Down Memory Lane

Rev L Dickson watches as first customer is served when the St Cuthberts Co-op Association Department store at Bonnyrigg opened
Rev L Dickson watches as first customer is served when the St Cuthberts Co-op Association Department store at Bonnyrigg opened

Ann: “I came to Bonnyrigg in the early sixties and my first memories are the cobbled street and busy pavements. Young Mums were pushing prams or pushchairs, much bigger than they are today. There were ‘parked’ outside the shops, babies sleeping peacefully or sitting up cooing and laughing, with passers-by stopping to speak to them. People stood in twos or groups talking with one another.”

Isobel: “Yes we have come a long way from the old days when everyone knew one another and were ready to spend a wee bit of quality time. There was lots of fun. I remember Miss Cairns, who worked in the Store. She was getting married and her colleagues dressed her up as a bride with some old curtains for the train and streamers that adorned her coat. She was carrying a china chamber pot with salt and plastic dolls. It was said to be a sign of fertility. The sight I will never forget; all good fun and a pity this custom has vanished. I was lucky to be given a small chamber pot filled with salt and plastic dolls and when I look at it I remember that dark evening when the store had closed and someone ringing a bell led a crowd of young ladies singing and dancing up Park Road with a very happy Miss Cairns.”

Ann: “I remember dogs walking freely in the High Street.”

Isobel: “My memory is not of dogs but horses. Early on a Sunday morning before I went to Sunday School I looked round at the back of the store where the milk carts left from. If I was lucky I got a glimpse of the horse having a feed before going on his rounds. I can still smell the milk and maybe that is I why I am not keen on anything milky now!”

Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Local History Society’s full feature appears in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.