Cold Hard Reality

We arrived at Dyce, the airport village on the outskirts of Aberdeen. I saw buildings, grey cold bricks, harled walls, dirty fading whitewash, smoking chimneys,

In 1968 most households had a coal fire, and the air was heavy with smog and soot, we ascended the hill of Anderson Drive, and crossing the summit revealed the south side of Aberdeen, We could see as far as Nigg Bay, and the rising smoke from the harbour and Torry areas as the main industries of fish processing and fish smoking filled the air with that smell. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like it at all.

I could see in the distance a massive gasometer, a huge storage tank for the city’s consumers, cracked from processed coal, the gas was used by many who had no coal or electric equivalent. We seemed to be able to smell the gas too.

So we eventually made it to our new home in the west end. A four bedroomed detached bungalow in a “middle class” private housing estate. Bordering the feu of our property was the “Deeside Railway line”, albeit closed in previous years to Doc Beeching, the line was all there. stretching and linking from Aberdeen on the coast, all the way to the Queens estate at Balmoral in the Highlands. On the other side of the railway line was a massive council estate, A mixture of tenement blocks, maisonettes and semi-detached houses.

So, our house, my older brother and I shared an upstairs room, and our two younger siblings shared the other upstairs room, downstairs was the kitchen, dining room, living room, parents bedroom, and the “spare bedroom” was declared as the “music room”, and my dads challen piano resided in it.

We had our own driveway and garage, a substantial lawn front garden, and a bicycle shed and coal cellar/basement.

Really, compared to our old house, this new house was awesome.

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