‘The town of Bonnyrigg had two railway stations. Dr Beeching, Chairman of British Railways Board closed one and my big brother, Leader of the Black Spot Gang, would accidentally terminate the other. Fortunately, it was on an obsolete branch line which was rarely used: Broomieknowe Railway Station.’
At Lasswade Primary School, bees buzzed in peppermint trees, and an inappropriate film about lepers, or leopards, was screened. A house was haunted by ghosts.
A railway station mysteriously burned down. A peculiar cricket match took place on the playing fields of Lasswade High School. A starship failed to reach the stars and there was Bob-a-Job mayhem. Children danced with the devil in the church vestry and teenagers danced to Glenn Miller’s big band sound at a school Christmas party. All this and more happened in the town of Bonnyrigg and Lasswade village, near Edinburgh in Scotland.
This book begins in 1953 and spans almost two decades. These years were the dying embers of an epoch when life was simple, uncomplicated; there was only one television station, immobile telephones were located in cold hallways and, unfettered by health and safety concerns children invented their own games and designed the necessary props. The church was the hub of the community, at school teachers kept an iron grip on law and order and doctors were available on demand. And, of course, the summers were always, always gloriously sunny.
In my memoir, Memory Spill, I bring these events, and others, vividly, if not always accurately, to life.
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