Memories of growing up in Woodburn

Murray Lawrie outside the home he grew up in in James Lean Avenue
Murray Lawrie outside the home he grew up in in James Lean Avenue

The other day I got to thinking and realised I have lived in Canada longer than I resided in Scotland. My, how time passes. The years pass quickly but my memories of growing up in Dalkeith still remain fresh.

My uncle, Joe Thomson, a Smeaton worthy, would suddenly appear in pouring rain to take my grandmother for a run in a car he had borrowed. When Grandma protested about the weather I can still hear his Smeaton voice saying, “Come dan, Jean. It’s no raining in a car.” And off they would go to the Stair Arms or some other venue for a day out.

After Emfield Square, then Elfield Park, the Lawrie family settled in James Lean Avenue. Here our life really began. We resided at No. 41 with the Cummings Family at No. 39 above us; the Whitelaws at No. 43.

We shared a long verandah which circled the house and looked out over the River Esk and an area we called “the jungle”. Who could ask for more? A garden front and back. Mr Whitelaw was an expert gardener and we were never without fresh vegetables.

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