal dust. I have jotted down details of some people and what they did around the village, Ramsey Tullis and old Mrs Tullis lived at the Baingle. We used to go beating for the shooting and gathered at the big house. The Tullises owned all the land that is now the new Tullibody and they were the Tullibody Land Co. and owned Dovecote Dairies. Jimmy McHattie was the overall farms Manager. He lived in a bungalow up at the foot of the Braes. John Shaw was the gamekeeper and lived on King o' Muirs Rd. Andrew Love was the greive and lived at the Ditch Farm. The workers at the Ditch were Jimmy Allen, who lived around Delph Rd, as well as Wull Haggert and Davie Mckie who lived at Dovecot Cottages off the low road from the Ditch road end. Dave Wilson was dairyman at the Ditch. The cows were milked and the milk bottled and sold around Tullibody and Cambus as well as from Alloa dairy in Mar street. The local bobby was Sandy Todd - his method was a cuff round the ear. Another that comes to mind is Tom Ferguson, Coal Merchant and manager of Stirling Albion. He had a son Hamish - they lived at the foot of the golf course on the low road. There was Adam Cowan who lived at Knowfaulds Farm on Menstrie Road, which reminds me of the tinkers who came ever year and camped at what was an old rubbish tip beside the farm - they were called Achterlony?. The following are a few Tullibody residents that I can remember - The Grinley family Stirling Rd - the McEwan family Str Rd - The Taylor Family Stirling rd - Dave Carruthers and his parents - Baingle Brae Agricultural Houses also in the same row - the Russel Family - Rab Ferguson, the Taylor Family Stirling Rd - the Penman family. The Tannoch family lived at Black Grange and had a hand operated petrol pump - they had no electricity. In the days of bakers carts etc there was Jock Scott the Butcher from Menstrie - he delivered meat from a little green van. In his hay day he was a great runner at the Games. Another that comes to mind is Wull Gairns, who had a traveling mill and Bailer - he was sadly killed by a train when driving his tractor over the railway line at Blackgrange. He and his family lived in the cottage beside the old scout hut on Stirling Road.'

Robert Aitchison, who grew up in Tullibody and emigrated to Canada in 1976, sent this information. The old man with one arm mentioned above was Eckie Forbes. He lost his arm in World War One. He and his wife owned a farm on the Carse between Stirling and Tullibody. He had at least one son who farmed north and east of Clackmannan. The Fish & Chip Shop near the cross was called Louie's!! I think the family name was Grovenacci ( Not entirely sure about that). Regarding Louie'e Chip Shop in the Main Street, I have suddenly remembered who served there, most of the time. It was Meg Starkey. She worked for Louie for years. She lived in Manor Crescent, maybe 4 or 5 doors along from the house Dr. Clark built. That would be on the , roughly, west side. She had a brother Dick Starkey. I think he worked for the DCL. at Cambus but I am not sure. I can remember that you could buy a black pudding supper for 9d and a fish supper for 1/3d pre-decimal. If you were polite to Meg you always got a good helping of chips. That was in the late 1950's. I understand that you need a mortgage now to buy a fish supper. About Miss Morrison, who had shop just up the road from Abercrombie School. She was actually Miss Margaret Morrison. The Shop was always referred to locally as far as I can recall as "Maggie Janes". She also had a sister Mary Morrison, who helped out in the shop periodically. Mary was married to a guy called Graeme Johnstone referred to as "Graemy" who had a confectionery business which he operated from a warehouse next door to Alexander's Bus Garage on Clackmannan Road, Alloa. Margaret never married. I can tell you for sure that Margaret & Mary died in 1987 within days of each other, because I was at the funerals. They were not directly related to me but were aunts of a cousin of mine Marian McEwin who lives here in Canada. When I moved out to Tullibody from Alloa in 1954, The Mercers had a prefab shop at the top of Ladywell Drive on the south side. On the other (north) side of the road was another prefab shop which was occupied by Mr. Somerville the barber. He had a brother, who was also a barber, and had a shop in King Street, Alloa. It was located on what is now Ring Road, Alloa, about 40' east of Primrose Street. I don't know whether that is still called King Street or not. It used to be a favourite area for young newlyweds to get a flat, prior to qualifying for a Council house!!!. The King Street/Back 'o Dykes area was where most young newlyweds got their first home!!! There used to be a scrap yard along King Street operated by a guy called Lewis Taylor. In Alloa, a "Louie Tyler" used to be a synonym for useless!!! Robert Aitchison recalls that when the Rev. Cowie left Tullibody it was to answer a call as a minister in Rosyth, Fife. Robert can remember going to Iona with Rev. Cowie in 1957. Some of the others on that trip were Stanley Crossan, Bertie Riddock, Peter McEwan, John Frew and Drew Jamieson. He wonders where they are now!
I left school in 1954 and my first job was as a Telegram Boy in the Post Office in Alloa. Mr.Thompson was the Postmaster at that time and Ian Fisher was the Assistant Postmaster. That was the best job I ever had bar none, but that is another story! After about three years I graduated to the rank of Postman and, being the junior man, got sent to various sub offices during the year, to cover for holidays, sickness etc. One of the strange things at that time was that Kincardine Post Office came under Alloa, even though the village was in Fife. I used to enjoy it when I was sent to Kincardine! At most of the Sub-Offices, you never ever did see the guy that you had been sent there to relieve but Tullibody had two full time postmen at that time and the other offices had only one, so you were always working in conjunction with one or other of them. The two guys at Tullibody were Wullie Pow and Bob Cockling. Bob Cockling was a quiet guy and just got on with the job. Wullie Pow on the other hand was a legend in the village. He was a workaholic and people wondered when he actually found time to sleep. I was 18 or 19 at the time and I always tried to beat his times for a delivery route but never could. It always seemed that Wullie could clear garden fences in his stride and leap Council Houses in a single bound! I don't think any Postman ever managed to beat his times for mail delivery in Tullibody! - Bob Aitchison.

