A "scramble" in Gemmel Street, Bridgeton, 1955. Originally
called James Street, Gemmel Street disappeared during the
redevelopment of the East End during the 1980s.
Credit here goes to the Partick Camera Club who in
1955 embarked on a photographic project of Glasgow streets.
GlescaPal SBL, Springburn,
A wedding in the street was a magnet for all the kids who waited for the
scramble. All those pennies & hapennies would be eagerly collected &
taken to the shops for "the penny tray" of sweets. Or maybe the tuppenny
& thruppenny tray too if you were lucky & had a good scramble.
GlescaPal Flim, Glasgow
I do remember the wedding scramble,because I aws nearly killed a few
times running after the monies that where thrown from the wedding
carsespecially when the pennise started to roll under the vehicles as
the car took off..Who was it that threw the mony out ? Was it the Groom
because that was his spending days over? The White bride?hmmm..The Best
Man ? The Best Maid ? The Parents of the Groom? Parents of the Bride ? I
think i should ask Mickey Rooney
Nell, London, Apr. 2004
Hiya Pals, I remember scrambles for money at weddings, and the
christening piece at christenings, as soon as us weans heard of a
wedding or a christening we would hover roon the close fur hours tae be
the first there.
My neice got married in Glasgow four years ago and her dad my
brother-in-law threw money for the kids at the front of the house, so I
think it still does go on. they dont do it down here in England, and
when I put a piece of silver behind a new born baby's head they had
never heard of it before, but my Mammy always did that to a new born
baby, so I do too, does anyone else know of the this custom.
Aw ra Best, Nell
Ontario, Canada, Apr.2004
Many a skint knee and sore knuckles participatin in a wedding scramble
chasin efter the wedding caurs.
GlescaPal Ronnie, London,
Apr.2004 In one of my wee Scottish dictionarys, which is actually
called: 'Scoor-oot', it explains the word as follows.
The custom, is now less observed than formerly,
by the scattering of coins at or after a wedding to be scrambled for by
children. Also shortened to 'a scoorie: in 1952 there was a scoorie of
coppers thrown amongst [the children] by the best man before the wedding
actually took place. In 1956 a mother commented ruefully, 'It'll no be
the first time he'll have lost the knees oot his breeks (trousers) at a
Both examples come from Fife. Scoor
corresponds to the English 'scour', but is used here in the sense to
scatter, to throw in all directions. In other parts of Scotland
'scatter' 'scramble' and 'poor oot' may be used in the same sense.
In 1967 an Edinburgh church magazine
commented that the 'the increasing volume of traffic today makes the
traditional 'poor oot' or 'scatter' a hair raising experience.
We used to repeatedly call oot ,"Hard up!" until the people in the
bridal car threw the coins oot the windae, thereby provin' thit thae wur
flush o' money an' no hardup.
Ah think thit hosts o' guardian angels
must hae been present at the scrambles fur Ah doan't recall any wean
ivver bein hurt
GlescaPal SBL, Springburn, Jun.
Wedding Traditions: The groom should give a coin to the first person he
sees on his journey to the church for good luck. Found this among
traditions, I suppose it`s how scrambles were started.
GlescaPal Duncan, California, USA,
Many a scramble i attended,coz i was wee i could get the pennies that
rolled under the parked caurs . But my main in income in those long lost
days were Christening pieces, i think i should be in the Guinness book
of records for pieces,hauf a croon tween 2 digestive biccies wrapped in
foil. We lived right next door tae the church on London rd so i was
accosted on a regular basis by total strangers wi weans in shawls and
given biscuits an money for no apparent reason,was i complaining no way,
treated ma sis an me tae all sorts o sweets for days on end.
GlescaPal Handsome, Ontario,
Canada, Sept. 2004
best scramble a know of took place in mcintosh st aroon 1945 wan o my
relatives wis merryin a yank &n aw the wimmen in the famly goat a tube a
lipstick from the groom ,the wean goat money tae go tae the pictures
cause they didny get tae the weddin & the yankie best man goat so exited
dont think the poor soul hid seen a scramble before went inty the rang
pocket & threw shillings n two bob bits by mistake ma bro n his pals
could a afford fish suppers efter the pictures that day .
