Summer Knickers – A New Addition to the Website



Summer Knickers – a Scottish Wartime Childhood by Sarah Paton Wiseman

A chance conversation at a party in January 2024 was behind the latest great addition to the Reminiscences section of Strathblane Heritage. That’s how co-chair Anne Balfour heard about an amazing memoir about growing up in Strathblane during the Second World War and the immediate post-war period.

Sarah was the eldest of four daughters born to Helen and William Mitchell, who lived at Revoan on Old Mugdock Road and later at Gateside, which is now Blanefield House Care Home. In later life she became a writer and has a number of books to her name for both adults and children. In 2013 she finished a memoir about her early life, which was published privately. Packed full of humour, memories and insight, Summer Knickers is beautifully written. (You’ll need to read it for yourself to understand the title!)

We have abridged the book, focusing on the sections dealing with the Strathblane area and, with Sarah’s permission, published these highlights along with a selection of family photographs. There is plenty that will be familiar to anyone who grew up in Strathblane in the 1940s and 50s: Annie Bone’s sweet shop, sliding down the Gowkstane, rowing on Punchbowl Loch…

“I am so grateful for your interest in my work. It is lovely to know Summer Knickers lives on,” said Sarah.

The book is dedicated to Sarah’s sister Alix, born in Strathblane in 1944. As a 21-year-old student, Alix was murdered while on a cycling holiday in France. Sarah’s youngest sister, Margie, has added a tribute to this sister who is so loved and sadly missed.

 Summer Knickers – A Scottish Wartime Childhood by Sarah Paton Wiseman (edited extracts), with an addendum by Margie Mitchell


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