Rab Scott

The letters of Rab Scott, 1957 – 1975:

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To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

11th March 1957

My dear John,
I was delighted to get your letter this morning even although you do not have much time to get much written it always cheers me up to just hear how you are getting along.

This trouble in Rhodesia and around is not so healthy. I have been sending you a Herald most days so hope they arrive safely, but perhaps you will not have much time or comfort to read them. It is very difficult for us here at home to understand all the goings on and as to what the trouble is all about. I see they are having an election on the 28th of the month. So Uncle Alec may get a chance this time – perhaps very much the other way.

Aunt Chrissie and Margaret were through yesterday; Aunt Chrissie more lame and very bent, but still the same old spirit and very interested to hear about you. She was leaving for London again this morning as Tommy Wedderburn is coming home tomorrow – it is really too much for her all this trailing around.

Marion Scott the New Zealand girl is at Drumdruils just now for a few days. I think they would be better without anyone because your Granny overdoes everything. They are going to the Dunbars tonight for supper – I declined saying I was going to the McNaughts, but unfortunately they have something going on at Jane’s school, so I may take a toddle up to Helen Turner for a bite – anyway the Dunbars go to Drumdruils tomorrow night and a little goes a long way with me.

I had a letter from Helen this morning which I enclose just for news. She seems to be doing very well at her job in Edinburgh.

The weather today is very wet, the first really bad day we have had for a while – so far we have had no snow which must be a record, but we are getting quite a lot of inside jobs done, they soon gather after a couple of months.

I hear that all tickets have been sold for the Scottish Cup on Saturday: Stirling Albion v Celtic about 26,000 expected. Will write again one day very soon. Look after yourself always.

Much Love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

Bobbie Scott returns in June and may get another appointment – definitely not Rhodesia.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

11th October 1957

My dear John,
I have been waiting anxiously to hear from you, but no doubt you will be too busy and too tired to bother – I hope you are keeping well let me know very soon how things are going. I was sorry to have opened your letter but it was entirely an accident.

I have got all the potatoes and fruit finished so we are cleaning up once again, and getting ready to remove more trees. Not a happy job for me.

The Dale family have now removed to Blantyre, Lanarkshire – except for Mrs Dale who has had a bad breakdown in her health – I was out one night for a meal with them and was struck with the way she talked and then would lapse into almost a dream with her eyes very distant. I spoke to him about her appearance, but he thought it was the strain of flitting, however I looked in with some apples, and she was alone with a woman helping. She was very sad looking, and I would say almost round the bend. I told her she should see a doctor at once, and she burst into tears. I never said anything but phoned her mother when I got back to Bridge of Allan. So she came and will be a big help as Mrs Dale will be under care for a good many months I hear. It could not have happened at a worse time, and with five of a family!

I hear Susan has left the nursing and got a job in the Bank of England in Leeds – I thought she was keen on the nursing. I do not know what has gone wrong.

I gout Aunt Susie a Cairn terrier for her birthday and she is very delighted. I heard from Helen today that sprig had died, so I may need to replace him for wee Margaret’s sake.

Not much news, but look forward to hearing from you soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

1st November 1957

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter – I was sorry to hear you did not manage the W.O.S.B. but you no doubt will get a chance again very soon. I hope your ankle is still improving.

I took your Granny and Aunt Susie into Edinburgh yesterday to the Kelly family but we were only a short time, and Helen is still indoors so did not see her.

The weather here is real November cold and dreary – I hope you are getting a better type.

I did not manage to the Induction – I had a very sore throat for some days but it is clear once again. I enclose a letter from Reo Dale, just burn it when you have read it.

The puppy is still the main attraction at Drumdruils. Teenie Bain is going for tea today. I think you have met her at Dunbars.

Will write more when I get time.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter this morning and hear you were fit and well, and not finding the army life too much of a bind – all those games of Rugger should keep you very fit. It should be a very good game on Saturday, and you are lucky to get a ticket. It is a complete sell out – probably this will be the best match of the year. I do not fancy the Scottish team in the slightest – I did not see the game I was feeling too miserable to bother going that distance, however I am beginning to pick up once again, although I get very easily tired. I am very glad that your Granny and Aunt Susie have not picked up the germ.

I am still waiting for an Inspector to come regarding a grant for the removal of trees – they certainly do not rush. I am not happy about the European Common Market – I think we will get snowed under with all kinds of fruit grown in countries with much lower living standards and through time I think farming will get the rap as well. I cannot see those great Industrialists standing aside – they will be all . . .

The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

19th November 1957

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter this morning. I was getting a bit anxious to hear from you, but I know it is not easy to find time at present. I hope you get on well at the Colonial Office on Thursday, it will be a bit of a change for you at least, and something may transpire from your interview. It all seems such an absolute waste of time.

We are still working away at the trees; luckily the weather has not been too bad, dry at least, if somewhat cold. Today we mean to cart a lot of the timber to a pile at the saw and so get ready to pull out the stumps.

No more meantime about the Turnbull affair – I am sorry for father Turnbull. I doubt this will have a bad effect on his present poor health.

Dr Welsh has been in Spain with Miss Field and Mrs Donaldson (Shipping) for a holiday, also another man with them – Laura is shocked! She would have dived at the chance at anytime – she is off to Ireland yesterday for ten days – I hope they bow her up!!

Helen has got exams finished and seems confident, but I do not know her next move, but we will hear when she comes with you.

I was speaking to Uncle Marshall on Sunday evening and he was in good form, it was good to hear his familiar laugh.

I will phone up Highgate tomorrow in the hope of getting a word with you in case you are not able to go. All the best for your interview at the Colonial Office.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

Enclosed is a cheque: if you are unable Uncle Marshall will cash same.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Friday

My dear John,
I have been looking for a note from you all week, but no doubt you will have been up to the eyes in work – I hope all goes well with you.

Aunt Chrissie and Margaret were through for the day yesterday, both in very good form. Aunt Chrissie leaves for Uganda at the end of the month for a wee holiday!! I had a letter from Marshall early this week, asking if I could get in touch with Bill Neil regarding getting John into Nottingham- he is going to do his best to get him into his hall, but apart from that not much can be done at present time. I will phone Marshall tonight, he has been having a go at three Universities. Ann Scott (Sir Robert’s daughter) is going to Bristol.

It has been cold here the past two days and we are getting on apace with sawing trees – a long dreary job but better when it is dry.

I am very upset at Turnbull’s Bacon factory having to close down it has not been paying for some time; however it may get going again – a grand old firm.

Let me know how things go.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

2nd October 1957

My dear John,
I was sorry to hear you were down with flu. I hope you are now feeling lots better. So far I have managed to escape so I keep my fingers crossed.

We have now got the fruit all off and I am more than pleased – it is though not the happy time it used to be – labour gets very trying.

I saw the Valentines at Drumdruils on Monday night and they gave me Alan’s address – they are keen that you should look them up. I gave them your address as well. The Dunbars arrived back from Peterhead on Monday – a long journey for one so old driving himself. I will see them tonight at the McEwans in Doune.

I have also been asked to the ordination when Dale goes to his new charge – he seems to be much better, but I think his wife is still worried about his health and his ability to keep going in the Ministry – however he may gain in strength.

It is lovely weather here just now cold but dry and seasonable. I like this type of weather better than any.

One more of relations from New Zealand looked in at Drumdruils – a girl about 30 – a niece of Catherine King who was here a few years ago. She is here to work and see our country, you may see her later as she is coming back.

Look after yourself and keep me informed as to your health and any news as to what is going on.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

22nd October 1957

My dear John,
I was pleased to get your letter this morning. I only wish this W.O.S.B. were over and you had settled down in a better way of life. Please let me know soon how you are getting on regarding money. I will enclose £4 today, but let me know when you are getting hard up.

I was down by Kelso for a few days looking around to see if I could pick up any bargain in plants, but my own are as good as any I saw. It was wet most of the time, and not in the least congenial to walking among plants and bushes or canes, in fact I got quite a snifter of a cold, which went to my throat, and although it is clearing, I do not feel quite right, and I have my doubts for the Induction this week.

I have got a little pup (cairn) for Margaret, sister to the one at Drumdruils. She seems desperate to get one and I enclose a letter which is a real Margaret effort!! Helen will get it when she is through this week I hope.

It is very cold here just now getting real winter weather, and snow does not seem very far away. I hope you are not getting it too rough. I have most of the potatoes away which were grown at the Orchard. I am quite pleased to see them away as they were fairly badly worm eaten, probably due to the wet clay soil after the excessive rains.

Please let me know how you are doing – I think Aunty Susie has sent you some more eatables.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Monday

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter at lunchtime it must be a fairly grim life for you, when half of those nit wits hardly know a thing. I cannot see what they will do when they demob a lot of them – they, the Officers think they are the salt of the earth as long as they wear —- uniform!

I enclose the birth certificate. I am sorry to have forgotten to do this earlier, but life is none too easy here, always something – I could do fine to have a quiet life for the rest of my life.

I hope you manage up to London for your leave – Uncle Marshall goes back this week from Jersey. I think I sent you the postcard.

Will write more later.
Much love,
Yours aye.

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Friday

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter and to hear you had enjoyed your visit to Highgate.

It was a big surprise to hear about Rhodesia, but if you think you will enjoy the life, I am sure you will do very well, in fact I am certain, and I don’t suppose you need to stick it forever. I know it is all such a waste of time, and you are one who cannot abide anything like that – just soul destroying and Royal Engineers absolutely out of your element.

I saw Tom Kelly here yesterday and he intends writing you – I have said nothing to anyone except Drumdruils about your letter.

The fruit still lingers on and we are still putting away small lots of plums each day, which have maintained good prices, but the quantity is so small, but still a bit better than for many years – I am so sorry about Drumdruils with little or nothing.

John Kelly is down visiting the Hollidays in his little car. I had also a visit from Murray Grindrod last Sunday.

Please let me know how all goes; it worries me a bit till I see you settled, lets hope it is very soon.

Let me know if you would like the Glasgow Herald as I have been doing – or are you quite satisfied with the English press.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Much love,
Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter which arrived yesterday. I am pleased you are feeling things a little better and they should get better each week now. The weather is somewhat dreary here at the moment – cold and wet. I hope it will be good when you are north – phone me up when you come back and we will arrange better then, it will be good seeing you again.

I had a letter from Uncle Alec today, he is in good form, but I will let you see it later.

Was it a boy called Cairns who was at Dollar with you and lives up the Glen Road? I don’t know him, but know his father who is a breeder of Highland Garrows.

Goodwillie took a load of logs up to George Marshall on Sunday with his driver Currie – he gave them 10/- each and the loan of £2 all which they spent before leaving – he has some hope of seeing his money again!!

I have sent the money on to Helen in case of you having a hold up at Xmas. I told her to divide it out.

Looking forward to hearing from you again.
Much love,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Monday

My dear John,
I was delighted to get your letter with all your news; life will be a great deal different for you in a short time when you get your commission. You talk about the Sceptre – I thought about taking Margaret and her pal to see it, we could have gone to Gourock and crossed by steamer, but it would have been somewhat hopeless if it had not been sailing that day – however we had a few runs around, even calling on Anderson Scott at hill of Orchard and the Dales at Blantyre. I think the girls enjoyed the change, though you never quite know how they are enjoying anything nowadays – I think too much is laid on for everyone. Margaret was telling me that you could get slow-playing records of books in America now – which was shortly coming to this country.

I was interested to hear about your journey to Oxford and seeing Chivers fruit farms – they have a lot in that area but more round Cambridge where they have the main factory at Heston near Cambridge. Anderson tells me that Chivers and Robertson are more or less linked together. I think he is having a tough time in the Works just now with a good chance of being voted out of the firm. Charlie and he never pulled together. It would not surprise me if they sold up the whole lot in Carluke leaving only Ireland if that be possible. When they sold up Hayes they got about 45/- per £1 share which was good with labour and trade as it is just now it is getting very grim in this type of trade and as the old saying goes ‘a bird in the hand’ however these are just my thoughts, I am very sorry for Ken Scott he would have been better anywhere else – he is a grand lad and deserves much better.

I am afraid I have not seen Goodwillie since that Sunday morning, he is keeping clear of me for some reason – he must be getting money easier elsewhere.

I have all my rasps planted now and the plot looks quite smart, much more of a delight to my eyes than farm crops.

Scotland got a real licking at Hamden on Saturday, the English cadets would enjoy that fine.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

P.S. The Kelly family were all through yesterday (Sunday) except Tom – but Margaret Lawson and her lovely little girl came – Margaret is as gentle as lovely as ever – a real nice lassie.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

6th January 1958

My dear John,
I am sorry to be so long in writing, but I developed a real snorter of a cold on New Year’s Day and have been in bed almost all the time till today. I am feeling pretty worn, and the stairs are a sore problem just now. Margaret had a cold as well but seems to have got over it quite well. I had a letter from Helen this morning she has had a bit to do this New Year – she is a grand lass the way she gets around without the slightest fuss.

I do hope you have settled down well and that conditions are good – no doubt you would have a little stir at the New Year. I may say I have never first-footed anyone this year.

Mrs McLean died in Gourock on Saturday and was buried today – I sent you the Herald with the death today.

I sent a couple of Uncle Alec’s papers to you today; he appears to be getting a bit frisky again. Also the Kelly’s Special let me know if you do not want it. I do – I do not know how it is sold. Real Kelly-Cairns stuff! Mother and Aunty Susie were down to see me today and both are looking very well considering the weather and all the fuss of this time of year.

