Today, October 12th 2018, my wee granny Ann turns 100 years old!
All my family are over on Islay to help celebrate this impressive milestone with her and although I’m sad I can’t be there to help with the celebrations and to give my gran a huge birthday cuddle, I’ve decided instead, to write this blog post to share with you some photos/memories and stories of her eventful/adventurous life💗
The Early Years
My gran, Ann Morrison was born in Greenock 1918 (one hundred years ago!)- It still amazes me that my gran was born at a time when most people still used horse and carriage! She has seen so much in her time, Infact the beginning of all modern innovations happened during her lifetime- the car, the phone, television, radio, refrigerator, the computer and so much more!
At the end of the FIRST World War, my gran moved with her Mum, Dad and Sisters to Hong Kong as there was not enough work at home for her dad to support their family. My Great Grandpa was involved in the shipbuilding industry on The River Clyde, which is the eighth longest river in the United Kingdom and is an important river for ship building and trade in the British empire.
I adore this photograph of granny, far left, with her three sisters…so glam!
When the First war was over, the family remained in Hong Kong for aprox 10 years then returned to the UK when shipbuilding improved on The Clyde.
Granny trained as a Tracer and began work in a shipyard drawing office which she continued to do until the onset of World War II.
When the war commenced she decided to train as a nurse with the intention of travelling overseas and nursing wounded sailers. To achieve this she had to join the Royal Navy.
She left the UK from Southampton without knowing her destination as it was classed as Top Secret. Her final destination turned out to be Ceylon (which is now Sri Lanka) in the Indian Ocean where she was based as a nurse to the navy boys during the Second World War.
When she finally moved back to Scotland and back to her job in the shipyard, it was around this time that she met my Grandpa and her future husband while hillwalking and skiing in the Scottish Mountains, which was one of their hobbies. Gran was one of the first woman to ski in Scotland and this back when there were no chair lifts!…. you had to carry your ski’s all the way back up the top of the mountain!
The locals called her the “Kamikaze Granny!’
Gran and Grandpa’s relationship escalated quickly and eventually they were married in the early 50’s and that’s when they decided to move to Islay, a small Island off the West Coast of Scotland, which we are all very grateful for now ❤️
After finding their feet on Islay and settling into their home, they went on to have three children there, my Uncle Ruairidh, My Aunty Bam and ofcourse, my mum!
Here’s a photo of granny Ann holding my mum just after she was born in Bluehouse , in Bowmore.
Grandpa was The Station Superintendent and ran the very small Islay airport at this time , which is the reason they managed to take a family holiday to Spain when Mum was a wee girl. (My mum told me that they all flew to Majorca for 2/6d, which was the equivalent of 22p!!)……but even with discounted holidays to Spain, Granny and Grandpa saved their money like crazy with the intention of buying the chemist shop in Bowmore.
In the early 60’s they finally had enough money to buy the chemist shop and then went on to take over The Lochside Hotel next door to the chemist and ran both for approximately 10 years!
My mum has a lot of great memories and stories of their time living in Bowmore and being brought up in The Lochside Hotel.
Mum standing outside the Lochside Hotel.