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Grandma Simpson
The Kirkwood's
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Ardrit        

Molly and Hugh Kirkwood


Pauline with her Dad Hugh

Molly was very close to my mother and in later years they spent a lot of time together enjoying each others company and sharing their favourite tipple, whisky and orange juice. Molly and Hugh brought up three wonderful girls, Margo, Janice and Pauline.  My Aunt Molly was a very special person and I remember one outstanding thing that she did. Aunt Molly kept a diary of all the family and every birthday we all got a card from her. Without fail. The sheer love and determination of this woman on doing what must have been a big job was also very inspirational for me as a person. I do not send cards but I can do something else. In fact, it is part of the reason that I wanted to start this path of remembrance for our family and their children. We may have moved apart over the years but this slim thread may just connect us once more.

Hugh was an artist and superb photographer. I remember being in their very nice and traditional Glasgow tenement apartment complete with Wally Close (ceramic tiles in the downstairs entrance hall) watching him paint flying ducks and geese that went on the sitting room walls in sets of three. This was a great fashion at the time (1950's and early 60's)  and he produced exceptionally good versions. He let me help him a couple of times and that got me onto exploring the world of paint, pencil and paper. I often went up to the flat with my Grandma who lived with us and Aunt Molly always had scones or cakes ready for our tea.

When they moved to a newer apartment just over the hill from us in Merrylee, I could visit them more often and Uncle Hugh took us to the Tudor Cinema in Gifnock to see a rising musical star in his new film, Jailhouse Rock we all did Elvis impersonations on the way home. They loved the Isle of Mann and had a brass Manx three-legged crest on the wall. I was fascinated with that at the time and Uncle Hugh told me about Manx Cats that had no tails.

The Kirkwood’s moved into a new house in Dixon Road, Pollockshields.  I visited often as I was familiar with the area as my uncle Sammy Dansie lived almost opposite. It’s funny how you remember things that were specific to the person. In those days, most men wore some kind of after shave lotion or Cologne. People like the world Champion boxer Henry Cooper were on the TV promoting Hai Karate, a noxious overpowering heavy scent that simply disguised sweat. However, we were all in the loop. Uncle Hugh loved a product called Nine Flags. These were a range of nine light scents in small round bottles with long necks and spun aluminium long caps. They had  names like  Aromatic Tabac- Brazil, Green Moss-Ireland and the scent were in all colours such as pale brown, lavender, pale green etc. and Uncle Hugh loved the Green Moss which was clear. He liked the shape of the bottle and even had one on the mantelpiece but maybe one of the girls had given him that for his birthday.                                                                                                                      

Nine Flags Cologne circa 1968.

I was into photography for a few years but Uncle Hugh was a great photographer and I remember him showing me an amazing image of Red Roses against a park background. He had taken this picture a few months before. This was a transparency but the red was three-dimensional and he explained that a string colour standing against a relatively plain background could be made to look like this. He used an Ilford film and I started doing the same. I was given his little wooden paint box from when he used to do painting. I miss both of them but these memories remind me of their kindness and love.

One funny story comes to mind though when the family came to stay with us for a wee while they waited for a more traditional red sandstone apartment in Dixon Road Pollockshields. During this time, my little brother Paul and cousin Pauline, who were the same age, 13, played together. 

One day we were alone on the house and I was left in charge. I had my friend Alan Gray round to keep me company and during the morning, Paul and Pauline were chasing each other. We had glass doors throughout the house. These were glazed in an opaque pattern glass was fashionable at the time. Pauline was trying to avoid Paul and ran into her room, which had a glass door. She shut the door behind her and Paul ran right through the door. Neither was hurt but Pauline was hysterical for at least three minutes and Paul just looked stunned. Probably was.

Glass was everywhere and I just knew that I would get the blame. I looked up the phone directory and found a Glazer in the area who said that they could repair the door but not until the next day. I needed the door fixed right away and the Glazer said that, his van was out but if I brought the door frame round they would replace the glass. It was going to cost £2.  That was six weeks pocket money. I managed to scrape the money together. We carefully removed most of the glass and found a screwdriver to remove the door from the doorframe. We did not have any experience of these DIY techniques but managed to work out what was needed. However, we had to get the door round to the Glazer and that meant a walk of around a mile.  We started out without a problem.

Walking through the housing scheme nearby carrying this large door frame was not easy and the frame got increasingly heavier as we trailed through the country roads and it was not only the door that was shattered when we arrived at the Glazer. He took the frame, cleaned out the glass and replaced it with a pattern that was very similar but slightly different. He took pity on us and by this time his van had come back and he brought us home where he fixed the door back for us. 10 minutes after he left my mother and Aunt Molly came home. No one noticed the slightly different pattern in the glass other than the culprits involved. Although my father did look at the door a little oddly once when he was speaking (probably haranguing) to me in the hallway a little later that week. He suddenly said there was something funny about that door and I, frozen with fear of a wallop around the keekhole, said he was imagining things. He stared at me for a moment, shook his head and never mentioned it again.

Craig Coussins

Connections:
 

Leigh et Jean-Philippe ARDRIT, Gabrielle and Gregory  jpardrit@free.fr   
Leigh is the daughter of Margo  and Frank Fraser. Margo is one of the three daughters of Molly and Hugh Kirkwood, Margo, Janice and Pauline. Molly was one of the daughters of Margaret Simpson. Leigh married Jean Philippe Ardrit who is a senior marketing manager for Lancôme and Leigh is a school teacher in Paris. The family live in Paris where they have recently built a house. The children are Gregory and Gabrielle, Greggy and Gaby. Svetlana Coussins, Craigs wife,  is Gd mother to Gabby.

    
2001                 2002                 2002         

  
2003                                                  2006

Greggy and Gabby July 2008


Margo Fraser with her grandson Gregory Ardrit December 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       These are pictures of Leigh's father and Mother, Frank and Margo Fraser        

          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

The Sarti Family

Sandro, Pauline , Daniela and Claudia Sarti sandrosarti@aol.com I do not have any photos of the Sarti Family yet.
Sandro married Pauline Kirkwood and they have two children Claudia and Daniela. Sandro created with his brother Piero, the very successful Fratelli Sarti chain of Italian restaurants  in Glasgow. The Sartis come from Lucca in Italy. Daniella was married in July 2008 and she now heads the team that has taken over the family restaurant business. Dad Sandro has an input of course and while he does not work long hours anymore he is always there to give advice and speak to the regular and loyal clientele

   
Pauline                                         Sandro                                   Claudia                       Daniella   

Janice and Donald Taylor.  Janice is the daughter of Molly and sister  to Pauline and Margo. Gary Taylor garytaylor28@aol.com

 

 

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