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Jimmy Shand's On The Wireless

Back in those austere days of the 1950s, Saturday was special. It was pictures day! So, armed with our precious pocket money (half a crown - twelve and a half pence) we set off on our weekly adventures to the Wild West and the Second World War. Some usherettes were kinder than others and allowed us to stay in and see the film again. But having spent all our money, it was hunger that finally drove us home.

In 'Oor hoose' there was my Granda, my mammy, me, Flossie the dog and a budgie called Joey. Back then, everybody's budgie was called Joey. On wintry days there was always a welcoming coal fire and on a Saturday, it was fish for the tea. The table would be set and we'd all sit down together with the wireless playing in the background. My mammy would bring out her latest bargain from the shops and ask "Would you like to see it on?". I'd regale them with the film actions of John Wayne or Richard Todd and they'd smile and wink at my innocence. On the Home Service would come Scottish country dance music and we'd all tap our feet, hum along and play forks and spoons while the music enchanted us. For a ten year old, it was magical. In that cosy bubble, my Granda wasn't drinking and my mammy wasn't worrying about money. Things would change but for that short time, it was lovely just to belong.

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