BNC Text G64

Oral history project interview. Sample containing about 5805 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C239

PS2CM Ag5 m (Eric, age 92, retired lecturer in pharmacy, Born in Girran.) unspecified
PS2CN X f (Ann, age unknown, Interviewing participant 2.) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 099301 recorded on 1985-12. LocationLothian: Edinburgh () Activity: Interview Questions and reminiscences

Undivided text

Eric (PS2CM) [1] and Melford my father's er mother's people were the .
[2] Melford was where he was in Canada when I was born.
[3] And that is over ninety ninety years odd.
[4] You see?
Ann (PS2CN) [5] Mm.
[6] So what years was that you were born?
Eric (PS2CM) [7] Eighteen ninety three.
[8] ... Aye.
Ann (PS2CN) [9] And do you have any brothers and sisters?
Eric (PS2CM) [10] I have one sister still alive.
[11] I had er two brothers and four sisters.
[12] But they er my two brothers, one died in nineteen forty.
[13] The result of well wounds.
[14] The other died at the age of What?
[15] Oh about ten years ago.
[16] Eight He was eighty nine when he died, and er both of them were in the family tradition, journalists.
[17] And in fact er one My brother next to n to me I was the middle of them I was the youngest boy.
[18] male they call it.
[19] His son is a Was former corresponder for in New York for the Guardian.
[20] Now he's on the editorial and Billy, my eldest brother he er was he came up [...] in Glasgow er [...] getting the Scottish Express.
[21] You see so a branch of the er London paper and at that time he was editor of the paper, they came up together, found it here.
[22] But one was on the Daily Mail and the other was on the er Express.
[23] And er at one time they were on the evening papers, opposite.
[24] They were they never worked on the same paper, they were always on
Ann (PS2CN) [25] Rival ones.
Eric (PS2CM) [26] Yes.
[27] Ooh.
[28] And my sisters ... three of them were teachers.
[29] And er an interesting thing ... [...] had been coming to our house She comes [...] goes to the same church.
[30] And she came up on a Wednesday for coffee, after the service.
[31] And she'd been coming to our house, Oh about fie or six years, and she said one day to Mary, that's my wife, says you know, Not [...] strange name, there's not many of them about.
[32] So I says No, when we had the phone first we were the only one in the telephone directory.
[33] And I says er you know when I came back from Rio de Janeiro, she'd been out as a kiddy then.
[34] [...] my teacher was a miss .
[35] And Mary said Yes, that would be Eric's sister.
[36] She was she taught in Pennycook for quite a while, then she went down to Birmingham.
[37] The other sister was er in High Wycombe, [...] and the other one was in er Well she was in Creith for a number of years, [...] And then she moved south because she wasn't musical and there was no chance of getting of headmistresship in Scotland if you hadn't got music.
[38] So she went down to Spalding and was headmistress of er School in Spalding.
[39] Until she Well not until she till she until she retired.
[40] She died a couple of years a er three years ago.
[41] So er and ten the other one, the one that's alive sh she started off teaching and then went to nurse.
[42] She wanted to be a nurse all her life, you see?
Ann (PS2CN) [43] Mm.
Eric (PS2CM) [44] She's a nurse.
[45] She's retired now, because she's eighty seven.
[46] Stays in [...] South er no not south [...] .
[47] And of course my father, he was in [...] he had a local paper.
Ann (PS2CN) [48] Was he editor of the local paper?
Eric (PS2CM) [49] Well he was editor, you know, in a a small time a small of er about five or six thousand.
[50] Everybody has More or less has a paper [...] It's not like the Scotsman or the News, as regards numbers, but then you've got all the local news and you got all the local advertisements.
[51] So journalism is one of the family, what if I say traditions?
Ann (PS2CN) [52] Mm.
[53] And where er abouts were you brought up?
Ann (PS2CN) [54] Girran.
Eric (PS2CM) [55] In Girran.
[56] And was it a big house or?
Eric (PS2CM) [57] Well it was a reasonable house, you know.
[58] One two three three little rooms downstairs.
