Catherines's dad was a cattleman who worked at Falklandwood Farm (between Dunshelt and Falkland) as did her husband James. Both dad and James were awarded long service medals at the end of their working lives.
Catherine attended Falkland Primary School and Bell Baxter High School. Catherine and her older sister, Ruby, would cycle into Falkland and leave their bikes at Walter Peggie’s in West Port before catching the bus to Bell Baxter. When they were at Falkland Primary, Catherine and Ruby would walk into the school and then go to Walter Peggie’s for their midday meal, cooked by Mrs Peggie. Mrs Peggie and Catherine’s mum would get together to do their baking. They made the most wonderful cakes according to local stories!
Catherine remembers happy times at Falkland Primary with Mr Purvis the Head Teacher. She recalls sliding on the ice right into Mr Purvis’s school house and the happy times she had playing poldies in the playground. The worst winter of her memory was the winter of 1947. Using their sledge Catherine and her sister took a bag of coal through mountains of snow and along almost impassable roads to her Granny and Grandad’s at Newton of Falkland.
At Bell Baxter, Catherine was in the hockey team; she played “centre” and would sometimes travel as far as Dundee on the train with the team for hockey fixtures. When Catherine left Bell Baxter she worked for a year on the farm and then in the farmhouse on whatever task to which she was assigned, from making butter to working in the farmhouse kitchen. She lived with her family in one of the cottar houses provided by the farm.
Catherine and her husband James were life members of the Bowling Club established by Andrew Smith in 1973 and officially opened in 1976 in the area previously used by the Curling Club. Andrew Smith worked tirelessly to establish the Club with the strong support of ‘Bert Laverock who became the first President. The townspeople of Falkland and district, the business community and others gave much appreciated support and contributions.
Catherine and James' long association with Falkland Bowling Club included James being elected President on three occasions and Catherine winning the title of Ladies Champion in 1991, 1994 and 2006 as well as both James and Catherine gaining many trophies along the way. Their twin sons , Colin and Keith Downie, were the youngest winners of the Family Pairs trophy and they were winner and runner up in the Butter Trophy Junior Championship. Colin was Gents’ Champion in 1996 following in his mother’s footsteps.
In 2001 Catherine and James were presented with Life Membership of the Falkland Bowling Club.
as told to Liz Coates
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