Parish Recollections

   Sunday School

We ging ti the Kirk on a Sunday ti the Sunday School wi Dr Lamb.  He wyres bricht reed claes wi a black robe ouwer it an fit folk caa adog collar- that's a queer thing ti caa it.  Ye hiv ti mine ti taak yer penny wi ye ti pit in the little reed velvet bag that somebody taks roon afore ye sing the last hymn. Ye hiv ti watch ye dinna drap it becis it can roll richt oot o sicht under the pews.  Ivery Sunday we dee the same things.  Ye sing a hymn- some o them are lichtsome an happy soundin, like "All things bright and beautiful " an some are sad like "There is a Green Hill far away, without a city wall"- that's an Easter hymn faan Jesus wis crucified, bit I'm aye winderin  fit wye a hill wid hae a city wall roon it onywye.  A lot o hymns dinna really mak sense bit it disna metter if the wirds are bonny an the tune is gweed, an the mair ye sing them the better they get, an the souns o the organ beginnin a hymn or a psalm can gie ye a warm hamely kind o feelin inside ye.  There's a prayer fan ye hiv ti close yer een an Dr Lamb gings on his knees in the pulpit an spiks for a lang time, an maist o the time ye dinna ken fit he's spikkin aboot-  it's nae like the prayers at the school faan ye're usually sayin 'thank you' to God for something, or fit ye say yersel at nicht fan ye're feart aboot something.  Dr Lamb prays for "the Queen and all her family and the Prime Minister and  our Armed Forces- the Navy, the Army and the Airforce".  Ye can understand that he prays for the Queen becis she an her family come ti the Kirk at Crathie faan she's at the Castle, an folk are aye singin aboot God savin her.  There's statues o Queen Victoria an Edward the Seventh an George the Fifth in the Kirk.  They hivna happy faces, an Queen Victoria aye looks ragey.  There's big stained-gless windis, wi Jesus an his disciples, an they are afa bonny, wi bricht reeds an blues and greens-  Jesus is in the middle an he is aa in reed, a bit like Dr Lamb in his reed robes, bit ye ken that Jesus is kind an gentle an likes little children, an he's nae really like Dr Lamb.  Ye get fit folk caa a 'sermon' faan ye're telt fit Jesus wints ye ti dee, bit maist o the time ye dinna really ken fit the minister means.  It aye seems a lang time ti sit in the Kirk, though ye like the bonny things ye can look at, an the great high reef wi the arches an the shiny lichts that are on aa the time, an the roon, smooth, coloured steens in the pulpit an the reed curtains an the reed carpets, an the clickity soun o feet on the fleer wi the squares on it an the bonny souns o the organ that's awa up aside the reef, an it can seem as though the music is nearly in Heaven  In the winter time it's caal in the Kirk, an ye hiv ti watch ye dinna burn yer shoes or yer wellies faan ye pit yer feet on the het pipes. The seats are lang shiny pews, like fancy forms ye get at the school, bit wi reed velvet cushions on them that ye can move aboot on, an there's little stools ye can pit yer feet on, though ye've ti grab een faan ye ging in, becis there's nae een for aabody, jist like ye hiv ti grab a hymn book an bible becis there's nae aye een ti ging roon.  The numbers o the hymns are up on a board, an ye aye like ti look them aa up afore the Sunday School starts jist ti see fit they are, an ye hiv ti look up the pages for the little eens so they can look at the book even though they canna really read the wirds an sometimes they sing wi the book upside doon.  Bit they aye like ti hae a book an be the same as aabody else, watchin ither folks' mous an copyin fit the bigger eens are singin.

In the simmer there's a Sunday School picnic doon at the Manse, an that's aye good fun becis there's races an games an usually a treasure hunt in the big gerdin, an it's the only time ye ever dee a treasure hunt, faar ye hiv ti follow aa the clues in the bits o paper ye get at the beginnin an there's prizes at the end.  Ye get a picnic ootside faan aabody gets a paper bag fu o fine sandwiches an fancy pieces an sometimes a chocolate biscuit wrapped in silver paper, like yoyos an penguins, an ye get fine juice ti drink that comes oot o big gless jugs. It disna taste like the orange juice ye get in the bottles at hame that the Nurse brings up wi the tins o baby's poodered milk.

Hazel Godfrey nee Anderson

 From a memoir   A Circle O Becomin

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