[59] Upstairs there be there was four rooms upstairs.
[60] But at that time it wasn't what you'd call modern in so far as you hadn't got hot water ... from a sort of gas fir Electric heating.
[61] ... The bath, you had a bath room with a bath on the wall [...] but you had to heat the water on a at the kitchen the kitchen fire.
[62] It were a [...] old fashioned kitchen range where you'd got a an oven on one side and a boiler on the other.
[63] The boiler didn't fill automatic, you had you had to fill it with water.
[64] You took took a bucket of water out, you put a bucket of water in.
[65] That's how you heated that's how you got your bath.
[66] Heating the water, well it heated if you'd the fire on it heated the water and then you'd take a couple of buckets out into the bath, plug a couple of buckets in.
Ann (PS2CN) [67] And then er
Eric (PS2CM) [68] And there was no no such thing as electricity.
[69] Gas ... there was a local gas works you see?
[70] That made er the gas locally.
[71] But I remember quite well when the first incandescent gas mantles came in.
[72] You know, what a novelty it was, and the difference in the light between the old single [...] gas lighter and the incandescent lighter.
[73] But er some of ther some you had no gas up the On the stair way.
[74] The gas The stairs were lightened with a a paraffin lamp.
[75] You know [...]
Ann (PS2CN) [76] [...] gas in the bedrooms, so as the
Eric (PS2CM) [77] The was gas in the bedrooms, but not on
Ann (PS2CN) [78] But not on the st
Eric (PS2CM) [79] not on the stairway.
[80] Why?
[81] I don't know.
Ann (PS2CN) [82] Mhm.
Eric (PS2CM) [83] There was warm gas er in the hall.
[84] You know a gas er light in the hall but the less The stairway, you either had to go up by er with a candle in your hand, you see?
[85] Or you got well er One two three four, there were four flights of stairs, in the one house.
[86] You got a couple of lamps either, well in the one case where there was a small landing, a hanging lamp and the other bigger, you had a table, you had a an ordinary table lamp.
[87] Oh yes.
[88] And you'd
Ann (PS2CN) [89] And you'd have the fires, open fires in your rooms. [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [90] Oh they were all coal fires.
[91] There w there were no such thing as gas fires.
[92] They were open coal fires.
[93] And one Well all the bedrooms had er fire places, you see?
[94] So that in the winter time you put on a a coal fire.
[95] But there were no no such things as central heating and that.
Ann (PS2CN) [96] [laugh] And er where did you start school?
Eric (PS2CM) [97] Girran.
Ann (PS2CN) [98] Girran.
[99] And what was it like?
[100] Was it a
Eric (PS2CM) [101] It was [...]
Ann (PS2CN) [102] small school?
Eric (PS2CM) [103] No it was Girran High School was very good.
[104] Very good school, very good ... teachers.
[105] The headmaster was Morgan J , known as Morgan J or by the boys as Too Long and Too Loose.
[106] Why?
[107] Because he always had long trousers that went over his boots, and they were you know, very wide so the boys would call him too long and too loose.
[108] yes.
[109] Ooh there were all all there were With one exception they were all male teachers.
[110] The on the exception was the art mistress, she was a er Miss , but er Morgan , ... ,,,, all good and by you couldn't you know they were disciplinarians, strong disciplinarians, there was another chap.
[111] left Girran, went from Girran down to Oxford as professor of Latin.
[112] And ... he stayed there for the rest of his life.
[113] And Morgan J well he was the headmaster when I went to school first and he was there when I left and he retired and he was still here You know going about.
[114] There was ,, and another chap.
[115] There were four headmasters and they From Not from Girran because there was only the one high school, but from er Prestwick, Glenbuck and that, and the used to meet on a Saturday at Turnbelly to play golf.
[116] They played golf every Saturday if it was at all possible.
Ann (PS2CN) [117] And was the belt used a lot?
Eric (PS2CM) [118] Pardon?
Ann (PS2CN) [119] Was the belt used a lot?
Eric (PS2CM) [120] No.
