Saturday, 30 October 2010

Catching up with the Muckle Toon

After a couple of cups of  leisurely tea last Monday morning, it was time to bid farewell to Duncan, Fiona and crew, and wander off into Langholm for a scout around to see what had changed since I lived there about 25 years ago.

Certainly no difference from this range.

I dropped in on Susan, an old school friend (I say old but she is younger than me so that can't be old can it? ...Can it!!), who's son is at Langholm academy, and she tells me that all the class rooms are in the same places as they were err....emm...a time ago. So no change there either except that black boards are now white boards and they've put a new roof on it all. Thanks for the tea Susan.

 Langholm Police Station, my home for 9 years - my bedroom window was the big window above the two arched ones (which used to be the doors into the building)

When this picture was taken, this street was called Charles Street - not difficult when it written on it.

Now a days, the street is called Thomas Telford Street but apart from the trappings of the modern day - tarmac, cars and satellite dishes - it looks much like it does above.

 If you look closely at both pictures above, you'll see a couple of shops on the right hand side. in my day they were a farming goods supply shop but now they are a vets and a tattoo parlour (surely a sign of the times)

The Buck Hotel - recipient of quite a few of the youthful me's pounds.

The town hall - I had requested permission to post an old picture from 1900 of this here, but I was far to impatient to wait for it. Take the cars out of this picture and make it black and white and you've got everything that a century and a bit has done to this scene.

The following series of pictures shows the replacing of Milroy's store with the Thomas Hope hospital's gatehouse in 1890.

The laying of the memorial stone - this was the house of a family friend when we lived there - does she realise how many folk were crowded into her upstairs bedroom.

The same scene as it is today (at least last Monday - it's probably raining now). Balfour's shop in the two pictures above was still going strong in the town in 1985 when I left, but it is impossible for a town to keep that sort of shop now the march of the supermarket has come along, so now it's a deli and cafe (I think - I didn't actually go in)

 The rather dashing chap on the left there is Sir Pulteney Malcolm (1768 -1838). He was a local lad who joined the navy and did alright for himself. He was third in command of a fleet that set fire to many buildings in Washington DC in 1814 including the Whitehouse (apologies to my American readers) but, this being a good long time before British and American leaders swapped bottles of beer, it didn't stop him becoming an Admiral in the Blue. HMS Malcolm was named after him and also Pulteney Street in Adelaide of all places. He has a statue in St Pauls in London but that doesn't mean he can't have one back home (see next pic) which used to be  in front of the town hall but has since shuffled it's way round the back.

Besides having his statue shuffled into more obscure corners, poor Sir Pulteney appears to have been badly upstaged by his little brother Sir John Malcolm, who was the ambassador to Persia, Governor of  Bombay and general writer of history books. Little bro managed to get his statue into Westminster Abbey and has a monument placed on the hill (see first picture of this blog) which hasn't shuffled anywhere and is much loved by Langholm folk.

There must have been something good in the Malcolm genes for a third brother, Charles, also managed to get himself knighted.

 The Douglas Hotel is now owned by Robin Brockley, who I went to school with, and his brother. A most pleasant hour passed here catching up on a bit of local news and he does serve a rather good pint of Deuchars IPA.

Time now to pick up a few sweeties for the bus, but what's this!! that bricked up doorway below used to be the sweetie shop when I was a kid.

Langholm has more than it's fair share of rivers (it's got 3), so I'll leave you with a quick shot of the Esk - at least some things don't change.


Denise said...

What a great trip down memory lane. I enjoyed going along with you and your photos were lovely. I went on my own trip recently back to my home town in England, via Google Maps and found the street level feature, where you can navigate through the town and see photos of the houses as you go along. I found my old house, the library and the movie theater. How amazing to see these places after all these years, thanks to the world wide web.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I enjoyed the tour around your old stomping grounds, sights and scenes I'll never to get see in person. Now I was wondering about those 9 years at the Langholm Police Station... was that as an employee or inmate? :)

Shundo said...

I second that enquiry....
I am pretty sure that the sweet shop next to the bus stop where I used to take the bus home from school has also disappeared - last time I was in my home town, I think it was an estate agent, which may be a worse fate than being bricked up. It was a tiny place, the sweets were on the right hand wall, and the left hand wall had haberdashery-type things that I was much less interested in when I was seven.

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks for your comments folks - glad you enjoyed the wee wander about Langholm.
I was an inmate in the police station - my father was a policeman, so I spent most of my childhood living in police stations - well, in houses/flats attached to them - we shared a phone number with the station and occasionally had to deal with people trying to phone the police which I'm sure would never happen nowadays.

Shundo said...

I followed up on my comment with a trip down memory lane courtesy of Google street view, where I found that the sweet shop was indeed repurposed into something less palatable. And the sun was shining in the photos too, which made it seem a nice place than I typically remember it.

The Glebe Blog said...

A nice 'then and now' tour Sandy.
By the way I like your blog layout.Is it a standard blog template,or one you've tweaked ?

Sandy's witterings said...

The basic design is one of the ones in "Awesome inc" (I hate the use of the word awsome)in the design section here - with the sections shuffled around a bit. The title is all just one big jpeg which replaces any titles in the title section. It's all quite low tech really - it has to be for me.

Anonymous said...

Ah homesick now (Ayrshire girl).

Sandy's witterings said...

Caitlin, I'm sure you'd be homesick far Australia if were over here - except you'd probably have hypothermia too.
Thanks for dropping in and if I ever stop in Ayrshire - it's not far but without a set of wheels it might as well be - with the camera, be assured it'll appear here.