Growing up in Parkhead
Well I suppose we should all start at our school days. I went to Newlands Primary then Riverside Secondary School. I remember being happy at Primary, but I’m afraid I can’t say the same for Secondary school. The only happy memory I have of Riverside was going on the SS Uganda to Russia. My pal Charles Clark also went on the trip. His family ran the bakers in Springfield Road (Sampson’s) whose Jock’s Loaves were a thing of legend.
We lived at 77 Whitby Street and had a great view of the Pancake Works that later became the high flats. My parents worked on Saturdays and the job of ‘going the messages’ was passed down from my older brother to me. No more long lye ins!
The first shop on the list was always Curley’s on Springfield Road where I would stand red faced as the woman would come away with sayings like if “I was 20 years younger I would be your girlfriend”. I think they meant 30 years by the look of some of them! I remember the big block of butter that sat on the counter that would be cut with a piece of wire, then knocked into shape with wooden paddles. Next on the list would be Sampson’s Bakers for a Jock’s Loaf, up past Frank Cross Butchers who, when he saw me, would always wave out or ask how my dad was doing. We didn’t buy anything from Frank’s as my dad owned a Butchers on Tollcross Road called ‘George’s’. Next was my favourite stop and that was Cook’s on Springfield Road for my Commando comic and a look at the airfix models in the window. You could also swap your Marvel comics there for a small fee – I remember the inside covers were stamped.
Across the road was Maxwell’s Leather shop. I still think of that shop when I smell leather – even on holiday. The woman that served, I remember, was always nice.
Now the heavy message bags! Yes – the fruit and veg from Mary McCaulay’s, where everyone wanted Mary McCauley herself to serve them. Mary would have to please everybody while polishing the apples for her display.
Woolworths in Westmuir Street was always a favourite shop to visit with its pick ‘n’ mix as soon as you walked through the door, and at that time being into music Woolworths always displayed who was Number One that week. There was another music shop in Parkhead next to the toilets in Burgher Street.
I would then make my way home, sometimes stopping at Jim Morgan’s Newsagents in Dechmont Street for a Lucky Totty or an MB bar.