I am enclosing a letter from Uncle Marshall – note the P.S. and destroy. As young boys about wee Rob’s age we had a wire stretched across the burn at the bridge about 2-3 feet out, and Jack Watson and my-self were crossing hand over hand. Uncle Marshall was standing on the parapet of the bridge performed on us both – we dropped into the burn! I also enclose the latest news from Goodwillie – just destroy – this is his last chance now.

Looking forward to hearing from you – please write soon.

Much love,
Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

20th January 1958

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter which arrived at lunch time to-day. I am glad you had such a good week-end in Highgate, and that you got a seat in the stand it makes a difference these cold days – I heard it on the wireless and found it quite exciting – I might have seen it on T.V. but did not realise till it was too late.

The great wedding is now over – I think most people in the telephone directory were asked except myself – I will give you a fuller report when I get the information. Laura has it that Ian Bailie is engaged, but I should say it is more likely to be his sister!! Ian is just like a half-shut penknife he is so tall and bent – Ma and Pa Bailie will be very smug now!!

I think you were better in Highgate than attending this present hunting wedding – all it amounted to – when you had the McCreaths – Kerr’s of the Brae Pullars Provost and her mother – just people who were never in contact with either family.

I have sent another of Uncle Alec’s papers; John Moffat and he appear in it quite a bit, and Uncle Alec appears to be doing everything for the Fort Jamieson Growers where Bobbie Prentice farms!

Will write soon again,
Much love,

Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday 18thFebruary 1958

My dear John,
I was so pleased to get your letter and to hear how well you had done it will be very interesting work for you, and will be quite good for the future.

I was sorry I missed you on the phone but I went to the match still with this cold, and came right away, after the game. I was sorry Margaret’s weekend was put off, but Gustav was still in hospital for his eye operation, and it is not very easy for Susie with your Grannie not so mobile.

I was at Kippenross House the other night for a meal, McNaught is the name and he owns a chain of draper shops in Lanarkshire. He is about 6ft2″ and weighs around 18 – 19 stones (a friend of Anderson Scott) he has no polish of any kind, but must have made a fortune in the drapery trade which is as much as 140/- on some things – just robbery I would say. He has three daughters, one just left Domestic College in Glasgow, and the other two at School – you will meet them when you are up on leave. He is great pals with the Earl of Mar & Kellie and family. Before the meal he said in a loud voice before his entire family “Do you want to spend a penny Rab – just shout out!” needless to say I had quite a red face. I have been told to go up any night I like for a meal – I may say the Wine Cellar is something to see.

The game on Saturday was quite good but Scotland were really lucky to win, Australia lacking the kicker this time; Scotland have a far from good team, particularly the inside-three-quarters who simply cannot get the line going at any time.

I have not heard much about the newly wed Stewarts – but they have returned from the South of France according to Laura. I hope you may manage time off for Duncan Clark’s wedding, no doubt he would like to have you by his side.

It is very cold here once again – I hope it stays good for two days as we are having two days of the mill.

Still no news from St Andrews House about the trees – these Civil Servants should be done away with – they have only time for any enjoyment that is going. It is very trying when I am being held up by them – the farmers get so much and we growers get nothing, and I am sure will get nothing at the end of the day.

Mother is getting a monthly magazine sent by some of her relations in California – really putrid magazines with little interest for the average person – How very good our magazines and papers are in contrast. Just proud to be British.

The Tory party are in for a tough time. I am sick to death about all this restriction – they give-in on all sides to Wage demands and we will see a spate of increases before long – and yet we have to reduce our profits to give these people cheap everything – profits that have been much less than nothing for a good many years. This European Common Market will see fruit-growing and market-gardening disappear in Scotland apart from Strawberries and a greater extent rasps which are very popular but may be over done any time now. I have a grudge against the Ministry of Agriculture the way we have been treated – I class the farmers along with the miners about the greediest members of Society. I wish nothing for nothing, but I do wish a decent way of life considering what I have put into my land compared with so many others. I just want to grow fruit as it should be grown, but the returns I get deny me by a very long way the chance to grow fruit – to spray – manure – and tend.

So sorry about my depressing note, but fruit is my life and I cannot grow as I know it should be grown – I will feu the lot for building. This will be the last lot of trees I will remove if they refuse me a grant.

Uncle John Dunbar continues much as usual still having his few days of golf per week.

Just know always how proud I am of all you have done in spite of all the difficulties – I never forget, and wish you success in the Survey department.

Write soon,
Much love,
Yours Aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.

Tel: 3116

Thursday

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter with your news. I am sorry to be so long in writing but I have been busy clearing the roots etc from the ground. I have had four lorries and a tractor hoist this week carting them off to the Stirling Coop, all at my own expense. I wrote to the West Perth MP and I have a letter awaiting me at Drumdruils from him – I do not expect to get anything at the end of the day, but I feel very much about the whole set up. Where sheep or hens are not doing well the farmer can usually get his capital back, but with my trees I am cutting them down and burning my capital – I cannot understand why the powers that be cannot see what is taking place.

I was very interested to hear that Mrs R. Scott had been at the Guild Hall – she would have played her part very well, and will have a feast of stories to tell the next time she is north.

I was at the International on Saturday quite exciting game – two fairly ordinary teams – I doubt England will need to replace quite a few next year, they are not just as good as before.

When I came out of the Stand I met John (Highgate) with your Aunt Mary, he was very thrilled being at Murrayfield. He had spent the morning at the Wedderburns and was going to spend the evening with the Kelly gang. I think he was catching the 11pm train south (sleeper.) I think he was very amused with the Wedderburns, Tommy trains the Scottish rowing eight and was going through to Glasgow for a training session on Saturday afternoon. They train on the Forth and Clyde Canal and Tommy cycles along the tow path shouting instructions through an electric megaphone. He keeps the megaphone on top of a small Bureau in his house and he asked John if he would like to see it – so he despatched Robert for a pair of steps, and when they were duly brought, Tommy started to climb the steps, John almost put up his hand and lifted it down, but was frightened Tommy would be offended!!

I gave Mr Baillie a lift on the road last night – Ian is engaged to a nurse in Stirling Infirmary! She is 24 and comes from the north. Ian is due to go for a medical very soon, and intends joining the R.E.’s.

The General and old man Dunbar continue to have a few games of golf each week smothered in clothes. I do not know how they manage to play.

It is very cold weather here just now and today we have had snow again and the wind is blowing out of the east – just as cold as anytime during the winter. You get very tired of this cold weather.

It will not be long till you are up on leave; it will be a good break for you and grand to see you again. Margaret and her pal (not Elizabeth) are coming for a few days in the holidays. Will write again some day soon, looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

P.S. I hear that at last a reply has been received from the Moffat’s and Prentices, requesting certain items out of the box, but so far I have no details. I will need to go to Wishaw one day soon.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Wednesday

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter with all your news, and particularly to note that you were going to be happier with the Survey lot, which I can quite understand. It should be very interesting, more so if you go abroad to some half decent part.

I do not know how to thank you for all the nice things you said about me and the fruit growing – I can tell you I was more than touched – just thank you John.

I am always so proud of you and all you do and the way you stood up to adversity. I am just as proud of Helen and Margaret – both grand girls. Just the best and happiest family if life had gone on an even keel.

I heard from both this week. Helen was wanting kindling so I have logs and kindling away this morning, to save her hands chopping them up.

Your Aunty Deety was on the phone right away about the students and Butler, she was furious even although she hates him. She had written him earlier telling him to go to the liberals where he belonged and not mess up Britain with all his Welfare State hand out.

I have got a new man for the Orchard starting on Monday, quite young (31) and seems quite hardy, he is at present in Dollarbeg Farm with a man Snadden – you will know it well.

Your Grannie and Aunt Susie are lashing on at the cleaning and Gustav is back to normal, but has to have another operation later.

Will write soon again,
Much Love
Yours Aye,

Daddy.

P.S. Let me know your new address as soon as possible


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.

Tel: 3116

Thursday

My dear John,
I was very delighted to get your letter with all your news and to note how much happier you appeared to be in your new quarters. You will feel quite different once you settle down.

Helen is here today and is looking very well indeed – I think a little hard work does her a lot of good.

I have come down to see an Insurance man about the Insurance of the Land Rover – the General Accident put up the rate to over £19 per year, and £24 if you had a claim. So I am trying the National Farmers Union Insurance which is quite a bit less – you need to watch all corners these days..

I hear that Duncan Clark may sport the kilt for his wedding – quite a good idea I would say.

Just had word that my application for a grant for taking out trees has been turned down again – I think the whole thing is shocking – a farmer can get a 33½ % Grant to re-new his fences, something I did, and which they should have done in good times – the same with buildings and many other things – I am waiting my time, I may manage to get them yet.

I have started today with a tractor and winch to take out tree trunks and getting on well – a lot of work lies ahead.

I hear Aunt Chrissie is back again, you may manage to see her quite soon.

Will write soon again.

Much love,
Yours aye.

Daddy.

P.S. Watch the cheque it is not crossed.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
We are having a real miserable spell of weather just now back to heavy rain after frost, sleet and snow – we got little done last week. I do hope it is better for you with so many exercises etc on at the moment.

I see that Mrs Cullin’s second husband died very suddenly in Stirling – you met him – I think he has been in charge of the Civil Defence in Stirling for a few years – his name Morgan – but you will read about it in the local papers.

I am glad you are getting the chance to get up to Oxford for a breather; it always makes a wee change.

Margaret has been enjoying the snow, and appears to be having all varieties of winter sports in Edinburgh. I have not heard from Helen this week yet but she appeared in good fettle at the end of last week. I managed to get another pheasant before the shooting ends this month and sent it off last night.

Not much news at the moment – will write very soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Friday – April 1958

My dear John,
I am sorry to be so long again in writing but we appear to be busy all the time. I was so pleased to get your letter and to hear all your news – it was good you saw the Andersons at Oxford.

Aunt Chrissie is here just now and has given me John Titterton’s address for you – he is an old pal of Marshall’s and I met him quite a few times many years ago – he has a market garden, so please look him up. Aunt Chrissie has written to him as well – you know the Highgate folk with that little touch of snob about them. So I would like the low-down on his way of doing.

I sent on the Herald about old Sir Ernest Wedderburn’s death – I think he gets buried to-day, Aunt C. returns to Edinburgh tomorrow. She is in great form and has all the pictures of the Queen Mother. She says she expects Betty to get something in the Queen’s Honours List. A lot of nonsense – they get plenty in return for the work they do.

The Hollidays are just having a week this year and are going to near Inverary and I should say a lot better than last year.

I had a letter from Helen who appears to be getting settled down in Aberdeen. I just wish she had done something better with her education, but no doubt it is a good job of work.

You mention the Life Insurance I have two in your name. I will pay one and will forward this one for you to start paying it is for £500 with profits, just leave your address as here meantime, and if you are away I will pay it next year.

I hope the Open Days at your Unit went well – just a lot of nonsense.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Much Love,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter which arrived today. You seem to be having plenty of social events within the camp.

Aunt Chrissie has been and gone – she was in great form though appeared to be stiffer in getting about than the last time.

Nina Burns was here yesterday for the day she had stayed with Mathie Watson for the weekend and went on to join her stoogy brother Ian at Nethy Bridge last night. She referred to her husband Chris Tew as the Major all the time – it would make you sick the swank of some people – she even travelled first class from London – a piece of nonsense.

The Friday night after Duncan Clark’s wedding they turned up at the Orchard – I thought they were coming the following Friday and I did not hear they had called till a week later when Mrs Aitken said, oh I forgot to tell you a Mr & Mrs Clark called, but were in a hurry – I was very sorry I missed them.

I am expecting a call from Ken Scott this week, I do not think he is too happy at Carluke, but I will hear what he has to say when he comes. It will be a pity if they allow him to go somewhere else – he is the best by a very long way from the others.

We are having dreich, wet, cold weather just now, but the fruit crops are looking fairly well so far; strawberries, gooseberries, black-currants look like being a good crop. Rasps are late in coming into bloom and we cannot say meantime. Plums look like being about average with Victorias better than the rest – apples just too early to say.

I certainly am glad you did not choose this way of life, it is too uncertain, particularly since the war, with high costs all round. Sentiment has kept me going and it is a great mistake. I could have roped in a lot of money for it some years ago, but I love the place.

I had a wee note from Margaret today she sounded quite brisk and is playing a lot of tennis, she is going to be a fine big lass.

Just heard from Goodwillie he is coming with a ton of coals for me.

Much love,
Yours aye.

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

2nd May 1958

My dear John,
I was very delighted to hear about your Commission, it will make all the difference to you and give you a little money in your pocket. I hope. Only please let me know how to address a letter to you – your number will not be required now I presume.

Yesterday was a glorious day here and today looks like being a repeat. I was down at the Wishaw lawyer and I hope I have managed to get things put in order – they are very easy going.

The blossom is out now and looking quite well, all I can hope for is a big crop and decent prices. I get quite down when I see the Orchards of the Clyde Valley – overgrown, in-fact gone wild – they must have hundreds of acres of derelict orchards and cannot afford to clear them. The Government do plenty for others but the growers are too small in number to matter one way or the other.

Your Aunt Deety and Susan are coming this weekend, so we will get potatoes for ever and a day.

I had a letter from Margaret this week and she seems to be quite fit, but not looking forward to going back to school. So far I have not heard from Helen rather unusual for her she usually writes every week.

You had quite a good time in London last weekend. Somehow I have no notion of going to London, sure sign of old age!! I never did like towns or crowds – I think I would develop into a real hermit.