[121] Because you didn't get the You know
Ann (PS2CN) [cough]
Eric (PS2CM) [122] One one boy might have [laugh] had the belt, say once in the week or a month, at Girran.
[123] Very seldom, there was no need.
[124] You know, you might get the belt for making a silly mistake over a sum, or some exercise or that, you see?
[125] Or coming in coming late.
[126] ... But it very The belt was there, now in the classroom the master had a desk and at the side of the desk was the belt.
[127] It was always on show, but it was seldom used.
[128] You know er very very seldom.
Ann (PS2CN) [129] And how did you learn to count, can you remember?
[130] Did you use the abacus?
Eric (PS2CM) [131] How did you learn to count ?
Ann (PS2CN) [132] To count , aha.
[133] When you went?
Eric (PS2CM) [134] You started, I forget [...] one, you know they'd put them on the bo It was all board and slates, there were no books, you know, no papers.
[135] you had a a slate like you've got on the roof, but it it was bound with a wooden frame.
[136] And on the board was a one.
[137] And you out that one on your slate.
[138] And then two, and you put the two.
[139] Then add, you'd put a plus sign, one and equal, two and two plus two equalled four.
[140] Like that.
[141] And the same when it came to er subtracting, you see, it were all done on the board and you copied it onto your plate On to your slate.
[142] And from that you learned.
[143] And you had a bit of rage or duster or something, you'd got your slate filled, you'd just wiped it up, and dried it, start again.
[144] So that, literally speaking, there were no records of your early ...
Ann (PS2CN) [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [145] er training in addition, subtraction and that.
[146] When you went into the er higher grade, then you got jotters, because you had homework, so you'd homework to do and you'd, therefore, books.
[147] So that you could er give your translation [speaks in latin] you see?
[148] Or [foreign] all that.
[149] You had your Latin, French, if you didn't if you didn't take French you took German.
[150] Your maths and your science.
[151] And your [...] own jotters.
[152] And your homework was handed in ... every er so often, you know, you may have homework, English.
[153] And essay, write an essay on this, that or the next thing, at the weekend.
[154] It went into your jotter, your jotter was handed in on the Monday morning, or the first time you went to the eng the English class and the teacher was his name, he went over that and if you'd missed out a comma, you see or a full stop or anything like that.
[155] He corrected them, more or less, marked in up, and you got er four out of ten, five out of ten, ten out of ten.
Ann (PS2CN) [156] And did you stay at the same school through primary and secondary?
Eric (PS2CM) [157] Yes.
Ann (PS2CN) [158] [...] one school.
Eric (PS2CM) [159] The on the only difference in, were different sizes of the room.
[160] You see the primary was in the one side and the high school the secondary was in the other.
Ann (PS2CN) [161] And were Did the classrooms, how were the classrooms heated then?
Eric (PS2CM) [162] They were in desks, you had a long desk that took Now some of them they took five on the one the one desk, you see?
[163] A long desk and a long seat.
[164] No individual desks.
[165] And the boys say on the one side and the girls on the other.
Ann (PS2CN) [166] Mm.
[167] ... And how were the classrooms heated?
[168] Can you remember?
Eric (PS2CM) [169] Well the classrooms were kept clean because the school finished at er twenty past four and half past four the janitor had the cleaners, you see?
[170] Mrs A had somebody [...] Mrs B Mrs C Mrs D.
[171] they were always they were swept every day and at the weekends.
[172] ... One room would be the floors would all be scrubbed and polished, next week the next room.
[173] The next room, then come back.
[174] Every so often the rooms were scrubbed.
Ann (PS2CN) [175] When you sat your qualifying exam to go to the high school, er what happened to the people who didn't pass?
Eric (PS2CM) [176] They were It were divided into to, you could go to a high, or you could carry on at what they call supplementary.
[177] If you didn't get the if you didn't pass the class exam you could stay on and try again.
[178] that never happened.
[179] If you didn't get it you went in to the supplementary.
[180] If you got it you could go in to the higher, if you didn't want to go into the higher you [...] leave at er thirteen, you went into the supplementary.
[181] It was er just er Well it was between, shall we say, the higher grade and the secondary school.
