Down Memory Lane

The Falconers Ironmongers staff in Dalkeith. Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies

The Falconers Ironmongers staff in Dalkeith. Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies

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After such an excellent summer, the harvest was now in full swing. In Pathhead, the harvest started on August 4, and this was believed to be the earliest for 50 years.

By the end of August, all the fields around were cut and stooked, and a start had been made to leading-in and threshing.

Back Street, Dalkeith (Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies)

Back Street, Dalkeith (Photo courtesy Midlothian Council Local Studies)

The weather had broken in mid-August with a massive thunderstorm. Hailstones fell the size of pigeon’s eggs, and several cattle were killed in the fields. In Dalkeith, torrential rain fell from 9am till late afternoon. It was so dark, the street lights were lit in the afternoon.

Early in the month, a train had been derailed at Hardengreen. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the line was cleared quickly, so that there was little delay to the fast train to Carlisle.

Some bullocks on their way to the “Shambles” (the Killing Market) broke loose. They charged down the High Street and Back Street, and caused considerable damage to a market garden before they were captured.

On Eskbank Road a pony stumbled, and two young ladies were thrown out of the trap. One received a severe cut to the head.

“Several gentlemen who witnessed the accident rendered timely assistance”. (Incidentally, I did notice that people from Eskbank were always referred to as “ladies” and “gentlemen”. The common folk from Dalkeith were not so described!)

Read more of Alan Mason’s feature in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.