GlescaPal missmouse, Glasgow Sept.
Used to be an old woman who waited with us kids , outside Queens cross
church , Maryhill , for the wedding party coming out . She wore an apron
, which she held up to catch all the money in , us kids were lucky to
get anything . I remember a particular day after waiting .One of the
cars waited till it moved down the road a wee bit before throwing their
money out , so some of us were lucky after all.
Dazzle, England, Sept. 2008 There wiz a woman in Milton who did that, she
used to get right up tae the bride's car and haud her apron against
it....it wiznae as if she wiz hard up or anything...greedy besom, how
could she take the fun oot o' it fur the weans?....BTW dae they still
huv scrambles in Scotland? Some o' ma neighbours are Glaswegians an'
when ma eldest daughter goet married 4 years ago, they were ootside tae
see her off, Jim thru' out a scramble an' they a' hud a great time divin'
fur the pennies, the rest o' the 'English' neighbours hudnae a clue whit
wiz happenin' an' thooght they wur a' daft
GlescaPal Adeline, Glasgow, Sept.
2008 Dazzle, we still huv scrambles here in Glesga,
if you remember it wis the men that threw the money oot well it wis
somethin I always wanted tae dae so at our daughters wedding ten years
ago I was the wan sitting in the car nearest tae the pavement and I got
the chance tae dae it then.
When our eldest son got married there were lots of weans and the same at
our daughters but when our youngest son got married he left from our
eldest son's as our street was getting renovated at the time and covered
in mud and there wasn't a wean in sight, his wedding reception was held
in the chapel hall next to the chapel he was married in so we never went
back into the cars after the mass so when we were going into the hall we
just threw the scramble out of the gates.
Hampshire, England, Sept.2008
Just been reading through this thread and it brought back happy memories
of scrambles. Havn't seen one since I left Scotland.
Nell mentions christening pieces too, I remember them, usually digestive
or tea biscuits with a half crown sandwiched inside, if a girl was being
christened it was the first boy they met and if it was a boy then a girl
got the chrestening piece.
As for giving a new baby a silver coin, the first time I did that in
England, they all looked at me as if I'd gone mad (and they say Scots
GlescaPal Poppins, Sydney,
Australia, Sept.2008 When my sons got married we threw money out of the car on the
way to the church, the neighbours loved it. The same when my
grandchildren were born. We made up christening pieces and gave them out
to the first person of the opposite sex that we saw on the way to the
christening. When my daughters-in-law had their 'hen night' my sister
and I dressed them up and took them around the neighbourhood. We gave
all their mates pots and spoons and taught them to sing 'hard up'. It
was hysterical. All those Aussie voices singing Glasgow slang. They
still talk about those nights.
Webmaister. Sept 2008
living in a street wi a church oan the corner, Fairbairn
Street, Brigton ah seen plenty scrambles
GlescaPal Maggiem, Canada, June
do they still do wedding scrambles in the UK? We lived right across from
St. Conval's chapel in Pollok. Saturdays were great days for us kids,
especially if there was more than one wedding in the day. We'd all stand
outside the chapel gates and wait for the wedding party to come out.
When the groom and best man threw the coppers in the air, we'd all dive
for them. After that it was a trip to the shops for sweeties
Has this custom died out?
GlescaPal Liz, Renfrew, Glasgow,
Maggiem I think it was stopped due to being dangerous?? same as you are
not allowed to throw confetti as the car drivers would have to clean out
GlescaPal Dazzle, Surrey, England,
Scrambles were the highlight of any wedding. We used to gather at
Colston Milton Church on a Saturday and wait patiently until the bride
and groom got into their car after the ceremony, then it was every wean
fur themsels as we scrambled for the pennies
When our eldest daughter got married here in Surrey 6 years ago, we had
a few Scottish friends and neighbours come to see her off from the house
and Jim surprised them with a scramble
I have a video of us leaving Martha Street after our wedding in 1969, my
uncle originally shot it on a cine camera. It finishes up with the
Toonheid weans scramblin' under oor wee Ford Anglia.
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