Growing up in the Fifties - 1

Photo:Meadowhead place taken from the top of Scollie Brae 1969.

Meadowhead place taken from the top of Scollie Brae 1969.

Margaret Foster. All rights reserved.

Photo:Addiewell Primary School 1969.

Addiewell Primary School 1969.

Margaret Foster. All rights reserved.

Photo:Jackie and Grace Davidson and Bobby early 70s. The viaduct can be seen and the Stoneyburn bing. The field behind is where the school is now.

Jackie and Grace Davidson and Bobby early 70s. The viaduct can be seen and the Stoneyburn bing. The field behind is where the school is now.

Margaret Foster. All rights reserved.

Photo:Addiewell Primary around 1953/54.

Addiewell Primary around 1953/54.

Margaret Foster. All rights reserved.

Just a Memory

By Margaret Foster

In the spring of 1950 the Davidsons moved from Polbeth to a brand new five apartment Scottish special house at 19 Meadowhead Place, Addiebrownhill. The family consisted of Jackie, Grace and their ten children. I learned later that there were some concerns among the neighbours about such a large family coming from "outside." However we soon settled in and each of the ten children was married from that house.

For Gracie it was like a homecoming. She was born Grace Paton in 1908 at 6 Loganlea row. The row was still standing in 1950. And I remember there was a house in the middle where you could buy bread. Gracie trailed us younger children up hill and down dale showing us the places she had known as a child.

One walk took us to the two wells where she had to go with her uncles to fetch water. They are shown on the old map on this site. One was bricked up - I wonder if there is still there? To reach the other (which she called, somebody's spring?) they went through the field across from Kirkhill, down to scollie burn and up the other side to the well. This was a long way to carry water. It was the marsh in 1950- where the water ran down to the burn.  We used the same route in reverse to go to the swings across from the post office and played at the burn crossing as there was a small sandy patch there - that will be behind Burnside now (what did they do with the marsh when they built?).

I was pleased to see the picture of the church on this site. The Davidsons always sat in the second pew from the back. Sadly my last visit to the church was at my mother's funeral in 2001.  By then the church was in disrepair, a sad sight, but it was her wish to be buried from there and I am glad it was still in use at that time.

My first teacher at Addiewell public school was Miss Henderson who taught the infants and lived up near the station. The second teacher in the wee school was, I think, Mrs. Russel. Up at the big school was Miss Arnott primary 3&4, Miss Macintyre primary 5&6 and Mr Hardie, the head, primary 7. Each Friday the class with best attendance for the week got the shield and were allowed out fifteen minutes early. The dinner ladies were old Jenny Walters and a lovely lady called Peggy.

Growing up in Addiebrownhill in the 50s left me with the impression of a rough and ready place with a good heart. I remember these days with fondness. The vans that served the schemes, Davie the butcher, Jockie McCabe’s fruit van. The store baker (who gave our dog a sugary bun), the big store grocery vans, the fish man on a Friday, Gillespie and Santini (Gratz) ice-cream vans and best of all the chip van in the evenings.

There was the Gala bus from Muirkirk to Polbeth that went by the low road. The S.M.T that ran on the hour and at twenty past. Broxburn, Edinburgh, and Bathgate. Quiet roads we were unafraid to walk on.

The two wee corrugated shops which stood in the grassy horseshoe behind Meadowhead Crescent - Hugh Tierney's and Davie Bertram’s. Things were still on ration in 1950 so sweets were few and far between but you could buy gum that tasted like candle wax -perhaps it was!

When the rationing was over we went mad on real chewing gum and penny caramels.

There was the store (West Calder Co-op) where the queues seemed never ending. You had to put your store book in a box and wait till it was drawn out. The idea was the assistants would draw the one from the bottom but I don't think they always played fair when it was a child who was waiting. The post office next door to the pub was run by Mr. and Mrs. Lumsden and was often referred to as "Gerries". I believe Mrs Lumsden's maiden name was Gerrie.

