Memories of My Life From My Early Days in Scotland Till the Present Day in Adelaide
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Memories of My Life, by Mrs. J. S. O. Allen
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United Statesand most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost norestrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use itunder the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with thiseBook or online at
Title: Memories of My Life
From My Early Days in Scotland Till the Present Day in Adelaide
Author: Mrs. J. S. O. Allen
Release Date: November 5, 2018 [eBook #58239]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MEMORIES OF MY LIFE***
E-text prepared by Martin Pettit
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from page images generously made available by
the National Library of Australia
|Note:||Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-358993523/view?partId=nla.obj-358994667|
MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
FROM MY EARLY DAYS IN SCOTLAND TILL
THE PRESENT DAY IN ADELAIDE
By Mrs. J. S. O. ALLEN
J. L. BONYTHON & CO., "THE ADVERTISER" OFFICE
King William Street
THE LADIES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
In a sense I am no stranger to you. It may be asked why I should bringthe names of people and the incidents of my life into book-form.Loneliness is the principal cause. What would become of me if I couldnot recall past years. I have written something of the history of what Ihave lived through. Many times over I have promised to write a cookerybook from my colonial experience—I am talking about cookery all day. Itry to live on recollection, although occasionally it hurts me. Manywill discern in these pages some of the observations they have listenedto while I have been giving lessons on cookery. It has been habitual tome to allude to by-gone days and customs.
Mrs. J. S. O. ALLEN.
77 Tynte Street,
|My First Place||1|
|Life's Battle Begins||3|
|I Return Home||7|
|On the Coal Mines||9|
|I go to Glasgow||13|
|I Change my Occupation||16|
|The Country of Burns||19|
|I go to a New Place||20|
|I Leave Ayrshire||25|
|Dr. Dykes, Dr. Guthrie, and Dr. MacLeod||27|
|Another New Place||32|
|The Isle of Arran||35|
|Back in Glasgow again||41|
|I Decide to come to Adelaide||44|
|On an Emigrant Ship||46|
|I Arrive in Adelaide||52|
|My Father and Brother Arrive||60|
|I go to the South-East||65|
|I Leave the Station and Return to Adelaide||72|
|I go back to Sunnyside||80|
|Prince Alfred in Adelaide||82|
|I Leave Government House||86|
|I Get Married||91|
|A Parting of Ways||95|
|I Return to Scotland||98|
|I Arrive in London||104|
|I Return to my Old Home||109|
|I Reach Adelaide again||112|
|Housekeeper at Government House||115|
|I Return to my Husband||116|
|Yet Another Parting||118|
Memories of My Life
FROM MY EARLIEST DAYS IN SCOTLAND TILL
THE PRESENT DAY IN ADELAIDE.
MY FIRST PLACE.
We did not talk of a "situation" in those days but of a place. Mysister, who was a few years older than I, was out at a place five milesfrom where we lived. She came home, as she had not been well, and myfather sent me to tell the people that Mary could not return for a fewdays. They asked me if I could stay in her stead till she was better. Iwas quite willing, provided that my father would allow me. They obtainedmy father's consent, as he said if I was any use they could keep me; soat the age of ten I began to be a house-servant.
We had no mother. She died when I was six years of age. The name of thetown was Denny, not far from Falkirk. The people with whom I went tolive were bakers and confectioners in a large way. With their sons andjourneymen and apprentices, in addition to the master, there were, alltold, 12 men living on the establishment, and the mistress, with onedaughter and myself, did all the work, except that a woman came to helpwith the washing. Some of the journeymen and two apprentices slept overthe granary or store where the flour and other materials were kept.Every night at 10 o'clock those men and boys had to be in their room;one of my duties was to see that the door was locked and to bring thekeys to the master. The mistress would bring them to me again in themorning at 4 o'clock, when I had to run up this long stone stair andopen the door and tell the men it was time to get up. I always went backto bed again till 6 o'clock.
It was a busy house. There was a large shop facing the front street,with two windows filled with beauteous cakes and confectionery. Therewere five carts to load up every morning,[Pg 2] for the establishment servedthe locality for miles round with bread.
Stirling town was not far off, and the neighborhood was full ofhistorical events. The battlefield of Bannockburn was close by, and alsoan old castle; I was told that once it was the stronghold of Bruce andWallace. I liked to wander through the old ruins on my way home fromSunday-school. I got to like the place, and they were kind to me. It wasnot displeasing to me when I learned that I could stop there for a timeand that my sister would live at home. I used to go home about once amonth. There were no tramcars or conveyance of any kind on that wildmoorland. Nothing but heather met the eye all the way from Denny toSlamannan, which was the name of the village I came from. The Edinburghand Glasgow railway ran through it, and we could see Stirling Castlefrom our door.
I did not have much wages, but the mistress saw to my clothes and madesome of them. I was taught to be careful and useful. One of the things Iliked was to go into the shop window to hand out all the nice cake andconfections. The work of bakers and confectioners has moved forward bygreat strides since then. For weeks and weeks the daughter of the houseand myself had to help in the work-shop while some of the men and one ofthe apprentices were away ill with measles.
I shall never forget the first morning I went to the bakehouse. Therewas a long trough, which stretched the full length of the bakehouse.Overhead there was a strong beam of timber, with ropes hanging down fora balance. In this big trough I saw six men with their trousers up tothe knees, and they were tramping in the dough to make the bread. I putup my hands and gave a scream, and someone threw a flour bag at my head.I felt as if I did not want to eat any more bread. I did not like theway that they made bread, but I soon got interested in other beautifulwork which was done, and I had to help. What I learned then I have neverforgotten.
The master told the mistress that she was not to give me any wages, as Iwas learning more than the apprentices. So he said I was to have nowages, but that I would have to pay him some "sil-ler" for what I waslearning. When he said "sil-ler" he meant money. I knew the apprenticeshad to pay when they were bound for so long a period. Time went on and Iwas happy.
There was one daughter who had a runaway marriage, sometime before Iwent there to live. The old folks had forgiven her and she and herhusband came on a visit. It was the first since the elopement, andeveryone seemed pleased to see her again. Even I, the little maid, wasallowed to enjoy the gay times. They came from Glasgow, and had seensome style in city life. The gentleman brought with him an apparatus[Pg 3]for taking photographs. It was the first ever seen in Denny. They fixedup a studio in the garden for him, but he did not take photographs tomake money, but only as a pastime. It made quite a stir in the place.Ministers and doctors and all kinds of people came to see this wonderfulthing. I will add here that this was 46 years ago. Things are differentnow. I had my photograph taken without my knowledge.
I was sent with a cup of coffee on a tray in the morning as so manypeople were round that the gentleman could not come to breakfast. Justas I got to the gate I was told to stand still and look straight at whatproved to be the camera. I was told to wait and get something to takeback to give to Miss Isabel, and to ask her to put it in the shopwindow. I carefully carried back the parcel, never thinking it was