Extracts from a letter written by Nan and Betty Campbell, October 2000 containing delightfully detailed memories of their family in Auchterhouse 1920s onwards and their own childhood visits to the village. Accompanying photographs were sent with the letter.
Time slips by - days and months slip away, so we wonder if this is of any interest about our grandfather and relatives.(Nan and Betty Campbell, Port Glasgow)
Grandfather with his dog, at Parkside Cottage
William Robertson, employed as a gamekeeper, lived at Parkside. His wife was Annie Lourie. Family - Barbara, Annie, Betsy, Charles - Barbara was our mother. William Robertson was well liked and popular, well known in district for catching poachers. He gave them a dram - sent them away - promising next time gaol!
Our family went to the village school. Teacher was an elderly man known as the "Dominie" and he could teach from very youngest - but no strap - he used cane on table. Most of children came from nearby farms.
On a Monday they were given one penny each for lunch - only a farthing to be used at village shop/Post Office, where they got a big pancake spread with syrup - a scone another day, and a buttery. Some days a cup of milk, should a kind farmer leave it for their lunch. Sometimes we would go down to the village wishing well, which we enjoyed when there, and wished a wish.
A Countess of Airlie's Prize was presented to the best top girl. Barbara Robertson won one year. It was a polished wood work box - with her name on lid - lined with red silk. There was an inset tray with little boxes which had buttons, pirns, fasteners, pins, needles and, underneath, reels of thread, ribbons, elastic, scissors and a button hook for their boots. She proudly took it home. She was 14 (died aged 89 in 1972). We still have this box iin our family, in good condition.
Barbara got a job as a maid at the Mansion House. She did all the work for 2/6d wages. She gave her mother 1/6d, the shilling she kept. Later she moved to Blairgowrie and got 4/6d from a lady who had three maids. She saved her pennies and bought a bike to get home on odd days.
Charles Robertson got work on farms to get money to go to Dundee. Then he got a job in Glamis fabric jute mills where he studied and learned how jute could be used. The owner trained him in office work, too, where until his death he was Managing Director and part-owner. He met various Royals - including the Queen Mother.
Love and Marriage
Dundee families sought lodgings at Auchterhouse for Fair Week. William Campbell came with some of his family and there he met Barbara - fell in love and married - that's how our mother met my Dad. They were married in 1911 in the village hall. All the villagers in the district came to Barbara's wedding.
Next to her house was a May Stewart who lived in Cortachy Cottage - she married one of Arthur's sons, John. She was 23 years older than John - and very happy. They loved coming to Port Glasgow. We enjoyed their visits.
My Dad bought a motorbike and sidecar so visited Auchterhouse lots of times.
Mum loved coming home. My sister and myself loved going up the lane and with friends from Port Glasgow going to White Top (Betty as baby was carried up - she is now 75). We liked going up by Sani (Auchterhouse Sanatorium) - sitting on rock seat seeing all names scratched on it.
Friends and neighbours
The only one living is a Mr Grahame Anderson who lives at Tealing and has business in Dundee - his father married a Liz Morrison who lived on a farm there.
Your new Minister came from a wee church just 15 minutes away from here. Our neighbour and friend went to it as a girl and still does. Her name is Mrs Helen Miller. Another lady friend is Mrs Ena King. They with others went to induction and would like to go again. The Minister was thrilled with the church and so was Helen and friends.
As years passed, on Hogmanay Mum all excited to see our Annie. What a welcome we got. Come 12 am Dad would go out bring in a piece of coal placed on fire, then we would stand at door as guns went off all round the County.
On New Year's Day Charles and his wife arrived. Dinner was a very tasty steak pie that she got from Newtons of Newtyle.
He brought van round district Tues and Thurs with everything in food line. Annie was a lovely baker. She cooked on a paraffin cooker - no burnt food. The boys made use of press in kitchen which had window shelves for dishes and pans.
The special was a sultana cake made with Pitpointie butter (Grandfather later worked there). Mum always brought this home, and fresh eggs from hen farm and sometimes honey.
We looked forward to going to church if Communion Day. John was an Elder. Arthur took on janitor of school. He and Aunt Annie scrubbed the floors with Lifebuoy soap - kept school so clean got only 50 pence each from Education Authority - a difference from today.
Well my sister and self . I am 87 - are visitors to Auchterhouse since I was six. There must be lots of changes in village.
How we looked back at the happy times there.
I guess our thoughts will always be in Auchterhouse.
Letters received requesting copies of our Auchterhouse 2000 calendar included many interesting comments about the village.
My father was born in 1912 in a farm cottage just outside Auchterhouse. The cottage is still standing. He attended the village school, and on leaving around 1925/6 worked on several farms in the district. His recollections of life in and around the village in the 1920s are still very clear and include delivering milk to the Sidlaw Sanatorium during the period.
Jean Grant nee Walker
My grandparents, father, 2 uncles and 1 aunt were born in Auchterhouse. My grandfather and great-uncle built Avenue Cottage and Rock Cottage. We were also evacuated to Auchterhouse at the beginning of the second world war.
I was on the train stuck in the snow in 1947 then aged 5 and remember it clearly.
I came to the village twice a week with the butcher's van from Newtyle "Dave Reid" but sadly he died very suddenly in 1950, but I carried on until 1958 then moved to Blairgowrie so knew the village and lots of the folk in those days. I also played for the local football team. I also remember 1947 when all the roads were blocked with deep snow.
I went to school in Auchterhouse from 1942-49, I grew up at Pitpointie farm.
We were brought up at Dronley and Auchterhouse in the 1930s and 40s. We were taught dancing by "Dancie Reid" in the school.
I was a patient at Sidlaw Sanatorium in 1941/42 and well remember the area.
Mrs M Henderson
As a child I spent many happy visits to Arran Cottage which was opposite the Bonnyton Road This cottage was owned by relatives Mr and Mrs George Wighton and later their daughter Alice. I also knew the family who had the cottage between Arran Cottage and the Post Office, their name was Glen and the lady in the Post Office at the beginning of the war was Jessie Bryson and her niece Jean Bryson took it over. I spent my first holiday at Arran Cottage in 1938 as an infant. My own son spent his first holiday there as well.
Do you have memories of Auchterhouse or the people who lived there in the past, or photos of the village? If so, do get in touch and we would be happy to add the information to this section of the website. Contact us by email or write to Bob Bruce
We look forward to hearing from you.