Down at the end of Livingstone Street was a wee sort of lean-to hut. This was the kingdom of Kate Carrol.  Kate sold sweets, fags and other essentials but it was her newspaper round that endeared her to the local residents. In all weathers this dedicated little woman was out there delivering her papers.

Like Loganlea row there was a “ house shop" in the middle of Livingstone Street. I don't recall who owned or ran it but I do recall the “lady" selling two little girls four oxo cubes for a penny. Sweets were rationed and she assured us the oxo tasted just like toffee. I reckon she was a mean one.

Up in Dykes, apart from the store and post office, there was a shop in Ross' farm and I recall Poms when it was only a hut down a path from the main road.

The more I write the more memories come back, so before this becomes a novel I'll call a halt. I love the site and love to read the memories of other growing up in the 50s in: The Dykes, Tintown and Addiewell.

Regards from Margaret in Rockingham Western Australia.

This page was added by Margaret Foster on 30/09/2012.
Comments about this page

This is a lovely article and brings back a lot of memories. We used to buy sweets at Kate Carroll's shop on the way home from school. I had forgotten about all the different vans that came around and sold groceries. I remember the fish man on Friday and Santini's ice cream van very well but can only vaguely remember a van with groceries in it. I think it was red and you could step up into it. How did you end up in Western Australia?

By Anne Cassidy Hamilton
On 01/10/2012

These are fantastic memories the grocery van was from cauther coop the salesman was Billy Fordyce. I know this because me and Paddy Mc Kenna got caught nicking chocolate out of it while Billy was having a cup of tea in Dykes store. That's when Bob Scott showed me and Paddy what the inside of the cell looked like at Addiewell cop shop. Ahhh halcion days

By Tommy Woods
On 02/10/2012

Like my cousin Anne Cassidy Hamilton I really enjoyed this article and can remember all the vans that came round and the best of all the Chip Van which you could smell from afar. I lived in Meadowhead Crescent No. 21 next door to Arthur and Pat Murray, across from Alice Cameron and next door to the Lavery family, we moved to Loganlea in the mid fifties. I have lovely memories of living in these villages, I now live in Barbados and have great pleasure in telling all who ask that I come from the finest Coal Mining working class stock in Scotland. My name before I married was Cassidy

By Catherine Alleyne
On 02/10/2012

I would love to have all the names of the children in the school photo, I recognize Sandra Gilfillan, Esther Hamilton and I am struggling with the name of the girl on the extreme left in the second row, I know her well but just cannot recall her name.

By Catherine Alleyne
On 02/10/2012

I can still remember our Co-op number it was 8579 and my Grannies was 8685. The day the Dividend was paid out was looked forward to immensly as was the day the meter man came and emptied the shilling meters- we got pocket money those days.

By Catherine Alleyne
On 28/10/2012

Our Co-op number was 3850

By Tommy Woods
On 30/10/2012

I think the girl on the left could be my sister-in-law Margaret Stewart

By Annie Thomson
On 30/10/2012

I use my co-op number in my passwords, easy to remember...

By Margaret. Foster
On 31/10/2012

Hi Margaret, your husband Daved built the extension to my workshop behind the old store in Addiewell and I remember meeting one him one day and I said I thought you went to Australia. "Aye", he said "we're back". It must have been months later I met your dad and I him how Dave was "oh", he said "he's away back"; happy days.

By Jack McFarlane
On 13/02/2013

Hello Jack I showed David your comments and he says to send you his regards. He has been retired for four years now and still wishes he was working. Our son, also Dave, has carried on the business so DMF Bricklaying is alive and well. Cheers Margaret.

