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


Various small memories  
Friday night was troop night and I must have been at dozens and dozens of them (1957- 1965) but what do I remember?  ‘British Bulldog’ ! Did I get hurt? Not that I remember. Did anyone else get hurt? Not that I remember.  Is that how it was ?  I cannot remember .
I received a letter through the post (my first ever letter) telling me that  our   patrol was to  meet the  next  Friday night at Abercorn Railway Station. We had to watch for a certain man getting off  a  train , we were to follow him,  all six of us without being seen , we had to describe what we saw , what he did and what he might have been up to.
What did I learn in scouting, superficially ?  I really do  know how to put up an immaculate Niger Tent , even to this day I would never drop litter , I can do the ‘crown knot’ at the top of a back splice  and therefore complete no bother,  the  whole back splice ( 55 years on ).
I was a member of the ‘Borland Troop’ and the ‘ Home Troop ‘ were scruffy , badly trained,  and losers !
At the age of 18  the scout troop was in the new hall at Potterhill.  After scouts  we played hockey with a rope ring until eleven  o’clock , twelve  o’clock , and even one  o’clock , in the morning. The best player was Alex Jackson. You got a lot of finger damage in the fierce one – on - one tackles.   You also got very, very hot.
The Area Flag used to be three camping Patrols and one hiking Patrol . That’s a lot of people taking part. 
Knotting skills were practiced all the time and that led to huge pioneering projects at Place Farm at Kilbirnie and latterly Peesweep .
I lived very close to Lochfield School and I was going to a Camp  at Peesweep ( Lapwing Lodge) one Friday night .  I walked to the camp and I took my dog Kim , a well known local  big friendly character . The Peesweep Warden said I could not have a dog . I walked back with him to Lochfield then turned round and walked back to Peesweep . Oh I hated that Warden.
I had a Patrol Leader called ‘Puggy’. He had patrol meetings in his house where he played the ‘sash’ on his old  old  ‘record player’  as loud as it would go . With the windows open of course . 
My Assistant Patrol Leader was Mr James Cochrane (Jimmy) and his Daddy owned a boat, which he kept on a mooring at Largs .  Jimmy had left the boat in the water too late in the season and it had sunk while on its mooring. It was the last boat still in (under)   the water .
The ‘G’ team went to the rescue.  With daddy Cochrane, a truck, and a dinghy  we arrived at Largs . We got the dinghy off the truck and took it out to Daddy’s submerged boat.  Bailed out Daddy’s boat which was one foot below the surface of the water . Got Daddy’s boat to the Largs slip.  Got Daddy’s Boat on to the truck. It’s now nearly dark but so what ? It’s ‘Job Done’ . The very last boat had just left Largs Sailing Club.
“Where is the dinghy?” asked Daddy Cochrane. 
  We all looked out to the mooring in the near darkness and lo and behold what was there?
 I did not know Daddy Cochrane could describe his son so eloquently.