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Articles > Bygones > May Henry

May Henry

Published by Richard on 2003/6/28 (532 reads)
I was born in Glasgow on 27 March 1907 and came to live in Gateside when I was six. My grandmother stayed up at Bogside, so we were usually down in Gateside most weekends anyway. I went to Gateside School.

I was born in Glasgow on 27 March 1907 and came to live in Gateside when I was six. My grandmother stayed up at Bogside, so we were usually down in Gateside most weekends anyway. I went to Gateside School. I remember there was a Miss Gibson in the school and Mr Bone was the headmaster. He stayed at Netherhill. He was very strict, very, very strict. He had a limp and the boys used to say, "Here's old dirty feet coming." We had a good family life. In those days there were no grocery vans, but there was a Co-op Shop in Gateside and it sold everything then - paraffin oil, all your groceries, everything really. I moved from Bogside to Gateside in 1937. On leaving school at fourteen I got a job in Lugton Creamery. I used to cycle to Lugton each morning leaving at 5.30 am. I would finish work shortly after 2 pm and then cycle back. If there was heavy snow then I would push the bike back to Gateside.

Gateside was a very dismal place during the war, with the blackouts. There was a warden who went round the village checking to make sure that no one had left lights on. I also remember that there were soldiers stationed up at Trearne House during the war years, although they had little to do with the folk from the village. There were also evacuees from all over, living in the village hall. One was a Polish woman and very, very particular she was. After the war, I worked at Trearne House doing general household work looking after the schoolmaster and his wife. By this time it was called Gresham House Boarding School. They had a cook, a matron and five or six teachers up there. There would be about thirty boys up there in the private boarding school. Most of their parents were abroad. I remember there was one day pupil from Beith, a boy Storey who lived in Barrington House.

Trearne was a very beautiful house. Years before that my mother had worked there. They had a big staff at that time including a butler and coachmen. I recall the lovely big dining room with the fireplace on the left hand side. Opposite the fireplace was a recess with tapestries hanging on the wall and large oil portraits of Miss Enid Patrick and her mother. It's quite sad to think that such a beautiful house and its grounds have now gone forever.

May Henry (86)

Interviewed by Kirsty Thomson and Sandy Dickson in November 1993

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