Gladys helped her parents with the family business from a young age. She left school in Keith at 13 1/2 going to work there full-time in 1944. She chose to work there because it was the family business. The business (Cruickshanks) was based next to the family home of South View, Keith situated on the edge of Keith. Cruickshanks had a big yard and farming land behind the house along with lotted land elsewhere around Keith.
Keith Primary School was built by Alex Cruickshank (Gladys’ Father) in the late 1930s. As Gladys was born in 1930 she attended school during the Second World War. When the town air raid siren went off she had to go into one of the air raid shelters. She also took her gas mask to school every day. Both the Junior Primary (Green) School and the Senior Primary (built by her Father in the late 1930s) had shelters. The Senior Primary School building included two air raid shelters. One for boys and one for girls. Gladys remembers using a pen with a sharp nib. Each desk had an inkwell. the ink was made up by the teacher from a powder. She used a slate with a bit of chalk to write on, cleaning it with a cloth from her bag. Her parents house was on the other side of the wall to the school. Her parents put her over the wall to send her to school and did the same in the holidays as a safe place to play with her friends. A large brass handbell rung at playtimes. Gladys remembers Miss Bessie Simpson and Miss Lobban.
Gladys helped in the kitchen and worked outside helping the 40 or so employees of the firm. In the summer, like many young people she picked tatties on her family’s land.
Her brother became an auctioneer at Aberdeen and Northern Mart and her sister became a teacher. Gladys ran Tarnash House for 37 years as a bed and breakfast establishment. Although closed now she still maintains contact with some of the people who stayed with her as friends.
Memory contributed by Gladys Murphy neé Cruickshank at the Keith County Show 2013
Lotted lands– article about lotted lands in the North-East of Scotland “Between 1720 and the 1850s some 490 planned villages, characterized by a regular layout of streets, building plots and adjacent fields (or Lotted Lands) were founded on estates throughout Scotland including 100 or so in north-east Scotland. Lotted lands were fields, typically subdivided into one- or two-acre lots,which were leased to villagers to grow crops such as oats and turnips and for grazing cattle and horses.”
Keith Primary School was built by Alex Cruickshank (Gladys’ Father) in the late 1930s. The building included two air raid shelters. One for boys and one for girls. Duncan McKelvie remembers the air raid shelters at the school.
Link to the cutting the turf ceremony for by his great grandson, Dean with cousins Alex and Sarah. The new Primary school opened in 2012. To read about the demolition of the old Senior Primary (Junior still exists) and the building of the new school and memories of the old school go to Keith Memory Blog.