Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2022

Date of publication

1st December 2022


In a recent article for the Village Crier I wrote about family memories of Glenbank which has given rise to these further recollections.

When I mentioned free-wheeling from Glentarkie trying to get all the way to the Auchtermuchty road we would have been on our way to visit Papa's brother who farmed near Windygates; on one  of these visits would have been the first time I was on board a horse. I say on board because being up on a top of a Clydesdale seemed to me at the time to be much more than riding, due to the horse's very broad back and my short legs. I confess that I did not have control as the horse was being led by an aunt.

On a Friday we would sometimes go into the Perth cattle market which was then in the city itself. Papa liked to keep in touch with what was current although retired from farming. After the mart it was down to Jennie's café near the Salutation hotel for mince pie and beans lunch. The next stop would be the tobacconist's shop just up the street.I seem to remember there was a wooden statue outside of a kilted Scotsman or was it  a Red Indian (native American)?  Whatever, there Papa would purchase his specially mixed pipe tobacco and Granny's Craven A cigarettes. An aside on the Craven A, I can remember "stealing" one from the kitchen drawer, retreating  to the far reaches of the Glenbank garden and trying my first and almost last smoke. I did not like it and that was me cured of any future nicotine habit.

Another enjoyable outing was to the ice-cream shop in Newburgh, was it Janetta's?  I recall that they had shops at both ends of the main street but we usually went to the one nearest Abernethy. The hotel next door was where Papa used to visit when he was having a drink or two!!! I have to stress that he never went in when he had any of the grandchildren with him.

A one off trip that has stuck in my mind was to Muirton Park to see St Johnstone play Morton, Papa was not interested in football but obviously had done it to please me. I wanted to see Jimmie Cowan, the Scottish International goalkeeper who was playing for Morton at the time. He must have made a lasting impression because although the initial start to my football career was at outside left for the school team, the remainder was spent as a goalkeeper playing for various amateur and semi-professional clubs in Scotland, England and India.

Looking back they were definitely the Good Old Days.

                           Donald Gordon Mackenzie