What is it that makes us Falkirk Bairns? Here’s what you said...

Hundreds of bairns gathered at the Steeple, which has a massive scarf tied to it, ahead of the Scottish Cup final in support of Falkirk FC earlier this year. Picture: Michael Gillen
Hundreds of bairns gathered at the Steeple, which has a massive scarf tied to it, ahead of the Scottish Cup final in support of Falkirk FC earlier this year. Picture: Michael Gillen

Do you say ‘Fawkirk’ instead of Falkirk? Do you say “Aye, ah ken”? Do you spend half your time on holiday explaining that the town is in Scotland “in the middle between Edinburgh and Glasgow”?

These are just a few of the plethora of characteristics that make you a Bairn.

'The dancing' at Doaks

'The dancing' at Doaks

Saying “aye, ah ken” instead of ‘yes, I know’ is a saying synonymous with Bairns, but it’s not just the language and what we say that gives Falkirk people their own identity and uniqueness.

A wise songwriter once wrote that “people are the same wherever you go”. On the surface, this is true, but with any town or village, there are certain mannerisms and attitudes that sets you apart from other places and gives Falkirk its own uniqueness – and we were determined, with your help, to find out what these are on our Facebook page.

In bygone eras to be a true Bairn you had to be born within sight of the town’s famous Steeple, or be born in the old Falkirk Royal Infirmary.

Peter Anderson summed up a few other things. He said: “Aitken’s brewery, the Barr’s factory, the ice rink, the Steeple chiming every hour, Walton’s ice cream factory and when every park in Falkirk was full of bairns playing, unlike now sadly.”

The old Moscardini's

The old Moscardini's

Pam Mcmillan said: “Meeting at the Steeple and hanging around up the toon; telling people you lived halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow when on holiday; dancing at buttshakers and going to the cinema for a pound, getting snacks from someone holding a tray of ice cream while watching Snow White.”

Using the word ‘like’ in a sentence for absolutely no good reason whatsoever, such as “that was brilliant, like”, is a more modern phrase bairns ‘like’ to use.

Places and nights out also brought back fond memories for a lot of people.

Helen Crawford: “The pictures on Saturday morning on way home into Moscadini’s for bag of chips with loads of broon sauce and a pickle. That was always at bottom the bag, yummy, aw so many memories.”

The interior of the old Moscardini's

The interior of the old Moscardini's

Lesley Finn: “Working in Saxones on a Saturday and spending my pay at Chelsea Girl before going to the Maniqui.”

Sharon Skelton: “Sausage rolls at 3am straight out of Fisher’s window.”

Tonia Higgins: “You always called the Maniqui the Maniqui, even when the name above the door said something different. You can’t go to the Cladhan Hotel without reminiscing about drinking pink panthers in Reid’s. Looking round Wrygges while your mam was in Goldbergs.”

Deborah-Anne Baxter: “Feet getting stuck to the Maniqui carpet.”

Linda Muirhead: “Temperance Cafe, Boulevard Cafe, Brockville Cafe, Ice Rink, La Bamba – great times.”

Janette Taylor: “Fast Freddy’s!!”

Lia Stevenson: “Rosies!!”

Margaret Skelton: “Going to Doaks on a Monday night to learn how to ballroom dance (Strictly style) when I was 15. At the interval you got a soft drink and a Lees snowball, oh how things have changed. Then on a Saturday night going to the La Bamba and dancing in the dark, then trying to get the stamp off the back of your hand before you got home (was banned from going their by my dad) but still went, happy days.”

Falkirk historian and Herald columnist Ian Scott believes the past and Falkirk’s rich history is what has shaped the town’s psyche and character.

He said: “It’s really difficult to express in words what being a Falkirk Bairn is all about.

“It is a mixture of all kinds of thoughts and feelings about home and school and family reaching back into our own past and the past of all those who have gone before us.

“For me, it has always been about sharing the same space with generations of miners, moulders, farmers, builders and the rest – those who dug the canals, built the railways, made the stoves and ranges, designed and built our buildings, taught in our schools, preached in our pulpits ... and scored the goals that made the packed terraces at Brockville Park the greatest place on earth on many a Saturday afternoon.”

Here’s our Top 10:

1. You were born in sight of the Steeple or in Falkirk Royal Infirmary.

2. You say Fawkirk.

3. You’ve danced to the music ghetto blaster guy in Newmarket Street

4. Your mum and dad met ‘at the dancing’ in Doaks and were married in Mathieson’s.

5. You go ‘up the toon’ and doon the Bog’.

6. You’ve eaten a fish tea from Moscardini’s or the York Cafe.

7. Brought the New Year in at the Steeple with thousands of others.

8. Your night out consisted of going to the Charioteer, Golden Tiger and KFC, or had rolls on sausage from Fisher’s at 3am.

9. You support Falkirk FC and remember Brockville.

10. Going to the old Falkirk baths, cinemas or ice rink on a Saturday.