Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Highland Lass

Scotland is a beautiful country ... especially when the sun shines!  We couldn't have asked for better weather.
We stayed in Inverkip so we were close to Gourock and Greenock where mum was brought up and we could visit Largs where she went dancing.  The pipers paraded in the streets to welcome mum home!

       A short ferry ride took us across to Dunoon where the statue of Mary Campbell (Highland Mary) looks out to sea.  Robert Burns was in love with Mary.  In 1786 she visited her brother in Greenock.  He was ill with typhus and she was nursing him.  Unfortunately she caught the disease and died a few days later.

Burns was a busy man around that time though - his first child was born to his mother's serving girl in 1785. Burns didn't marry her as he was in a relationship with Jean Armour who would become pregnant with twins in March 1786.  By May 1786 he was exchanging bibles and plighting his troth to Mary Campbell but when she died he returned to Jean and they married in 1788 - they had 9 children but only 3 survived infancy.

The first Burns Night was celebrated in Greenock in 1802.

Anyway, in 1932 mum was 10 years old and living in Newton Street, Greenock.

The house belonged to her grandparents: her mother (Georgina) and father (Thomas) divorced.  Georgina was bedridden with TB so the children (Mum, Bobby and Georgie) were cared for by their grandparents.  When Bobby was 14 he came home from school one day to find his bag packed and his grandmother had signed him onto one of the ships!  Apparently he told terrible stories of child abuse during his early years aboard!

A few years ago my elder sister took mum to see Bobby as he was ill in hospital.  On the way up the motorway they stopped off at a service station and mum left her handbag in the cafe.  They had to turn round to retrieved the bag before continuing  their journey.  Sadly, Bobby died about an hour before they arrived.

We found the old house.  Aunty Georgie made the trip with us so she stood in for Bobby - but she stood on the wrong side!

Quick up-date on the allotment.
While I was away the raised beds were created:

Now I just have to dig them!!


  1. So nice for your mum to see her old home back. The parade of pipers is very special too, really Scottish. Well you still have a lot of digging to do. Happy gardening!

  2. That is a very grand building it must have brought back so many memories for your Mum.