When I was in the grocery during the slump, I remember we used to sell wee Chinese eggs at 10d. a dozen, and streaky bacon at about 1/a lb., always on a Thursday or a Friday when the unemployment benefit was paid and you knew that that was their tea, and they'd be on bread or potatoes for the rest of the week. Look at what they're buying now. You hardly sell oatmeal to-day. It used to be a good cheap filler. They don't need fillers now. They buy corn flakes.
Another thing that strikes me, looking around, is that although folk spend some money on drink, they don't drink nearly so much as they used to and there are three reasons for that, I think. First, the working man is less miserable than he used to be and hasn't so many sorrows to drown. Second, now he has a constant wage he's less inclined to blow it all off when he gets his hands on some money. And third, he's got his wife nagging there in the background for a washing machine, or a holiday, or a new dress, or something else that needs money. And when he thinks of it, he sees these things are worth more than the drink, so he saves for them. That's how I see it, anyway.
All this is good, but I doubt if my generation would have changed like that, all all its own, even when it got the money. I don't think it would have had the nerve. It's the unders-40s who have never known hard times who have made the working chap the man he is today.
I was born in Greenock, brought up in Port Glasgow, and left school at 14 to
This article was first published in 1961
Mr Stewart McLean
The details in these portraits have not been alterd from the source material or editied in any way. They were all taken from the Lithgows Journals and permission for their reproduction has been saught. This site was to built to bring the history of the town and what better way than to "hear" about the past from the people who lived it.
I was contacted in July 2010 and informed that the name in this article was incorrect. The full name is Steuart Drummond McLean but due to copyright issues I am unable to change this article.
This page last modified on Friday, July 23, 2010
© Carol W 2000-2014 all rights reserved, all trademarks hereby acknowledged.