We lived at"Lilybank" Cottage No 63 Omoa Road Cleland in the county ofLanarkshire. My father Matthew Brown was bornon the 26 July1891 in New Stevensonnear Bellshill. He was the eldest son ofJames Brown and Bridget Rooney.Hemarried my mother on 31st December 1915 at St Mary'sChurch inCleland. My mother EllenReynolds was the eldest daughter of JosephReynolds and Ellen McDermott. She was born on the 5th June 1892 in "TheSquare",Cleland(near to where the CornPark footballground is today).I was born in Clelandand was the oldest of three boys my brothers were Richard Gerard (Gerry) andJohn Boyle. I had three older sisters, Ellen(Lena), Bridget (Etta) and Mary. My father's mother married twiceherfirst husband was James Brown hersecond was Michael Ward. There wereninechildren in all seven Browns, Matthew, James, John, Richard, Mary,Jeannie, and Bridget (Beassie), and two Wardchildren Catherine (Kate) and Annie. My mother Ellen had four sisters and threebrothers, they were,Annie, Jane, Agnesand Rose, and Hugh, Patrick, and Richard. My father'sbrother John and his two sisters Kate andAnnie, they emigrated toAustraliain or about the year 1921. My earliest memories relate to myboyhood in Cleland a mining village in Lanarkshirewhere I was born onthe 7th December 1924 at Lilybank Cottage, Omoa Road. Theygo back to the beginning of the thirties, when the country was in the grips ofaterrible depression and disease.It was a time of hunger and the dolequeue and begging in the streets. The peopleof the village were ofmining stock,families depended on the local pits and mines for theirlivelihood, but now most of these were closedor closing and the minershad to lookelsewhere for work. My father had worked in The Blackie pitin New Stevenson until the 1926 generalstrike. When the strike ended hewasdetermined he would never work in coal pits again and so he went toseek work elsewhere. He like a lot of thelocal men had heard that TheBritishAluminium Company were erecting a factory for the making ofAluminium in FortWilliam in thehighlands. He went there and managed toget work installing the hydro pipeline down the side of Ben Nevis. Thiswhen completed would provide the power forthe new Works producingaluminium. Hestayed there for a three years managing to get home every month. I surprisedhim many years later in the 1960s when I related tohim a story about when I was very young. Iremembered I was with mymother and wewalked from a railway station, and then went up an outsidestairway with iron railings, it was rainingvery hard and we were wet. Itold himalso that the train we had been on seemed to come out of the water. Firstly hedidn't believe what I was telling him. I had describedthe place where he was in digs and that mymother had taken me to visithim in FortWilliam, thiswas in 1926. I was only 2 years old. When hecame home from the highlands in about 1929 he was fortunate to get ajobat the building of the new wing forthe HartwoodHospital (Asylum) nearShotts. Whilsthe was there and I was about 9 or 10 years old he built mea barrow made from a set of pram wheels withan orange box bolted to itwith tramhandles about three feet long and had a loop of fabricattached. Each Friday after school I had totake my barrow and go up OmoaRoad to the Cross. Along Main Street to the Bellside Road and then uptothe bridge on the Bellside Newmainsroad (A73) and from there take theMurdostoun Road to meet him about a mile from Shawstonfoot. He wouldbewheeling his bike as he had a bag ofsmall coal slung across the crossbar, he had picked the coal from the surfaceworkings of an oldderelict mine. Thebag was placed on the barrow. I got into the harnessand set off for home. It was warm work and wehad to stop frequently forrests. I didthis every Friday in the summer holidays and on any otherdays if we were short of coal. There waslittle or no work for those menwhoremained in the village.
The coal ownershad locked the pits andrefused to takeon workers until they all agreed they would never go on strike again. Onlythose who agreed to take a cut of a shilling per hourin their pay were taken back, men just hungabout the cross, no work andno pay.Those lucky ones who had a job had to travel away from home,there was a great deal of poverty, as thewages were very low, all theygot wasabout three shillings a day. They were indeed lucky if theybrought home thirty shillings a week for sixfull days work and this tofeed maybesix or seven children. It was a depressing place to live butwe boys never experienced the really hardtimes, we were a part of it butwedidn't know any better; as long as we got a penny at Christmas, Easterthe summer holidays and Halloween we werehappy. A penny trip on a tramcar duringthe summer holidays from Airdrie to Paisley was a greatadventure, even