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A Flagon of Soup

by Dundee Central Library

Contributed by 
Dundee Central Library
People in story: 
Maureen Black
Location of story: 
Dundee, Scotland
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
03 March 2005

In the spring of 1942, rationing was at its bleakest. Mother often had not enough food left for father’s dinner, which he took with him to the shipyard daily. Each day brought a scramble for food to feed us all: by about eleven o’clock, mother would have his dinner together - usually a flagon of soup or rabbit stew and home-made bread.

Often I would go with my sister, Joyce, to the Caledon Shipyard with father’s dinner, One day we decided to look for a short cut to the yard, as it stretched over a mile along the waterfront. We spied a break in the security fence, crawled underneath and walked along the dusty tarmacadam path, unaware that we were breaking the law. Suddenly two men appeared shouting and waving their arms. Of course, we thought they were “men” out to get us, or spies.

Joyce said to run as fast as I could and that she could delay till I got to the “buckie”, as there was a security man there to whom we usually handed father’s dinner. However, as I reached the hut, I tripped and covered the grumpy gateman with the contents of the flagon, and the large, mangy guard dog lunged at the soup-clad man. All hell was let loose as the dog licked him clean. For me that was the end of flagons and shipyards.

Maureen Black via Dundee Central Library

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