You will be north for the wedding three weeks tomorrow. I hope the sun shines as it shines today.

Please write soon with all your news.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

P.S. I have sent on the tourist book dealing mostly with the Arran area perhaps you could pass it on to Uncle Marshall.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
Just received your letter and was interested to hear all your news regarding Allsop the Brewers, they either controlled Calders, or Calders controlled them that is since the war.

Very interesting about Betty and Lachy. I wonder where they will settle down? They were always somewhat miserable but they will be a thousand-fold now. I do not think they will take up fruit or poultry for a pastime.

I think it would be quite a good thing for Harry Bell to move to Watsons, it would do Dollar no harm, and probably make it a lot better, but I doubt his age will rule it out – you never know – the Strathallan head was asked to take the Fettes job but declined.

It is still very cold and bleak here and everything is looking brown with little or no life showing, perhaps better now than later.

I had a reply from the MP saying he was taking the matter up with the Dept of agriculture, but I know the reply before it comes. Meantime all the roots are off, and ploughing is going ahead, taking away all the scars which resembled a battlefield.

Looking forward to seeing you very soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Thursday

My dear John,
You will just have arrived in Wilts and be feeling far from happy – but you have no option unfortunately. It may turn out better than you think, and lead to greater things for you in the future.

The weather here is vile with high winds and rain, if we had had a crop of apples none would be left on the trees.

I had a letter from Margaret and Margot – I think they enjoyed the weekend – Margaret did the food by all appearances!

Nothing to report but will keep in touch by letter – papers and mags. If you feel like a phone call ring me up at anytime. I will send money from time to time.

Much love,
Yours Aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

1st July 1958

My dear John,
Just a short note to wish you a happy birthday – you will not get much change in your fare, but you can celebrate with some of your friends.

I am just awaiting the arrival of Anderson Scott and Ken – they are coming to see about the fruit. I have sold them most of my Blackcurrants, Reds, and quite a few gooseberries, all for export orders. My Rasps are nearly all going to Coastal Canners at Alloa. So Strawberries are the only fruit I have got to dispose off – I think it should be easily enough done – the weather is far from good for strawberries this warm close air.

I am glad you are getting down to Lymington for a few days it will be a break – I do not think that I know anyone in that area but the farms are as follows:

LISLE COURT (Uncle Alec) quite close to Lymington, and then about two miles from Lisle Court is PYLWELL HOME FARM where Grandad stayed – you could stop and have a chat with the present owners and mention your connection.

I would like if you could manage to go to the Beaulieu, a lovely village not far distant, and see BEUFRE FRARM where Uncle Tom (Grandad’s youngest brother farmed) I would love to go the round with you, particularly BEUFRE where I spent many happy days and explored the New Forrest. Margaret Scott (she will be a fair age now) still lives in that area, and I can get her address from Anderson. I will send it on at once – I would like you to call for old times sake, and although I knew her least of all, she will no doubt remember me.

Give my regards to Malcolm and tell him to come through when he is north. Brian has now finished at Leeds having passed all his exams and will be looking for a job in a church!!

We start the Gooseberries tomorrow a little earlier, but labour might get difficult later with Blairgowrie starting the Raspberries.

I will write soon again, as I want to get ready for Anderson.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Friday

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter with all your interesting news. I am glad you are well settled in now, and time should pass quicker – a waste of time for the like of you.

Capt Aitken is leaving here at the end of July for some depot in Holland so one more change in the house.

The weather has changed once again to wet, bleak and cold with the wind out of the east. I wish we could have some real warm weather and we would get some growth. I have sold most of my Rasps, Red Currants, Black Currants and Gooseberries, just something I have never done before so early, but the demand seems to be on the small fruit, although I think plums will probably do better this year with the smaller crop.

I did not go to the Highland this year, I have had plenty to see about at home with the others on holiday, but the show appears to have been very good. A.G. Calder went but did not enjoy it very much, as he did not get the usual fun.

I am expecting Ken Scott through some day very soon, so will get the low-down on the whole set up there, they appear to have had a much better year, but I see no joy employing labour – they have the best all the time.

Margaret appears to be well pleased with all her birthday presents – mainly records I note. Helen continues to like Aberdeen. It is just a pity Margaret is leaving.

I have not much news this time but will write later. Hope you keep fit and well and enjoy your visit to John Titterton.

Much love,
Yours Aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

9th July 1958

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your two letters with your wide variety of news – Kenya should be quite nice for a few months, the climate will be very pleasing compared with our British winter!

I have an address for you from that girl in Stirling whose father is the big shot of Grangemouth – I think you met her once, in fact your Granny has mentioned her a few times as a likely girl for you – she has another one looked out, Alf Roger’s daughter – they all called on Monday. I had not seen him for over 30 years, he was a pal of your Uncle Marshall at Melville College, and many ploys we had together.

Now about your visit to Hampshire. I can find no news of Margaret Scott now Watters, but another person who would be very delighted to see you is David MacCallum a farmer quite near Beufre – look up the phone book and you will find it easily, because I do not think MacCallum will be very common in that area. His father was a Missionary who returned and took up farming many years ago – perhaps Malcolm will know about him. I would like very much if you could contact him, and I know he would be terribly delighted if you called – they were old friends of the family and so very decent.

I will enclose a letter from Margaret which no doubt you will enjoy. She is a great wee lass.

We are busy on Gooseberries now, Coastal Canners in Alloa have bought ten tons, and Carluke have bought a lot for export, also for the Dublin factory.

I was most amused with your visit to John Titterton, he is a good lad, but rather full of his ancestors – the nobility being fairly distant I think. Freddie Leeks is much of the same type – you must have had a jolly time!

Your Grannie was a wee bit perturbed when she heard you were meeting his daughter – she thinks she has better ones looked out for you!!!! And not Miss Baillie!!

Lachie and M.B.E are coming up to Edinburgh next week to stay in the Wedderburns flat when they are on holiday – it takes the Colonials to do it on the cheap.

I will write some time soon again as I am pressed for time today.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

P.S. Mrs Dunsmore and Moutie were asking for you.

You will be having plenty excitement with the man from Broadmoor – someone should get into trouble over that.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter with all your news, and now I will look forward to hearing how you got on in the Lymington area – I hope you managed to contact the McCallums.

We have had very bad weather here and the strawberry crop has suffered very badly – the worst season I can remember for strawberries ever, plenty of fruit, but wasted with the rain. I have started rasps and Blackcurrants but they appear to ripen very slowly.

Helen was on the phone to me last night and appeared to be in good form, she had seen Malcolm when he was north. I hear that Sally has Amy Marshall’s flat in Glasgow for a wee while; she is home to have an addition to her family.

I am just going to Alloa with some fruit including some for the Cuthberts. I cannot be doing with them.

John Kelly was through with your Aunt Mary on Saturday he was in good form after being in Holland with the R.N.U.R. and attending the Test Match in Leeds he was seen by your Aunty Deety on T.V. taking Peter May’s photograph.

I enclose that address from the lass in Stirling, also a little pocket-money, no doubt quite welcome.

Will write soon,
Much love,

Daddy.


27th October 1958

To 2nd Lt. John G. Scott RE,
Officer’s Mess,
89 Field Survey Squadron,
Royal Engineers.

My dear John,
I was delighted to get your letter which you wrote prior to leaving Entebbe and to hear you were feeling a bit stronger. I also had a letter from Betty this morning telling me of your departure, and trusting you would see your doctor and take things easy for a while – you must do that John – I know your views on folk being sorry for themselves – but this is different and you had a hard time so you must take care.

Helen was through for a few days and was looking the picture of health, in fact I have never seen her looking better: hard work must agree with her! She was not too pleased when I told her once or twice how well she looked – she has a holiday in view somewhere!

The weather here is much improved, in fact we have had a week of dry weather and potatoes are finished and we hope to get the wheat in very soon; that is sown for next year. The electricity is now in use at Spittalton – I think they are very thrilled, and so well they might because it costs a lot; but I never grudge the Speeds anything.

Mother and Susie are out today for lunch at the Fourways with the Gibbs; I bet mother will be delighted to get back to her own fireside – she cannot be bothered with parties nowadays.

Old man Calder was down for lunch yesterday Sunday and did full justice to all and everything. Simon was all over him he was quite bewildered – he was not his usual self, the Income Tax people are bothering him somewhat and have gone back sixteen years with his books, asking him to prove where he got the money to invest over the years – it is hard luck when you think of the people who swindle the Country in every direction – but that is life and al the people who should be questioned sail on regardless.

You would no doubt come back to lots of papers and magazines; let me know how they are arriving. I do hope they are going by air-mail, otherwise it will be old news when it does arrive – you should hand over some of the papers to the men as quite a few come from Scotland. No doubt you are doing just that.

The Hollidays flit next week so old Bart will be getting his orders from every direction. I suggested to Helen she might like a change to Yorkshire for a wee while, but she did not like the idea of more work.

Aunt Chrissie and Margaret come through on Wednesday for the day so will be having a chin wag about you.

Look after yourself; remember you have lots to do in this world of good, so don’t take any risk.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

Friday -no date

My dear John,
It was good to get your air letter this morning and it came here in four days which is really excellent. I am always so pleased to hear from you with any news. I have been sending quite a few papers out to you, so I hope they are arriving in time – no doubt you will have little time or comfort to read. Let me know if you are getting them.

It would be a break for you having an evening with the D.C. – no doubt he would know some of your relatives in the Colonial service.

Just had the famous Goodwillie on the phone to tell me that his eldest son had got six months for stealing copper from the Kincardine-on-Forth Electric Power Station – what a crowd!

Rob Kelly’s step-mother is at Drumdruils today along with her sister – they never seem to be without someone for meals. It was Rob’s birthday yesterday and I hear he had a break out again. Let’s hope he does not overdo it again.

It has been lovely here today with quite keen frost in the morning and tonight it is cold with more frost likely – it is good to get it now rather than May month.

I was up at Helen Turners (Marshall) the other evening and she read me your letter which her husband had posted on to her – she was very pleased to get it and was going to drop you a line as soon as possible. She has quite a nice wee house, very comfy with a wonderful view looking towards the Fintry Hills – it must be very lonely for her but she has a TV which will help to while away the time.

I have been reading over some of your letters from Kingston – Vancouver and Kenya; it is strange how one forgets certain things.

Looking forward to hearing from you – I just wish you were nearer here.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

18th November 1958

My dear John,
I was delighted to get your letter telling me you were getting back to your normal self again; it makes good reading and cheers me greatly. You will still have to take care for awhile and not over do things.

Margaret was through for the weekend; she is looking very well and getting very attractive. She is growing up fast, and is well past the wee girl stage. She has got a pair of hands with some purpose about them: I like to see that in a girl.

You might let me know how papers and magazines are coming through to you – I have sent quite a few of various papers etc and hope they are arriving Air Mail otherwise they will be of little interest. Why I am asking is that I arranged with the Book Stall at Stirling Station to send you the ‘Economist’ each week and when I went down yesterday they said the Post Office wanted 5/6 in postage even by Services Air Mail. So I am trying it with a 6’ stamp and sending it myself – so please let me know what you are getting.

The Sudan have startled the World somewhat; it is just a pity we could not get rid of these tribes in the Middle East – anyone can have Khartoum as far as I am concerned; but this constant unrest in these areas is a costly way of life for Britain – where the money comes from I do not know – but we must have sunk vast fortunes in that part of the world. Look Ghana – West Nigeria then Rhodesia; they are not ready to take over by a very long way. So far I have heard little news of the Rhodesian Election, I doubt Uncle Alec can be elected.

The weather here is very mild with a misty wet air and we are getting well forward with the work – I have not made up my mind about taking any more out this year – it is a costly job and rooting out capital all the time. I have made enquiries about a new agricultural scheme for farmers but it looks as if we will not be considered again.

Uncle John Dunbar has been in bed for a week but is progressing once again – he is really tough. Now I am off to Thornhill but will write soon again.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Tuesday

My dear John,
Just a wee note to let you know about what’s going on here. The weather is real cold now and I see a fair fall of snow well down the Ochil hills, the first on those hills this winter.

I see Mr Telfer has died in Edinburgh, I will be interested to hear how much he leaves. I always put him as the richest man in these parts. He was an able man but one I never really had any regard for, nor had Grandad. I always thought he would have ridden rough shod through anything to get a pound. Not good to speak of the dead.

I had a visit from the Dales yesterday. Mrs Dale looks a good deal better but far from right I would say. I am certain she was almost round the bend. They presented me with a lovely oil painting of Spittalton taken from the field on your left as you turn in from Stirling with Ben Ledi towering in the background – I was really thrilled, it is by a lady artist who stays in the district, just the biggest surprise I have had in years. They gave mother a small etching of the same, the artist had done one or two etchings to see which they would like coloured.

I had a letter from Margaret this morning and she was in good spirits although she had had two of the wee Farqhuars (?) staying with her at the weekend.

I am enclosing a note from Glasgow which I cannot do anything about as you work it through your bank.

You would see how well Tom Hall has been playing – he is almost certain to be stand-off for Edinburgh in the Inter City. I do hope your ankle is better and that you may get your interview very soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

P.S. I made a purchase of Bramley apples from Northern Ireland and I have cleared the lot – I will need to buy more.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

24th February 1959

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter which arrived this morning – I am very glad you are getting your chance to get into the NFD it will always be an experience, and will give you something to do – just take care of yourself and not take any risks – it will be most interesting seeing the working of this new machine.