though we had to walk thefive miles to Airdrie to get onto thetram. My brother Gerry had managed to get himself a job deliveringthe morning rolls around the village. Therolls were delivered to ourhouse atabout eachmorning by the baker Tony Petkevitch from Craigneuk. We got two big basketshanded in to the house and the rollshadto be put into bags to be delivered to the various households.Gerrywould take the MainStreet and Parkside roundand because I had to catchthe bus toschool in Motherwell I was given the easy Omoa Road and ChapelStreet round. It was always a contest to see who could get finished thequickest. Sometimes my mother would come and give us a hand if we wererunning short of time. On the Friday eveningafter school we would goaround andcollect the money from the various customers who hadn't paidin the morning, many a time we had to go backthe following week beforewe eventuallygot paid.The rolls were sold three fora penny so theweekly bill for a typicalfamily was about one shilling and sixpence (71/2 P in today's money). Our pay for all of this was two shillings andsixpence for the week (Half a Crown)( 12 1/2 P.). When you considermy father's pay for a weeks work was about1-10 shillings,the half acrown was quite a handsome addition to thefamily income. Gerry was verymuchinvolved with Wilson's piggery across the viaduct over the QuarryWell. I have known him during his summerholidays to spend a whole nightwith anexpectant sow, and he would remain with her in the sty until thepiglets were born He would then come hometired out and go to bed after agoodnights work, Gerry was probably only about ten or eleven years oldwhen he was doing this and my mother alwayssaid he was going to be a Vetwhen hegrew up,I am sure if the war hadn'tcome along that is the career he would have followed. About this time I wasbecoming aware of myfather'sinvolvement in local politics, it was 1935 and a GeneralElection had been called. There were lots ofimportant visitors to ourhouse and Ilearned they were all members of a neo socialist organisation called the "Independent LabourParty". Jennie Lee a young school teacherfrom Lochgelly in Fife had been adopted as the ILP candidate to fight our North Lanark constituency. Thesitting MP was Mr Anstruther Gray. Some ofthe visitors included, Jimmy Maxton (he had a hair do just likeHitler's), Jimmy Carmichael, Fenner Brockway,John Wheatley, MannyShinwell, HarryMcGhee (he was from Greenhill hamlet outside Cleland) andNye Bevan. They were the leading Socialistsof the day and made quite animpressionon me. (They were all elected to the House of Commons in the Labour Victoryjust after the war in 1945).EveryFriday after school Ihad to deliverabout forty copies of the ILP's Newspaper "THE NEWLEADER". It was a four, page paper andalways had stark and strikingblack andwhite caricatures on the front page. They depicted happeningsin The Spanish Civil War, or The Japaneseinvasion of China, orMussolini's invasion of Ethiopia,or Hitler's antics in Europe. Oneparticular cartoonremains vivid in my memory it depicted a slant eyed skeleton like creatureholding up a rifle with a fixed bayonet and aChinese child impaled on the end of the bayonet. This had a very lastingeffect on me. My father was Jenny Lee'sElection agent and the committeehadarranged an Election Rally up in Westwood Glen near the Newmains Roadbeyond Bellside. All the notables were there,and games and stalls wereorganised, Thecelebrity who came that day in support of Jenny Lee wasthe film star Constance Cummings.(She starred in the film Blithe Spiritby Noel Coward) a red headed lady who sangand spoke from a platform thathad beenerected in the Glen. Later that day she made a speech at ClelandCross in support of Jennie Lee.On the day of the Election I remembersome of my pals, boys and girls from theschool running up and down OmoaRoadsinging, Vote, Vote, Vote for Jenny Lee Kick Anstruther up the pole Wewill find a penny gun And, we'll make thebugger run And we won't seeAnstrutherGray any more Needless to say Jenny Lee was unsuccessful andthat was the last election until after thewar in 1945.My School Days Iwent to St Mary's primary school when I wasfour and a half and leftthere justbefore my 11th birthday. My teachers throughout the schoolwere, Mrs McMaster infants teacher, MissAnnie Reynolds (my mother's sister), Miss Susan Ellis, Mrs Graham and MissAnnie Lavery. I don'tremember a greatdeal about my early years at ClelandSchool I do howeverremembervividly my later years there. In my class were ArthurMcConnachie, Francis Tamburrini, JosephCavannah, Michael Sammon AlexMcCafferty, Joseph Henderson, John Mulhall (Ribbie), JohnReynolds,(Minch), Patsy Mooney, ThomasStewart, Danny Kane, Andy McNeil,JamesLavery and Thomas Vallely,thegirlsNan Currie, ElizabethSlavin, Catherine O'Keane, Sarah Brady,Nellie Cassidy, Margaret Devlin, Mary Nolan, Mary Farrell, Catherine Mooney,Annie Reynolds and LizzieClarke. Therewere also boys and girls whose names I don't remember, whowere orphans and lived in The Poor House.