[182] ... Continuation of further education on the secondary lines.
[183] The only thing in the supplementary you didn't get was languages, but you got the the math, the science and all that, and English. [cough]
Ann (PS2CN) [184] So did you enjoy school?
Eric (PS2CM) [185] Yes.
[186] It was good.
Ann (PS2CN) [187] And did you have sport?
Eric (PS2CM) [188] You had you had no organized sport such as you have today, but you had a football team because there was no need for what you would call sports ground, there was plenty of available open space, park.
[189] there was the [...] Stead Park, which practically covered [cough] the whole of our the er town you see?
[190] You If you lived in Stead Park, the houses in Stead Park looked straight across the green onto the sea.
[191] So that you've got football pitches there, with cricket pitches but if you wanted, if you were a golfer you went across to the golf course.
[192] But there wasn't what you'd call an organized sports group.
[193] If you wanted to play, class four would play class three, class three play class two, you know? [sniff]
Ann (PS2CN) [194] But the teachers didn't organize it?
Eric (PS2CM) [195] No no.
Ann (PS2CN) [196] You The boys organized it themsel
Eric (PS2CM) [197] The boys organized it themselves.
[198] And as for girls, well er about the only thing they did was skip.
[199] You know, skipping ropes.
Ann (PS2CN) [200] And what did you do with your er spare time as a school boy?
Eric (PS2CM) [201] I Spare time as a school boy, I used to play either football in the winter or cricket in the summer.
[202] When I had spare time, but if you'd If it was decent weather you'd have to give a hand in the garden at home you see?
[203] You had to help get the garden Keep the garden tidy, keep the weeds down.
[204] It's alright at Although I'd two brothers, on or two would be away from home from home at the s the same time.
[205] I was left.
[206] So I had to give me father a hand, you know, to keep the garden, and he had plenty to do.
[207] So er they'd find you something to do in the garden in your time.
Ann (PS2CN) [208] Did you find that your father would have odd hours?
Eric (PS2CM) [209] Well er sometimes he he made of point of always being in the house not later than We'll say nine o'clock, unless there was something special on.
[210] You know a meeting of the town council.
[211] Well if there was a meeting of the town council it would perhaps start at eight o'clock.
[212] Because quite a l a number of members of the council had businesses and you didn't shut at six o'clock, it was seven or eight 'clock before they closed.
[213] And if there was a town council meeting it might go on till ten o'clock.
[214] ... So if the e You know it was only er exceptional cases when he was late.
Ann (PS2CN) [215] Did the paper er he had out every day?
Eric (PS2CM) [216] No it was a weekly paper.
[217] A weekly paper you see?
[218] And er later on when he Well he got that he couldn't carry on with it, you see.
[219] It was absorbed and went in to the Carrick Herald and the Aire Advertiser, and now they've all gone.
[220] I don't think there's a sort of local paper now.
[221] ... Course I haven't been down that way for a while.
Ann (PS2CN) [222] And when you left school what er age were you?
Eric (PS2CM) [223] I was between fifteen and sixteen.
Ann (PS2CN) [224] And what did you go What did you do?
Eric (PS2CM) [225] I had a relation with a chemist business in Motherwell.
[226] And er i didn't know him, you know, my Mother [...] He was a cousin of my Mother's you see, and on call now and again.
[227] It wasn't like today, you could get in the car and nip down.
[228] To get to Girran you've got to go into Glasgow and get a train from Glasgow down to Girran you see?
[229] And that was er an express train was two hours journey.
[230] So And er I smelt, you know, and I went by a chemical [...] and I thought [sniff] Oh [sniff] oh, grapes, the the odour you see?
[231] And that drew me.
[232] The aroma that exuded from the chemist shop in those days like er Depends what they'd been using you see?
[233] They'd been making er some mixed powder, fenugreek or something like that you see?
[234] You get the aroma of it.
[235] And er well there were three chemists in Girran ... W K , Archie and Gib .
[236] Well W K never took an apprentice, he wouldn't you know, he hadn't time, he had a permanent assis assistants like.
