My family moved to Barlanark in April 1953. We moved from a room & kitchen to a 5 apartment semi-detached house. There were 12 of us, 7 girls, 3 boys, mum & dad.
We all loved it, but mum also loved the town and she used to say, " I love my house but I wish it was in the middle of Argyle Street ".
There were no shops, schools, Church's, Corporation buses, or cinemas, only house's and ice cream vans.
It was terrible getting on a bus when going to school as we only had the SMT buses and they came through Airdrie, Coatbridge and Bargeddie before reaching Barlanark. Those of us who had to travel into town for school were always late. Although school finished at 4-0-clock it was 5-0-clock before I got home. After the summer holidays the 42 Corporation bus started running, and we were all pushing and shoving to get on, so the powers that be realized they had to run two buses at the same time to accomodate all the children going to school.
There was still a lot of house's being built in Barlanark when we moved there, so we used to go to these house's and climb up them or get into the brickies hud, and someone would pull us up to the top of the building.
We had plenty of fields to play in, and the nearest picture house was in Shettleston. My friend and I went to the State cinema every Monday and we always walked there to save money. We sang all the way to and from the cinema. Usually a crowd of us would go to the State cafe on a Sunday night and spend the last of out pocket money, that's if we had any money left over.
We went to the swing park in Budhill and had good fun there. We had to behave, as the Police Station was across the road from the swing park.
Bicyles were very popular, and we would cycle out to Drumpellier Loch in Coatbridge and all around what to us was the countryside. We were surounded by farms and one farm had a shop where we could buy fresh fruit and veg.
It was great having a front & back garden. The back garden was big, so dad grew a lot of veg and strawberries, but we used to pull the strawberries out and eat them. Dad thought it was the birds, so he put netting over them, but that did not stop us, and dad soon realized where the strawberries were going.