Helen was here from Friday till this morning (Tuesday) – she is looking very well and has made a very neat dress for herself – very well made indeed. Unfortunately the weather was none too good – we had a lot of rain and cold winds, but she was merry and bright and well settled down on her new job. I think the holidays are a great attraction for her – I could do with a few of them! Margaret could only manage the day because she is so busy getting ready for her 4th year exams. She is a real young lady now and looks very neat and well, with a mind of her own!!

You will see by the enclosed, Alastair has not forgotten you – I phoned McLean & Stewarts and told them you were in the wilds of Kenya, but that I would forward the letter to you and you would inform them in due course that you had received the letter and give them instructions where to pay the money into. This is the one and only thing I have heard since the day he was buried – it will always help you along a wee bit.

I was interested to hear about the job at Edinburgh University – I gather you will be reading for Law at the same time! It is your life now John – and all I want is you to be happy and do well in life – you have a great future before you and I know you will grasp it with both hands. I have always been proud of you, but I would like to see you on top before I leave this world. You will deserve all the honours that come your way.

By being proud of you, I never forget the two girls – I never forget the two girls – I am proud of them just as much; and although I do not see them as often as I would like, I never forget them and would like to see them making good in life and being very happy.

We have so far had no snow but the weather has got cold again and somewhat miserable with cold rain; nothing but mud and water – I could do with a few weeks with you in N.F.D. I don’t know what Murrayfield will be like for Saturday – so far no tickets have come my way, and if none will come I will stay by my wireless.

I have been having a good look over the maps of Kenya and will be able to follow any place you mention in N.F.D. I was thinking over Mrs Scott (St Vigean’s) and her Nanny in Nairobi – if you have not done anything I would not bother.

Looking forward to hearing from you as often as you can write.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

28th February 1959

My dear John,
Many thanks for your interesting letter and also the little booklet dealing with the Queen Mother’s visit to Kenya which has gone its rounds already.

I am glad you are going to get your photograph taken and sending me some copies – your Granny was very delighted to hear that. She always says she has never been the same since you were ill; but she still keeps going and is well through the spring cleaning – a bit early I would say!

Margaret and Helen are coming tomorrow; Helen for the weekend, Margaret for the day. Margaret is very busy with exams ahead and is working very well. I think they are both getting an invitation to the girl McNaught’s twenty-first birthday party in April – so Margaret will be the better of Helen’s company, she is fairly shy.

I had Mrs Scott of St Vigean’s on the phone last night about her grandson, the boy Pullar, who cannot make the grade to get into Oxford or Cambridge just now, and is thinking about going to school in America for a year to try and make the grade. She thought you had gone to school in the USA! He is going on some scheme sponsored by the English Speaking Union – you may know something about this scheme. When she heard you were in Nairobi she said: ‘our old Nannie is married with a family in Nairobi, and she would be so delighted if you got in touch with her.’ Her address if you have time: Mrs Saunders, c/o Standard Bank of Africa, Nairobi. She will be well up in years I think.

I have now got the plot of Raspberries all wired and tied-up, and they are quite a joy to my eyes, as they have grown very well with very few blanks; just the best first-year canes I have ever seen. If they fruit as well as they have grown they will do.

The weather has been very mild after the very severe frost we had for some weeks, the worst frost for many years, in fact it was frozen fully a foot into the ground, and I hear a lot of damage has been done to potato pits all over Scotland. Today we have an extremely cold wind blowing – makes you shiver when you put your nose outside the door.

Mrs Speed has burnt her foot a bit; she pulled over a kettle by mistake. If you have time drop her a wee note – you are ever her blue-eyed boy.

I thought I would have heard from Uncle Alec by now – I always send him Giles at Christmas and a Scotland Magazine each month. I suppose I am crazy bothering, after all I only get a card at Christmas – he is perhaps peeved about the tea service.

Miss Thixton’s eldest sister died this week, I think she was well over 90, but no letters by request was in the papers.

The Cyprus affair appears to be going well: I cannot understand how it all came out so well suddenly; but it is good to know that peace has returned after such a long spell of murder and fear. I have a feeling that Africa has black days lying ahead – this ….. Soviet brood costs appear to be stirring up natives in lots of odd places. I felt a feeling of insecurity the short time I was in Nairobi – if it was not for that I would love the life in that part of the world.

I do hope you are still feeling fit and well – it seems an eternity since last I waved good bye to you in the hospital. I think you are quite right taking your demob as you propose – also your idea of reading Law – you no doubt will make more use of it than Uncle Bob or Alec.

Looking forward to hearing from you sometime soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

6th March 1959

My dear John,
I was very delighted to get your short note yesterday saying all was well with you, and if you keep mentioning places I will be able to follow most of your journey on the map I brought back from Kenya.

Africa is troubled once again – when we got Cyprus settled this further trouble had to develop – I doubt John Moffat & Co saw this coming a long time ago – this Labour MP has made a real fool of himself and I am glad they kicked him out – lets hope they do the same if he goes to Kenya.

We in this country do not know much about the affairs of the Federation, but we all should leave the talking and writing to those who really know the position – Uncle Alec will no doubt be in the midst of it all and ready to ‘cash in’ when opportunity knocks. I thought I would have heard from him – I usually get a note when I send Giles, but nothing so far.

Aunt Chrissie is arriving at Margaret Wedderburn’s today, but I doubt her stay will be very much curtailed as Tommy is due out of Dumfries early next week, and I think Margaret will think it better to be alone when he returns.

I was speaking to Helen last night on the phone – she was very bright and had had a note from you as well. Margaret is working very hard with her exams being up each morning at 6am.

The weather here is somewhat miserable a constant drizzle this past few days, but green is beginning to show again – so spring is not far away.

I see by the papers that Alastair has left £1000 to Dunblane Reading room – I think he has been doing everything to keep the money from his brother


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

23rd March 1959

My dear John,
I was interested to have your last letter about the district you are now billeted in – I bet you will be glad to get back to Nairobi and a little comfort – I just hope you are not overdoing it uphill and down dale.

The international was excellent on Saturday; I saw it on TV – just one of the best games I have seen for years; although when you read the report in the papers you wonder if you watched the same game. John of Highgate I am sure will be hoarse for the remainder of the year – I have never been near him at a National but I hear he works himself up into a great state before any game is long in progress – where Scotland is playing. I will enclose a cutting for you to have an idea of the game ere the papers arrive.

The weather has been quite good lately and I got 3 acres of potatoes planted on Thursday for the early market. I hope to get more planting done early next week.

I do not remember if I told you that the Drumdruils folk had a fire a week ago – the shed in the low field being completely destroyed about 6.30pm on Sunday night – vandals must have been around. It was insured so it is not so bad, but just one of those places you would think would be safe for ever.

I have not heard much about the Election in Northern Rhodesia, but I did hear that John Moffat had given Uncle Alec his seat to contest as it was easier, and John was trying another area. I also hear that Dr Banda had been a kitchen boy with Uncle George Prentice and Aunt Agnes Prentice at the lovely Mission Station. What the outcome of all this trouble will be is hard to say, but I do think someone has blundered somewhere. Cyprus an example of our strong hand – with Gruses returning to Athens a national hero – our own lads returning by troopship and all cigarettes and watches confiscated by the Custom Officers – We are a strange race but for ever the finest country in the world.

I will write you later in the week – take care of yourself.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

15th April 1959

My dear John,
I am beginning to weary for a letter from you. I always feel anxious about your well being, but I know it is not all that easy to get mail away from the area where you have been staying. I hope all goes well with you and that you may be back in Nairobi by this time.

Helen and Margaret are staying here just now, both are very well, and last night we went up to Helen Turner for a wee while after supper – we saw the Mau Mau General who has been released (forget his name) on TV – he is a beastly arrogant looking man – I think he should have been shot or kept inside. Sooner or later he will get away and cause worse trouble the next time. I cannot see what the end of things will be in Africa; but nowhere does it look very bright – and the Church of Scotland do not appear to be helping matters in any way.

Helen and Margaret met the Rev McDonald at Drumdruils and were very amused by some of his outspoken remarks – commenting on the late Tom Kelly’s sister-in-law who was at Drumdruils one day – says he – “that would be the scraggy one!!” Helen cannot understand how he filled Palmerston Place Church – nor can I! We are going up to the McNaughts tomorrow night for dinner (the three of us) I think Margaret is looking forward to a real good feed (three courses).

The weather has been very wet and miserable. Hardly one dry day, and cereal sowing and potato planting is falling behind – not to mention the keeping down of weeds. Helen and Margaret are just leaving to have lunch with Susie in the Queens – Margaret gets a bit bored staying put during this wet spell, but it is not any use going places in this weather just for the sake of something to do – but you know Margaret.

I hear that Uncle Alec was defeated again at the Election – I am very sorry because I am sure he would be a real worker for the good of the country he served. I also hear that Rob Moffat has got a part time job with the Government in Rhodesia.

Amy Marshall was through for tea the other day at Drumdruils; she was full of her visit to America and jack Waddell!! I had not seen her for many years, but like Uncle Alec I thought she looked real handsome, though still wanting to run everybody. She was somewhat down on the Baptist Kirk.

I am sending on your notice of bonus for your Life Insurance – it is a grand company, and once you start really earning, I think you should increase the amount.

I am just hoping I may hear from you at lunchtime.

Take care of yourself always,
All my love,
Always your,

Daddy.

I am sending Susan a necklet from us all for her 21st Birthday; it is on the 19th April. Perhaps you could send her a card.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

22nd April 1959

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your longer letter today and to hear how you are getting along – It is good you have managed to procure a car as I think such a thing is essential in Kenya – more so in Nairobi. I hope you have got a bargain. The photograph enlarged of you is very good as is the snap of the four – I will be able to show them to the Dunbars and McEwans at Daer Villa tomorrow night – we pay a return visit – they were at Drumdruils last night!! Uncle John Dunbar is always asking if you have not sent a few photographs of the natives in the district you have just left! You should send him a PC of a native scantily clad – it would shake him a bit.

It is lovely and warm here today, but the wireless mentions colder weather later – the plums and damsons are almost full bloom.

23/4/1959
I was held up with one of the Inspectors coming yesterday from the Dept of Agriculture to have a look around – they do not do much good in the way of advice on anything.

Mother and Susie got your letter this morning with the photographs and are very delighted. Mother was just saying she had started to write to you!

Helen and Margaret are both going to manage the McNaught party on Monday and I am sure will enjoy the event – I am not very keen, never was very sociable.

Mary Baird is just the same old stick always plying questions. I cannot understand how they put up with her at times.

I will write again soon.
Much love.

Daddy

P.S. sent on to you a letter from Northern Rhodesia House – look before you leap


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

29th April 1959

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter written on the 26th – really excellent service – better than from the South of England. You will probably have heard by now from Edinburgh University about your appointment a bit earlier than you thought – Nisbet must have given you a wonderful reference. I am so pleased; you have done so well and deserve nothing but the best in everything. I don’t think you have much notion now for Rhodesia.

I sent a present to Susan from us all – as I did with Isobel McNaught for her 21st; but a few animal carvings would not go amiss for Susan, and if you sent Isobel one nice one; I am sure she would be thrilled. The party went very well and I am sure the girls enjoyed every minute – Margaret is getting a regular wow, and if you had seen her talking to the boys laughing eyed – they both looked lovely. Lord and Lady Mar and Kellie were present and I had quite a long chat with both – he was in great form having just returned from the Elgin-Usher wedding. I heard Margaret asking him what relation a girl Usher who had been at school with her would be – a cousin I think.

I noticed her dancing quite a bit with a Doctor’s son from Coatbridge, a nice wee fellow who had just come down in his finals Engineering at Glasgow. I also saw her laughing-eyed dancing with Mathew Thom (Westerton House) he is my age, but great fun always having all the answers. I was quite amused to see them doing all the fancy steps. Helen went her way quietly as always but always had a partner. It must have cost him a mint of money; drinks were of all kinds. I saw the two girls sipping sparkling Burgundy’s.

We gave Isobel a little china figure and a ship-in-a-bottle the Carrick – the RNVR ship at Glasgow where she goes dancing at times – it was the original Carrick which was three masted sailing ship that was in the bottle. I think she is quite amused.

Isobel is now in charge of the cooking at Glasgow Academy Boarding House (40 boys) – but financially I am sure Helen is better off!

The weather has been miserable this past week but today is brighter but with a cld wind. I hope to hear from you soon again about the appointment.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

7th May 1959

My dear John,
Just a note to tell you that Anderson Scott died early on Monday morning – just one of those heart attacks that is taking so many people in recent years. He was buried yesterday afternoon in Carluke – I was through and met many of the relations who I have not seen for years – Ena was very pleased I had gone because I was the only one of the Scott family who had kept in touch with that side of the house since Uncle Alec and the late john Scott (Anderson’s father) had the flare-up in the early 1920’s – no doubt old john Scott was in the right, although I never cared for him – I was very fond of Anderson he was kind-hearted and easy to deal with when selling fruit – he knew what it cost to produce and always did his best to give a decent price if possible. I think all this wrangling in the Works has not helped his health very much – I think I told you he was in the Royal in Glasgow under observation as he had pain in his leg above the left knee. He had returned home and was beginning to move about again, and the pain shifted to his arm, and he just passed away very suddenly.

They were all asking about you – and were so pleased to hear about your appointment and to see your photograph which I had in my pocket – one old boy far out relation when he saw your hat asked if you were in the King’s African Rifles!!!

