…of bullies and angel strangers…


…a common trait amongst Glaswegians, and especially from my childhood environment in Docklands Govan, is a loathing of bullies and bullying of any kind… my own instinctive reaction of rage when I encounter it dates back nearly sixty years… a coupla 8-year old school pals from my street, and I, decided to venture from our granite and sandstone slums for a day trip into the ‘country’... as we were kids, for a few pence, the city’s corporation buses travelled to the outskirts of Glasgow, where green fields beckoned… we had wee plastic bags in which we carried tin mugs, a packet of tea and spoons, cheese sandwiches, and a box of matches to light a fire to brew the tea… adventure time, indeed, for this intrepid  trio… the eldest lad carried the bus fares… we made to set up our camp in a farmer’s field when along came a pair of much older lads, prob’ly in their early teens… friendly they were not… in a matter of minutes it became clear they were out for mischief… there was no way that our puny wee muscles could take on these apprentice thugs, so discretion being the better part of valour we did the smart thing… and ran from their threat… three small boys, but clever enough to run in three different directions… saved us from a hiding no doubt, but produced another kind of problem… we were each on our own… in a place completely foreign… disoriented, I ended up on a road, deserted of people or traffic, but boasting a bus stop with a red sign… the non-Corporation ‘SMT’ buses… I kinda knew they led back  into Glasgow, but the problem was I didn’t know which direction led back home… and even worse… I had no money… so I did what all sensible eight-year-old kids do… I bawled my eyes out… then I waited at the bus stop… deliverance came along in the form of an ‘old’ woman…


…in retrospect, she was  possibly about 30 years old, but everybody is ‘old’ to a wee boy… she asked why I was crying and I told her about the bullies… she uttered wildly colourful WURDS that every Govan inhabitant understands… and she gave me a halfcrown… two shillings and sixpence in old money… when the Glasgow bus came she got on and even paid my fare, and told me where to get off on arrival in Govan… an angel stranger in every respect… now, here I was back home, about ten hours earlier than expected, so what to do?… with a fortune burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to treat myself… the local cafe produced my first ever coffee, which I didn’t like, and promptly purchased some ‘ginger’ (Scots for ‘lemonade’)… a bar of ‘Caramac’ chocolate… and a few pennies into the juke box… Boy King of Govan for a few hours, me… the balance of the halfcrown bought a ‘sling’ (Scots for ‘catapult’)… and some joke itching powder and stink bombs… what a day… as for the bullies?… all they did was engender in me a latent rage to tackle any future specimens of their kind when I was older… but that’s for another story… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

11 responses to “…of bullies and angel strangers…

  1. There has always been bullies around. I too have felt the need to scamper off to other places when faced with a few bullies. Sometimes it is smarter to retreat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The old woman called…with interest you now owe her £4568.46
    A cheque will be fine

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucky you. Did you tell the other boys about your windfall? How had they managed to get home? 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the US, we’ve just elected a bully president. Should be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You had quite an adventure, Seumas. There were bullies in our neighborhood and my dad had a talk with them. No more trouble. He would get in someone’s face and begin, “Now you listen to me…” 😀 — Suzanne


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