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Folio Essay -The day my house burnt down

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Debbie Ramsay G4 21 September, 2002 Folio Essay In August of the year 1966 our house went on fire it was a truly terrible time for the whole family. My husband Norman, myself and my five children all lived there at the time. I can remember it all very well. The day started off like any normal day. It was a Thursday and the four eldest children were at school Donald, 14 and Gordon, 15 went to Portree High School, Gordon was finishing his last year then he was going to the army. Kathryn, 8 and Hamish, 9 went to the local primary school within walking distance from the house. Our youngest daughter Aileen, 4 was sitting in the window sill practising how to tie her shoe-laces and playing outside in the fresh hay. Norman was on his rounds delivering the post around Skeabost and Bernisdale on his bike. In the afternoon all the children arrived home from school and they did their homework while I prepared the dinner, Norman arrived home at about 5 in the evening and we had our tea. ...read more.


Kenny, Norman and the two older boys Gordon and Donald made a few trips up the stairs to try and save some of the furniture as I sat on the grass just watching the smoke and flames eating up the house. The younger children were running around screeching and getting in the way, I wanted to bash their heads together get them to be quiet. Mary Anne MacFarlane drove past and saw the house on fire and went to the post office down the road, to phone the fire brigade. They arrived quickly, but soon realised there were no fire hydrants in the community so they had to travel quarter of a mile down the road to collect water from the river. The neighbours began to gather and helped try to gather furniture but not much was salvaged. As the fire went out people began to go back home the neighbours took the children for the night Aileen, Kathryn and Hamish went to Morag's, Donald and Gordon went to Bella's and Norman and I went to Deena's. ...read more.


It took over three and a half years to build a new house by which time I was expecting my sixth child and Gordon and Donald had both left home, Gordon joined the army and Donald joined the RAF. The burnt house and the shed sat beside our newly built house until 1999 when my youngest son, Ian knocked them down and built a new house on the land. That was a sad moment as we had lived many years there, we moved there shortly after we had married and had many memories. One thing we were very grateful for was that it was a nice evening and that the kids were playing outside as it would have been more of a concern if we were all in the house. It's a lot easier to replace furniture than people, we lost all our photos and things though - things of sentimental value that can't be replaced but at least no lives were lost. People were so good to us family and friends who supported us, looked after the children and were there to help us through the hard times we had. ...read more.

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