This is your page to send in any anecdotes or amusing stories about the village. I'll start if off with the following story my late Father related to me often and I wish now that I'd paid more attention at the time to get it right.........
In 1924 the 24th Perth Boy Scout Troop attended the Boy Scout Jamboree at Wembley Stadium, London as part of the British Empire Exhibition . One of the Culbert twins (can't remember if it was Wull or Jock) went into a large Post Office in London and asked for two ounces of sweeties. The bemused counter clerk said, "This is a Post Office son. We don't sell sweets here." A disgruntled Culbert twin replied as he left "Well they do in the Post Office at Stanley!"
Footnote: Like many of his generation who'd lived through two World Wars and the Depresssion my Dad never liked to throw anything away and as an example here's a copy of Patrol Leader Jim Donaldson's Wembley Pass valid for the period July 31st to 8th August 1924.
Some years ago, because of temporary ill health my late father, Jim Donaldson wasn't able to dig his garden one Spring so my mother, Bunt, arranged and paid for a local man to do it. We'll call him Jock to protect his identity. Although he's no longer with us I believe he still has family in the village. After finishing work Jock would carefully clean the spade before putting it away in the shed and would give a sharp rap on the back door with a cheery "That's me away then Mrs Donaldson" whereupon my mother would give him a shot of OVD rum before he headed home down the road on his bike. I was up visiting my parents one day and sure enough there was a sharp rap on the back door along with the usual "That's me away Mrs Donaldson". I said to my mother, "That's Jock away. Are you not going to give him a glass of rum". Bunt replied, "I've had to stop that. He has been lousin' two or three times a day recently!"
Jim Donaldson 21st September 2008
Kate Gairns relates the story that when Dr Burgess was the GP in the village his wife had invited a few of the local ladies to afternoon tea. At one point in the proceedings Mrs Burgess asked if any of them would like anything more to eat, to which one of them, trying to impress with a posh Stanley accent, replied “Yes, I would like another pancock please!”
25th August 2008
WHAT IS IT?
old riddle found in an 1890 newspaper
sit stern on the rock while I’m raising the wind
the storm once abated, I’m gentle and kind
sit at my feet who wait at my nod
kneel in the dust on the ground I have trod
seen by the world and known by a few
Gentile detests me, I’m pork to the Jew
weight is three pounds, my length is a mile
when once discovered you’ll say with a smile –
the first and the last are the pride o’ the Isle.
(The answer is a word of one syllable)
11th July 2008 - Thanks to Connie Adamson for this (but what's the answer)
Prior to June 1935 anyone could drive a motor car without having to pass a driving test and my Father, Jim Donaldson never had to sit one. In the 1930's he was driving down the Feus Brae and was pulled by the Polis at Percy Street for speeding and subsequently fined fifteen bob. Just before the local law had pulled him in - the Co-op message laddie had overtaken him on his bike going down the Feus Brae!
Jim Donaldson - 20th January 2006
In today’s parlance, Bob
Donaldson would be described as a ‘Cleaning Operative’. A predecessor of
‘The Bat’, he and Jimmy Reid formed a competent and well respected team
of village Road Sweeps during the early 50’s. Bob was a dour, ungainly,
yet kind bachelor whose hobbies included pioneering organic gardening, (due
to the questionable matter of a cesspit ), and bee-keeping.
I remember an incident
involving the removal of a swarm of bees from a cherry tree in the front
garden of a house in the Mill Street ‘Cottages’. Apprehensively watched from a safe distance by
the Store Street Gang , this operation was executed perfectly, and
single-handedly, by Bob, whose status in the Village grew as a result of his
bee-keeping suddenly became a topic of conversation, whereas previously,
apart from the fact they stung, we only knew that it took several to make
Not so one Angelo Cura, a likeable, gaunt Italian post-war emigrant, and erstwhile proprietor of the Fish and Chip Shop, who, upon hearing that Bob Donaldson produced his own honey, remarked, "I never knew he kept a bee”.
Gordon Howie 10th January 2006
In the early 60's, I worked in Clarkie's bar on Friday and Saturday nights, along with Jim Spowart, Gordon Lennon, Barney (Norrie Barron) and others. Good money at 10 bob for the night's work (50p in to-day's money).
It was a fairly quiet night in the "Snug", Chookie and Irene Dunbar were my only customers. From the toilets appeared a rat, about 6 inches long and it sat on the floor, transfixed, and like the rat, I didn't know what to do next, when Chookie said, "Put a tray on top of it and walk it to the door. It'll just go up towards the Curlie (the Curling Pond)."
