My first job after school at 15 Yrs, was the CO – OP Butchers whilst waiting to join the Army (had no choice really) Tom was the Boss, he was about 70ish then, John was his side kick, some must remember them. July 1955?
Anyway there was another guy of my age, Forgotten his name, we used to go out every morning on the big bicycles with the basket on the front, it would be full of packaged meat, sausages and the like, my job was to push this great lump of a thing up Greenlees Rd and deliver the packages. Initially I never got any tips from the Burnside Road lot, half of the time they would just stick a hand out for the package and then slam the door.
After some six or so months the other guy left and I was given the Church St route and similar areas, initially I was somewhat apprehensive about this but I just got on with it. John took over the ‘Hill Folk’ route. That was a major turning point in my young life, I swear on all that I hold dear to me that I never left a package, however meagre it was without the recipient giving me a few pennies, a sixpence or believe it or not even a jam sandwich on one occasion.
Why was this? Well simple really, the ‘Hill Folk’ knew well how their tenement people lived and they simply needed to hang on like glue to what they had, the town folk never had anything in the first place, so a few pennies meant nothing to them, quite simply the hill folk would rather die than come down to that level, and that is why they were so tight fisted. I am willing to bet that 60 years later now they are exactly of the same mind. Yes?