‘THE MIDDLE CORNER’ What’s in the name?
THE MIDDLE CORNER was literally what it says, the middle corner of a village in Central Scotland where my father was raised. This village fledged from a through road, called Constarry Road by the means of three road junctions. These junctions being both sides of Smithstone Crescent and the other Culmuir Terrace.
The village was largely populated by mining families, where a large majority were of Irish decent. From the 1920’s to the 1960’s the village fell under the status of being ‘Dry‘ due to its location adjacent to the ‘Two Dry Towns‘, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch. Essentially the Dry Towns had polled for the prevention of the public sale of alcohol. Hence, no Public Houses (Bars). This is where ‘THE MIDDLE CORNER’ came into its own.
“Why“, I hear you ask?
As the closest places for a drink were of a reasonable distance, an aperitif was normally left for a Sunday stroll. Close on 7 miles each way!
The men of the village would gather at ‘THE MIDDLE CORNER’ at night, after a day down the pit (mine). Having been fed, watered and walked the greyhounds or tended the doos (pigeons) if that was their thing, the men would head down to the middle corner and let battle commence!
Football, the dogs, the doos, politics, fishing! Whatever the topic of the moment the men would debate and put the world too right, or at least highlight its wrongs.
THE MIDDLE CORNER was a place where dreams were made, where the men had the ear of their peers. A place that took the people of this village to areas far beyond the Fingerpost to the North, the Zoar Road to the South, Mount Cookie to the East or the Boag to the West. These men and their kin succeeded in numbers that had no justification of a village of this size. Sportsmen, musicians, poets, and from this list a number have reached the top of their game, the best of the best, some just local legends.
The beating heart of this village of Croy was, THE MIDDLE CORNER.