Today I walked from Ninewells to the city center, as I walked along the Perth Road I met an elderly gentleman called Lennie and this is this is the story he told.
As a small child Lennie used to get on the number three tram with his mother to the west end of the city, daily around teatime. Lennie usually loved riding the tram, the movement would shunt his body side to side to the sound of clatter- clatter- clatter. But he disliked the daily trip on the number three; he would hide into his mothers’ coat. Every time the passed the shipbuilding yards he would keep one eye on the window, just in case the blood splattered boiler suits would venture onto his tram, but they never did.
As he passed the yard he would peek out of the window, compelled too look at the evil men waiting for their tram home. Smoking, chatting and laughing in line with blood stained boiler suits, hand and faces. He wondered what kind of wickedness happened in the shipyards during the day and what did they murder?
One day Lennies’ mother asked him why he made such a fuss about getting on the number three as he loved riding the other trams. Lennie explained about the blood men and his mother laughed. “Yer talkin mince son, it’s no blood, its paint! They men paint the ships with ox blood lead paint.”
copyright © Olsen 2015