TRAILBLAZING women and touching tributes to parents long gone were at the heart of our Thanks for the Memories event in Partick.

Dozens of local people shared their stories and photographs of life in the area over the decades at the drop-in session in Partick Library last week.

And for many, it was a chance to celebrate the men and women who held families – and often communities – together.

“Our mum and dad always had us pristine,” agreed sisters Doreen Kerr, 71 and Irene Shedden, 72, who brought along some fantastic photographs of their parents, Ivy and David McIntyre.

“We didn’t have much money, but they were careful with what they did have, and they always put us first.”

David was a marine engineer at John Brown’s shipyard on the Clyde, Ivy was a housewife, and every year at the Glasgow Fair, they would head off on holiday. One photograph shows the couple, with Doreen and Irene, on the beach in Aberdeen in the 1950s.

“That was quite exotic for us,” laughed Irene.

“Normally, we’d be off doon the watter to Rothesay. I remember this holiday very well – it was freezing.”

Doreen chipped in: “That’s probably why our father is wearing his Harris tweed jacket, knitted socks and brogues – on the beach…”

Irene added: “I remember the photo being taken, us in our multi-coloured swimsuit dresses, and mum and dad on the deckchairs. It was unusual because normally mum would take the pictures, so it was nice to get the four of us together.

“It appeared in a newspaper article once, all about Scots and their holidays – the caption read ‘The McIntyres of Partick’, which made us sound very grand.”

The family stayed in a house on George Street in Aberdeen, owned by a lady who stayed there at the same time.

“That was very common at the time, as people would let out their homes to holidaymakers,” added Irene. “We used to have our stuff sent on ahead, by British Rail – our mum would fill up the suitcase with our clothes and we’d have to wear our old stuff until we went.”

Irene smiled: “That makes us sound posh, but we weren’t. We were a very close family, and our parents looked after us very well.”

Janice Carter, who now lives in Cumbernauld, grew up in Partick and remembers a happy childhoood.

Recently, she attended a 90th anniversary celebration at the library and discovered an image of her late father, William.

“I was looking through all the old photographs on display and suddenly, in a black and white picture of a group of men, I spotted my dad,” she smiled.

“The caption said it was the Meadowside Bar’s annual outing to Burntisland, and it intrigued me, because I knew my great grandfather worked in Burntisland.”

Janice added: “My dad was a fitter at Singer’s, and he played football for a team called Partick Avondale, which I haven’t been able to find out much about.

“It was lovely to spot him and a couple of my uncles in the photograph – such a nice surprise.”

Pat Black, nee McCowat, was one of Glasgow’s first women bus drivers in 1975 – a career move she thinks may have been inspired, at least in part, by her late mother’s role in the First and Second World Wars.

“My mother, Ann McFarlane, was born in 1899, and in the First World War when she was 18, she drove trams,” recalled Pat, who grew up in Partick.

“After the war, she was made redundant, like many of the women who did the men’s jobs while they were away fighting.

“But in the Second World War, she went back and became a conductress. Her badge number was 1947.”

Pat’s grandfather James also drove trams, around 1900, in Partick, before the burgh was part of Glasgow city.

“I was a conductress on the buses and got paid off – but needs must, so I went to the driving school and learned to be a bus driver,” she said.

“I was the only woman in the garage, but I was quite mouthy back then, so they very quickly realised they’d get short shrift if they gave me any problems.”

She said: “The public were mostly lovely to me – except for one time, when I stopped to let an old chap on my number 20 bus.

“He couldn’t see very well, so he was peering at the number for ages as I approached the stop. I stopped and shouted out – are ye coming oan?”

Pat laughed: “He suddenly realised who was speaking, and yelled, ‘a wummin’ driver? You’ve got to be joking – naw, I’m no comin’ oan…

“So I drove off !”

Don’t miss next Tuesday’s Evening Times for more Partick memories. If you have stories and photos to share email