Ian Scott and his wife are a very nice couple; she is a good looking and able girl – he looks after the farm for Scott in Ireland, and she has started in one of the out-buildings making wool jumpers etc – she has installed three machines hand-operated, and gives work to quite a few girls in the winter when not much is going on with the fruit.

Ken Scott is the best of all the Scotts on that side of the house – he is a grand lad with not a bit of the sarcastic-type for which they were noted. Funnily enough neither Ian nor Ken knew they had a second-cousin a Governor, and were really quite thrilled!!

I hear that Aunt Chrissie has to be out of town when Jack Waddell’s daughter is in London with her American beauties on tour!! I do not think they like to be troubled with people in Highgate. I am that way myself too. Gone are the days of huge parties at Drumdruills and the orchard.

The Gooseberry trade looks like being bright. I have had four canning-firms after them this last week; so the humble gooseberry looks like coming into its own again. Who knows but the plum will do the same any year now.

I met many big growers yesterday, mostly in the tomato trade, and they fear the tomatoes will take a big drop with the increased imports. The Duke of Hamilton built large Greenhouses on his farm Overton by the Clyde – about 3 acres of them – just after the war. When I passed them yesterday they were taking down the last of them – he has sold them for re-erection elsewhere as they were not paying and he has lost a lot of money.

I was speaking to Helen the other night she phoned about Anderson’s death. She is still enjoying her work – so I just hope she gets a chance to settle in for a while and she will probably get a good job out of it.

Between ourselves I hear Uncle Rob is not looking after himself again – he is one that could go from this earth very easily – he is none too robust since the war.

I hope all goes well with you. I am always so pleased to hear from you so write again soon.

Much love,
Yours aye.

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

Wednesday

My dear John,
I am so sorry to be so long in writing, but we have been so very busy, lack of labour and then working late at night. We are getting on well with the plums, and will finish the Victorias this week I hope, and damsons and the other plums will be easier managed.

I do hope it is a little brighter for you, and that you may soon get more comfort than the barracks – it all seems such a waste of a young life, and makes one mad with all those of less ability who have escaped the call-up.

Old Tom Kelly died the other day, but I was not through at the funeral, he was over 80 years.

The Member for West Perth was not able to make any difference for me regarding a grant, it is really a shocking affair.

I will write you later when I have more time.

Much love,
Yours aye,
Daddy.

P.S. Enclosed please find £1 better not to send too much.


To his son John,
From Rab Scott,
The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.
Tel. 3116

6th November 1959

My dear John,
I was very delighted to get your letter this morning after fully a fortnight without any news – I understood that delays would take place; but always a worry with no news from you. I hope you are now back to Nairobi and a little comfort once again.

I am so glad the papers etc have been getting through – it would help to keep you all in touch with the outside world. I make a point of sending on any Glasgow Herald which I think might interest you: World affairs, sport, or University news. I will enclose Margaret’s School report it is most difficult to follow, but she seems to have done very well reading the Heads report! Just keep it among your papers.

The Drumdruills folk have had a letter from Muriel Prentice (Robbie’s wife) daughter Monica is coming for a trip, so one more Colonial to entertain – she was a very wee tot the last time I saw her – I think she sails about the 18th April. They are also having a State visit from Amy Marshall tomorrow afternoon. She must be having an Inspection in the area!!

I hear John Kelly has got through all his exams for the year that would be re-sits I would think. He has sold his baby Austin and got a vintage MG, which will cost him a bit more to run – I would say a piece of nonsense with him still at varsity.

We are having cold wet bleak weather in this area, and sowing and planting is being very badly retarded; in fact work at Thornhill has been at standstill for a fortnight. One of the cows at Thornhill had twin Aberdeen Angus calves but they were born dead – so I have had to buy a pair to replace.

It was good to see France win the International rugger Championship by beating Wales they have still to play Ireland, but you will read all about it in the Glasgow Herald even part of the leader is on this bit of sport.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon again. Very much love.

Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

30th January 1961

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter with all the news – I have mixed feelings about your new work in Salisbury – very pleased with the appointment – you have done exceedingly well once again, but the distance from here is what I don’t like – however you will have quite lengthy holidays each year, and it may not be so long till you come back here to a new and even better post. I just hope they allow you till June before leaving Edinburgh – it would be fairer to Edinburgh University.

We are having foul weather at present, one big ash tree fell across the avenue from the garden at the house and it has taken almost three days to saw and clear it all up four of us an expensive item, but I will send some logs when they are sawn up with the tractor.

This Orchard affair is getting me down completely, and await word from Ledburn once he is able to attend to things again as to what my next step should be – It Is very unfair, they all seem to pass the buck, but I will not give in till I have won my point – Special measures should be taken where a place is so laid out and having got no assistance in way of grants or subsidy – Anyway houses are needed, and if Weir are willing to build, and able to sell such houses, no restriction should be placed on them so doing. It is not right that ‘such nobodies’ should be allowed to dictate in such a way.

I had Snap put-down by S.P.C.A. man – poor beast she was very stiff and lame and it was really a shame having her live in such a condition – I also had the horse here put-down. She never really recovered from a knock she got when carting potatoes at Spittalton. Now I am on the look out for a new horse – I should not have needed one if the Orchard transaction had gone through.

I went to Killearn yesterday to see 10 acres of land bought by Weir four months after they offered for this place, and it is nearly all built, none finished, but the walls and roofs are all but done.

You might try and see Margaret Wedderburn sometime. I know it would cheer her greatly a wee chat with you.

Hope all goes well with you, let me know how things go.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

23rd March 1961

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter, it will be grand to see you on Monday, it seems an age since you were here. I have mixed feelings about you going to Rhodesia as the time draws nearer, but if it is for your own good, that is all that matters.

I am still not clear about the Orchard affair – one thing they are doing they are getting me down. It is impossible to pin-point anyone, about 20 of the Education Authority were here on Monday and no definite step was taken – Weir’s surveyors are taking levels all this week.

I had a letter from Leeds this morning, and you will be pleased to hear that your Aunt and Uncle are likely to be grandparents in October – so get ready the bonfires. They had known at Drumdruils for some time but did not tell me in case I did a bit of leg-pulling – so when I got the letter today, I phoned your Aunt Susie, and told her that old McNaught had phoned to see how much white wool your granny would like – it took a wee while before the penny dropped.

The rain has come on here and quite a strong wind. I hope we get cool weather for quite a bit I have sown the open ground here with spring wheat – probably the first wheat ever grown on this ground. At Thornhill I have most of the grain sown and really well ahead with the work. I hope to get potatoes in next week and get them slug early – I have been expecting the potato merchant here to-day but so far no sign to get potatoes dressed and away.

Looking forward to seeing you on Monday and I will here what you have to say about Helen and her work. Hope Margaret keeps fit and well.

Much love,

Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan

6th April 1964

My dear Margaret and Stuart,
I really got a surprise when I heard your destination was Paris. I have just heard about two other couples who are in Paris on the same errand.

I was so delighted to hear how well you had both done on Saturday and how well you had looked. I have heard nothing but praise for the whole affair and I am looking forward to seeing the photographs when Helen comes tomorrow. I hear the Monteiths had the only funny telegram. I should have sent a few through with Brian on Saturday morning.

I was pleased to hear they had not been too bad with Stuart, when you departed – too much horse play is not very nice. I lost myself for the greater part of Saturday, I just wanted to be alone and my thoughts with you two. I am so sorry to have failed you so much in life Margaret, just something I would not have liked to happen to men – you have been so good and kind and done so well, and I am so pleased you found someone like Stuart. I wish you all the best that life and love can bring. You are Stuart’s responsibility now, but if at anytime either of you has a problem – I want you to come to me. I love you both and can still be a father to both with love, advice or anything else.

I would also like to mention how proud I was to hear that Helen had done so well and make everything run so smoothly along with Stuart’s Uncle and Aunt, but I cannot close without mentioning that almost all fell upon your mother and I am so pleased she made it such a happy day for the ‘main people’ – you two.

I will go through someday to see about your garden to get it into some order. I have some things to send later, various pea-trainers etc but will do on your return.

Have a happy time, all my love to both,
Yours aye,
Daddy.


The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan

1st February 1968

My dear John,
It was good to get your letter with all your news and it will be grand to see you en route to Uganda and your visit will more than interest Lochie – you will be able to keep him informed.

We have had a very bad storm of rain and gales and hundreds of fruit trees are smashed down in Drumdruils – a real mess in more ways than one.

The Hollidays arrive here on Sunday by van driven by John Kelly – I am sure he is the prime mover for them coming here. The Kellys did all they could to get Uncle Bart into hospital in Perth, but I was advised by a doctor to get him to go to Edinburgh which is the most modern and supposed to be the best unit, anyway they will be able to visit him often and not have me trailing to Perth with your Aunt – I have constant tummy trouble since all this blew up. I could run a thousand miles from the place – infact if it had not been I had the Speeds at Thornhill, I would have given up altogether – no bed of roses growing fruit – just been speaking to Ken Scott and he was saying the same – the export trade in jam is good, but they have sold the works in Dublin, as they have expanded at Carluke, with a new factory for beetroot etc.

The Gordons were in good fettle when they were through Catriona is a delightful little girl – so bonny and contented – Margaret is making a real good job with her.

I am glad you are going to see Helen it will lift up her heart a bit – she is a real hardy girl – I am so glad Neil has recovered so well.

Take care of yourself,
Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

6th February 1968

My dear John,
I am sorry to have failed the new stamps on the day of issue. I think the stress and strain of all the goings on here has told on me this last wee while – They arrived from Leeds on Tuesday night, having to stay the previous night at Scotch Corner where the snow had drifted badly and held up all traffic – I just do not know what they intend doing, Bart sees the Specialist early next week – I certainly have no song in my heart! I could pack up anytime, I am just in that mood, and nothing bright around here except my own wee ones in Edinburgh – what a real joy is Catriona.

The weather is worse than ever and the devastation of the gale is quite shocking – whole forests swept flat, and the fruit trees here lying thick broken at the root, infact many farm buildings were completely wrecked. The University grounds are a shambles, and the tall trees on the back road to Logie are lying by the hundred and sixty five trees across the road alone.

I am glad you are going to Helen & Neil – they will be so delighted and I am looking forward to seeing you very soon after you have been to Seattle. I hope all goes smoothly with Helen and the baby.

Nothing much doing with me.

Will write soon.
Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

10th April 1968

My dear John,
I was very pleased to have your postcard – you will soon be able to give a good account of Kampala to Lachie – I bet they wish they were with you.

The weather has improved quite a bit, and the work proceeds at Thornhill – I had to re-sow 7 acres of winter wheat drowned out with so much wet.

I am expecting the Gordons on Friday for the day (Easter Friday) I hope the weather is good and Catriona will get running around – she is good company now, such a sweet wee girl – I was looking at our photo of her mother about the same age, and they are quite alike.

I had a letter from Seattle today and all seem to be fit and well, with Neil putting on quite a bit of weight, as does young Robert. Helen has her hands full now. I am so glad your mother is with her, will make such a difference for them all. Margaret is managing fine on her own – probably do her some good – I will try and see her as often as possible.

I went yesterday to a Research Farm at Invergowrie near Dundee and called on the Monteiths on the way back – all are well and asking for you – I had your Uncle Bart with me and they did not know him!! I have a real problem with this pair – they are very nice about the house, but really no future and they smoke all the time. I came back early today to see to some things and forgot to bring Cigs – they are not too pleased – he could have got some last night when he was out with me – he went into a shop to get them and surely could have got enough not to bother me each day.

I hope all goes well with you, just wish you had had a longer spell here.

Take care of yourself,
Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

29th April 1968

My dear John,
I was so pleased to get your picture-postcard on Saturday morning – makes a difference to hear from each one of you at any time. I had a letter from Helen about the same time, and young Robert is getting more contented. I am so glad about Stuart’s advancement, I hope he grabs it with both hands – they will need it all, life and living is getting more difficult, I wish I could see the state of the old country improving – Powell has said a thing or two, which does not appear to have pleased some quarters – a big restraint of incomers will require to take place – we cannot carry such a squad, or will be ruined.

I still got the Hollidays. I could run a mile at times – I cannot see the end of this story. I am more than sick about it all.

I am in Callander. I have had to come here to get fencing posts for Drumdruils. It is somewhat dull but quite warm.

The Woodside Hotel is about to change hands – I do not know who will take it, but I will be sorry to see Mrs McKechnie go. She has always been so kind and the food good.

I hope all goes well with you. Take care of yourself.

Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

1st July 1968

My dear John,
I intended having a half decent letter to you, but the strawberries started today, and to crown all, the minister came in for two hours – also present were Rob Kelly (Jnr) and an American friend.

Many thanks for your card which arrived on my birthday and I look forward to reading the book on Kenya. I do hope your book and shirt arrive in time for your birthday. Take care of yourself – will write soon.

Fondest love,
Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

11th August 1968

My dear John,
Sorry to be so long in writing, but I have had so much to do – not easy with Drumdruils. I have had good crops at Spittalton, with probably the best quality Strawberries and Rasps I have ever grown – we have had a wonderful spell of weather only lost 2 hours picking due to rain in six weeks period.

I am looking forward to your arrival; I just hope you can stay for a wee while longer than usual.

Still the same set up with the Hollidays. I do not think your Uncle Bart is making any progress more backward.

I was speaking to Veronica Forsyth and she would like to see you when you are here – she and her father look up now and again.

Dr Welsh came in today for a wee chat for about two hours – he was in great form and I noticed he had his golf clubs in the back of the car!!

