I was born in
Townhead, Glasgow on 13th April 1911 and celebrated my 90th birthday
with family and friends in the Carrick Speakers' Club
14th April 2001.
I came to Maybole
in 1971, from New Zealand where we had lived for a time due to my husband's poor
health. The King's Arms Hotel was still in the High Street, and in the School
Vennel there were a few rather run-down shops. In New Zealand, there had been
lots of very successful Charity Shops and when my daughter Jean Falconer and I
noticed an empty shop, last occupied by the local coal merchant , we thought we
could fill it ourselves with second hand clothes. Jean's size was fluctuating a
bit at the time, and I had lost a bit of weight in New Zealand. I also had lots
of summer dresses I would probably have less use for in the colder climate of
We decided to ask
Mr Morrison in the local rent office about leasing the shop which we got for £1
per week. We thought we would take the shop for two weeks and get rid of all the
surplus clothes. Some friends brought along clothes which were taken on a sale
or return basis. The shop became very popular and we kept it going for two years
when we were told the buildings were about to be demolished.
We then bought the
shop in the High Street, where the video shop is today, beside the crossing. By
this time the shop, called "Wise Buys" was an outfitters, selling new
clothes from babies to gents.
My daughter Jean
was asked by Mr Roy, who lived in Maybole Castle, to come and help him start
West Sound, which she did. She had her own Country and Western programme but her
health was not so great and she left there and went to Girvan as editor of the
Girvan Gazette. When her health deteriorated she worked from home. In 1986 she
was told she had cancer and she died at the early age of 49 in 1986.
I joined the
Community Council just after coming here, where my daughter Jean already served.
I was also in the Community Association for many a long year, but I gave up both
after Jean died. I am a member of "Opportunities In Retirement" in the
town and was Treasurer for ten years. I still sing in the O.I.R. choir. I am
currently chairperson of the Crosne Street Residents Association and we run
bingos, fish and chip nights and other social events. I am a member of the
"Cabin" and I go to the Baptist Church Hall for lunch every Friday.
Two years ago I was
very proud to receive a Maybole Community Council Scroll in recognition of
services to the community. I have it framed on my wall. I think the High Street
is worse now than ever and if I were still on the Community Council I would be
campaigning for more crossing places in the High Street - at the Town Hall and
I am very happy
that my daughter's name is being commemorated in the town through the Jean
Falconer literary award, which is made annually. It keeps her memory fresh.
I used to knit
slippers for charity, but since I lost the sight of one eye, I cannot do so any
more. I enjoyed doing that - I must have knitted hundreds of slippers which I
sold for £1 or £1.50 and sent the money to the Children's Hospice Association
I now have a large
scanner which magnifies letters and newspapers for me to be able to read so I
keep up with my correspondence and with local and national news. I have put my
memories down on tape- three tapes, one about the memories which I have of my
son since his birth in 1934 and one of memories of Jean, who was born in 1937.
The other is a more recent one an holds very dear memories of my husband and
daughter both of whom died within a short time of each other. There are lots of
anecdotes and stories on the tapes and I don't mind sharing some more of them on
the internet. [Excerpts of these tapes to be made available on the site