[237] He wouldn't he wouldn't take in ion an apprentice, it was too much.
[238] So I got in to Gib n as an apprentice on the second of August, nineteen twelve I think.
[239] Nineteen and eleven or twelve and er he was a figure in the b in the town, when I tell you, you won't remember the [...] who were members of parliament for Orkney and Shetland.
[240] And if Punch were ever stuck he would get a cartoon of er one or other of the brothers sitting in parliament knitting.
[241] You know whistling and knitting.
[242] Well this man something wrong and he er had an appointment with a Girran man who was Professor of medicine in Glasgow, he'd gone up the ladder you know and finished.
[243] And he made an appointment.
[244] Well came from Bar which is er a matter of six miles, six to eight miles out side Girran and you'd got to come in by foot or by trap.
[245] In those days he came in with a His coachman brought him in the trap and they got the twenty minutes past seven express train to Glasgow.
[246] Well er he saw the Professor and paid the fee and that and then came back six =clock at night, he came into the shop.
[247] And he said he says [...] Is er Gib in?
[248] Well the assistant said no er Ah he's upstairs getting his tea.
[249] Stayed above the shop, you see?
[250] In the house.
[251] But he said wait a minute I hear him coming down the stairs.
[252] So the boss came down the stairs and into the shop and he saw Oh hello, well did you get on with the ... Your examination?
[253] Ah well he says, [...] and he said he's given me this list.
[254] If you can't get If you [...] give me something of your own.
[255] [laugh] After he travelled to Glasgow, he had more faith in the [...] He'd more, you know,
Ann (PS2CN) [256] Mhm.
Eric (PS2CM) [257] if had said Oh this isn't worth a damn, take this, he would have taken it and been happy.
Ann (PS2CN) [258] Mhm.
Eric (PS2CM) [259] And Oh [...] No he said, this'll be good, you know.
Ann (PS2CN) [260] So can you remember your f your wage when you went first?
Eric (PS2CM) [261] When I started first it was five pounds a year. ...
Ann (PS2CN) [262] And were you paid at six months or were paid every [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [263] No [...] paid every three months. [...]
Ann (PS2CN) [cough]
Eric (PS2CM) [264] And invariably you got a gold sovereign, you see?
[265] And er what, [whispering] four [] ... the rest [...] I think it was one pound five a Twenty five shillings every three months and you got a sovereign and often a five shilling piece.
[266] If you didn't get the five shilling piece you got two half crowns.
[267] ... Then it [...] gradually went from five pounds to ten.
[268] There was a five pound increase every year you see?
Ann (PS2CN) [269] And what er was your job when you first started?
Eric (PS2CM) [270] When you first started you had the hallmark of an apprentice of black apron with a bib on it.
[271] You know er you see some of them with the apron that just goes round the waist.
[272] But this one came up over neck, over your neck, and then down here and strings there.
[273] And you did two years as an apprentice then another would come in and you dropped the bib and got a black apron.
[274] When your apprenticeship was finished, you got a white apron.
Ann (PS2CN) [275] How long was the apprenticeship.
Eric (PS2CM) [276] The apprentice varied three years up to, some of them were five.
Ann (PS2CN) [277] And what did you do as an apprentice a at first?
Eric (PS2CM) [278] I The first thing you were shown, taught to do, was to wash the bottles.
[279] You know, empty medicine bottles.
[280] You washed them.
[281] The er apparatus, [...] measures, slabs, mortars, that were used for making compounds or dispensing medicines.
[282] They were put on the sink and you washed them.
[283] And dried them and put them on the rack again.
[284] And gradually ... dust or you've seen these er chemist shops where you've got lots of er drawers in.
[285] Well in my day, all those drawers had the natural drug.
[286] Aconite root, [...] inside was a small cardboard label, you see?
[287] Giving the whole story Rad aconite, beruncial assay Britain, habitat Britain.
[288] use, root, liniment, you see?
[289] And you had to do all that dusting and keep it and you'd read over all these things, every time you dusted until you got to know them.
[290] That was
Ann (PS2CN) [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [291] one of the ways of training you or breaking you in to what was materia m the materia medica of the pharmacy.
