Items From the Children of Auchindrain

Most of the archaeology finds at Auchindrain mainly tell us about the life of the adult members of the population here. But have you ever wondered about the children of Auchindrain? We have far less in the way of evidence of their lives, but there are remnants of a few precious possessions. Among these finds are the remains of a well worn boot and shoe and some toys. In many ways, other than what they are made of, these are very similar to items in use today.


Surely the state of the toes in the little boot will ring familiar bells in the heads of most parents. Seems like children have always worn out the toes of their footwear long before the rest of the shoe. With help from the staff at the Alfred Gillett Trust who house the Clarks’ Shoes archive, we have been able to narrow down this style to the ‘Runabout’ which was one of Clarks’ long-standing favourites. The mark on the sole is Clarks’ Tor logo, depicting Glastonbury Tor, and the rubber sole dates it to between 1954 and 1960.



We have some small pieces of a doll – a hand and parts of a head. Obviously, these ‘babies’ needed careful attention to keep them in one piece as the materials they were made from were fragile. Because of this, some dolls were made with cloth bodies with the china head, arms and legs attached with stitching. Still, one little girl must have been very upset when her baby had an accident.



We have found a pram wheel too, so baby was able to go on outings in the fresh air. Must have been a bit bumpy being pushed round the paths of Auchindrain. When baby was safely home again then Mummy could make tea and serve it from her very own china tea set. Sadly, only part of a tiny cup has survived. We wonder who else got invited to tea?


Toys for boys reflected the different games they would have played, so we have some marbles, both glass and clay, and the remains of a toy gun, perhaps a cap gun? Who were the bad guys? Were they robbers or smugglers or did the boys play at cowboys and indians? We will never know, but we hope the good guys won!


The parts of the toy vehicle were found in the garden of the New House and appear to have originally been a toy tractor or digger. There are some plastic elements, so we know it is from the latter days of Auchindrain. It may have belonged to the last Eddie MacCallum.


We also have a pedal and the remains of a plastic horn from a bike so maybe we had explorers. Some of the paths around the township must have been hard work on a bike – hilly and bumpy! No doubt the rider was very fit.