Margaret Gertrude Binnie


Margaret Gertrude Binnie (Nee Bytheway)
Catherine Haworth’s Grandmother (Niece to Nellie Bytheway)

IMG_0007My maternal grandmother was always known as Daisy, and she was born in Glasgow to Percy and Louise Bytheway. She was their first child of four. Ernie who was born next and was her adored little brother, sadly died in infancy. She was their only daughter and the apple of her daddy’s eye.IMG_0006

Daisy was a very confident, energetic, sociable person and a dedicated Christian. She loved to be on committees, organised many events and did charitable deeds for the less well off as well as heading up the YMCA for very many years in Kilmarnock.

Her mother Louise had been a small time actress and Daisy inherited her love of drama, poetry and performance from her.


She attended Hamilton Academy and trained there to become a gym mistress and worked as such at Neilson School in Paisley for four years prior to her marriage to the love of her life, my Grandfather William James Binnie a Banker from Ayrshire.IMG_0008IMG_0020IMG_0017

They settled into their family home in Kilmarnock and had three children; my late Mother, Margaret Jane Louise; my late Uncle, James Percy Kennedy and my Aunt Eleanor who lives in Canada.

Grandma was always highly entertaining and loved being surrounded by children and in fact any group of people she could organise and create some activity for, be it playing cards, hiking up and down the nearest glen, or going for a freezing dip in the sea!Untitled-4IMG_0009

Her stories of her days ‘berry-picking’ were legend and this war work was clearly a highlight in her young life. She loved the fun and companionship of the other girls and being occupied outdoors in such a healthy pursuit at the same time as making a valuable contribution to the war effort. See The Women’s Land Army.Untitled-6IMG_0019Untitled-5It is clear from some of the photos I have come across, that this highly spirited group and the freedom they enjoyed, clearly made for a very happy time. She also talked about the thrill of learning how to drive Tramcars and drove them on the Ettrick Bay route at Rothsey.IMGx_0002IMG_0010


Grandma had three younger brothers, twins Willa and Percy, and Jack. I have not come across any information relating to any significant part they played, if any, in war work during this time, but they were some years younger than her. I am sure that as she did not have any close relatives on the ‘front’ itself, that this allowed her and many other young girls like her to just enjoy the excitement, liberation and opportunities of a world which was turning upside down and would never be the same again.

The original exhibition display: Margaret Gertrude Binnie