Friday, May 29, 2020


imagination is sparked by an Ethrick Brown Novel. Book with images exploding from it

Read Scottish thrillers with great plots and laugh out loud humour

 Duncan Campbell, my Patrol Leader

I , Alistair Wallace, aged about 10 or 11 joined the Borland Troop around spring of 1957 or
thereabouts. I walked across the road to the Lochfield School, immediately opposite my house, one
Friday night. I arrived, knowing no one and was introduced to my Scout Leader, Squire , a man
called Bull and my Patrol Leader, a Duncan Campbell.
Duncan said that we were not meeting next Friday as he was taking a patrol camp to somewhere I
had never heard of.
“What should I do?” I asked this big, big boy.
“Come with us “said Duncan.
“But I have no ‘stuff’.” I said.
“I will come and talk to your mum” replied Duncan.
And so he did, right away.
“Well Mrs. Wallace, he will need , a rucksack , sleeping bag, soap , towel, knife fork and spoon,
sheath knife , etc. etc. “
“But “said my mother, “he does not have a rucksack or a sleeping bag or a sheath knife. ”
“Any old kitbag will do, and some blankets ‘safety pinned’ down the side will suffice , I will give
him a sheath knife and we leave next Friday night at six o’clock “said Duncan.
And as he left Duncan added, “ He will need Laughing Cow Cheese, you know the little triangles,
he must have those ”
And so the adventures began. The camp was Place Farm, Kilbirnie . It was Easter and it was
freezing, so very, very cold. The tents were ancient. Duncan and his patrol talked about things I had
never heard of, especially late at night. I was still so cold when I came home on the Sunday. But I
had done it – been with the big boys, my first camp, been treated to the boot polish. It was all going
to be much better at my next camp, I could not wait.
“ Thanks, Duncan.”

Footnotes :-
1) Duncan went to the Army and did not like it.
2) Duncan’s dad Archie Campbell became the first Warden at Lapwing and was know as
Mr. Peesweep.
3) Archie’s 3 big helpers were Andy Clark , Paul Gilgallon and Don Noble, all Gleniffer
scouts .
4) Archie and the three helpers redecorated the Scouter’s room for the very first time.
5) Many, many years later when Duncan was living in Johnstone and working as a taxi
driver , he was passing Lapwing at four in the morning and saw the warden’s house
fully ablaze . He phoned the Fire Bigrade.