Page last updated on: Sunday, 5 February, 2023.

In 1968 there was a drought and very few fish were caught in the Fleet. Correspondence about the siuation was exchanged between Mrs Murray Usher and local "fisher folk". In this small booklet she publishes some of the verses.
               Fish Pie

This poem was not written by a local poet, but it was included on the Service Programme for the funeral of Margaret McGarrity (née McClymont) who was raised in Gatehouse.

The words are said to have been written by Spike Milligan.

We were so impressed by the sentiment that we thought we would “do our bit” to make the world a smilier place by including it here.

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu
When someone smiled at me today I started smiling too
I walked around the corner and someone saw me grin
When he smiled I realised I had passed it on to him
I thought about the smile and then realised its worth
A single smile like mine could travel round the earth
So if you feel a smile begin don’t leave it undetected
Start an epidemic and get the world infected

This is a very fitting tribute to a lovely lady

Roberta Galloway remembers her father quoting this ditty about Gatehouse streets.

Fleet Street, the glower street,
Bank Street the dandy.
Whistle Ra' can beat them ah,
(At) suppin' beer and brandy.

We have also come across another version of the same rhyme.

Front Street's a grand street
Back street is dandy
The Whistle Raw's abune them a'
For drinking ale and brandy

Was this sung while skipping or playing with a ball in the early part of the 20th century?

Are there other versions?  - maybe you knew a version where your street was included.

The street name most likely to surprise people is Bank Street or Bankhead Street which were old names for Victoria Street. 

Locals will recognize the old street names but have a look at :-
              Place Names’ and then ‘Street Names old and new’

Recently Marion Russell, daughter of former Gatehouse headmaster Doc. Russell, sent us this song. She believes it was written by woodwork teacher Alistair Sinclair and sung to the tune 'Song of the Clyde'.

She thinks it was written for a school concert c.1955.

O the Fleet, the Fleet, the wonderful Fleet,
It flows through the bridge at the foot of High Street,
No Dee, nor Cree can ever compete,
With the beautiful scenes on the banks of the Fleet.
                                                                                                   This the chorus

It rises on Cairnsmore and flows on its way,
Through hillside and forest right down to Fleet Bay,
And sometimes in winter it flows even more,
 -- and right to your front door                                                2nd verse by Jean Horn  (n
ée Cluett)

Can anyone remember any other verses?

Does anyone have a photo of the concert?

Gatehouse of Fleet

Gatehouse of Fleet the home of my childhood
How peaceful you look in the valley of Fleet
While guarding you safely the hills and the wildwood
Enrich you with beauty sweet Gatehouse o’ Fleet

Though far hae I wandered frae my ain nature hame
Through the long absent years the same vigil I keep
For there’s nae place on earth can compare with my ain
The beautiful hamlet of Gatehouse o’ Fleet

The song o’ my hameland is laid in its praise
Of scenes on the Solway, the Cree and the Fleet
In Bonnie Gallowa’ the theme o’ his lays
Lies the hame o’ my childhood sweet Gatehouse of Fleet

This poem was written by James W Davidson, who grew up in Gatehouse, served with the Canadians in WW1, survived the war, settled in Canada and then came back to Gatehouse. The words were written whilst James was away during the war.