I think, actually, compared to other families, we were really really okay for holidays. My Granny had a house in Rothesay, in Bute. So despite us not having much money, and we didn’t go every year for a fortnight or anything, because she let it out to earn her some money, we’d have a day here and there and sometimes a week at the most. Looking back, it would’ve been a cheap holiday but only in terms of accommodation, but I guess the rail and ferry fare, considering there’s five kids and a Mammy and Daddy ,that wouldn’t have been cheap… We also went to Seamill and Fairley, camping with tents. The tents are great now, but see the tents back then, they’d a separate ground sheet and, oh, it used to annoy me, because all the beasties crawled up the tent… I was eleven and my youngest sister was three; we went on the train to my Grandparents’ house in the north of Scotland for a holiday for a few weeks, and it was heaven. I’d been there as a toddler and I’d seen photos of it, but I didn’t remember it. My brother, he went every summer and stayed with my Granny and Granda, because he was a poorly child with a bad chest all the time, and he’d been ill loads of times, It was thought the clean air up north would’ve been good for him, because of the air in industrial Glasgow. I knew my Granny and Granda really well because my Granda worked on the railway; they visited us a few times a year because he would’ve had free travel. So, we knew our grandparents on both sides really well.”
Janette Aitken, East Renfrewshire
Carol’s family always had their holidays during the Paisley Fair fortnight and not the Glasgow Fair fortnight. They went to a caravan site in Girvan, and because Carol did not have any brothers or sisters, she was allowed to bring her friend Allison. The caravans did not have any toilets in them, so they had to use a communal toilet block, which meant using a torch at night to find their way. Carol remembers that there was one little shop that sold papers and rolls.
Carol Borland, Glasgow
Elizabeth remembers being aged about 10 or 11 years old when she first stayed in an hotel. They had stayed in boarding houses previously when on holiday. She describes going to Liverpool in her uncle’s Ford Cortina, and there being seven of them in the car. This would have been before cars had seatbelts, and the five adults would have been sitting on the seats with the two children on the floor. They tried one boarding house, but the landlady did not want to dirty sheets for seven people for only one night, so they went elsewhere.
Elizabeth Cook, Erskine
We went away camping in either a tent or a caravan. We went to Lossiemouth, beside Elgin, right up on the coast. We went to the same place every year and sometimes twice a year when I was a young girl. Later, my parents bought a static caravan at Berwick on Tweed, and that’s where I spent my teenage holidays.”
Victoria Corstorphine, East Renfrewshire
Alex said they went to Saltcoats for the day with their Mother and went paddling in the sea. His Mum would bring a kettle and they would boil water for tea on the beach and eat chips. He recalls a coach from Silverburn roundabout that used to take them to the seaside. There were quite a few of his neighbours and their families who went at the same time on the coach to Saltcoats.
Alex Dodds, Glasgow
On holidays, “We were very, very lucky because my Gran and Grampa, I suppose they were quite well off, not a lot of money but they did have money, and every May we used to go down to Millport on holiday. And then we would have two weeks away at the Glasgow Fair, because that’s when the shipyards had their holidays. We would go away for two weeks then, and quite often we would go away at September weekend as well.”
Sandra Dunbar, Melbourne, Australia
We used to buy family tickets and go down to the coast, just bring our sandwiches, lemonade and crisps, and just go down the coast… We went to Perthshire once a year, to a big house that the Government helped to pay for. We paid a bit and the Government paid the rest. Dennis couldn’t come but I went with the kids…. We used to bring the kids down to Blackpool when they were younger, not many times as we couldn’t always afford it, but when we did, we got the bus from ‘Southern Coaches’, I think they were called, down at Peat Road. We never went to Spain; we only went there when they were older.”
Rosaleen McCann, Glasgow
Fiona’s grandfather had a holiday home in Millport, and this is where the family spent their summer holidays.
Fiona McCrae, Glasgow
The McEwan family used to go to Saltcoats and Ardrossan on holiday, though they also went to stay with a friend of his uncle in Perth. They travelled by steam train on holiday. Colin used to be a train spotter and would spend the day at the railway sheds, looking at the engines. He would go to Glasgow, Carlisle, and other places.
Colin McEwan, Glasgow
We didn’t have holidays; we couldn’t afford it. We went on a couple of day trips to Ardrossan, Largs. We picked whelks on the beach and when we got home my dad would boil them. My Dad did take my brothers camping.”
Theresa Mulheron, Jersey, Channel Islands
When asked about holidays, Elizabeth said that her Mother would sometimes take the children to Saltcoats for the day, and she remembers her Gran taking them to Dublin and travelling on the ferry. She also spent holidays at Port Seaton in St Andrews. Her Aunt would also take them for long walks, and she often took them to Cowan Park in Barrhead. Elizabeth also went for walks to Darnley Dams, where there was a little stream; her mum would make them sandwiches, and they would take juice with them.
My Da saying to me put your hands under that and catch that water, ‘cos you’ll never taste water like that again, and it was a wee spring, and he had us all drinking the spring water.”
Elizabeth Murray (Liz), Glasgow
Susan said that her family went away for days, but they also went a few times to Port Seaton to stay in a holiday hut for a few days. Her Auntie Lilia and her four kids, her Mum and her brothers and sisters, all stayed in this holiday hut. Her Dad's aunt had a house in Pitlochry, and they had holidays there for a week every summer. To travel there, they got a taxi to Central Station and then boarded a steam train to Pitlochry. At that time, the trains had single compartments and as there were so many of them, they always had the compartment to themselves. Her Dad would accompany them to Pitlochry and stay for a day or two, and then he returned to Glasgow for his work. The whole family still visits Pitlochry regularly.
Susan Rasdale, Kilsyth
Susan Rasdale submitted these holiday snaps of her and her friends on holiday in Blackpool as they grew older.