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Buttercups and Brambles: Children of Portlethen

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In the years following the Second World War, Portlethen was a small farming and fishing community living with the memory of recent danger and hardship. The wartime spirit left a legacy that influenced the lives of everyone, including the children growing up in that environment. Buttercups and Brambles paints a picture of life in Portlethen at that time, seen through the eyes of the children who lived there.

Elizabeth Dodds was born in Portlethen in 1942, the eldest daughter of the minister, Rev. Alexander Dunn, and lived in The Manse until 1966.


1947 class at Portlethen Primary School

“We’re standing at the back gate of the Manse waiting for Kathleen and Sandy Milne from Gushetneuk to come and walk with us to school. It’s a cold, frosty morning and I button up my coat and stamp my feet to try and keep warm. I watch my brother, Stuart, tapping the ice on the puddles with his tackety boots, and listen to the sharp crack as the surface splits into a thousand jagged pieces. I see my little sister, Marilyn, reach out her hand to catch a falling snowflake on her woollen mitten. I tuck my long pigtails under the hood of my coat and wish Kathleen and Sandy would hurry up.

Suddenly, there’s the sound of a banging door and a slamming gate and down the road they come, slipping and sliding, hurrying to join us. We walk together down the Manse Road, round the Post Office corner and join the crowd of children making their way past the Jubilee Hall, along Station Road, turning in through the gates of Portlethen School.”

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