I hope all goes well with you. I am so pleased you will be home soon – the Speeds were delighted to get your picture-postcard.

Fondest Love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

6th December 1968

My dear John,
Just a short note to-night as I baby sit at Buckstone Dell to allow the two young parents off to the Royal Bank Dance – all are well here and so far not a murmur – they are lovely children – Catriona getting quite wild and full of fun – they are well managed by wee Margaret.

We had a few deaths in the family- first Mysie Marshall, then Unwin Moffat and now Willie Stewart, California (Brother of Dr Stewart, Edinburgh) killed in a car accident. Unwin Moffat’s death is quite shattering, although I think his heart did trouble him for a while – I was very fond of Unwin, just the best of the Moffat family – I hear Mary is now home.

No improvement in your Uncle Bart, I think it is quite hopeless to treat him – he smokes and drinks as much as ever – takes the road each day and comes back by taxi – I am seeing Brian and Richard later in the month to see if something can be done, as he has only given me £20 this last eight months, and little or nothing before then. They take all for granted – I wish I could see the land going at Drumdruils, it is just impossible to do anything with the place.

The Speeds have at last got a car, a new Austin 1100, so they will be able to get around although I can hardly see them.

Enclosed are some prints I got done from Australia – I hope you like them. Will phone you on Sunday evening.

Take care of yourself,
Much love,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

26th February 1969

My dear John,
I am enclosing a few photographs of your lovely niece and handsome nephew which I am sure which I am sure you will be proud to show off at Highgate or elsewhere! I still have one to get back from the shop.

Bart goes off to his “Rest Home” tomorrow – we are leaving him severely alone for a spell – he was more than rude when we visited him on Monday demanding money and cheque book, which we have withheld – I gave him £3 in cash for a fortnight – we went over his bank book and the accounts which have come in – he has been spending more than £34 per week for two months – a blighter! They have cost me something this last year.

The Edinburgh folk are all fit and well, I had a lovely day with them last Thursday. Stuart is acting Manager for the next fortnight.

I met Tom Bryce today he was at Dollar with you but four years younger, I think he he had brothers or cousins at the same time. His sister has just returned from Kenya where she had been for a spell.

I was in at Mrs McLean with some old records of the Bairds and Rutherfords and enclose letter – they are to be put in a museum in the new Library to be built at Bridge of Allan.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Very much love.
Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

28th February 1969

My dear John,
Enclosed the latest and best picture of my wee lovely in Australia.

I was having lunch in the Bridge Hotel, Callander to-day, and the waitress asked if I was ‘Mr Scott’ – she was our maid when Helen was wee at Thornhill – Sarah was her name, and she left at 17 to get married – not bad remembering me.

No news of Uncle Bart again – he will be grazing on the Ochil or Kinross Hills! He is a real head case.

I bet you love this photo.

Fondest love,
Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

3rd March 1969

My dear John,
I am taking advantage of a first day cover for the Concorde series of stamps – they will be of value some day.

We go this evening to see Bart the first visit for a week – we have discovered he has been getting tick everywhere, he really thinks the money he collects from the Social Security is pocket money, and he should be kept here. I am not allowing him back here unless he gives up the drink – he can stay with his sister otherwise – I am not going to subsidise him.

I am sorry seeing you go away so far again, as long as it is safe just not so bad and no doubt you will have lots more to save.

I am enclosing an article from the Glasgow Herald – rather an advert for the Kellys at the catering Trade Show.

Catriona appears to be getting better; she spoke to me very well on the phone this morning. I doubt Peter will get the same dose, poor we lad, he is a hardy lad.

I have got a pastel picture of Frances from the artist next door, it is really lovely and I have had it away to be framed – she is a very lovely wee lass. I think the Brinks have made all the difference to the life of the artist next door.

I wonder if you will try and contact Aunt Rita, it would be a real kick for her, she would be charmed as you would be too.

Take care of yourself,
Fondest love,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan

2nd October 1969

My dear John,
I am sorry for missing the First Day Cover of this lot, it is not often I do that, but I have a lot on my mind just now – the sooner I am out of this lot the better – just cannot get labour to pick the fruit in any quantity.

I hope you had a comfortable flight out and that you find your work interesting with no snags. I was speaking to your mother last night she was fine and missing you. I am going to get Anna to go through when the time comes.

I was at Crieff today seeing about some fruit going to a small Jam Maker – I saw Jenny Murray in the passing – she fairly enjoyed the lunch at Powmill, and was thrilled with your present – she will show them to everybody.

It has been wet and cold since you departed and have had a poor time with the fruit – you are lucky to be in warmer clime.

I just wish I could have had Eddie for all the fruit season takes a load of my mind, Anna said to me yesterday taking her to the bus “I tell you a true story Mr Scott – if you were not at Drumdruils – we would not go back again.”

Not much news but will write soon.
Take care of yourself,
Fondest love,

Daddy.

P.S. I have now sent two letters to you by air mail.


To: J.G. Scott Esq.,
Common Market & Economic Affairs Secretariat,
East African Commission
Arusha,
TANZANIA

The Orchard,
Bridge of Allan.

9th November 1969

My dear John,
It was good to get your various postcards from place to place and to hear you were fit and well. I just hope everything keeps calm and on an even keel in those parts. I am still busy on Bramley apples but one more week should see the end of them I hope – prices do not encourage me one little bit nor do my lodgers!

Bart is now out of hospital and is out at Milnathort for two weeks – he has all the scruff under the sun, and I have never seen such a pair of snobs as the two of them – what they have to be snobbish about I do not know!

The Gordons are all fairly fit and well it is good to get through and see them, the children are such sweet little things – one time I was through I gave Peter a 1/- to put in his bank, and as Catriona was playing around I said to her where is your bank Catriona? – she said ‘not her Grandad but my hands will do!!’

I hear often from Helen she is more than keen for me to go out, but as things are just now it would be impossible – I could run a 1000 miles from here I am so tired and frustrated with the whole set up – I never thought I would live to say that – I could say lots more.

I would be very pleased to get some of your new issue of stamps but do not include the dearer stamps you have plenty on your plate.

I have Eddie here to-day carrying out repairs to some of the buildings, just to keep them wind and water-tight, saves quite a lot of money and he is really excellent. Just the best man I ever had at the Orchard including Tom Paterson – he has an excellent head and good hands.

We had young Rob through last week for a few hours – he told me he had written to you for advice – I feel he has been ill-advised at some point in his career. He will need to tidy himself up a lot before any interviews – he has more than plenty conceit of himself, but will come to earth ere long. Very critical about his two brothers not setting him up in a side-line of his own – says he could make them a million in ten years!! He considers he is the only one like you. He got me to speak to Prof McEwan (Stirling University) and he is going to see him one day soon – I am really ashamed to send such a hairy looking object for an interview. Not many jobs going in English at the Varsities he says.

We had Dr Welsh up last Sunday evening a real dark stormy night with lashing rain he drove himself and was in great form – he comes up once a week. I must be one of the veterans of this area now!! As I look at the various older people the few in number I begin to realise it is almost fact.

We have had snow in the hills around – the first of the year – I have employed a man to keep down the game here going half and half. I have a pheasant to send to Edinburgh to-morrow. Your mother has had a rotten year one way and another – her travels were great, but just a chapter of accidents ever since. I will see her one day this week to see the house – I have quite a few shrubs and roses for your garden, so should be a good show – I will also have some good bulbs of various kinds which will give the place a different look.

I have sent you a book token for Christmas much easier, if you require anything else just let me know as to material and size.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Very much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

A new Bank Manager at Bridge of Allan he appears to be a very decent fellow – somebody who you will get to know easier than the last one.


Bridge of Allan

27th November 1969

My dear John,
Many thanks for your picture-postcard which arrived this week – you are certainly getting around the country.

I have had four days in Argyllshire, and stayed at Lochgilphead at a hotel owned by a chap I knew McDonald by name who played for Rangers at one time, and has a boy and a girl at Dollar – the boy has just left for University in Glasgow – he was in ‘Tait House’ and was in the 1st XV and is going to do law. The girl is in the 1st Hockey Team and sits her Highers next year.

I have got some bushes for your garden in Edinburgh. I could have got lots more but the East would do them no good. I have Roses ordered from Dunfermline. I was over at the house it is getting into good shape but will be fairly cold with the workman going in and out.

I am enclosing a cutting from the Scotsman about Blair Drummond which will interest you. Tonight we have snow – I hope we do not get much.

I will write soon again – I have a lot to do with being away four days.
Take care of yourself.

Very much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan

8th December 1969

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter this morning with your news which I am always so delighted to receive. I will see the Stamps are kept safe for Peter John – I was in Edinburgh last week and saw them all – I think he has your happy nature as a child – a smile for everyone and a giggle when you take his fingers out of his mouth, he is a grand wee lad, as is Catriona a grand girl and so very attractive – I hope the wee one yet to be born is as good – Margaret has more than enough on her plate – Stuart a good lad, but a real “Tired Jim” unless when it is golf or the like. He will need to do lots more for Margaret.

Your mother was looking a lot better and real comfy in your new house which is taking good shape and will be lovely when furnished – I have bought a lot of roses and shrubs for you and will get a few flowering trees, try and make it easily kept. I like your furniture very much and I am sending the bedroom suite which belonged to Uncle James to complete your rooms. I hope to manage this week. Will get Anna through to give your mother a hand some weekend.

I note what you say about the photographs in Earls Court, particularly Grandad’s mother which was a painting from a photograph. I will get in touch with Marshall one evening soon, after all Ann will not have the slightest interest. When Uncle Duncan died, Aunt Marion brought your great grandfather and grandmother McEwen’s photograph here and Susie said ‘but James your son should have these’ and her reply was ‘oh he has no interest in them’ – so we know what’s coming to us. Funnily enough I sent a photograph of Grandad and myself to you along with the Christmas card.

I note what you say about the stylish ladies of Kampala portraits. If not too expensive send one or two to Mr Monteith as you suggested – I can hear his ‘Scottish wry humour’ and Duncan would enjoy them.

I do not know what young Rob will do – the first thing get his hair cut I would say. I called that evening I was in Edinburgh and father Kelly was in a drunken stupor – silly man. I only stayed ten minutes, and presented young Rob with a dozen oranges – he was full of thanks – I will ask him when I see him “how he enjoyed the South African Oranges!!” The poor Springboks have had to stand a lot of abuse from these long-haired louts! I think quite a few got a severe thumping at night for making a scene at the National Anthem before the game – not from the Police, but from the —— Rugby types. I did not go to this game.

Dr Welsh came up for an hour last night, but is getting quite confused – just does not understand the reason for all the scenes.

It is a lovely day here to-day, almost spring-like. John Kelly applied for permission to build a house opposite Dunbars (not for himself) it has been turned down first time (Ribbon Development being the reason given) a piece of nonsense. I enclose a copy of the site in red – —– Dora Gibb! You can let me have this plan back anytime; an appeal against the refusal has been sent.

Hope all goes well with you.
Very much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

P.S. Very pleased to hear about Eric Anderson’s appointment.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan

22nd December 1969

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter – I have sent on to you the History of the Scottish People 1360-1830 so cancel your order for if it is already in. I notice he had a letter in the Scotsman about the Springboks!

I was in Edinburgh yesterday and saw the new arrival a lovely wee girl – when I went into the sitting room – Peter ran towards me shouting “John. John – John!” he was in great form; he is so good natured and full of life. Catriona is like her Dad a trifle distant and slow to pay attention if you speak to her.

We have had a couple of days of heavy snow but it is mostly away except on the hills. The ski brigade will be in good fettle with this latest fall.

The Hollidays are off to Susan’s – I wish I could see movement on this land – I am so sick with it all. I was speaking to a Stirling man home from a cruise, and he had met a builder from Glasgow who said he was very interested in this land, just hope he tries hard enough – this planning permission is the rut, too.

I have just heard that Moira Forrest has sold her Hotel and has bought a house in Jersey – does not like the life for the boys staying in the hotel so she intends taking a part-time job in a big hotel herself – she will be free from worry.

I do hope you have a happy Christmas Day and that you get in with some nice company – your mother was thinking you were finding it very quiet, so I do hope it turns out better for you. I was telling Sheila to tell her boss to look you up if he was in Arusha, but knowing Sheila I am afraid she will do no such thing.

I will write again very soon.
Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

20th January 1970

My dear John,
I am sending this off to be posted at Arbroath on the day of issue so to speak – you may be miles from Tanzania by the time it arrives but I do not want to forget as no special stamp is being issued.

Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

Just wish I saw some movement on the sale of this place – the Kelly tribe with all the blah are doing nothing – and the other tribe quite a bit less. Soul destroying.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan.

3rd February 1970

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter last week, and hear how things were going with you. I am pleased to note you are getting more company around you and will make life a bit better for you moving among folk more like yourself.

Young Rob Kelly has not got the job in Dar-es-Salaam and has been down in York consulting with the staff at the University! No doubt you will have heard that John Kelly is engaged to Janice Leslie his girlfriend for about two years – she is terribly quiet – nothing to say for herself – she used to work for Kelly, but is now in a C.A.’s office.

John Kelly has contact with a West Lothian Planning Officer – Grangemouth etc and this man knows of a building firm looking for land in this area – he is also friendly with the Stirling County planner, so let’s hope things start to move – I am getting so tired of the set up here. I have no heart for this place now – just impossible to carry for long – but the land will be required for the development in the Central Belt of Scotland – it cannot come too soon.