(Now Cleland Hospital), downtheBellside Road, they were always escorted to school were poorlydressed in Parish issue clothing, the boyswearing heavy boots and brownand greyherringbone tweed suits, the girls wore skirts and jackets of the samematerial. We were never allowed to mix too freely with thesechildren, they were outcasts of the societyas it was then.Even thoughthey were happy days, we made our ownenjoyment playing games in thestreetunder a gas street lamp. In the wintertime it was common to seeboys and girls of all ages playing"Peever" (now known as hop-scotch),or kick the "knacket" a variationof " hide and seek " a small tin can which was placed in the middleof the road and one boy or girl kept aneye over it and at the same time had to spy out the others who werehiding in all sorts of cover. Being able torun fast to free the " den "was absolutely essential. Another similar game called "Levoy"was onlyfor the boys, it was a bit morerough and tumble and attracted the biggerboys, Joe Jordan, Racker Nolan and some others.These games went on until we were called homeat about 8 o clock. I recall vividly how wewere called home by my mother or my elder sister, they would come totheback door and call out our names tocome home. If we didn't get homequicklywe were in trouble and wouldn't get out the next night The youngones of all the other families were in thesame boat and by 8.15 thestreet wouldbe empty. In the Summertime the weather was so hot we playedgames in our bare feet and went swimming downThe Calder ( we called it"TheCawther") at the bottom of The High Road, The hot weather caused thetar surface of the road to bubble and run andwe got it all over thesoles of ourfeet, we had to use butter to get the tar off, in the Winterthe weather was very cold with plenty of snowand ice, most of the boyshad ice skatesand we used to skate to school. Behind The Hib's Hall was a pond which we usedfor skating when it froze over. Some of the olderboys and parents would ensure that the icewas safe before we wereallowed on tothe ice. The Summers in those days were much earlier andwarmer than they are today, The Winters werevery long and bitterly coldstarting inOctober and lasting to the following March. they were happydays An incident happened to me in 1935 whichinvolved Mary Currie and one or two of our other neighbours including Mrs Dalyand Nellie Henderson. It was a Friday afternoon probably early Summer May orJune,my mother told me to go and getwashed in the wash house which was out inthe yard. (We also had an outside toilet which we shared with the Daly's)TheWash House was a brick building with a door which was alwaysunlocked, inside there were two wash standswith wooden tubs. Each standhad awringer which fitted to the back of the stand and where it could befed with washed clothes directly from thewash tub. The wringers weremanuallyoperated and were very effective for getting all the water outof the clothes. There was also a brick builtstructure which housed aniron boilerand which had a round cover with a handle. this cover wasplaced on top of the boiler to prevent anywater bubbling up over the topand alsoI suppose to stop anything from falling in to the boiler. A coal fire in agrate below the boiler kept the water at or near to boiling. Iwent out to the wash house and climbed up onthe edge of the boiler andwas about totake my socks of when it happened. I really don't rememberwhat happened but I must have let out a yelland I ran to our back doorscreaming. Bythe time I got there the neighbours who heard my screamswere also at the back door, they pulled theclothes off me and Mary Currie ran down to her shop and came running back witha bag of flourwhich she poured all overme. Seemingly I had fallen into the boiler andwas severely burned. Someone went for The Doctor and he arrivedveryshortly after. He was very annoyedwhen he saw I was covered in flour. Iwas put to bed in a cage to prevent the bed clothes from touchingtheparts of my body which had beenbadly burned and were covered in largeblisters. Doctor Lithgow treated me with a liquid spray from a scentspray, it had a rubber bulb and a long tube and a nozzle. By squeezingthe bulb some liquid was sucked up andsprayed on the blisters. He cameinevery day and treated my wounds with the spray. I looked forward tohim coming in and treating me as it took awaythe pain. I was in bed forover amonth and I remember that I was wheeled tothe CornPark to seethe school sportsarranged to celebrate The Silver Jubilee of