I worked for John Stevens in the early 1960's. I had a Sunday Morning paper round. I don't care how famous he is, Magnus Pike still owes me a shilling because he had no change one Sunday morning when I delivered his papers. There , I have waited for years for a National Stage to announce that.!! Bob Aitchison.

John Bryce - I lived from around 1948 to 1966 at 14 Ladywell drive - next door were the Whites - on the other side was Terris - across the road were Straubs,McBeaths, Aitkens, McMillans, Patersons, Brisbanes, I could go on.- from John Bryce - email address in guest book - March 2003.

In 1959 the Minister at St. Serfs was Rev. J.H.Cowie. Miss Heeps lived in Ashley Terrace and helped in the Church. Miss Heeps Father was a very old man and a vegetarian. There was also a lady deaconess. Picture shows Rev. Cowie and Janet McGregor in 2001 - Click on it to see the larger version -

What the Author remembers - I was born in Airthrey Castle in 1947. My parents moved from Clackmannan to live in Tullibody when I was about two years old. As children we used to make camps up the woods, play cowboys and Indians, play football in the park, play 'beds' and hide & seek, fight, gather blackberries, collect chestnuts down by the Devon at Cambus, get sick eating crab apples, go up the hills & go camping up the hills, go on runs on our bikes - there was not so much traffic then. . Cambus distillery had a five o'clock horn - when it went off you knew it was time to go home for your tea. Family holidays were spent at Portobello. Many journeys began at the train station at Cambus. In the 1950s Tullibody was nicknamed 'Dodge City'. John Stevens was the postmaster and a Councillor. He ran the post office at the Crossroads. Andrew Nicol was a local businessman and a Councillor. He ran a SPAR grocers shop at the Cross and then moved to a supermarket in Tron Court. He lived on a farm called Gaberston between Sauchie and Alloa from where he ran Nicol's Dairy. The Tullis Family lived in a house on the Baingle Brae. I think that was where Major Ramsey Tullis lived. Their house was opposite the old Inn. For some reason the Tullis family did not actually live in Baingle Brae House. They had a little black pug dog. There was an outdoor swimming pool and a very big garden. Baingle Brae House and the house they lived in were demolished in the 1960s. There was also a 'tossing school' in the woods near the delph - as a small boy in the 1960s I saw this. There were up to a hundred men there at any time - they gambled by tossing pennies there. A man called 'Looey', who was an Italian, used to run the chip shop at the cross, in the same building where the present chip shop now is. There was also an Italian family in Cambus. They lived in a house with a big wall round it on the main road. The mother could not speak English. I think their name was Shanandrea. There were also then and now, quite a few Poles in the village. Most of them came here during the war. A lot of Poles worked down the pit. There was also a Lithuanian family called Olito. They had three children, Peter , David and Anne. They all moved to a small village called Langold in Nottinghamshire. Information from Kelli Olito, daughter of David. Jean McKechnie ran a sweetie shop in one of the cottages in the old village near Abercromby place. She died before the old village (and her shop) was demolished. There was also a house in the old village which was a Milliners - so I remember being told! There were also tramps. Men, with no homes, who wandered the country and slept under hedges at night. They usually wore long coats and had long beards. They used to chap on peoples doors and ask for a cup of tea. There were also ragmen, who would give you cheap toys and balloons for old rags. There were also men who came round the doors offering to sharpen all your knives. There were also tinkers who camped in the 'number nine