I was through seeing the family in Edinburgh at the end of last week – all were fit and well – your mother is looking very much fitter – your house is looking very nice, if they would only get it furnished. I am sure you will be delighted when you come in the Spring and I have picked up quite a few bushes and shrubs which I am sure will do well. I have still to go to a Nurseryman I know at Perth, probably one of the best places in Scotland – I have still flowering trees to pick up but that should be fairly easy.

I see that a former Dollar Rugby player now playing with Edinburgh University had a big write up in the Sunday times, a wing-three-quarter who looks likely to play for Scotland soon.

The set up here is still the same – no-one except the doctor comes to visit – so different from when your Granny was here – never be the same again, even Mr McDonald never appears now.

We are having a very wet cold spell now, and I am sure the snow is not far away. It is holding up work on the farm, but we are moving quite a few turnips to the market – a good inside job.

I do hope you will be able to manage in the spring for a few weeks – you will like the new Bank Manager in Bridge of Allan – a Mr Smith. I just feel I had known him all my life, so different from the last Manager, who was not easy to get to know.

Take care of yourself – I will write soon again.

Much Love.
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan.

11th February 1970

My dear John,
Just a wee note with the new issue of stamps which are really quite nice. You will recognise Culross no doubt, quite like where Mrs Porteous has her shop.

I was at Edinburgh yesterday, Margaret and Peter were not too grand, they had got hold of some bug, so your mother was holding fort – I phoned to-day, and Margaret was up and about again, as was Peter. Father Gordon I did not see as he had a meeting of accountants!!

I do wish I could see a sale of this land for building, it is getting me down now, it is so utterly hopeless no matter which way you look – it is some legacy, curtails my activity at Thornhill. I am really quite sick of the whole affair – I am going to have a chat with Mr Smith the new bank manager next week to go over everything and see what can be done, he is a very decent fellow. I just feel I am knocking my head against a brick wall. I just see no future.

The two here do not lose any sleep over it, nor do the Kelly tribe – I feel I have had the baby to hold far too long.

I have had some very good snaps of Robert from Helen & Neil – we are blessed with good children that were, and lovely grandchildren. I am very proud of you all and the five grandchildren, they are real pets.

As I write Bart sleeps before the fire, not a care in the world or so it seems.

I will write again soon – take care of yourself.
Fondest love.
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan.

18th February 1970

My dear John,
We are in the midst of a real Snow storm; I just hope it does not go to frost which will make conditions really bad. I bet you could do with a cool spell like we are having for a few days.

I was pleased to hear you will probably manage along around May, it will be good to see you at anytime – I hope a move will be started for this place by that time – I am so fed up with the whole set up, just nothing can be done with it except building sites, it would take so much to clear the ground it would not be worthwhile the land is shallow and poor – and new drains we be required all through – so easy for the members of the Council talking about beauty spots etc – but what would they do in a similar situation?

I am tired of all this clap trap. John Kelly has all sorts of contacts, but it never ever gets off the ground – I am so tired of all the bleathers of what to do voiced by the Hollidays. Planning Permission is all that is required and it would be a cake walk – they are all so clever but it is me that is holding the baby. Just wish I had left them to it from the start – I should never have come near here – just wish I could get away from it all.

I was speaking to your Mummy on the phone last night the stair-case is all but finished except for two odd steps, she thinks they are doing this on purpose – my goodness things in this Country are in a poor state the way workmen go about the jobs. I have quite a few bushes for the Edinburgh garden, still no trees but the weather is all against getting them shifted.

Not much doing on the farm except moving a few potatoes and turnips. The Speeds are always asking about you, drop them a card sometime when you get time – a real thrill coming through Thornhill Post Office.

Dr McBride who patted you on the head got fined £25 last week for drinking and driving – I was very sorry to hear about it.

Hope all goes well for you. Will write soon again.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan.

9th March 1970

My dear John,
I am sorry to be so long in writing but I know you are seldom in one place for any length of time – I do hope all goes well with you and that you are not over-doing things.

We have been very lucky here this winter compared with other parts of the country, we have had little snow so far but anything can happen.

We are having plenty of Strikes and demonstrations. I wish we could get someone strong to make a stand against people such as these – I feel so frustrated not giving the Speeds etc a wage to compare with the odds and sods who are getting rises of anything from £4 to £10 per week. I cannot see how we are going to survive – I am getting so sick and tired just knocking my head against a wall – nothing will be done for Horticulture.

I wish I could see this land go. I have never really had any heart for here for many years and now I have less than none. I am trying all I can to find a way out – the Council have a lot to answer for in regard to all this. I find Mr Smith, the new Bank Manager a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately he is away on a course for three weeks.

The two lodgers are little or no help and the same can be said about the Kelly tribe.

I was speaking to your mother tonight and she was fine after a weekend at Mrs Whitty’s – She met Dr Welsh and thought he was really wonderful.

I am going through to Edinburgh to-morrow to the market so will be visiting the family, again always a joy – they are fairly progressing and you will enjoy them more and more. Margaret is making a good job of them.

I had a lot of your stuff here sent through to Edinburgh last week – including the China and the Golden or gilded bulls and a few odds and ends.

Looking forward to hearing from you very soon.

Fondest love,
Yours aye.

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan.

18th March 1970

My dear John,
It seems an age since I heard from you and we were all so pleased when Margaret got a picture-postcard from you – you certainly had a lot of ports of call, it must be quite wearing.

I was in Edinburgh yesterday and all were well. Peter had a bit of a cold, but was as wild as ever – he is a wild wee rogue – I have got a feeling Robert will be more mature, but I dare not say that to the Gordons!! Margaret is a wonderful mother, and she can keep them in order without much effort.

Your house is coming along slowly and is going to be quite a place when finished – I took along a decanter which belonged to my Grandfather McEwan, and which will be over a hundred years old, it is very nice and I am sure you will like it. I have taken quite a few things which were for you.

I do hope you will manage over for a spell in May or before – I am getting so sick of this place just wish I had never seen it. We are still clearing the storm damage of two years ago. Something will need to be done about it. Just wish the Kelly tribe had a quarter taste of what has been left here – it will be good to get you back even for a get together on this subject. I feel I have had more than enough. I have never seen such utter snobs as the Hollidays.

Dr Welsh is the only visitor we ever get, even the Minister has not been since before Christmas, he has been twice but was told I was out and not asked in – not that I enjoy his company – but a little kindness can be shown when he does call.

I had Mrs Neil on the phone one night from Nottingham asking questions as usual!! Dr Neil was out doing a broadcast that night and had been talking about us all just before he left for the studio!

Brian is coming over at Easter, but little has been said about it; how many – how long.

I see Blair Drummond has got the go ahead to make a Game Park and will open this summer – it will be quite an attraction and Lord Doune is having a veteran car Museum at Doune Lodge.

It is good to know that the Brink family are coming this year, it will be wonderful to see them – it is strange I have always a feeling I have met Robert before – probably his look of you at that age is the answer. I only wish this land was tied up before then, it is a great worry, not any hope of doing much with it except for building – I said to the Kellys if we had an offer of £500 an acre I would let it go gladly – they said you will get lots more than that. I said perhaps so, but it is me that is footing the bill meantime and I can carry it no longer – the look of the place even has got me down – I was always a perfectionist as far as fruit-growing went, now I have completely lost interest. Enough of that.

I do hope you are feeling fit and well. I hear you have been in touch with the Moffats from time to time. This is the big Rugby International at Murrayfield on Saturday – I think Scotland may win this game, but I would have liked to see Brian Summer in the team again, he can read a game and dictate the play as no one else can. I think Sharp (ex Dollar) now Edinburgh University will be in the running next season.

I enclose Helen’s letter which will interest you. Write soon and let me know how things go with you.

Fondest love,

Daddy.

P.S. I sold two prize-draw tickets to young Rob who is still without a job. He thinks he may get a job in Sweden or New South Wales.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan.

1st April 1970

My dear John,
Just sending this First Day Cover and hope it arrives safely.

I was very pleased to get your card, we were getting worried with the lack of news from you, but we know you are extremely busy.

Brian and family have been up for six days and left early this morning for Colwyn Bay. So the house will be quieter again.

I am getting really tired of this place. I have builders coming to see it next week, but I count on little these days with lack of money all round but it is a real yoke around my neck, and when I should be counting on getting things a lot easier – I find it the worst time of my life – I am really sick of the whole thing.

I am enclosing a letter from Margaret Wedderburn – so she is leaving Gullane for Devon – I am sure she would have a very quiet life in Gullane. I do not think she would have many friends of her own vintage. This place is just as bad no one calls except the doctor or minister – I will be so glad to get away from it all, but I know not when!!

It will be good to have you back when you come – just someone to discuss the whole position. I would not care if I never saw this place again. All are well in Edinburgh; I hope to see them this week. Take care of yourself.

Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan,

5th April 1970

My dear John,
I think the mail must be taking quite a time to come through from your part of the world, or you are too busy to write – Rob Moffat tells me that in his part the Postal Service is very bad now – I wonder if a wee bit longer would have been better to allow these countries to get the ‘know how’ in everything.

Your house is looking very nice now and the garden is taking shape, once the plants and bulbs etc get going it will be most attractive.

Gustav goes off to Poland for a holiday at the end of May. I wish so much I could get rid of this place, it is a real burden – the way things are going I could get out of everything – just not worth while all the worry and work. Everything looks SO black – pay-rises – taxation – just killing everything – knocks the heart out of you. I think this way of life has no support and agriculture is going the same way. The two inmates here never worry a moment nor do the Edinburgh tribe, it is getting me down – I do not feel red, but I just loathe to see this place as it is – just like knocking your head against a stone wall!

I will enclose Helen’s letter for you she is looking forward to a wee note from you too.

I saw the Gordons last week a very good wee family; I do enjoy a break with them. Peter is a grand boy so contented, as they are all, but he has such a gay expression. Margaret has made a grand job of them – I am sure Helen will have done the same.

Write very soon – your mother gets anxious about you, as we all do.

Take care always,
Fondest love,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan,

16th April 1970

My dear John,
I was pleased to hear from your mother at lunchtime to-day that she had heard from you – we were getting anxious about your where-abouts. Seems such an age since I got your picture-postcard. I know you will have been busy – extremely so, knowing you, but even if only a card let us know to one of us at least every week.

John Kelly has had all sorts of builders coming to see this place but so far no one has appeared. The banker was telling me that only one member of the Council was holding up Planning Permission and he says if they said the word, Stirling County would give planning permission at once. I am getting so sick of this place. I wish I had never seen it again. It is a real drag on me at Spittalton where I drew more at the door for Strawberries and Rasps in casual Sales than I drew for the whole year here. The building must come but the drag is getting me down.

I am having the Gordons for the day on Monday, the first visit of Gillian – they are a lovely family – your name-sake ‘Peter John’ has a very friendly nature, but they are all good children well brought up by Margaret.

I am so glad you are coming at Christmas a real invasion it will be good to have you all around at the same time. I am looking forward to that time but will be seeing you in June too – it will be good to see the Brinks. I do love the look of Frances and Robert. Robert is very like you were.

The weather has become much warmer again and growth has started – I let all the grass at Spittalton by Auction this year at £25-10-0 per acre the highest at any sale this year.

Will write you soon again. Take care of yourself.
Very much love,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

2nd June 1970

My dear John,
Just a note to let you know that Willie Marshall died on the 31st of May, and I am going to his funeral tomorrow at Warriston. Amy & Jessy will be all that is left of that generation.

I had lunch with Margaret and the bairns on Monday, and look like repeating it tomorrow – it is a real joy for me those visits and I am loathe to leave them – Margaret has made a good job of bringing them up – Peter John is a real wee boy and is so good natured with a real twinkle in his eye – I see him like you in many ways – wrinkles his nose when he smiles.

I see that Murray Grinrod is through to the third Round of the British Amateur Golf Championships.

The Election is causing plenty of excitement and I hear nothing else in this house, not much work done.

It is hard to say how the fruit will go this year here, but no frost and the apples are now in blossom which is very late. I am really sick of this place – not easy carrying the can all the time.

Hope all goes well with you.
Very much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan,

15th July 1970

My dear John,
Many thanks for your picture-postcard which arrived last week – your visit was all too short – you will need to take a longer leave next time.

We are still working away at the strawberries the weather has been wet, cold and miserable and not the type required to ripen the berries – funnily enough the demand is poor too – I cannot understand the reason except a lack of cash!! The Government has a hard task in front of it – the latest Trade figures bear out what Mr Heath forecast – a lousy crowd – now more strikes on our hands – will burst the export drive completely. I think the day of reckoning is on us now – we have been living in a ‘Fools Paradise’ far too long. I wonder if the Workers will ever understand?

My goodness the lodgers here are the limit never saw anybody so lazy as they are – just do nothing except for themselves. What a different house to when your Granny was here – she would have read the Riot Act if she had been around!

All are well in Edinburgh, not easy to get through meantime – I miss seeing them all, but will go as soon as I have a chance.

Hope you like the new stamps. Take care of yourself.
Very much love,

D.

P.S. Ian Lawson is back from Canada and will be going north very soon.


Drumdruils,
Bridge of Allan,

11th August 1970

My dear John,
Sorry to be so long in writing to you, but it is not easy with all the hustle and bustle of the fruit season and not much help at this end. The crops at Thornhill promised well but we had a week of bad weather in the midst of the strawberries which cut down the weight of crop. The rasps were again, but again I had to put more than usual away for Jam as we had two wet days put us back and made them too dark for the fresh fruit market.

