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A Scots Boy's World Sixty Years Ago
By George Ernest Philip (1922)


Chapter I. A Manse Bairn of Last Century,
Chapter II. Home on the Old Govan Road,
Chapter III. Home on the Old Paisley Road,
Chapter IV. A Boy's Box of Books.
Chapter V. Early School Life,
Chapter VI. At the Glasgow Academy,
Chapter VII. More Academy Memories,
Chapter VIII. Aberdeenshire Holidays,
Chapter IX. Other Holidays,
Chapter X. Winter Evening Pastimes,
Chapter XI. Mid-Victorian Memories,
Chapter XII. A City Congregation,
Chapter XIII. Pulpit and other Oratory,


In the pages which follow, an attempt is made to record a few of the early impressions and fancies of childhood, together with some scattered memories of a boy's life in the home, at school and on holiday, nearly sixty years ago. In so far as these are purely personal they can have little interest for any but the narrowest circle of intimates, yet, as authentic recollections, it is possible that they may cast an occasional side light on the working of the child mind, or at least help to preserve some picture of its environment in a past generation.

While ruminating over bygone days it has been an agreeable surprise to find with what crisp sharpness apparently trifling incidents have traced themselves on the sensitive film of memory and how readily they fall into something like symmetrical sequence. That these homely snapshots may not at once evaporate they are here developed, fixed and printed. With Bunyan, in his famous Apology, I might truly say that there were—

More than twenty things that I set down.
This done I twenty more had in my crown,
And they again began to multiply
Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.
* * * * *
When at the first I took my pen in hand,
Thus for to write; I did not understand '
That I at all should make a little hook
In such a mode; I only thought to make
I knew not what: nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my neighbour; no, not I;
I did it my own self to gratify.

If, however, the pictures presented help to awaken slumbering memories of long ago in the hearts of others, some good purpose may, perhaps, have been served.

The different chapters have, for the most part, appeared at intervals in the Glasgow Herald, Aberdeen Free Press and other papers whose Editors kindly consent to their reproduction in the present form.

G. E. P.

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