A box full of Taylor family memories returned to Newtongrange

In 2017 my work colleague showed me a box full of photographs, postcards, annotated books & documents relating to a Newtongrange family. David had purchased the box in a local auction & knew I would be interested in the local heritage. During lockdown I was thinking about the amazing contents & since last week I am now the custodian of this box. My aim is to make sure it is appreciated, preserved in a museum archive or perhaps reunite the items with the family. The items were possessions of Mr. Robert Taylor b.1895 of 49 Abbeyland & 38 5th Street a miner who in WWI served with 11th Battalion Royal Scots 52792. His wife Mrs Mary Cunningham (Taylor), 9th First Street and son John Taylor a local school janitor. I am contacting Newtongrange Village Voices for some of the images to be shared on social media for the community to appreciate. John Taylor wrote the poem below which appeared in the Midlothian Advertiser in 2003:



Auld Nitten, oh I see you still
As a boy of long ago, Tho, when
I walk your Main Street
Now my step is rather slow

At Bryan’s corner standing
Where houses stretch on far
There once was a field and meadow
Before bus and motor car

Then Rab King owned the farm
And pigs ran down the strip
With wagon loads of three pit redd
To White gates there to tip

Now monstrous bing it covers
Where once were fields so green
A gas works and a brick work
In my day there was seen

Two iron gates a signal box
With Lyes of coal brom foo,
Buts its Nick Thomson’s Builders yard
That covers them the noo

The folk they all disgord
From off the old Globe trains
Afore you had a station
‘Twas at Dalhousie Mains

Of Romans the hall stair
The stank block 1 could tell
And Lovers Lane and Abbey Land
With women at the well

Auld Taylor’s hut your cricket pitch
The pavilion with its clock
Are things of my young childhood
Like Auld Nittens dwindling flock

Handyside an oil works
At Murderdean he had
The Loan and Auld Coo Mary’s
When I was just a lad

Three fitba’ teams you could then boast
The Star, The Thistle, The Vics
Then Readshaw came to Nitten
And he brought the silent flicks

Just some of Nitten’s men I’ll name
To honour my intention
For Nitten men like you old place
Deserve a special mention

Wull Blyth and Joe Barton
The family Walkingshaw
Dukesy Dickson, Dobie Moffat
With Gun Jock Shillinglaw

Mind I too of the Gordons
Dave Rose to boxing fame
The charger Connelly and Moss Smith
All from Old Nitten came

Pasteboard, Treacle, Dandy Pete
Dave Pryde and Peter Kent
When in there need of a haircut
To Old Tayior’s hut they went

Sharp, Wood, Holget or Herriott
With Peacock will not rhyme
Ovens Lockhart Williamson
Then add on Nichol Syme

I write this for my fathcr
No malice do intend
For he like you when in his youth
Stunt hunkard at the pend

He speaks of Nitten lovingly
Recalls the youthful plays
When Newtongrange was Nitten
And you and he were boys

 © John Taylor 2003


Ross Anderson

Ross Anderson

I'm involved with the Newtongrange Community Council because I want to help preserve the unique heritage, character & facilities of the village.

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