[292] If he today er you don't hear such thing as aconite liniment, belladonna liniment.
[293] Extract of bella belladonna.
[294] Dandelion juice, Succus delaxica [...] they've been replaced.
[295] Then, you see, at certain periods of the years herbs were common, bloom, which a lot of it was used.
[296] You used to go with the boss.
[297] The boss would cut the bloom, you would put it into the sack, bring it back to the shop and dry it.
[298] ... You might go and collect, oh ... er what Coliupe Collium, Collium Maculatum,spotted ... [...] come up, you'd go and cut it, you know, bring it in, get the Succus Conium that would keep you going, you know, sometimes he would he'd say Oh blast you, we used two garlands of it.
[299] We better get three garlands this year in case.
[300] Ooh we made three garlands last year, we've got two garlands left, we'll not bother.
[301] But a lot of the herbs were collected and dried and er used.
Ann (PS2CN) [302] So it was organized collecting of
Eric (PS2CM) [303] Well the [...] usually collected himself.
[304] Er we was on the beach, you know sea front, he'd er gathered some er brands of seaweed for making what they call Irish moss, Caragium And that would give you a good [...] think emulsion, you see then in the, what was the cod season, cod fishing, you'd go down to the harbour where the er fishing boat came in and where they were cleaning, and you'd get the boss would have arranged that you get the cod's livers.
[305] Take it back to the shop, in You've seen these old milk churns.
[306] Well I fill the milk churns with the livers and take them up to the shop.
[307] Go back and get another, you see?
[308] Get another.
[309] Make your own, produce your own cod liver oil.
Ann (PS2CN) [310] Gosh.
Eric (PS2CM) [311] And er there were two grades of it.
[312] There was the the cod liver what would for animals, that well, the method that used to be used, put it into the copper boiler.
[313] A big copper boiler, with a little warm water and the heat would separate the oil, you see?
[314] [...] And then skim the oil off and drain it.
Ann (PS2CN) [315] What extra did you have to do for humans?
Eric (PS2CM) [316] Well you were always One thing you were very careful, you had to see that the gall bladder was removed.
[317] that it was just the liver.
[318] And sometimes you just used pressure, you see?
[319] Put it in and screw it round and round and round, so that the pressure would fetch out the oil.
[320] I can remember when the er Going down to the harbour for salt and we were getting from the manufacturer, it was [...] at the time, getting cod liver oil, you know, ready prepared for us which was a quite a saving.
[321] As far as we were concerned.
[322] In labour.
[323] But er you had all like cold cream, special hairs tonics, rosemary [...] , Eucalyptus hair tonics.
[324] You made those in the back shop.
[325] And having made a couple of Winchesters, that's er the big bottle, which was er eighty ounces.
[326] They were filled into two ounce, four ounce or, you know, depending on the size you you stocked and sold.
Ann (PS2CN) [327] Are they The chemist then would have to buy in all the bottles.
Eric (PS2CM) [328] Oh he bought in the bottles, you see?
[329] And er y you gave in perhaps say er two gross of three ounce bottles, two gross of two ounce bottles, four gross of four ounce, depends how they were used.
[330] And they were stored in the back in the back shop store, you see?
[331] And er kept there, then you had in the front shop, you had a range of er hair er [...] drawers with your drugs, your [...] drugs at the bottom.
[332] you pulled it down ad you got the various size bottles in this we got half and one ounce, here two ounce, further up three ounce.
[333] All the way round.
Ann (PS2CN) [334] When you got the bottles did they have to be cleaned?
Eric (PS2CM) [335] Yes.
[336] Cleaned and dried.
Ann (PS2CN) [337] So it was a lot of work?
Eric (PS2CM) [338] Oh lot of work.
[339] I mean the bottles weren't what you'd call dirty, from having contained medicine or anything like that.
[340] They were dirty from [...] transit you see?
[341] And packing.
[342] So that they just needed more or less [...] scrubbing out and put on Put into drainers, you know just a big piece of wood with holes cut in so that you could fit them in and wouldn't fall off, and dry them over the heat.