Tray on top, walking to the door, when the door burst open, Sandy Winter coming for "his mornin" - quarter bottle of whisky and two cans of export. I forgot about the tray (and the rat underneath it) and went to serve Sandy. When Sandy saw the tray moving across the floor (with the rat underneath it), he about-turned thinking that he had far too much that night. Happy days!
Alan Wells - 25th December 2005
A Lesson in Thrift
The name of Arthur Luncarty Young, aka ‘Lunc’, resident of Store Street during the 50’s and 60’s, was well known by village people of my generation. It would be fair to say that in those times he was considered ‘strange’ without being eccentric. A confirmed bachelor, he confounded those who knew him by deciding to marry, in later life, Georgina, with whom he had, what would be fairly described, a ‘tempestuous’ relationship. They were however united in “thrift”, and were definitely from the ‘waste not, want not’ School of Economics.
Prior to moving to Murray Place in the late 50’s, our family had been close neighbours and knew the pair reasonably well.
Soon after Arthur died, my mother met Georgina one day whilst grocery shopping in the village. There had been a great transformation in Georgina’s physical appearance which caused my mother to blurt out, “Oh Georgina! What big teeth you have”. To which Georgina replied, “Aye, they’re Arthurs”.
Gordon Howie 23rd December 2005
Where are all these stories about the Stanley lads? There are thousands of them. Lets be having them. (Don't be shy). The following one concerns Bob O'Brien (The Bat) and myself. Bob was one of the greatest footballers that I ever had the privilege of playing with. I'll never forget his 9 goals against The Royal School of Dunkeld in the 1st Round of the Tullybelton Cup at Dunkeld when we beat them 11 - 1. Bobbie Campbell got the other two - he went on to play professionally with Forfar Athletic. (There was a Public Enquiry that went on for weeks as to how we lost a goal - Jimmy Blyth had never lost a goal for about two seasons!) I think I eventually took the blame for the goal just to prevent World War Three breaking out. Anyway - back to the Bob O'B & I, and the Stanley stories.
Bob and I were summonsed to old Daddy Hughes's office one morning regarding an allegation that we had been seen swickin' (cheating to the non-Stanley folk) at an exam. They alleged that we had been copying. We both denied it strongly. Old Hughsie brought out the exam papers out and told us he would prove it. (If I mind right I think Bob bet him half-a-crown he couldnae'). He pointed out - Question No.1 O'Brien - you have put "No" and Cameron - you have put "No". I immediately said to him - " but that's a pure coincidence sir". He then said - look at Question No. 2 - O'Brien puts "Yes" and Cameron puts "Yes". Again we denied it and Bob told him that it was purely coincidental. Right he said - I'll show you the 3rd Question - O'Brien - you have put "I DON'T KNOW". Cameron - you have put "NAITHER DO I" Bob lost his half-crown bet and we baith got the belt!
Peter Cameron 19th December 2005
Davie Robertson, (Olly) the joiner, lived by himself in his latter years in a bungalow up the Bankfoot Road. When his mother died he was left with her wee fluffy dog. (Can't remember the breed). One night a couple of lads walked in to the Strathord Inn and asked if Davie had been in, as his dog was across The Square at the phone-box, which was at that time just outside the school. It was standing outside the phone-box whimpering away and the lads recognised it, so Gordon Grant the proprietor at the time, phoned Davie to let him know. The phone rang for some considerable time before Davie eventually answered it. (He had been in the pub earlier and had consumed a few then gone home and fell asleep, leaving the door open). However Davie eventually wakens and answers the phone. Gordon tells him - Your dog is at the phone-box at the school! Davie, not fully wakened, says - What the hell is it doing there - we've got the phone in the hoose!
Peter Cameron - 24th November 2005
Wull West, Airntully, a great character, (his photo is in the Stanley Photos) took two or three Stanley lads to Hampden Park, Glasgow, for a mid-week International Match. He had an old Hillman Minx at the time, covered in stoor, caused by him driving it over the tattie dreels, across the dreels! After the game, they are back in the car, in lines and lines of congested traffic, and one of the lads spotted that they were headed south on the Kilmarnock road. Na Na said Wull, I ken whaur I'm goin'. They then came up to a big multi-junction with a Glasgow bobby standing on a platform in the middle, with a whistle, etc. The cars were all coming up to the junction, signalling what direction they were going, and it was ticking over like clockwork, till Wull comes up with the Minx, no signal, and his pipe reekin'. The bobby on seeing him approach, with no signal, put his hands on his hips, and shouted over to him (his window was open for the pipe reek) Where the hell are you goin'? Wull shouted back to him - AIRNTULLY!
Peter Cameron - 24th November 2005
Thanks to Ray Sime for this cartoon.