Welcome to E. North Street

Discover your next stop

Click the audio link below to hear all about this stop:

Play audio

The VSA has always had the ability to see the bigger picture and was therefore pioneering in its approach from the early days. In 1871, to support working mothers, they opened the first day nursery for under 5s, which was established in East North Street. Women often had no choice but to leave children if they wanted to put food on the table. The VSA stepped up with a day nursery – open 13 hours a day!

Recording play here:

Play audio

“When I was growin’ up a’ oor neighbours regularly suffered fae a shortage o’ food and for that matter decent clithes and sheen. The only thing there wis niver a shortage of, wis bairns. Nearly ivery faimily had a horde of little ones, a row of stepping stones although sadly there wis usually a couple o’ steps missing as diseases rampant in the slums claimed the lives of babes in arms and toddlers. In oor case my brithers Alex and George baith died afore they had even reached their second birthdays.

Now throughout my childhood my Da niver hid a steady job, jist takin’ casual work whenever he could find it. As a result, if the family wisnae gaen to starve, my Ma hid nae option but to work full time. It meant, however, that on days fan Da wis workin’ I wis left, as a four year auld, to look aifter my wee sister Mary and baby John.

Fortunately in the year afore I started the school the charity stepped in and set up a nursery on East North Street far we were well fed and cared for. My Ma wid drap me aff and my twa siblings at 5.30 in the morning and pick us up at 6.30 at nicht aifter she hid finished her work. Aye thiteen hoors later. The working day was gie lang back then”.

If your life has been touched by VSA, we invite you to share you story