By Margaret Foster
On 20/02/2013

hi Margaret, I'm kind of dipping my toes in the water here.I don't have a lot to add to this site at the moment but I was born in Addiewell in 1957. My granda was Jimmy Doyle,who I never knew,and my granny Mary Doyle who,as far as I remember,both lived in Mooreland Gardens. I have to admit I am using your forum to try and create a thread and find out more about my family of which I know very little of. All I really remember is the Teirny's are related on my Grans side.I remember Janice,Francis and Shug and my Gran use to work in the store opposite the miners welfare club in the '60's.Other than that I have no memories or photographs. I'm in Gosnells in Oz now and all grown up and would love to know of any memories anyone has of my Addiewell or Loganlea or my side of my family, James

By james doyle
On 30/07/2013

Hello James I can help you find out more about the Tierneys. We are related. Your granny, Mary Doyle, was my great aunty – my granny’s sister. The Hugh Tierney mentioned in Margaret’s article was their brother. If you contact Billy (see ‘Contact Us’), I’ll ask him to give you my email address and you can get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

By Mike Ward
On 13/08/2013

Hi James - Mike Ward (still have to get some info from him on Tierneys) forwarded this site to me and I thought you might be interested in hearing from us. I too have done a lot of research into Doyle/Tierney families so if you are interested I can send you what I have. Don't know if you will remember me but I am your Uncle Tom Doyle's wife. Mike has my email address so get back to us if you want the scoop. Ena

By Ena Doyle
On 22/08/2013

I'm David Toynbee, used to live on Stephenson Street. Is this Margaret Foster who lived on Livingstone Street. On the farm side, downstairs, right at the break between the blocks. I live on Vancouver Island now. I'm enjoying your memories.

By David Toynbee
On 07/01/2014

Dave Toynbee here. I can name two of the people in the school photo. second row from back. Second girl in from the left. That's Margaret Halliday. She stayed in the last house in Faraday Place with her mother. Back row. Third in from the right. That's John MacArthur. He lived with his dad in one of the " managers houses" on the south side of the main railway line. His dad was the manager at Burngrange Colliery.

By David Toynbee
On 07/01/2014

Hi David I think the family who lived in Livingstone st were called Forrester. I was a Davidson from meadowhead place. The names of of the children in the school picture are Back row David Gillies, George Weir, Danny Robb, Jim Scott, Possibly John Reid. John McArthur, ? Unknown. And Hugh McGillvery Second row Alan Forrester, Margaret Halliday, Chrissie White, isabel Hutchison, Elizabeth Hutchison, Sandra Gillfillan, Margaret Elizabeth Stewart, Molly Stevenson, and Betty McIvor. Third row Margaret Stewart (2). Sandra Morris, Esther Hamilton, Katherine Dymock, Betty Pringle, Marion Ravie, Margaret Aitchison, Jean McKenna, Margaret Davidson (me) Front row Peter Irvine, David Pennykid, Tom Steel, (I think ). Andrew Meek. (, Francis G ? ) John Bonnar, Ian Scott and John Lindsay. I Apologise for any wrong spelling.

By Margaret Foster
On 13/01/2014

Correction on class names. First boy David Gillies is in fact David Jervis.

By Margaret Foster
On 21/01/2014

Yes, my memory got mixed up with your married name. I was thinking of Marion Forrester. But you must be a sister to Ruby who joined my school class in Miss McIntire's classroom. I thought Ruby was the best looking girl I'd seen and spent three years trying to make her my girlfriend. But Ruby was always cool and distant. I was friendly with Tommy and Jane Hutchison (the twins) who lived just around the corner from you and Ruby was often there to my great delight. I lost track of Ruby after we went to West Calder High. The Davidsons got farm fresh milk from MacFarlanes farm and on weekends and school holidays I was the milk delivery boy for your house. Banging on the back door early morning looking for a jug or bottle to put the milk in. We delivered with the milk in a pint can and needed a container at the door.Some cold mornings there. That would have been 1952 to 1954.

By David Toynbee
On 03/02/2014

Hi I am wondering if Ann, & Catherine Cassidy were May & Pat's daughters who lived at 37 mooreland gardens?

