John G. Manuel
2boyhood. It may be so, and likely is, of many laddies o' the Guid Auld Toon. But it appeals to me individually and in a few seconds I was back among the rocks at "Wulhiehaugh" turnin' over the stones for "partans", saw eels, and at exceptionally low tides "cleekin' [twos?]", and getting dulse. The "Auld Castle" was always a shrine to which my laddie feet turned, and I loved to go up there and look off "East Bye", and then across to the "Wildfire" Tantallon, and the May. Four nights a week, for 5 years would be my average visits to the Castle. Sometimes it would be on the part next to the harbour mouth, looking down on to the "Grips" and watching the yawls come in, and the craft making the Firth. Sometimes it was up on the gunholes, and I'll warrant you mind the narrow footpath3we had to climb up to, and then walk around very carefully into a sort of courtyard, from whence we went up on to the very top with its velvety turf. Then there was an underground passage that once ran clean across to the other part, but which had broken off. To the end of that we would go, and look at the water beneath when the tide happened to be in. My earliest visits to the gunholes were of a shaky nature, and I was shy of the walk, so crawled through the nearest gunhole till I got a bit braver. Before I leave the Castle, I want to ask if you mind a certain spot. You mind there are two holes through which the sea comes and runs around a rock at high tide making an island of it, and eke a rare place for "scootchers." Well at the one next to the Gun-holes, when the tide is very, very, low, you go down under the arch, treading
1913 Apr 8
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.
Reel 21, Image 0289
Copyright status unknown