King George V. I like all the restof the school children was given a New Penny agift from the King. The treatment given to me was so effective thatIbear no scars whatsoever as a resultof the accident. On a sadder note afewdays after this Margaret Brunton a girl about the same age as myselfwas cleaning the fireplace of her uncle'shouse and her apron caughtfire, she ranout into Omoa road ablaze, someone rolled her in a blanket but her injurieswere so severe she died that night. Across the yard fromour house lived the Boyle family at the backof Big Frank and LizzieMelons and MaryCurrie's shop, they had a big family as was common inthose days, I think they had about 9 or 10children. James, John, Joseph,Patrick,and Vincent and Tom, Mary Magdalen, Elizabeth, Josephine, andAnne. ( They were an enterprising family thefather Big Johnnie had acircular saw inthe yard where he cut railway sleepers into logs and the older boys choppedthem up into sticks to kindle the fire. The youngerboys gathered the sticks into bundles andtied them with string. Thesesticks"firewood" were sold for a penny a bunch ).Incidentally theroads and streets in those days werecompletely free of motor traffic atnight, except for the Midland bus which came along Omoa road every hourup to , it travelled betweenAirdrie and Newmains coming via Chapelhall, Newarthill, Cleland and Newmains.There were no cars on theroads at nightand during the daytime it was all horse drawn carts andvans such as The milkman Geordie Scott, TheCo-op Baker "Rab" andRamage'sfruit van. Only three people in the village of Cleland had carsand these were usedduring the daytime a Morris 12 belonging toFatherDollan a Ford belonging to MrMann the Church of Scotland Minister, and aFord 10 belonging to Mr Peter Tamburrini, affectionately know as"Peter the Tally", JohnHowley a cousin of my mothers was the driver of thepriest's car. It was during these days thatwe boys were beginning tonotice thatgirls in the class were a bit different from us, we werebeginning to grow up,we had a few secrets to hide,making dates withthe girls to meet them along the Carfin Road orthe Newarthill Road.Sometimes in the Summer wewould arrange to meet them down the WishawHigh Road near to the Calder burn at Swinstie or down the Wishaw Low Road atthe bridge near to the old Mill and at Fisher's Cottage. Some of thegirls were great fun to be with Nan Currieand Sarah Brady ( both girlsdied veryyoung in their 'teens ) were particularly keen to join us for awalk in the warm Summer evenings or makearrangements to meet them at oneof theWishaw Cinemas in Kirk Road , The Plaza, The Main Street or The Green'sPlayhouse. The films of those days were real classics, starringHumphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, George Raft,Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford,and BetteDavis. Carmen Miranda was also afavourite amongst the olderones.Of course as I said before some of the boys including myself werekeen footballers and played for the schoolfootball team. We were so goodthat eventhe bigger girls were keen to be seen supporting us at our various matches.Charlie Dobbins, the janitor of the schoolwas a verystrict man and hisword was law, we all respected him immensely, he was agrumpy old figure. To all the school childrenhe was a strictdisciplinarian and nevermissed an opportunity to report any misbehaviourto the headmasterMr Vallely.Charlie was also the school team managerand loved to take his boys to play football throughout the LanarkshireSchools area, The boysI remember whoplayed in the team regularly atthattime were,Joe Henderson James LaveryJoe Brown PatsyMooneyArthur McConnachie Joseph DonnellyWillie DelaneyJohn ReynoldsPaddy Nolan John MulhallRobert BruntonThese boys thought the world of Charlie theyalso brought credit and fameto theschool and the village. I was one of the team at that time and wewon most of the trophies we entered for, TheLanarkshire Schools cup, The Uddingston Rose Bowl Tournament and theLanarkshire Catholic SchoolsLeague wereall won in season 1935-36. Six boys of that teamwere pickedto play in the trial match for the Scotland International team toplayWales atTynecastle park in Edinburgh this trial of The West ofScotlandBoys V The Rest ofScotland boys was played at Royal Albert'sground in Larkhall Hamilton. The six boys were Arthur MacConnachie (CentreHalf),Joe Henderson(Goalkeeper), John Mulhall (Inside Right),James Carr(Right Half), Wee Paddy Nolan(Inside Left) and myself at Left Back. Weall played with our Cleland St Mary's socks on, these werealternatebands of sky blue and gold.Arthur MacConnachie was a big lad he stoodhead and shoulders above all the rest of us and he was the only onepicked to play for Scotland in the 1937 team. We were all proud that