Ann (PS2CN) [343] What did you use to heat?
Eric (PS2CM) [344] There's only source of heat. [tape change]
Eric (PS2CM) [345] any of these.
[346] The great thing is if you've got faith in the stuff ... if you haven't got faith, you needn't bother with it.
[347] That's my opinion.
Ann (PS2CN) [348] And what do you feel about er the new er
Eric (PS2CM) [349] [...] there are some of them that are very useful but in the majority of cases if the human is functioning well it's producing it's own steroids.
[350] And those people that take or get extra, either their body is not producing or they want an extra bit for something so they can run a hundred yards at er in an extra five minutes.
Ann (PS2CN) [351] But you don't feel that these things are not really proven are they?
Eric (PS2CM) [352] No.
Ann (PS2CN) [353] They have quite disastrous side effects on the [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [354] Er they have well just the same as er some of these weight reducers. they'll take the weight down but look at the side effects.
[355] Oh yes it's er no I think there If we just bothered there are enough or almost enough herbs to cure any Most of the common troubles.
Ann (PS2CN) [356] And do you feel nationalization was good from the medical point of view or?
Eric (PS2CM) [357] Well yes and no.
[358] People stared running to their doctor ... cut finger, [...] where previous they would have said, oh I'll have a an aspirin and a cup of tea.
[359] I'll put a bit of s adhesive plaster around this.
[360] I think at times the national health service has been exploited, you know, oh er I am no going out today, I'm no feeling well.
[361] I'll go and get the Go and see the doctor.
[362] A sick thing, he's off for a week.
[363] If we had some method a l a laser of some kind that could measure the degree of pain that Mrs A is supposed to be suffering, it would [laugh] it'd solve a lot of problems.
Ann (PS2CN) [365] Mm. [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [...]
Ann (PS2CN) [366] remember what it was like during the nineteen twenty six strike ?
Eric (PS2CM) [367] The nineteen twenty six strike, the o the thing that struck me most of all was, they were going to [...] out the railway men.
[368] And at that time the railway was It was private.
[369] And the leading man of the railway union went out and bought all the shares he could get his hands on and off the railway company.
[370] And he'll not come out on strike.
[371] And that's And er it was the railway men not coming out on strike that caused the collapse of the strike.
[372] But there wasn't much interference in in Edinburgh.
[373] ... As far as I can remember.
[374] I mean we could get about, we got about alright.
[375] There's
Ann (PS2CN) [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [376] There was food and all that available.
[377] Oh no I the twenty six strike er is just a You know a very very big and er [...] you know er railway man, leader of the strike, buying all the shares because he was But that's one of the things, because it was a headline in the
Ann (PS2CN) [378] Paper.
Eric (PS2CM) [379] Papers.
Ann (PS2CN) [380] I see, so coming back to er making the pills and silver on it and gold, was this er sort of foe the aristocracy more?
Eric (PS2CM) [381] No no.
[382] No.
Ann (PS2CN) [383] [...] No.
Eric (PS2CM) [384] No.
[385] Anybody you know, er it sometimes does work, very keen on a nice appearance you see, that the drug be have a nice appearance and so the had silver coated.
[386] No no it wasn't I seen I seen people in the pleasance being [...] silver coated pills.
[387] And you wouldn't say that was No.
Ann (PS2CN) [388] [...] How do you feel, the sort of looking back on life, sort of the difference now u when you were young?
Eric (PS2CM) [389] Well, how do I feel?
[390] I'm grateful that I was born when I was, rather than being a youngster today.
[391] Although I have Well I've come through two wars and I remember the relief of Mathaking but I'd sooner that I've was born when I was.
Ann (PS2CN) [392] Why?
Eric (PS2CM) [393] Well today it I may be wrong, I hope I am, but it seems to me, everybody is out, you know, oh he gets five bob I want seven and six, he get's seven and six, I want ten.
[394] And there seems to be dissatisfaction, greed, I dunno what amongst the youngsters today.
Ann (PS2CN) [395] And what did you do as er your leisure time as a a young man and?
