Memories of Mrs Nell Samson
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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 Scotland.

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 the Castle.

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 of Scotland.

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 soon].