The week that Paisley girl Emily gained and lost a sibling
EMILY Thomson had more cause than most to celebrate on Christmas Day 1929.
Santa had been and the Paisley stork delivered a wee baby sister to the family’s Causeyside Street home.
Emily was overjoyed.
She was seven-years-old and welcomed the new addition to the family with open arms.
Six days later, as her parents were preparing the house for New Years Day, the older kids headed off to the Glen Cinema to watch the latest movie release.
Emily, now 87, remembers it only too well, as no sooner had there been a new addition to the family, than one was cruelly snatched away.
She said: “The house was still buzzing after our new arrival.
“Five of us went to the pictures that afternoon and I was with my two young brothers and a sister. My other brother, Henry, who was nine, went in with his two pals.”
Disaster struck though as someone thought a smokey reel of film meant the place was on fire.
“One minute we were sitting watching the cowboys and indians and next we were all running for the exits, screaming our heads off,” recalled Emily. “The doors were locked and that’s when it really hit home to everyone that we were in grave danger.
“We were all bawling our heads off and too scared to move.
“Next thing I knew, a fireman grabbed me and took me outside.
“He put me down on the ground and then headed straight back inside. I didn’t really know what was going on.”
Emily took off like a whippet, bound for her nearby Causeyside Street home.
She said: “As soon I got into the house I started screaming, ‘Mummy, mummy, the pictures are on fire!’ I remember my mum was in bed and my granny intervened, trying to calm me down.
“That was that for me. I don’t remember a thing after that – my mind was a total blank.”
It wasn’t long though until Emily, who later worked at Paisley factory, Brown & Poulson, in Calside, found out that Henry had died in the cinema.
Her dad rushed home from work to discover just one of his children, Emily, was safe for certain.
“He headed straight to hospital, where my sister, who was 11, was lying unconscious.
“Two of my brothers were eventually discovered, and they were fine, but Henry had died.
“It was so sad. I will never forget that day.”
Emily now lives just off Neilston Road and says the film is a good idea.
She added: “It certainly took quite a while to be made but I’d imagine it will be welcomed by most people.”