On Hogmanay, Dalkeith presented “an animated appearance”. The shops were busy, with many people in from the country. The local factories and mines had begun a week’s holiday.
A considerable number of good humoured young men and women paraded the streets till morning, without any trouble, and “the bottle” was much in evidence.
A bottle of whisky in those days cost 3/- (15p), a half bottle 1/6, with 1d back on the bottle. If you really liked a drink, you could buy it at 21/- a gallon!
Incidentally, all the adverts in the paper for drink were for licenced grocers in Bonnyrigg, Lasswade and Pathhead. So either Dalkeith folk were abstemious or, as is more likely, they need no encouragement to drink!
New Year’s Day dawned bright and sunny, and nearly all the shops were closed. The pubs only opened for a few hours, with the Carberry Arms and the Volunteer Arms remaining closed all day. Many people travelled to Edinburgh, where the attractions were the pantomimes and the Powderhall Sprint.
Alan Mason’s full feature appears in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.