By evamiller
On 02/03/2014

love reading all of this and showing it to my mother Catherine McDowall. My granny Winnie and granda William (Baldie) stayed at 57 Moreland Gardens. My uncle Pat Cone stayed further down the road. My Granny's sisters Lizzie and Mary and brother Michael Cone also stayed there. My Grandfather's brother John McDowall and his wife Jenny stayed round the corner. I have many great memories of Addiewell (Dykes) as a child. Running up to the wee shop at the top of the road in the late 60's and seventies. I also remember a hall of some kind at the top of the road across from the shop where I went to a christmas party around 1970....good memories x

By julie meek
On 15/03/2014

To: Eva Miller. I saw your question above.  I am Pat and May Cassidy's youngest daughter and I was born at 37 Mooreland Gardens, Loganlea.  The Catherine Cassidy who posts on the Addiewell Heritage site is our cousin Catherine "Kit" Cassidy, you probably remember her.  Her name is now Catherine Alleyne and she lives in Barbados, West Indies.  I now live in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

My older sister, Catherine Cassidy (now Currie) lives in Shotts.  Our brother Peter Cassidy was the middle child.  He died a few years ago.

I was hoping to be able to e-mail you or find you on facebook.  I can't quite place you.

My e-mail is and I am on facebook "Anne Cassidy Hamilton".   I think we are around the same age because I remember the same things you do.  The little hall where there were Christmas parties.  The one thing I can remember about the Christmas parties is Mrs. Rafferty's tablet.  I loved that stuff.  That would be  "Winnie Rafferty" although we were never allowed to call her Winnie.   Her daughter is Kit Toner who still lives in Loganlea I think.

I would love to hear from you and share memories.  I am so glad that Billy Kane and Sybil Cavanagh started this site.  Although I don't know who Sybil Cavanagh is.  Maybe that is her married name.  

Where exactly did you live in Loganlea?  I remember Mr. & Mrs. McDowell and John McDowell, their son, was a friend of my brother, as were all the Crossans, and I remember my father talking about Baldie McDowell.

Hope to hear from you soon.  I wish there was a link to e-mail people on this site.

Anne "Cassidy" Hamilton


By Anne Cassidy Hamilton
On 05/08/2014

Hi, don't know if anybody remembers me I am Pat Woods and we lived in Meadowhead Gardens I went to St. Thomas's in the fifties. My class had Jim Crossan, Jockie Kiernan, Davy Wilson, Johnnie McFadden, Margaret Quinn, Veronica Fitzpatrick, Helena Wyraslaski, Daniel Size and Paul McParland.  Job Crossan was my best pal and I have loads of happy memories of growing up in Addiebrownhill. I remember one of the worst winters in memory when we were all but cut off from the outside world. We built an igloo in George Dinwoodie's back garden and had great fun . I remember the  time my mother Suzie Woods And Kitty Tierney going down the hill on a sledge and all the rest of the women with their head scarfs and pinnies on. Roaring laughing when they spectacularly crashed into Judy's little bubble car . Unfortunately I have lost touch with almost everybody I grew up with, but often drift back in time to the happy memories I had there. I remember the Gala days when Poodle McParland beat me in everything I went until my memorable victory in the sack race . Eat dirt, McParland. All the best to everyone Pat Woods x

By Pat woods
On 10/09/2014

Just discovered this page. I lived in Meadowhead Crescent from around 1954 until 1974. Not sure if anyone will remember me.

David Edgar


By David Edgar
On 05/02/2015

I hope to get round to adding to this site. In the meantime, hello to all there, from Wladyslaw Paul Mejka, born in 33 Meadowhead Crescent in 1950 and living there until my late teens. 

By Wladyslaw Mejka
On 08/02/2015

Hi David I think you used to know my brother Tommy (Davidson) 

By Margaret foster
On 08/02/2015

Hi Margret,

Yes I do remember Tommy. I also remember...the Reids, Hugh Murray, THE Hamiltons AND Corrigans...TO NAME A FEW !















Hi Margaret,

Yes I do remember Tommy. I also remember the Reids, Hugh Murray, the Hamiltons and the Corrigans to name a few !




