"Early Years in the Muckle Toon" Langholm by clivedinburgh
Langholm Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 53 photos
Langholm is located at the junction of three rivers (Esk, Wauchope & Ewes) that carve it into two parts (Old & New towns) and surrounded by four hills (two of which are built on). The A7 runs through the town forming the High Street where most of the shops are located. The population is remains steady around 2500-3000 therefore most folk know each other. All are keen to welcome visitors to the town.
Famous locals are
Thomas Telford (from slightly up the Esk valley) who built the main bridge in the town as well as many others around the country and has a road in the town named after him.
Hugh MacDairmid who was a celebrated poet comemorated by a memorial on Whita Hill.
It never seemed like it at the time but this is an great place to grow up. The school facilities were basic (have improved dramatically nowadays) but we benefited from teachers who were keen to get out of the cities and teach less unruly kids.
After school & on Saturdays I used to deliver groceries (messages in langholmite) on a trusty old bike, we were one of the few towns left in Scotland that maintained this free service (most shops had at least on message boy) and I even got a centre page article in the Sunday Post. Evenings were spent playing 20 a side football games around the flower beds in the park and walking the many trails to be found on the surrounding hills.
I had a large variety of interest as a youth but never really got hooked on any so it's lucky that I was kept busy when I left town at 16 to join the RN. My parents moved away in 89 but I have always kept in close touch with my old school mates (lots of people find this strange) and I'm always welcomed back whenever I visit.
This is one of my favourite songs from the many local ones that are sung around Common Riding
There's a wee bit toon on the Borders,
That my heart fair langs to see,
Where youthful days I wander'd,
Knowing ev'ry bank and brae;
O'er the hills and thro' the valleys,
Thro' the woodlands wild and free,
Thro' the narrow "Straits" and loanings,
There my heart fair langs to be.
Oh, for a glint o' the dear auld haunts o' hame,
For a hunt thro' the heather o'er the hill;
There's a spot supremely blest,
Sweeter spot than a' the rest,
There's a wee bit toon that lies near Whita Hill.
Here o'er the seas I strain my eyes,
Where the circling sea-birds cry,
And sih for a glint o' the hameland,
And scenes of auld days lang by,
I ken folk look and wonder,
But they do not hear like me,
The calls of the hills of Eskdale,
Coming o'er the alien sea.
There are hames o' my ain folk,
And the auldest frien's are best;
For the new anes are just on trial,
And the hame-sick ne'er can rest,
Oh, the hills o' hame are calling,
And my heart would fain obey;
But duty is always duty,
Though my heart be far away.
- Pros:Beautiful scenery with clean air
- Cons:Can be too quiet for some
- In a nutshell:The Muckle Toon
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