Tuesday 29 November 2011


What a day!

It hasn't stopped raining for a few days now and Greenock is badly affected by flooding.  Hubby couldn't get to work and Son#2 who only works in the next town couldn't get there either because the roads and pavements are flooded!

Schools have been closed, trains from Glasgow are stopping at Port Glasgow because the line is flooded at Greenock, and many shops are shut too!

And ............ its still raining!

Anyone got a spare canoe?

Love, Liz

Monday 28 November 2011


The recent loss of some of the crew and the sinking of the ship Swanland in the Irish Sea during bad weather shows that even with modern technology, mother nature can be an extremely powerful force.

During the days of sail, the power of nature claimed many lives at sea.  As a port, Greenock and her inhabitants relied on trade and shipping.  Many local people lost their lives in shipping disasters all over the world.  My own great-grandfather was one of them.

My Gran
 My Grandmother's father, Alex, was born in 1862 in Argyll.  The family moved to Greenock in about 1864 and like many local boys, Alex went to sea as soon as he could.  Luckily, my great-grandmother had kept many "Certificate of Discharge" notices from some of his voyages and passed them on to someone in the family.  I photocopied them many years ago (sorry for the poor quality) and gave them back to my Gran, but I have no idea what happened to them.  They are a valuable source of information.

The earliest dates from a voyage which he took in 1881, as a sailmaker on the ship "Baron Aberdare" from Greenock to San Francisco.  He signed on in March 1881 and returned in February 1882.  He married my great-grandmother Kate, in 1884 and despite his long absences from home, they had (at least) eight children!

The only photograph I have of Kate.
He travelled far - Sydney, Calcutta, Java, Singapore - and seems to have stayed with the same ship for years at a time, transporting cargo all over the world.

However, his final voyage took place in 1908 on the ship Amazon, a four masted vessel carrying a cargo of coal bound for Chile.  There were a few other Greenock men in the crew.  On 1 September, there was a terrible storm and the ship became stranded near Port Talbot and such were the winds that the Amazon began to break up.  Some local people bravely tried to save as many of the crew as they could by wading out and trying to reach those struggling to shore.  A rescue boat was sent out, and some of the crew were saved.  But twenty men, including the Captain died. 

I would love to visit the area sometime - I believe that the remains of the wreckage are still visible on Margam Sands.  My Gran was just a young girl when her father died, so she barely knew him and I only found out the details of his death after she, too, had died. 

It must have been a difficult life for my great-grandmother and all the other women in the same position.  Long absences with no regular means of keeping in touch and the financial uncertainty.  Then as a widow with a large family to provide for - tough times.  Kate died in 1932 - the family remembered her as a tough, but loving woman.

Lets take a little time to remember the families waiting and hoping right now.

Love, Liz

Sunday 27 November 2011

Lovely Books

Slim pickings at the charity shops this week.  The only things I bought were these two Beatrix Potter books. 

They are not particularly old, but I think the illustrations are delightful.  My children loved these stories when they were little.

The books are a bit messy, so I think I might do something with the pictures, not sure what  - cards perhaps.

Don't know whether its the time of year or what, but overheard two unhappy customers in two different charity shops.  One where a couple wanted to put a deposit on a table and collect it first thing the next day (this was about 4.30 on a Friday)!  The girl tried to explain that she couldn't do that, but if they came the next day there would be a good chance it would probably still be there as it had been in the shop for three weeks.  The couple just couldn't understand and tried and tried to get the girl to take a deposit.  I felt so sorry for the shop girl.

In the second, a woman was trying to return a jumper which she had bought for her son, but there was some mix up with her receipt - it was for bric a brac, not clothing, and the girl behind the counter was trying to explain this and that she couldn't really do anything about it.  Well, the woman started ranting in an extremely loud voice that she'd been a regular customer for years and this was the first time she had ever brought anything back and how she'd never darken their door again, etc ... and the cost of the jumper - £1!!!!!!!!

Hope you have all had better thrifting luck this week.  Joining Flea Market Finds to see what treasures have been found!

Love, Liz

Thursday 24 November 2011


I love using my photo-editing software to add different effects to my photographs.  So, here are just a few - no words, just photographs.



Love, Liz

Wednesday 23 November 2011


Isn't it funny how a very simple sight or sound can instantly transport you back to your childhood?

