Glen Massan & Glen Lean


We had a really fun session this week, with the ladies holding forth on such topics as hot water in bathrooms, "Onion Johnnies", Jim Crow stone, powder mills, "tackety boots", parraffin ovens and angry celebrities! Well, if you can count Emma Thompson's husband as a celebrity.

If, like me, you're wondering what "Onion Johnnies"are, then maybe you'll be familiar with the image of a Frenchaman on a bicycle with strings of onions around his neck?

It tuns out that cliche is based in reality; and these gentlemen used to cycle all around the UK. They were hotly anticipated in Kilmun! And "Tackety Boots were thick-soled working boots with nails in the soles and heels (to add grip and longevity to what was often someone's only pair of shoes).


With the news that Warldaw's shoe shop, on Argyll St, Dunoon, is set to close, there were fond memories of going there, as children, to get feet measured. Width as well as size; a proper service, and if you were lucky you might get treated to some red sandals. And there were jokes made about the number of local businesses that have had to close due to fire:


Of course, it wasn't all ghosts, artists and celebrities, we also talked about life in Kilmun and the surrounding area:

I'd like to thank Dunoon Burgh Hall for letting us their recording equipment, so that I can tantalize you with these wee snippets! The plan is to have all of these stories recorded and put onto CD, which we'll offer for sale in our visitor centre.