Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Lost Weapons #5 The Gat Gun

The weapon of choice for the aulder High Wall boys. Gat guns were .177 "pop oot" airguns that fired corks, darts and pellets.

Arkos and I were havin' a wee debate aboot the origins of oor Gats earlier tonight. I reckoned we got the money for them fae the sale of a couple o' auld books we found when we were rakin' aboot in the abandoned Banks & Co printing Factory on Causewayside. As I recall they were auld leather bound books wi copperplate engravings o' Scottish landscapes in them. We selt them fir a fiver tae a bookseller guy in Brunstfield. Boy nivvir asked any questions, just gied us a fiver and that wis that. He wis happy and so were we. Who knows whit we had found, but a fiver wis a fair bit o' dosh back in the mid 70's. A fiver was also the price o' two brand new Gat guns

Arkos reckoned they came fae the proceeds o' the sale of a couple o' reel tae reel tape machines we fished oot o' a skip on Ratcliffe Terrace. Ah mind o' that too, and in fact still hae a couple o' the tape reels tae this day. Ah still reckon it wis the books though.

Anyway we bought oor Gats fae a wee shop in the Arcade off o' Cockburn Street. Man they were guid things tae own. We used tae wander aboot wi them jammed doon the waistband o' oor troosers, like Jimmy Cagney or John Wayne. We used tae shoot tin cans, boatils (non returnable ones of course) road signs, abandoned factory windaes and, naturally, each other.

Now a Gat gun pellet will sting and probably could "have yer eye oot" but we wore snorkel Parkas so were well padded. We used tae hae some laughs shootin' each other aroond the High Wall and in the auld abandoned Southside factories, hidin' and layin' in ambush, waitin fer a clean shot. A sort o' urban paintball withoot the coloured dyes.

Now ah wouldnae fir one minute condone firearms and there have been a few terrible and tragic incidents involving airguns over the last few years. Airgun legislation in Scotland is getting tighter and that is probably a guid thing in my book. But we did hae some fun wi thon Gat guns back in the day.

I saw an auld original Gat fir sale at the Ghillies Funday in Ballinluig a couple o' years ago and wis tempted tae buy it fir auld times sake just tae stick oan the shelf. It was only a few quid but ah ended up no botherin'. The world has moved on I guess.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Its guid fur ye!

Mind oh they things yer folks made ye take thit wir meant tae be guid fur ye? Harmless things like vitamin juice or codliver oil nivver goat much oh a lookin in oor hoose. Oor faither wiz a man fur the 'MIXTURE'. It wiz sold by a chemist up the front street an fuck nose whit wiz in it but it tasted mair thin disgustin and it wiz really called 'THE MIXTURE'. It wiz more thin likely a by product oh the virgin nuclear industry. Anyways we wir forced tae take it fur oor catargh but ahm sure wi nivvir hud catargh until wi started takin the shite. Oor faithir wiz adament wi hud tae take it until one day oor ma tellt him tae try it inow, well effter he hud dropped his guts and puked aboot five times we wir tellt thit we wurrni tae git it again. The chemist mare thin likely hud tae shut shoap effter wir faither stopped buying it. In the wild west the he wud huv been a seller oh 'snake oil'

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Three Colours Red: Part 1, Red Kola

It's funny how the taste of something can act as a kinda time-machine and wheek ye right back to a time and place long in the past.
I was oot the back cutting the grass the other day and had a sudden urge for a boatil o Red Kola. I nipped over tae the wee shop on the green and got maself a boatil. Back at the hoose I opened the top and took a swig. And there I was back in the past.
The taste o the Red Kola took me right back to my Gran & Grandad's hoose in Craigentiny back in the 70's. Right back to a Saturday night there, when a young bobrob and I sat in front of an old black and white TV as the regular monotone voice of the boy on Grandstand announced the fitba results. Ye couldnae talk durin the results as ma auld Grandad sat there wi his coupon on his knee and checked off the results. Any conversation during this ritual was met with a "Shut yer erse, son" from Grandad and a wee hit oan the back o the heid.
Me bobrob and ma cousins sat on the carpet balancin' plates o homemade chips on oor knees, and glasses ful of Red Kola, waiting for the familiar sound of Dr Who to emerge from the tinny TV speakers. Then it was complete silence broken only by the sound o chips being munched and Red Kola being sooked doon, as we went on another adventure wi Dr Who!
Red Kola is braw! My old Gran always made sure there were boatils o Barrs fizzy juice in her hoose. I hadnae tasted Red Kola in years, but that boatil the other day was great! Times have changed tho. The deposit on the glass boatil is now 30p! Imagine! Back in the day when we drank the stuff at the High Wall you only got aboot 2p oan an empty. But you had to be careful wi boatils you found at the High Wall, cause Curly might have beaten you to it! God knows how he managed to get diarrhea into a boatil or a can but he did! And even the corner shop wouldnae take one back in yon kinda state!