woods'. There was also a man who came to take away old potatoes peelings to feed the pigs. You don't see any of this nowadays. Miss Morrison ran a purpose built general store near the Institute; about opposite from where the present medical centre is now. She made and sold her own ice-lollies. I think they were a penny each. Kate McFarlane ran a paper shop at the Cross and she moved to a new shop in Tron Court when it was built. I think she lived in Alloa. The Police Station was a wooden hut behind a house on the Cambus Brae. The policeman's name was Mr. Wardrope (Jock Wardrope). He had a son called Terry. Another Policeman there then was Bill Smith. When the village was rebuilt in the 1960s, the Police House and Station was moved to the Cross. Nowadays the modern, purpose-built, Police Station is at the junction of the Menstrie and King o' Muirs Roads. Mr. and Mrs. Mercer ran the chemist shop. It used to be on the Menstrie Road. The shop moved to Tron Court when it was built. The Mercers originally lived in Newbiggin Crescent. Mr. James Downie was the first headmaster at Abercromby School, which opened in 1951. He used to tell us youngsters about how he lost one of his fingers when he had been a soldier in the war. Mr. Inglis was a teacher at the old school. He lived in one of the Abercromby schoolhouses. He married a teacher, Miss Williams, from the school. Mr Easton was another teacher there - he became headmaster at Abercromby after Mr. Downie. Mr Easton lived in Menstrie. Miss Ross and Miss Dewar were in charge of infants at Abercromby. In the 1960s, the Captain of the Boy's Brigade was Jimmy Gillespie. He lived in Tullibody. He was an armature winder at the Coal Board's workshops at the Whins in Alloa. In the 1950s and 60s, before people generally had cars, grocers, butchers, bakers, milkmen etc came to your door in mobile shops. As well as the old man with one arm who came with a horse and cart selling vegetables, Neil Craik ran a grocers shop from a bus. He lived in Newbiggin crescent with his wife and two daughters. The co-operative had a bus, which sold vegetables door-to-door; the driver's name was Rab. Mr. Hutton sold fish from his van. There were also Alloa Co-operative bakers and butchers vans and at least one butchers van from Newtonschaw (Sauchie) Co-operative. Magnus Pike lived in Cambus. He and his daughter used to attend St. Serfs Church. He was an expert on food. I think he was a researcher for the Distillers Company at Menstrie. He became a television celebrity, famous for waving his arms about when he explained things. The Pike Family lived in a house near Cambus Railway Station. There was also Mr. Jones, who collected money door-to-door for the Pearl Assurance Company. Council House rents were collected weekly by the rent collector who came to your door. There were several dairy companies - nowadays (2009) having milk delivered to your door is unusual - but it still goes on. They all did daily doorstep deliveries in the 60s and 70s - seven days a week. Andrew Macmillan was a milkman. I can remember, in the late 1950s or early 1960s, when his horse, which pulled his cart, fell over on ice and broke its leg. I think it was at the top of the lane in Cochrie place or thereabouts. The horse had to be shot. After that, I think Mr. McMillan got a lorry to deliver the milk. Jimmy Frame was another milkman. He lived in Sauchie. He got his milk from Nicol's Dairy (Gaberston Farm).There was also the Alloa Diary and the Co-operative Diary milk wagons. When I was at Abercromby in the 1950s and early 60s, the Janitor at the old school was Mr Rennie (Willie or Andra'?). He always wore his uniform with a peaked cap. He lived in Manor Crescent(?) next door to the Balingole family (Lizzie and Robin), while the Janitor at the new Abercromby School was Mr. Bowie, who lived with his wife in the house next to the school next door to the Inglis Family.