oneof ours had been picked for Scotland.Charlie Dobbins hired LamontWatsons busand took all the team and the new Headmaster Mr Docherty andhis assistant Mr McConville to Tynecasltlethat day, needless to sayScotlandwon the match 2-1. ( In the summer of 1935 I and about tenpupils from Cleland went to Motherwell andsat the Entrance Examinationfor"The Motherwell Higher Grade School"Out of the ten, six girls, Elizabeth Slavin, Nan Currie, Sarah Brady,Catherine O'Keane, AnnieReynolds and LizzieClark, and four boys Joseph Cavanagh, FrancisTamburrini, Thomas Vallely and myself were successful. We had to start ournew school in August that year, Liz Slavin and Thomas Vallely werebrighter than the rest of us and they startedin class 1a all the otherswent toClasses 1b and 1c. It was whilst I was at Motherwell in my secondyear that the name of the school was changedfrom "Motherwell HigherGrade" to "Our Lady's High School " our uniform was also changed fromGreen and Gold to Royal Blue with white piping. I recall that day whenthe school was dedicated to "OurLady". We all assembled in our classesin the Quadrangle and Canon Doyle who had previously been ParishPriestin Clelandtookthe service and gave the school its new name. Hetogether with the Rector Mr Tom Lynchappeared on the East Balcony whereaveiled statue had been erected. The cords were pulled to reveal alifesize grey stone figure of The Madonna andchild. Prayers of dedication were said and after the service we were treated toa party inthe common rooms.The present Cardinal Archbishop of GlasgowThomasWinning was a pupil in Class 1aof my entry year. I met him many yearslater when he was Archbishop of Glasgow at a reception for myCousinSister Martha who was celebratingsixty years as a nun in the order of StFrancis. The reception was held in the Convent at No 19 Park CircusGlasgow. I spoke to him about our days together in Motherwell but henever remembered me.Some of the teachers I had at Motherwell were:- MrP.WalshClass Teacher, Mr Miles McCann, Mr H.Naughton (Games), MissGrillo (French),Miss Gallagher (Science).Mr Hughes (Maths) Mr Glegg(Science) )Omoa Road and Main Street were the two main thoroughfaresthrough the village and where they met theyformed Cleland Cross. OmoaRoad went in a westerly direction downhill past the Kirk, to PaddyMcKeown' s barber's shop.Also from theCross, the Main Street ran northpassingFuller Fergies barber's shop, the road down to Louden's Saw Millthe Miners Welfare, the Co-operative store,Bob Davie's butchers shop,TheCommercial Bank, and McMillan's pub then to the junction ofBiggarRoad and Bellside Road at therailway bridge.on the other side of the road, was John Mackies grocer's shop,Pattersons building, Leezie Love'sshop,The Tartan Building and Joe the Tally's, the Public SchoolthePost Office and Baxters Garage. Going south from the cross was PetertheTally's, Top Smith's grocers shop,Jimmy Allen's bakery, MaggieJohnstone'ssweetie shop, a row of cottages and a two storey building,therailway bridge and the junction of the WishawLow and High Roads. On theother sidewas Collins' house, Johnnie McMullens , St Mary's presbetry then the church andthe billiard hall (burned down about 1936), Brunton's cottage and the CastleBar pub at the Cross. The Castle Bar, apub much frequented by men of the village particularly on Fridaynights.Visits to the pub during theweek were very rare as there was littlemoney around and few men worked. Most days miners and theirunemployedcronies were to be seen atthe cross sitting on their hunkers gossipingand putting the world to right. It was a common sight after9 O'clock ona Friday (closing time) evening to see maybe a dozen or so drunkenmenstaggering their way home from thepub. Always the same faces, we got toknow them by their nick names and sometimes in the long summer eveningswe boys would gather near the cross to watchthe goings on between thepolice andthose who were the worse for wear in their drunken stupor,they called out abuses to anyone who camenear, and always their languagewascolourful. It was usual for the Sergeant of Police and a constable tomake at least one arrest and march theoffender down past Peter theTallys tothe Police Station where they would spend the night in thecells. Always next morning they would bereleased without charge,promising tobehave until the next Friday night. Sometimes wewould pushthe swing doors of the Pub open so that we could have a better look insideto see what was going on.
