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

 Gleniffer Cubs/Scouts Memories

My very first Cub Camp was at Peesweep and on the Saturday night we were all collected into a big room for an indoor “Camp Fire” I remember singing “Ging Gang Gooley” and other songs of that nature. The night ended with stories from our GSL ( Bryant McKellar). He lived on the Glasgow Road and had a caravanette that I think was a Commer. I am sure his son was my Patrol Leader when I was eventually old enough to join Fox Patrol in the Scouts. I digress, the GSL I always remember as being “Old” but a brilliant ghost story teller. He told a scary story about the “Coffin Room” that was at the other end of Peesweep. I woke up during the night with pain in my legs but I was terrified to leave the room in case I was whisked away via the “Coffin Room”. I never wanted to see it even after I became a grown up scout. I am not even sure that it existed. You can hopefully let me know.

My three favourite games. British Bulldog, Man Overboard and the “War Game” that we played outdoors. We were split into two teams and each member was given a card. They had ranks on them. Each team had to try and get to the HQ of the other team and conquer it. I remember always wanting to be a spy although everyone could kill him apart from the General of the other team. Brilliant and all three games were fantastic training for what became my future career. I remember leading an army patrol during my basic military training. I sneaked us right up to the military instructor without him realising. He wanted to know where I had learned how to do that. ☺

Hiking. On my first hike my Mum sent me out with a flask of tomato soup. Brilliant unless you decide the easiest way to get your rucksack over the gate is to throw it. Another lesson learned and a cold lunch. On another hike I think we went out to Lochwinnoch on the bus and hiked over to Kilbirnie. We were scrambling down a steep slope when I heard someone shout a warning. I looked up and managed to move my head out of the way of the large tumbling boulder that just missed me.

Friends for life. Dougie Hall and Russell Muirhead. Russell was the ex BB who joined Fox Patrol just before me. We each took our turn at writing the weekly patrol log. One Friday Russell didn’t want to and tried to give it to me. This discussion was decided by a wrestling match. Who could put the others shoulders on the floor. Sadly I lost and still hate writing reports to this day. I did get better at wrestling though. I was a really happy and proud Paisley lad when both Russell and Dougie travelled out to Germany and joined me for my 50th birthday.

Knots & lashings were one of my loves when I was in the scouts. That reminds me of a pioneering project organised at Peesweep. We built a very large Tower and then attached a rope to the top of it. We then used the rope to tug people up into the air which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The next time we built the tower Alistair Wallace was the first one to be tugged into the air, however the timber had now dried out and as he was raised up the tower toppled. I remember him letting go of the rope and sprinting out from under the falling tower. Even thinking about it now gives me the shivers. Risk Assessment was more practical then .