…1950s Docklands Govan, Glasgow… our Mammies knew what to feed us…

...’we are what we eat’, claim scientists and nutritionists… in this modern day and age, where every packet, tin, container and tube of consumables is festooned with precise details of the  composition of their contents… 20.64287 gms of this, 15.92663 gms of that… glutens, chemicals, carbohydrates, fibre, fats and endless other constituents… is it any wonder that this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler hearkens back to a time when our family diet depended more on whatever was left in the wage packet or unemployment benefit pittance, rather than the over-exuberance of the good folks at the Food Standards Agency of Her Majesty’s Gubmint?… let me accompany yeez on a wee journey of some of the typical epicurean delights we kids devoured in the Docklands Govan slums in Glasgow during the 1950s…

…breakfast for four children (I had three younger sisters) one (yes, ONE) bread roll sliced in half crossways, fried in lard, then sliced in half again, top down, creating four lumps of dough, topped with sugar… one meal down… dinner, (we didn’t call it  ‘Lunch’… that was a fancy English term learned much later in life), one steak and kidney pie with pastry crust, heated in the gas oven till it was dark brown and crispy, then topped with half a cup of Bisto gravy…

…meted out into five plates (Mammy’s home, Daddy was out WURKIN or looking for WURK)… tea, (our name for ‘Dinner’), consisted of slices of plain bread loaf soaked in egg and fried in lard… food of the Govan Gods… oft times a huge pot of ‘bottomless soup’ started its life at the beginning of the week and metamorphosed for the ensuing days by continual additions of water, salt and whatever semblance of edibles were at hand… mutton, bits of bacon, lentils, peas and barley… lots of barley, coz it kept yeez warm inside… desserts were unheard of…

…now and again a packet of biscuits or Tunnocks Caramel Wafers would find its way to the table, and were strictly rationed to us infants… food was never left unfinished… any attempt not to eat whatever dish was on offer would be recast as the next meal…

…so if we are what we eat, I am a glorious amalgam of square sausage, mince, tattie (potato) scones, lard, lard and more lard, assiette pies, bacon sammitches, mutton soup, barley soup, lentil soup, and sum’times quite indeterminate-content soup, porridge with sugar, porridge with salt, porridge with jam… marmalade-laden breadloaf-end ‘doorsteps’… and not a hint of glutens anywhere… go figure… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

17 responses to “…1950s Docklands Govan, Glasgow… our Mammies knew what to feed us…

  1. The difference is Seamas, it was 98% natural. You would have swept yards, beaten carpets, chopped sticks, gathered coal and many other chores. Children worked off their lard and all the calories were burned. The food you ate had no chemicals or additives to muck (see polite) you up. We didn’t need it to keep cos it would be gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Paul v Walters

    Splendid article on your childhood cuisine. Scrumtious !


    Paul v Walrers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A splendid and nutricianal piece thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are all so spoiled now, with our gluten-free, sugar-free, carb-free, no sugar, cardboard food. Hmmm, sounds less appetizing than what you all were fed as a child. But seriously, what a remembrance of poverty and food. Thanks for sharing, Seumas.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And it all tasted GREAT, Seumas 👍😃

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whatever we had until the middle 1950’s was supplemented by meat my dad hunted and hooked such as rabbits, ducks, and fish. I don’t remember being a fussy eater. My children weren’t either. We sat down together and ate what was served. If you’re hungry you eat. Great memories, Seumas.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember being hungry often as a child. I was only allowed one egg, mother had two, despite the fact she had finished growing. Sure it was the lack of additives and preservatives and no one had allergies to anything except for the odd asthma case in school.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was very blessed to always have food on our table in Kippen. I loved porrage with the top part of the milk from those glass bottles that are no longer seen. Tunnocks caramel wafers were another favourite and their snowballs although my teeth suffered greatly. 🌼🌼🌼


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