Bonus post time again readers. For all those who don’t use Facebook or Twitter so may be unaware of what’s been happening, here’s an article on Wee Georgie written by Catriona from Scottish Television online. We’re back in Vilanova now and I’m about to write an article for next month’s People’s Friend after a surprise invitation from the editor. You never know….!

“Wee Georgie’s childhood memoirs proving popular with Dundonians”

By Catriona MacPhee on Thursday 8 January 2015

Dundee may be a city on the rise, with new buildings shooting up like industrial saplings all over the landscape, but its history and heritage will always be its beating heart.

The colloquial charm of the Oary dialect, the pure teckle Dundonian sense of humour and the stoic way of life are a particular source of pride in the city.

This could go some way to explaining why sales of new book Wee Georgie have been so high in the city.

It is a book of memoirs from retired teacher George Burton and outlines his early years living on Parker Street in the city centre and then Charleston.

It includes mischief, fun and a bit of danger in some of the best known parts of the city. For those who grew up in the 1950s and 60s in Dundee, there will be few anecdotes that ring a bell.

George says he is delighted with the response and credits a fondness for “old Dundee” with its success.

“The book is designed to let people know just what life was like in those days,” he said.

“I actually started it as an autobiography but the more I wrote the more Dundee became the biggest character in it. I didn’t set out to describe Dundee but that’s what happened.

“Life was a bit different then, it was a lot simpler. There were less big surprises and less fuss made about things. When major events happened in my life or family, it just happened and we moved on, there was no big carry on or outcry.

“People were more stoic and almost reconciled to their fate. I think the difference is down to the fact that there was just no money. Everyone was in the same boat.

“There was no competition between families and everybody got their clothes passed down from their brothers and sisters.”

George has held several book signings around the city over the past week including one that was live-tweeted by Dundee Central Libraries.

Nearly 200 of George’s self-published books have been sold in the local Waterstones and the book is now in the shelves of all the local libraries.

And including online sales, George’s first print run of 500 has now nearly sold out.

Kevin Breen, the branch manager at Dundee Waterstones, said: “Wee Georgie was one of our biggest sellers in November and December. Any book on Dundee sells extremely well anyway as Dundonians are proud of their city and we get great support for local books.

“But this book has done very well and seems to have struck a chord with people.”

George was born at Parker Street, where the student accommodation for Abertay University now stands, and was among those families forced to leave in the late 1950s so the properties could be razed.

George said: “I was born in 1953 and I didn’t know anybody who had a car. I saw my first TV in about 1959 and it was the Lone Ranger. The tenements were built for weavers and mill workers.

“There was a shared toilet and generally things were a bit grubby, but we didn’t mind at all. When we moved to Charleston it was a brave new world. It was unbelievably luxurious. It had a toilet inside it! It was a total revelation to us to get out of the city centre.

“We had some wild adventures, such as my brother tipping me into some stagnant water and me getting my own back by dropping a stone on his head. Then there was the time we were shot by a maniac with an air rifle at Campie. I’ll never forget my mother taking the pellets out of our backsides with iodine and tweezers.

“There were no police searches or helicopters, we just got a slap round the ears and told not play up there from then on.”

George, who now spends most of the year living in Spain, went on to study French language and literature and became head of modern languages at St Saviour’s High School. He worked there for 28 years, latterly as Depute Headteacher.

He retired in 2010 and with enough time on his hands, decided to share his happy childhood memories. Wee Georgie depicts George’s life up to the age of 11.

“After I retired my wife Mary kept nipping at me saying, ‘you’ve always wanted to write a book so get going’,” George added.

“I’m glad I did. After I sat down and started concentrating on it, memories just kept popping up. I’m delighted at the response I’ve had. People have really enjoyed reading the memories and comparing stories.”

Anyone who enjoyed Wee Georgie and has an appetite for more need not wait too long as George added: “I’ve written just over half of book two, which will be my teenage years, i.e. the school prank years. There’s plenty to come.”

You can follow George’s progress at his Twitter page or his website http://www.socratesthesnail.co.uk

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