Places of old.

Ah wiz jist checkin the online version o the News and ah found this story.


Manys a Seturday mornin wir spen there at the matinee. Yer Ma gave ye the cash fur a tickit in it wiz wer o aff tae the pictures. Hundreds o bairns standin oot in the front street waitin fur they doors tae open an take ye tae a better place where thir were spaceships an Roman forts an oh the adventures thit we wir dyin tae be part oh.
This wiz the place where me n Arkos saw the very Flash Gordon thit wir Faithir wiz eye tellin us aboot. Oright ye could see the stings huddin up the spaceship and the sparklir stickin oot oh its erse, but it wiz still braw. We spent most oh the week waitin fur Seturday tae arrive. Me n Arkos wir lucky cause we wir doon at oor Grannies oan a Seturday eftirnin which meant thit we wir in the George fur the next load o movies where baldy wiz the man in charge.
When we goat aulder it wiz the place where we went fir oh the concerts. Some magic gigs wir held in the Odeon and manys a night wiz spent at a guid session. Oan the way hame yir ears wid be ringin the sweat wid be runnin doon yer sides and it wiz oaf tae Rizzi's fur a fish supper n a boatle o cola.
A hope it steys where it is, an mibbe it'll be a picture hoose again, but ah doubt it.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rub of the Green

(click to enlarge)

Arkos and I were having our wee regular Tuesday evening cup o tea and blether in the 'Keld the other night and happened to remember the Letraset panorama things we bought back in the day.

Custers last stand, space exploration and fitba were all given the" rub on- Letraset" treatment back then.

We used to buy them fi a shop next to Bratisanni's, a sheet of card printed wi a background and a set o' wee rub on transfers. The idea being that you completed the picture by rubbing the transfers in the appropriate places. Minutes of endless fun.

Sometimes you rubbed too hard and a Sioux brave would lose his bow arm or a U.S Marine wi a flame thrower would get his gas cut off.

We would also indulge in 70's Decoupage by rubbing them onto bedroom furniture and the broon paper round yer school jotters.

I said to Arkos I was sure I minded having the Hibs on these sets. After a bit I dismissed it as a vague romanicised wish, and being a non football man Arkos could not add anything to the debate. However, by the power of Google I have since been proved correct, as can be seen by clicking on the above photos (and straining your eyes at the blue yin).
The other yin is a Captain Scarlett set, half completed.

What I wouldnae give for a #4 Soccer Action Replay, Hibs v Celtic Jimmy O'Rourke set, a #5 Scotland v England, John Brownlie, or especially a #7 Hearts v Hibs (0-7) Donald Ford set (nae offence Naldo, our adopted High Wall brother).

For more nostalgic sticker nonsense head for the excellent

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Teenage kicks!

Ah wit thinkin the other night aboot the wummin thit ye wir radge aboot as a teen. Fur me it wiz Suzy Quattro. Ah hud a full size Suzy poster oan ma wall. Manys a night ah tossed un turned (mair tossin thin turnin ahm afraid tae say!) wi Suzy oan ma mind. Ah suppose ma Ma hud tae crack the sheets a couple o times tae git thum in tae the washin machine. The guid thing aboot Suzy wiz thot she wiz knee high tae a grasshopper which siuited me doon tae the groond, nae need fur a set o steps or an auld beer crate so ye could gi her a quick snog, nah ye could git right doon tae the nitty gritty. As a well quoted Beggbie wid say "she wiz ah right we ride!"
Well then it steyed as a dream but ah huv tae admit Suzy helped me through manys a dark patch. Fuck yer psychoanalists gi me a Suzy Quattro poster any day.