IN Bridgeton’s Olympia cafe, over tea and cake, three friends reminisce about Glasgow’s good old days.

Isa Brady, her best friend Liz Swinton and May Redmond, who has been Isa’s neighbour for 50 years, are members of the library and often meet up for a browse through the books, followed by lunch and a walk round Glasgow Green.

For Isa, it is like walking back in time, to a childhood full of bittersweet memories.

“My mother Isabella died when I was just five and a half, just at the start of the war,” she recalls. “My dad, George, knew he had to get me and my three brothers out of the city when war broke out, but he had no-one to look after us.

“He arranged for us to go to a family in Lockerbie and what a life we had there.”

She smiles: “It was wonderful - we stayed there until the war was over, and it was very different from the east end of Glasgow.

“But Glasgow was our home and we missed it too. When we came back, my father had remarried and suddenly we had a stepsister called Lily and a step-granny, who lived in London Road.”

Isa, Lily and Liz (nee Banks) went everywhere together - skating at Crossmyloof ice rink, dancing at the Palais and the Barrowland and playing on the Green.

“But our main thing to do, our absolute favourite thing was to go to the Olympia,” smiles Isa.

“It was a cinema then, and we loved it. I remember trying three times to get in to see the Paul Newman picture Somebody Up There Likes Me, and every time, we didn’t make it.

“Eventually, the three of us went down really early one Saturday morning and joined the queue.”

She laughs: “It was freezing fog, and so cold. My granny came down with a flask of soup and some bread so that helped to heat us up - and a few lucky others in the queue got some too.

“Another day, we saw Richard Todd in the Hasty Heart, and on the way out, we all got a wee paper heart with his picture on it to take home. We were all was so sad.”

The three friends were obsessed with the cinema - so much so, recalls Isa, that they even skipped night school to go to see a film.

“We were learning shorthand typing, but one night we thought - och, let’s just go to the cinema,” says Isa. “We forgot, of course, that the night classes finished at 9pm and the cinema didn’t come out until 10.30! Lily’s granny was outside the Olympia waiting on us and she was not too happy....”

Isa, who is now 84, got married to John in 1958 and the couple lived just across the road from the People’s Palace.

They moved to Cumbernauld in 1964. Here she met May, who was also originally from Bridgeton and the two women have been friends ever since.

Sadly, Lily died in 2006 and the following year, Isa lost her beloved John. She still has fond memories, though, of growing up in Bridgeton and she often shares them with her family - two sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“I loved it here and I still do,” she says. “We keep fit and healthy - if we are not doing our zumba class, or at the gym, we go for a walk - or sit in the cafe and catch up. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had never left the east end. It was a great life we had here, and I’ll never forget it.”

We would love to hear more of your Glasgow memories. Through our regular library drop-in events, our letters page and email banks, we are compiling a fantastic archive of stories and pictures, all dedicated to the city we love. Please write to Ann Fotheringham, Evening Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email with your stories and photos. Don’t forget to include contact details.