There were no tables other than a cardtable where some men played Dominoes or Fata card game popular amongstthe Clelandminers, The bar was the full length of the room and thebarman Mick Brennan, had a long white apronwhich had a bib and tieswhich tiedbehind his back. On the floor throughout the room werespitoons where tobacco chewing miners ventedtheir mouths with the foultobaccojuice. Spitoons were round receptacles made of steel andenamelled in white with a blue rim, they wereabout nineinches indiameter with a removable insert which thepub cleaner had to wash out under a running tap in the yard at the back of thepub. Disinfectant wasnever used only sawdustwas sprinkled on the floors as this was the onlymeans of keeping the floors dry from beerspillage and the missed aims atthespitoons. The Public bar was lighted by gas mantles and paraffinlamps. These were mainly used when it gotdark particularly in the Winter time.The gas pressure was so low at times the lights would failgetting dimmer and dimmer the more lightsthat came on. Women werecompletelyforbidden to enter the pub, except when they had to identifytheir menfolk. Next tothe pub was a house which later became asweetieshop and then a newsagents,later still the newsagent Jimsey Keeveney(Cavannah) had erected an old railway goods van on a spare piece oflandin front of Bruntons house, thiswas the only newspaper shop in the village. Cranston's Cottage was next andthen The Dalrymple Bar a pub setbackoff the road just before the Dandy Row ,The Kirk with a tin steeple.Paddy McKeown's Barbers was next to the Kirk.Paddy was alittle roundfat manwho when he cut your hair his fat belly was pressed into yourface, he was always crackingjokes and at times he would frighten thelife out of you by opening up a razor andflick it up and down on a razor leather strop. I personally was alwaysgladwhen the ordeal was over toget out of the barbers chair. The shop wasalso used by men of thevillage whowould come to place their horse racing bets with MickMcConnachie the bookie. Behind Paddy's shopBob Davie had his slaughterhouse beforehe moved up to Main Street near the bank. The road went onpast St Mary's school gate, Jordan's houseand Casserley's to MickieDaly's at thejunction of Gibb Street, then on down the hill passing theHibs hall, and Mrs McGlinchy's shop.Hendersons Cottage and our house "Lilybank". were on the oppositeside of the road and Mary Curriessweetie shop stood at the corner of the Stable Row. From here therewasa two storeyed house and then a rowof miner's cottages with access totheCockyard, then came the Band Hall and Stewarts Cottage. Opposite theminers row stood the Brick Building whereMaggie Heron had her shop andbehind thebuilding were the remains of The Square and Pottery. The roadcontinued to Lower and Upper Ravenshall andas far as Stevensons bighouse at thecrossroads ofthe Newarthill Road ,Carfin Road and thetrack into DickMarshalls Farm. On the opposite side going down from thecross there was a long row of miner'scottages with their doors onto thepavement. I cannot recall any families who lived in these cottages.Wherethe cottages ended there was adirt lane called Scott's Close runningback at an angle and thiscameout betweenLeezie Loves sweetieshopand the Tartan building on the MainStreet. ( it got the name Tartan fromthe coloured bricksused for thebuildingRed and Yellow).After theentry to Scotts Close came Carrickvale a fairly large two storeyedbuilding which accommodated about eightfamilies.Charlie Dobbins andhis sister Mary lived at the front next toKelly's and Lafferty's. Alsolivingthere at that time was Dominic Nolan's family which included theabove wee Paddy probably one of the bestfootballers ever to come out ofCleland. They lived at the side of Carrickvale just behindBeanKelly's.Round the back lived anotherNolan "Paddy The Racker", (norelation to the above family ), his wife had died probably in childbirthwhen all his family were very young the oldest being Patrick aged about16. There were other families living inCarrickvale including JosephLaffertyand his sister Vera. At the side of Carrickvale opposite theDandy Row a newroad of red ashes was built to give access tothe publicpark when it was opened tocelebrate the Silver Jubilee ofKingGeorgethe V in May of 1935. FrankFisher who was the lamplighter for thevillage up to that time became the caretaker for the park whenElectricity came to Cleland in 1934-35. theprevious lamplighter was amuch olderman called Tam Johnstone, we boys and girls used to run afterhim as he went about Omoa Road lighting thegaslamps. The gas lampswere put out about eleven O'clock each nightand in the Wintertime werelit again atabout 6 O'clock each morning. Just past the entrance to thePublic Park, was Aitken's fish shop it wasalways full of fresh fish from Aberdeen and the East Coast fishing ports butnot many people couldafford to buy it.The tradition in those days was that fish particularlyin Catholic homes was eaten on Fridays nomeat was allowed. Only thebetter offfamilies could afford fish from Aitkens it was just tooexpen