I was brought up in a wee place called Teucharhill. It’s in the Govan burgh, it had 8 streets that formed a square and within this structured area were rows of tenement buildings; 3 stories high! A smaller collection of 4 in a block flats completed the housing space and it was in one such ‘block’ that both sets of my grandparents lived - next door to each other - meaning my parents didn’t need to go too far to find their love interest!
Across the road from them were 2 large ‘posh’ front and back doored houses with up and downstairs! (These people were living the dream). The ground next to them was the United Free Church, the prettiest little building ye ever did see! It was straight out of Little House On The Prairie on a Sunday, when we would be bathed and dressed in our best clothes for Sunday School when all us kids came together, regardless of religious beliefs or whatever school we attended Monday to Friday - other people walked, cycled, drove or cadged a lift to get there. All dressed up in their finery: suites for the men and dresses and hats for the ladies. It was a sight to behold and a thing of beauty to witness which I personally feel is a loss in society today.
I had family live on almost every street of the scheme and when you went outside the boundaries of Teuch, you would tell people you had family in every ‘close’ because that was how it felt to you, you felt like everyone was connected to each other. Everyone said they were your family - even the ones you didn’t see eye to eye with- they included you and you respected them for that.
In times of trouble, bereavement or loss and also in joyous times, Teucharhill rallied round and made things be the best they could for fellow neighbours when they were in need. Go Fund me pages might have started out because of these communities wanting to help out each other and the spirit of the original ‘chip in’ for your neighbour in need lives on through them.
The Church was always part of this. Sunday School Teachers were from around the area so they knew what was going on in our community. They worked tirelessly to help the younger members be United and filled us with a sense of community pride and spirit and they encouraged us to see the good in others and sometimes more importantly within our selves!
I often look back on these days when I am struggling to see the good in others or I need to inspire myself and see my own worth. I recall the message of unity, the spirit of togetherness and also I am reminded of the innocence of youth. I smile because to this day, if I pass someone from my old community there is always a hello and a smile reciprocated. There is an acknowledgment of something unique to us, something we shared and sometimes lost along the way; but only briefly. The togetherness we had when the complications and separation of this thing called life takes over, with its dividing and separating brought about by religion/class/culture and the circles we end up moving in! All the things we knew meant not a jot when we all congregated on a wee United Free Church where we never felt we were different to each other. Back when it was the opposite in-fact . They told us stories from the bible but made it feel to us that it was geographical and historical tales that gave us curiosity for places and things in the world. They spoke of compassion between man and the animal world living together and surviving. No bigotry, no separation or at least that’s what we took from it.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days of the Teucharhill community and feel that sense of innocence and joy that Sunday mornings brought to us. This was our community … 🎶 For we are the Teucharhill Brigade, and there's nothing to be afraid…🎶