West Barns Memories

British Malt Products workers

British Malt Products workers

The links below take you directly to audio clips. They are from recordings made for the Story of West Barns mini-exhibition at the John Gray Centre and were collected during the summer of 2015. The oral histories capture some of the deep knowledge still retained in the village. All the contributors grew up in a close-knit community. Generations of their families lived and worked in West Barns. They can take the story back in time beyond living memory as they remember tales of their childhoods. The West Barns memories were contributed by Ally Knox, Peter Aitchison and Tyner Barber.

1. Click The Bulb Farm to listen to Ally Knox remembering Hedderwick’s flower farm. Read the transcript here.

2. Click The Paper Mill to listen to Ally Knox tell of the Annandales’ Paper Mill of the 1890s. Read the transcript here.

3. Click My School Days to listen to Peter Aitchison remembering his school days at West Barns Primary. Read the transcript here.

4. Click My Wartime Adventure to listen to Peter Aitchison remembering a German raid during the Second World War. Read the transcript here.

5. Click My School Days to listen to Tyner Barber remembering her school days at West Barns Primary. Read the transcript here.

6. Click Lost in the war to listen to Tyner Barber recalling those who did not return to West Barns from the Second World War. Read the transcript here.

These snippets are just a taster of the information collected by the volunteers while compiling the Story of West Barns. The full recordings have been deposited as part of the Archives and Local History Collection at the John Gray Centre. As well as their memories, many residents contributed photographs and artefacts. Some of these are on display in the mini-exhibition; others were photographed or copied for the archive. The village historian Ally Knox even allowed the team to take digital copies of his research notes, for which we are deeply grateful.




2 thoughts on “West Barns Memories”

  1. Brian Ferguson says:

    I am researching Robert Dickson who died 23/12/25 in West Barns. The exact address is difficult to make out and I wonder if you know of it, although I appreciate it may well have gone now. Hopefully you can see a copy of the death certificate, #53 attached.
    It reads “ Corn…. Front, West Barns, I think.

    1. HanitaR says:

      Dear Mr Ferguson,
      Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately, we can’t see the attachment but the place concerned is Cornmill Front, West Barns. The valuation rolls for 1925 indicate that Robert Dickson was the tenant/occupier of the house, shop and field at that address. Hope this info helps. Do email us at [email protected] if you have any further questions. Best Wishes.

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