Geoff Inglis remembers -

My father moved me from Abercromby to the Academy Primary when I was in Primary 6, because I'd reached the class he taught in Abercromby. The thing I regretted most about that was not getting into Abercromby School's Big Team. There were two football teams in Abercromby, the Wee Team, which played in Red and White hoops and was for 9-11 year olds, and the Big Team, which played in a Scottish blue strip. That was for 11-12 year olds. I had this dark secret (that I'd been taken south and had the disgrace of being born in Watford) and was desperate to play in a Scotland strip... Of course the Academy was a rugby-playing school, but by a great coincidence Bobby Brown, the Rangers and Scotland goalie, was the PE teacher there. Every time he declared the weather too poor for rugby, but OK for fitba', there was a big cheer.

We stayed at 56 Delph Road when my Dad first got the job of teacher at Abercromby somewhere around 1950 (I would have been about five). I can remember vividly having a tricycle and a couple of big boys knocking me and the trike into the Delph. I've never been so scared in my life, cos I knew about the stories of the giant pike which lived in the Delph and whose favourite food was little boys or girls. The last time I passed through Tullibody I thought the Delph had been drained, but the recent photos show it just as I remember it.

I had no interest in religion, but as my father taught at Abercromby School that made me 'not Catholic'. You then had to represent your 'side'. For a teenage boy, this meant fisticuffs. Gradually you began to sort out a regular fighting partner of about the same age and size: someone from the other side whom you fought on sight. I can't remember his name - call him Ivan the Terrible.

One day (I would have been 12 or 13), I was on my way home from Alloa Academy for lunch. I was under strict instructions not to be late home this day. Of course I then managed to miss the Low Road bus (which would have taken me past my house in Park Terrace). Rather than wait half an hour for another, I jumped on a High Road bus, stopping off at the Tannery to take a shortcut through the woods back to my home.

Oh no! Right at the thickest part of the woods I came face-to-face with Ivan the Terrible and his two mates.

"See you, pal. Get your jouks up, you're claimed". In English this means 'Prepare to have the living daylight beaten out of you'.

I replied that I was extremely late, under pain of being belted (a pardonable exaggeration), and that it would suit me better if we carried out this fight thing tomorrow, or any other day at his choosing.

He was not to be deterred. "Get your f----ing jouks up, ya wee soft s-----".

Let's move the scene forward a couple of minutes. I am lying flat on the ground on my back, with my hands by my side. I have refused either to fight or defend myself. The knuckles of Ivan's fist are just short of my nose. His two mates stand leaning forwards, on either side of me, their heads forming a semicircle with Ivan's fist. Honour demands that Ivan must not hit a non-combatant.

"Hit me, ya wee b-----------d. Just you hit me", he pleads. I refused. He gave me one or two 'accidental' and desultory blows to provoke a reaction, before his mates persuaded him to "Let the wee b---------d go. He's no goin' to fight ye. Ye canna hit him if he's no hittin' you back".

So I was allowed to go off on my way, followed by curses promising me dire consequences the next time we met.

A few days later, I was crossing the big public park across to my home on the other side of the road. Halfway over, I heard these shouts behind me and turned round. "That's that wee b------------d that widna fight you the other day, Ivan. Let's get him."

I had about 50 or so yards to cover to reach the edge of the park, when I would climb the fence, cross the road and reach home. I could see my father digging in the front garden. I could easily break into a run and get home safely, but that would lose face. I decided to continue walking and to pretend to ignore the threat. It was still possible that I could make the fence.

They caught up with me about ten yards from the edge. Ivan and I were soon rolling around in that peculiar fighting style where you tried to sit on your opponent's chest and then rain down punches on him. Mates weren't allowed to help in a 'fair fight', but one of them had a football, which he would 'accidentally' kick at me to knock me off every time I got on top. Eventually, honour was satisfied and they let me and my bloody nose slink off home.

A couple of years later I went off to the Scout Hut to find the Scoutmaster (was it Ian Pryde, who also became our PE teacher at Alloa Academy?) making an announcement. The Catholic Scouts were merging with the ordinary Scouts and so some of them would be allocated to each Patrol. I was then Patrol Leader of the Curlews. "Here is your new second-in-command", said the Scoutmaster - and it was none other than my old enemy Ivan. Of course we soon became the best of friends, which made a nonsense of the segregation of the past.