By David Edgar
On 14/02/2015

Hi Margaret, Yes I do remember Tommy, I also remember the Corrigans, the Hamiltons... and I'm sure a few more will come to mind !

By David
On 14/02/2015

Ooops..sorry for the repetition..and bad typing !!




By David
On 22/02/2015

My granny was Annie Tierney, married to Peter Collins. Her sister was Mary Doyle (Tierney) and there was also Auntie Bridget. Hugh (Hughie) Tierney was their brother. Another brother, Michael I think, lived with Auntie Bridget. The name Ward is familiar to me, also McKenna. 

By Elaine Doran
On 23/10/2015

My granny was Annie Tierney, married to Peter Collins. Her sister was Mary Doyle (Tierney) and there was also Auntie Bridget. Hugh (Hughie) Tierney was their brother. Another brother, Michael I think, lived with Auntie Bridget. The name Ward is familiar to me, also McKenna. 

By Elaine Doran
On 23/10/2015

I see David Edgar has found this site and that he lived in Meadowhead Crescent around the same time as me. I do recall the name. We're we at school together ?

By Wladyslaw Mejka
On 18/04/2016

FAO Elaine Doran.

The Auntie Bridget you mention was my grandmother. My mother, Bella McKenna, was your mother's cousin. In fact, I think my sister is your Godmother. I will leave my email address with the site managers and you can get in touch if you like. Hope to hear from you. 

By mike ward
On 13/09/2016

was this Mrs. McKenna who later stayed in Cuthill Crescent Stoneyburn with her brother Michael who was the lollipop man at Stoneyburn Primary.  I am also a Tierney, my great grandparents were John and Helen (Kerr).  I know I was related to Mrs McKenna but never knew how and neither did she.

By Bernadette gilliland
On 10/10/2016

Hi my name is Robert Habraska. I was born at 2, Livingstone street in 1951.  There was my dad George who worked in the Sheil pit. My mum known as Peggy and my brother Paul. We moved to Glenrothes in 1956 so my dad could work in the new Rothes pit. Sadly all the family died at various times in the seventies so I can't relate to anyone about my time in addiewell so it feels good to see some of the history and photos of the village. The name Kate Carroll rang a bell with me. I would have been a regular visitor at that time. My dad was polish and we attended the catholic church and my brother attended st thomas school. So chuffed to see that the first football team in the area was addiewell shamrock. Sounds like a real hotbed for us Tims.

By Robert Habraska
On 11/12/2016

Yes, indeed, Bernadette, that's her. She did have an uncle John but I doubt if that was the connection. I'll look into it. The site managers can give you my email address, if you like. 

By Mike Ward
On 11/12/2016

Addiewell great people and great friends

By william gus gillies
On 01/10/2017

Hi Pat Woods

I still live in Meadowhead Crescent. My older brother Jocko Kiernan lives in Stoneyburn now.  I was born in 1960 but know all your family.  

By Linda Kiernan
On 29/10/2017

My great grandmother Susan Cassidy lived at 23 Livingston street, she was born in 1888 to Frank and Mary Cassidy. Susan married James Morrison in 1911 and they remained at 23 Livingston street.

After 1918 they had two sons William and James Morrison.

I know they moved to polbeth, but at some point William (my grandad) and his wife Nora did live in Addiewell after they where Marties in 1949, they had a daughter Susan, Joseph, John and James whilst living there (I think).

Does anyone know of any Morrison’s living in or around the area now? Or even recognise any of the names ? 

It’s so nice reading all the comments and painting a picture of all the people that once lived in Addiewell.

Thank you Katie 

By Katie Dodd
On 02/06/2019

hi I stumbled on to this site as I was trying to find more about my grandad Bernard Fitzpatrick from Addiewell he was a conductor for the Loganlea miners male choir , I seen a comment about who’s was in their class Veronica Fitzpatrick in the 50s that’s my aunt ,my mum is Bernadette Fitzpatrick was nice to read some comments and names to her who she remembers some names mentioned 

By Jane
On 03/01/2020

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