Life After Leith
Well what have I done with myself after my childhood and adolescence in the Port?
As recorded earlier, I spent some months in Canada in 1956 before returning in August of that year.
I stayed with my parents in Cables Wynd and retumed to my trade as a pipefitter this time with the company of Munro and Miller of Sighthill, Edinburgh. Later in the same year I began my courtship of my future wife, Olive Jamieson. I had known Olive since schooldays at Leith Academy,1946-49, but never dreamt then that our lives would entwine a few years later.
On November 30, 1957 our marriage took place at Pilrig-Dalmeny Church, the ceremony conducted by the minister, Rev James Robertson.
After our honeymoon at Lochearnhead, we took up residence at my aunt`s house in Gilmerton. Olive returned to her work as a nurse at the nursing home in Great King Street Edinburgh.. Within a month, she found she was expecting our first child. Our joy was somewhat tempered when I had to relocate my job to Tilbury in Essex.
It was a period of genuine heartache for both of us, so much so that I relinquished the job after three months and returned as an unemployed person. Never the less, we both felt it was the best thing.
We then moved to a furnished flat in Grove Street offf Fountainbridge and I secured a temporary job with the Edinburgh Corporation as a bus driver. Olive gave birth to Karen on the 15th September 1958. Within months of the birth, we took another furnished flat in Pilrig Street.
Olive, Karen and me in Pilrig Park, 1958
In 1962, my paternal grandmother died and we were given her house by my father. It was at 42 Buchanan Street,Leith. We were to stay there for four years. In 1962 our second child Pamela was born on the 5th March.. In 1965, I returned to my trade, this time with the company, Hugh C Gibson`s Heirs in Elbe Street.
In November 1966, we secured a house in Livingston, West Lothian. The town was just being developed under the Government`s New Town Act. This was to encourage the re-location of people and business from overcrowded cities. We were among the first 30 families in Livingston.
I found a job with Uniroyal at Newbridge as a maintenance engineer. Later I would find my last employment with Abbey Chemicals in 1978. I remained there until 1994.
Our third child, Alan was born on 19th October 1967.
Olive, her mother and sister, Margaret and me with Pamela and Karen
and baby Alan in 1967 after the Christening. 12 Leven Walk, Livingston
I was a founder member of our local rugby club, Livingston RFC in 1968. I have been a player, committee member, secretary twice, and president. To this day I am still heavilly involved as team secretary and webmaster of the club`s website.
Olive returned to her nursing during our tenure here in Livingston. She spent some years in Drumshoreland Hospital, Broxburn.before taking up a nursing sister`s position with the Lynedoch Nursing Home in Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh.
All of our children married and are resident withing seven miles of my home. Four grand daughters are my pride and joy today. (Fiona, Aileen, Alison and Caroline) Added 3 December 2003 - the birth of another grand daughter. (Ava)
We were very happy with our move here and never regretted a day of it.
We had three houses in our years in Livingston. Leven Walk, 1966-1968, Canberra Street, 1968-1978, and Corston Park, 1978 to the present.
Alas, Olive was taken from me on 10th June 1998. It was a period of my life that I thought I would never get over. However, with the love of a close family and the support of my friends and neighbours I coped. A true saying that time heals. How often I heard that quoted to me. I could have screamed. However, it does. The pain decreases and you are left with the fond memories.
We had been planning for our retirement but it was not to be. God decided that she should be with him. How I envy him.