First we come to the Gaugers Burn, a playground for the kids of the 40’s. Next we arrive at the Drill Hall, home of the Territorial Army. Filled by the Polish Troops for a short period, and then by the Pioneer Corp before their billets at North-Hill Prison Camp were built.

Next on the list was Tambini’s chip shop. After this we arrive at John Adam, a family grocer and drapers shop. We now reach the Infant School and then we smell the delicious chips of Lou Cabrelli. His parrot was a great attraction for the school pupils.

Gray’s Garage was the next place, where we got our batteries charged for the wireless. Willie Carr’s draper shop was on the list. There, you were able to get Black and White stamps with your purchases.

The next stop would be at the Crown Inn owned by Bella Swanson.

We are now near Lizzie Broon’s, a mecca for her toffee apples and always considered the shoppie to buy your sweets before going up to the Picture House. Coming now to the local Co-op with Mr. Dakers in charge of the grocery shop and the butchers next door. Next we arrive at Shand’s the butcher. Then we come to Evan Anderson the tailor’s shop. After this we approach Laurencekirk Free Church. Soon we are at Shiach the grocer shop followed by Willie Tavendale’s garage; he was the Ambulance driver 24/7 assisted by Ned Williamson.

Next on the list is Callander’s Smiddy and then we have another Smiddy owned by a Mr. Howie, followed by Stuart the Joiners and then Ironside’s Drapery shop. Across the lane we see Bruce the butchers. Opposite the Post office we have a derelict building which was later converted to a newsagent. Next the house of the couple who created the McFlannels, a well known wireless play, which used a lot of the local farm names in their stories.

We are now approaching Smith the painter followed by Dawson the Watchmaker and then Taylor the printer (this was the home of the Squeaker).

Now we are at Douglas the baker and then the North of Scotland Bank appears, followed by Doddie Clark the butcher. Next stop is a Draper’s shop owned by a Mr Smith. At the other side of Station Road, the Royal Hotel appears with Cameron’s Brewery conveniently placed around the corner. Dishington’s the Saddler is next and then we have Alfie Main the shoemaker, followed by the Parish Church. Now you are at the bottom of the High Street.

Crossing the street and now we are travelling south. First we come to the Gardenston Hotel, famous for Robbie Burns staying overnight and who before leaving scratched his name on one of the windows. Next on the list is Maggie Robertson a sweetie shop and then the grocer Mr Florence.

After this we have Keith Allan the chemist, and across the road the Commercial Bank appears followed by Johnston the painter, and next door to that is Simpson the shoemaker. Next to this is Hanton’s Garage.

Moving now we reach Willie Dey the grocer and then the Post Office, run by a couple of sisters by the name of Duthie. Crossing the road we reach the drapers shop belonging to George Brown. After this comes D.T. Johnston, a bit of a character and a grocer, then we come to the cycle shop run by Mr. Walker from Fettercairn.

Across the close we now have the famous Mrs Pucci, well known to the younger generation for her billiards room and sweet shop. A bit further on we reach George Knox’s fish shop followed by Thurston’s paper shop and then Davie Airth the hairdresser.

A little further on we come to Scotts the baker. Next we reach Mitchell the plumber and then Johnston the painter with his workshop. The English Church now appears before we reach Mrs Watson’s shop and hairdressing salon, manned by the famous Bill Crowe. We now move on to Alfie Fyffe, a chemist and a real character.

Crossing over the road, leading to the local Picture House showing three different films per week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays. Prices for the dearest seats being 1/9 (about eight pence in today’s money).

Next on the list is Mrs Watson’s grocery shop and tearoom, and now on to Tom Cameron, crofter and delivery man for the goods that were delivered to the railway station daily. Further on we come to Mitchell’s grocer and tearoom, fondly known as R.A BOB’S. The next one is Dave Brown’s dairy, who also run his lorry Tuesday and Friday to Montrose for anyone’s essential needs.

We now come to the Western Inn belonging to a Mr. Stott. Kinnear Square appears next and this piece of ground is common ground, so it was not unusual to wake up to the sounds of a Circus or a few tents on the Glasgow Fair. There was also a football pitch and it was played on every night except Sundays. West End football club played here and their changing rooms were in a shed adjoining the Hotel.

The last shop on the street was a branch shop of Douglas the baker. Prior to that it was the shop of Winter’s the Weavers.

That is the High Street as I remember it in the 1940’s.

Bill Lindsay

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