Armadale in old picture postcards

Armadale in old picture postcards

Author
:   William F. Hendrie
Municipality
:   Armadale
Province
:   Lothian, West
Country
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-1155-3
Pages
:   80
Price
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2-3 weeks (subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.

   


Fragments from the book 'Armadale in old picture postcards'

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9 Wearing his distinctive black bowler hat, former Town Clerk of Armadale Mr. Ken MacDonald is seen crossing Bast Main Street in this photograph taken at the start of the 1920s. The rounded doorway of the Star Inn can be seen on the left and in the far distance on the right lies Russell's Row, one ofthe many long low lines of miners' rows, which made up much ofthe town's housing stock at this time.

10 'Oh, he's never been past the billboards,' was a local expression of contempt for the narrowly parochially minded in Armadale and here the outdoor advertising billboards can be seen on the south side of East Main Street in this early 1920s picture postcard. The solitary figure standing in front of the billboard hoarding is that oflocal butcher Mr. McNab. ou MacNab, as he was known, lived in The Dale all of his days from his birth in a room above the Buckshead Tavern, through his marriage to one of the other well-known local families, the Russells, to his death. The shop is that of Geordie Colquhoun, a First World War veteran, who supplied the

town with its newspapers. Arrnadale's first newsagents and stationers shop was opened as long ago as the late 1 85 Os by Mr. William Forrester, who incorporated the post office into his business in 1860

with [ohn Easton, nephew of the originalletter carrier, as the new postman. Newsagent Geordie Colquhoun was one of Annadale's first keen amateur photographers and published twelve of his photo-

graphs as local postcards. It is probable that picture 7 of the Miners'Welfare Institute is one ofthem.

I.d"t Xl ain Street, Annadale.

1 1 A black and white bus stop has appeared in East Main Street by the time this 1930s photograph was taken. It stands in front of the double windows of A. MacKenzie's well-known drapers shop. Notice the linen blinds in both windows, which could be lowered to proteet the stock on display in them from the sun.

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12 A rival drapery was situated on the corner at the top of North Street. It was known rather grandly as Kerr's Drapery Warehouse and when this very early photograph was taken it was advertising a sale.

13 Trade in Armadale was, however, dominated by Armadale Co-operative Society, whose shops occupied a prominent position on the north side of West Main Streel. "Ihe Co-op' or "The Store' as it was more commonly known, was more an institution than simply a shop, catering for the people of Arrnadale's every need, from supplying their prams when they were babies to providing the hearse to take them to their funerals. Practically every family in Armadale was a member of the Cooperative Society and life revolved around The Store, and the quarterly dividend which the Co-op Board declared was an important factor in calcu-

lating their finances. Ta qualify for dividend all purchases had to be made using tokens called checks, which were purchased using a member-

ship number. Many older residents can still reeall their Coop number as easily as their date ofbirth!

CENTRAL WEST MAJN sr ARMADALE.

14 Members of the staff of the Store Drapery department crowded the doorway of their shop on the day when the photographer taak this photograph for Armadale Coop's Annual Report. Although na langer controlled by a local board of management, the Co-op supermarket on the same site in West Main Street is still the largest shop in Armadale and still commands fàithful support from many of the townsfolk. In 1 997 a cash dividend was re-introduced for the first time for several decades and has once again proved popular withArmadale's shoppers.

TJ-I.E CO-OPER TIVE. BUJLDI

Cts AR

A A E..

1 5 At the time when it was at its strongest, the size of the staff of Armadale Co-operative Society can be judged from the at ten dance at this employees' dance, which was held in the early 193 Os. As weil as its shops the Co-op also supplied outlying districts from its fleet ofmobil shops, which were at first horse-drawn carts and later motorised vans, delivering everything from milk and morning rolls to teabreads for afternoon tea and from fruit and vegetables to butcher meat. The importance in the life of the town of this annual event can be judged from the fact that in this group photo, fifth from the left in the front row is Mr. George Mather,

Labour Member ofParliarnent for West Lothian. His wife is seated on his right. The manger of Armadale Co-op, Mr. Watherspoon, is seated fourth from the right in the front row and another well-

known Co-op figure. Matt Prentice, is the gentleman wearing the light suit and tie in the centre of the second

row.

1 6 Despite the dominanee of the Co-op, many independent business es did also flourish in Arrnadale. Here the owner,

Mr. Mackenzie, stands proudIy in front of his bakery and confectionery shop. Freshlybaked cakes and sponges are displayed in the window to his right with sweets and chocolate on show below the Cadbury's sign in the opposite window. Mackenzie's was a favourite place for Armadale children to spend their

weekly Saturday penny.

-...::;..:--- --

17 J. M. Diekson's Pharmacy was a less welcome port of call for Armadale boys and girls because he stocked the botdes of malt, syrup of figs and castor oil with doses of which they were regularly doctored by their mothers in pre-National Health Service days, when every visit to the doctor had to be paid for and a home vislt from the G.F. cast even more. Same employers paid for their workers and sometimes also their families to be on the doctor's panel, which helped reduce individual charges. As wen as stocking a wide range of pills and potions and making up prescriptions issued by the local doctors, Mr. Dickson also dealt in cameras and the films

to go with them. Films were processed on the premises in the shop's own dark room.

18 Armadale's Mill Raad had an appropriately rural touch to it when this photograph was taken. There is na date on it, but from the style of dress of the wamen strolling up the centre of the raad it was probably taken in the late 1920sor early 1930s.Barbaughlaw Mill was the home of]essie Harvey, the miller's daughter, who inspired local schoolmaster William Cam eron to write his fameus poem 'Sweet Iessie O'The DelI'. lts first verse reads: '0 bright the beaming queen o'night, Shines in yon flowery vale, And softly sheds her silver light 0' er mountain pathand dale: Short is the way when light's the heart That's bound in leve's soft spell, Sae ril

awa' to Armadale Ta [essie 0' the Deil, Sweet Jessie 0' the Dell, The bonnie lass o' Armadak Sweet Jessie 0' the Dell.'

.111 I'

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