Eric (PS2CM) [396] Well, you hadn't got a great deal of money, now ... you would go for a walk out in Edinburgh, out to black Blackhole because Blackhole was a village.
[397] Or you'd go down the er out to Barton and down the side of Armand up and back again.
[398] Y you had a a [...] walk Saturday morning, when [...] Saturday morning.
[399] I went for a game of golf, I had nine holes.
[400] I was a member of Ra er Ravelston Why?
[401] It was very easy, I could walk up to Ravelston nine holes, walk back in time.
[402] ... Or I got a garden, I could occupy myself in the garden.
[403] I never felt time hanging.
[404] Ooh well you got er a l a lecture a couple of lectures every day, well you You couldn't just er press a button and they came out, you got er preparation work.
Ann (PS2CN) [405] [...] enjoyed lecturing?
Eric (PS2CM) [406] Yes.
[407] And
Ann (PS2CN) [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [408] I made many of my own students are still friends.
[409] Now [cough] we're a bit off Christmas, we've [cough] We have had Christmas cards from Norway, Indonesia, Mauritius, Northern Island not to mention the er Scotland and England.
[410] But these are from students of [...] well past days. ...
Ann (PS2CN) [411] So it's very nice. [...]
Eric (PS2CM) [412] So well er I had students and they left at as friends.
[413] If if we had overseas students, you know er somebody from Zambia or What er people Afro Asians or in Indonesians or something like.
[414] Well they were they were coloured, well it didn't matter to me.
[415] My wife kept an open door for them and any time Well at the weekend they'd Some of them would drop in, you know, for a chat, aye.
[416] Or drop in for tea or supper.
[417] ... I was much more, well [cough] I'll not say interested altogether, but much more thoughtful of the condition of er these coloured people.
[418] Why?
[419] Well a biddy ago now, a Nigerian came to Edinburgh, a student, went to the regular places.
[420] No no to let, advertising accomo They wouldn't have him, well what's that?
[421] What impression is that going to have on that laddie?
[422] ... So but er the overseas fellow, You know I'll consider just on the same level, and ofte Well I never saw any er what you'd call bickering and biding between the black and the white student.
[423] And the u a couple of them would come, a black and a white would be here and no bother at all.
[424] But there you are.
Ann (PS2CN) [425] Did you find that through the years the classes got bigger?
[426] That that you lectured to?
Eric (PS2CM) [427] Well the classes remained steady.
[428] You know we could've We limited They were limited to the intake, but we could have er increased I think.
[429] We kept a steady increase, you see when the two year course stared first, I think we had eight students, and then it grew, you see.
[430] The next year the eight to the final year, there's sixteen the next year until we were getting that the two year course was just as big as the old one year course.
[431] And you got er eighty four students first year, eighty four students second tear, that's a hundred and sixty eight students.
[432] Oh but we got on.
[433] Oh yes.
Ann (PS2CN) [434] And did you find that the text book they had to use, changed through the years or just the
Eric (PS2CM) [435] Well
Ann (PS2CN) [436] [...] of the same text
Eric (PS2CM) [437] no
Ann (PS2CN) [438] books.
Eric (PS2CM) [439] they're they are pretty much the same.
[440] The chemistry text books ch And the physics changed, they got a bit more what you would call mathematic mathematical.
[441] But you can't math mathematize the making of an ointment or the making of an infusion.
[442] They're perhaps little er more about the condition of the granules of a powder used for compressing into tablets, and the coating, how shall we coat it so that it [...] washed away at once, dissolved slowly or anything like that. [sniff]
Ann (PS2CN) [443] Yes, that was a big change really wasn't it ?
Eric (PS2CM) [444] Yes.
Ann (PS2CN) [445] Coating.
Eric (PS2CM) [446] Coating.
Ann (PS2CN) [447] Yes.
Eric (PS2CM) [448] So that you could get the slow and of course coating the granules before compression.
Ann (PS2CN) [449] Mm.
Eric (PS2CM) [450] So that er you get a slow or a retarded er effect or solution rather absorption.
[451] ... Oh yes. [tape change]