Interesting quote from the book.
I was in town today, and on my way back to the bus stop in the town centre, heard a street-seller's shout.  I couldn't actually make out what he was saying, but I knew instantly that he was selling the local newspaper - the Greenock Telegraph.  It is known locally as the Tele, pronounced Tilly.

In the old days two editions of the paper were produced daily, so the street-sellers would shout -

"one a'clock Tilly, Telegraph" or "five a'clock Tilly, Telegraph"

usually with great gusto in a very gruff voice!  Today - the rhythm and intonation of the street-seller's shout were identical and I was back in 1960s Greenock!

I found this picture of a newspaper seller.  It is in an old book I've had for ages "Old Greenock Characters" by John Donald and published in 1920.  The wee man today had a pile of newspapers under his arm, just like this!  Paper Wullie was seemingly quite a local character in the 1880s. (No, I don't remember him - I'm not that old!).

I don't think the "type" has changed at all!  They are out in all weathers and always in the same place.  Very different from "Big Issue" sellers, the local guys are all real characters.  I suppose this tradition will eventually die out, but today, just for a few seconds I was back in a much pleasanter time.

Do you have any local characters?

Love, Liz

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Cushion and Card

I've been wanting to make some cards for ages, so when I needed a birthday card for a friend, I decided to go ahead and make one.  This is what I made - hope she likes it.

Also made a little cushion with some fabric scraps and a little cross stitch piece I completed ages ago.

Amazing what you can do when in a crafty mood!

Love, Liz

Sunday 20 November 2011

Hidden Depths

Fab find this week!  An absolute bargain!

Saw this little table in the charity shop - but it has wonderful hidden depths.

When you open the lid, you find a little sewing cabinet - beautifully lined in emerald green silk.  (Photos don't do it justice.)

I was looking for a small lamp table, so this fits the bill perfectly and lets me keep my sewing things to hand.

Does anyone know about this company?

Looking forward to seeing all the other bargains at Flea Market Finds.

Love, Liz

Saturday 19 November 2011

Church and School Going To Ruin

I am often in despair when I look around my local area and see lovely buildings boarded up and almost derelict.  These are prime examples. 

This is the former Clune Park School in Port Glasgow and while it may not be the prettiest building in the world, it has a couple of interesting features.  It was still a working school until 2008.  The school and the derelict church next to it - Clune Park Church - are part of a "regeneration strategy" which will take place some time in the future.

In the meantime, I wanted to get some photos of the buildings before anything happened to the interesting features.

Victoria and Albert don't look too pleased with their present predicament!

This is from the town crest - the Latin reads -

            Ter et Quater anno Revisens Aequor Atlanticum Impune

which translated is -

            three and four times a year revisiting the Atlantic with impunity

Its a bold and noble motto going back to better times in Port Glasgow's history and refers to the trans-Atlantic timber trade between here and Quebec.  This timber was used in the great shipyards which lined the River Clyde at Port Glasgow and Greenock.

Hope that something good is done with thes buildings before they are completely ruined.  I sometimes think that we (actually I mean the local council) are far too careless with our local heritage and need to literally and figuratively stop the rot!  (Sorry for the rant!) 

If you want to see another local example of a lovely building being allowed to lie derelict go to this post.

Love, Liz

Thursday 17 November 2011

Make Your Own Telephone From Odds and Ends!

Yes - you can!

Not a difficult task according to the Collins Magazine for Boys and Girls! 
All you need is -

Wow - wonder if any little smarty-pants clever child actually made it?

I blogged about this magazine last month, but just showed you the fantastically detailed covers.  So I thought I'd now give you a peek at what's inside.  Here's a typical contents list - some famous authors in there.

Remember Worzel Gummidge - love this illustration!

The letters page is good  -  wonder what this writer became when he grew up!

There aren't many ads, but there are a few for bicycles - very cheery and healthy pursuit for girls, obviously!

Then again - there's this one.

Love the fact it says not to point the gun at anyone, yet, is it my imagination or is the picture of the gun pointing at the backs of the two schoolboys?!?!  Fab!

Love, Liz

ps - if anyone wants the complete instructions for the home-made telephone, email me and I'll send them!

Thanks to everyone for the fantastic comments about my decor dilemma.  Lots of brilliant ideas. Going to choose wallpaper at the weekend, so will let you know what I find.