I think this way of life has gone forever, the pickers are a sore problem, and they can dictate terms so easily, as they can read the need to get them off as well as I can. I had Eddie and Anna for a fortnight here – I do not know what I would have done without them during the currant picking – the two here are absolutely hopeless – I am sure they sigh with joy on wet days.

The Gordons are back from holiday and enjoyed every minute – I am sure your Mummy was sad to part with Gillian she is such a lovely good little soul. Margaret has made such a great job of them, such a lovely little family and all good.

The Safari Park is going great guns, it is quite a problem going that way to Thornhill now the traffic is so great – they average 1500 cars per day which is excellent.

Had Dr Welsh up on Sunday he was asking for you – a wonderful man he looks so fit and well. Sheena Marshall and her husband from Cape Town were here for tea one day – you visited them in Cape Town – he is a strange sort of bloke – plenty to say!!

I see that Taymouth Castle has been taken over by the Americans for a Co-Educational School for Americans in Britain, you will have seen it often, it is on Loch Tay at Kenmore.

I am enclosing a letter from Margaret Wedderburn. Hope you keep well. Looking forward to hear from you.

Much love,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

9th September 1970

My dear John,
I was very pleased to have your P.P.C. this morning – we get a bit anxious when we do not hear from you.

The celebrations are taking place hear to mark the 100th year of Bridge of Allan as a burgh. Mrs Archie McLean has written a book in conjunction with a University Professor (Stirling) ‘The Making of a Village’ – it is very good – she has one for you suitably inscribed!! Which I posted yesterday by sea-mail it was too heavy for even second class air mail. I hope you will like it.

We are having very poor weather lots of rain and wind which is depressing with the fruit being blown down. We are also at the harvest and started potatoes this week. The fruit prices are somewhat low imports and large crops in England.

We are living in strange times, the wage growth in this country is absolutely out of hand, values have changed completely. I cannot see how they will keep the Country on an even keel.

I was in Edinburgh last week, your house is coming along well now, and will be very nice when furnished, and it is very comfortable and nice and quiet area.

Had a visit from John of Highgate he has improved a lot but I do not know what he will be like on his own.

We have all had a bout of colds I think I picked it up from the gay Gordons last week.

Take care of yourself,
Much love.
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Bridge of Allan

25th November 1970

My dear John,
Just one more lot of stamps always be some value one day.

I am looking forward so much to the return of the clan for a wee spell – just wish I could get clear of this and spend a spell in a different clime – Just had an offer for Blairforkie Fields without planning permission £10,000 for 10 acres. I think planning permission must be just round the corner, and we await offers from two other builders – I am so sick of the whole place.

Your Uncle Bart was taken to Hospital yesterday for an x-ray – no word as yet – he is being kept in hospital.

Take care of yourself.
Fondest love,

Daddy.


The Orchard
Bridge of Allan
Tel: 3116

1st March 1971

My dear John,
I have just received Bob Scott’s address in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia. It must be well over 30 years since I saw him in Hampshire before he went to Gwelo – he was quite like Uncle Alec in looks and build at that time, and a real good chap full of fun. I am not sure of his age but he must be at least 60 now – no doubt you will be having introductions all round.

No more word about the Orchard yet. I am getting very sick of the hang-on, I only wish I could get my own back and sell the place for a factory site! I am sowing wheat where I had potatoes last year. The weather is none too good at the moment. I could do with a good spell of frost to hold back the bud, and also sharpen the price of hay – I have a fair amount to sell.

I do hope Margaret likes her puppy when it arrives tomorrow – poor wee soul I even tried to get the breeder of her last puppy when she was here last week to get full particulars to get it entered in the Kennel Club, however she may get a better one this time.

The McNaughts are getting a puppy from the Inn but not the same class as Margaret’s – I am so sorry it upset Margaret so much.

Dollar seems to be settling down quite well after the fire – I am sure the wall will be quite sound to build on once again, so very unfortunate coming at the time it did, and so near the Highers.

I am enclosing a photo of the young couple, very good of him, but it does not do Isobel justice. You can let me have it back sometime.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruils
Bridge of Allan

20th April 1971

My dear John,
It seems an age since I heard from you – I know you will be busy and time passes so quickly.

No doubt you will have heard about the departure of the Hollidays. I have never had a word of thanks from them – anyway I have been left with the baby to hold – a real dreich time. We have got rid of the fields down by Blairforkie Drive without planning authority to Ogilvie the Builders at £1000 per acre – they must know that authority will be given sometime, roughly 10 acres involved. I just wish it had been here that had gone – absolutely no future in this place.

Isobel Speed has not been very well and Mary has stopped working which is a bit depressing. I would not be surprised if they retired altogether. I would not bother trying to find anyone else the risk is too great in that way of life and with the Common Market round the corner I am better out. I should get a fair price for Spittalton being in such good order, but I feel I have had enough and more in many ways.

I had the Gordons for the day yesterday had lunch at Braco as you will see by the P.P.C. that Stuart wrote and came back here for tea. Peter was not in the best trim – still a wee bit of tummy upset – Gillian made up for him a real happy wee girl, and Catriona was still as vague as ever in the true Stuart fashion! Margaret more stream-line than ever but in good fettle. I wonder how she keeps going? I asked Jenny Murray along for lunch at Braco too.

I have a visit from Dr Welsh about one evening per week and have some real good cracks – still driving his own car in his 93rd year. Mr McDonald is building a house in Dunblane and retires from the church at the end of the year.

Everything is in a poor way in Britain now lots of unemployed and prospects poor, I often wonder how many of those layabouts at Stirling University will find jobs – the buildings are being completed quickly now – a wonderful looking place.

The Kelly trouble still continues and I can see no get together again – young Rob is off to South Africa on holiday at the expense of an old school friend who stayed in Dalrymple Crescent at one time Douglas Harper who is in advertising and doing well. I told your Aunt Mary that young Rob would fall into a sewer and come out clutching a bag of gold! He moves along with the greatest of ease.

I am looking forward to your next visit. Write soon.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruils
Bridge of Allan

6th May 1971

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter this morning and to know you were fit and well. I see you have the real Scott streak to increase your knowledge; you may well surpass them all which would delight me greatly.

I had Margaret Wedderburn on the phone last night and Marshall is now retired but not yet flitted. Sandy Wedderburn gets married in Cambridge in July and Margaret gives her house over for the honeymoon – he called here with his future wife one day I was at Thornhill so missed him. I was very sorry as I would have liked to have seen them.

The Kelly situation is no different, they have a meeting next week but no matter what happens it will not be the same again. John will be married this month and Tom and Katy are not asked – Katy has produced a second boy – Simon Andrew, a new name for the family! It is all so bitter that you begin to think there must be more in it than meets the eye – I just hear the one side. John is always very jaunty on the phone and full of wise cracks – he has not worked for many months. Young Rob returns from South Africa next week and will be best-man. He too will need to find a way of life.

I had the directors of Ogilvie the builders up on Tuesday – they were looking at the sight of Alec’s Cottage across the road for building a house of substance; but when they saw the area they decided to apply for planning for a larger area – so I hope something comes of it – I am sick of the place.

I had a snack a snack at the Woodside to-day and met up with a retired doctor and his wife whom I had not seen for three years. I used to see them quite often; they have a son with a hotel in Mull and go up from Newcastle about four times a year to see grandchildren etc


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan.

Wednesday
(summer 1971)

My dear John,
I am so sorry to be so very long in writing, but I have been very busy and I probably find the phone too handy. I have just put a call through to you but the lines appear to be very busy.

I am up to the eyes in fruit at the moment, at Thornhill things more smoothly – I should think by tonight they will have passed the £1000 mark at the door, a record, not all in cash by any means, but no doubt the best way to dispose of fruit. This is the bug-bear here. I wish I had never seen the place – just impossible and soul destroying – I wish a move could be made soon to get it off my hands.

I was in Edinburgh on Sunday and found everyone hale and hearty – you have certainly done them well – I just hope Stuart realises just how much.

I was speaking to Margaret tonight and she was going to Orchard Rd to meet some American friends of Aunt Maud and they phoned me last week but I was at Thornhill at the height of the Rasps at the time. I have supplied quite a few to Carluke for jam and they wanted to get the Canning-Rasps from the Clyde to get them fresher – now they wish they had taken my offer of Canning Rasps as they have got so few as the market price for fresh rasps was better. They will live and learn. I hope to move a lot of plums to them and to another factory in Falkirk – I hate the thought of the plum season here! The lodgers are about useless – he certainly is so. Gustav has decided to stay in Scotland and that has been great – satisfactory to the Hollidays.

Must dash and get this away for first-day-cover.

Very much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruils
Bridge of Allan

19th August 1971

My dear John,
The biz is now over on a disappointing Soft fruit season, drought and rain playing the devil with Strawberries and Rasps and now the plum time comes along in a few days not anything to look forward to.

It was an unfortunate holiday in the north for your mother but she is making a quick recovery – not just as bad as first thought.

You would have had a few cards the time the Gordons were here, they are a great bunch. I am feeling lonely without them. I think they were the better of staying here than some miserable hotel by the sea – Margaret is a clever wee lass, and Gustav was quite a help and Anna came along to help at times. I was pleased to see Margaret going back looking so well. I think Stuart is putting on more beef than ever – He shall not be moved!!!

The children were very good – lovely children. You will see a difference in Gillian. She is a lass of some purpose – we were great pals. A real mind of her own.

We were at the cottage at Loch Awe one day – it is a lovely position, and in good weather it will be wonderful – rooms just a bit small for a wet spell, but you could always use the lounge in the hotel for a coffee and read your papers – it is open all year, and very nice people. I prefer a bit more to the West but that means a longer journey.

This country of ours is getting into a bit of a state. I think the whole world is the same, just wonder what will change things. I am so tired of this way of life and I think I will need to do something to get out of it all, absolutely hopeless. Just wish you were coming back sooner.

I will enclose Margaret Wedderburn’s letter which will give you family news.

Just hope you are fit and well.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

25th May 1971

My dear John,
It seems an age now since we heard from you but no doubt you will be busy with affairs of State.

I was in Edinburgh yesterday and had lunch with your Mummy and Daphne Taylor at the Scotia Hotel – very good lunch indeed and not too expensive – prices are soaring for food, indeed for everything. Daphne is a character in her 79th year really remarkable. She looks 15 years younger and so full of beans. Your Mummy was in good fettle and hearing all the news.

I have had no word by letter from the Hollidays since they left – I hear through the Kellys that Bart gets another operation.

John and Janus were married on Saturday and everything appears to have gone well although Stuart did not enjoy it very much – I think he knew very few people. The young couple are off to South of Ireland for a week.

John Kelly has got a job with a firm of Engineers as Personal Assistant to the Managing Director that is all the statement made! The rift is still in the family so I do not know what is going to happen – young Rob is back home and was best man at the wedding. He has an interview for the Foreign Office in a fortnight, so let’s hope he gets fixed.

I just wish you were nearer. I really intend to get out of all this, it is all SO soul destroying and I see no future. I really have nobody to discuss it with and I cannot go on throwing money away. So easy for the Hollidays and Kellys. I should really have got out when I sold the Orchard. I am sure Spittalton will make a big price, it is in good condition, and never has been starved like here. It is really getting me down and when I should be getting it easier. I find the worry of it all is telling its tale – I am completely off my sleep – nothing worse. If I could see any future I would gladly carry on, but I have been doing this so long and seeing my money diminish.

I had Mr McDonald up last night for a chat lasting 90 minutes – you never weary when he is around – I see he has left his hat so I shall have to pop in with it sometime.

We have had wonderful weather, but today it is back to the cold and wet again. It was lovely at Thorburn Road yesterday, bright sunshine and your house and garden looking spic and span, and the laburnum coming out and the plink clematis draped over the fence in full bloom. It was really lovely.

The Gordons were all in good fettle with Catriona top of her class at reading – Peter a dear wee boy and the wee one a real menace on her feet.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Much love,
Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

1st July 1971

My dear John,
Many thanks for your card which arrived on my birthday as did the ones from Helen and family.

I have been having a rough time here with the water supply being polluted from Pendreich – I have mother’s lawyer on the job, as the supply was guaranteed at the time of purchase of Drumdruils, and confirmed when the Hon Bernard Bruce bought Pendreich ten years ago. We cannot use the water for anything except the W.C. and I have had a fortnight already bringing water by container – soul destroying. I wish I had never seen the place again.

We started the strawberries on Monday but we have had comparatively few so far, needing more soon – the quality is good – strange Catriona is the only one of the small fry to like them – no doubt they will learn.

I was up seeing Jenny Murray and Sheila one evening, they had enjoyed the holiday in Jersey and looked fit but it had been too cold for a dip in the sea. Sandy is back from Hong Kong and goes to Ireland now.

Must go to Thornhill now. Enclose letters of contact. Take care of yourself.

Much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

5th October 1971

My dear John,
I was very pleased to have your card last week – a lovely picture.

I am still at the fruit and will be for some time, almost impossible to get workers, even with all the unemployed, really soul destroying in every way – I must get out of this at an early date, absolutely no future.

I have had the Gordons through most Sundays. The wee ones are growing fast and a real treat to have them with me. Each one is different and quite characters, I just wish we could see the Brinks more often.

I am getting Stirling Carriers to run some of your household goods up to Loch Awe next week. It will be a great situation, I gather the hotel is closing for the winter this year, quite a pity, would always be handy.

I have never had the Kelly clan here since the Hollidays departed and no word from them either.

Rob Kelly’s vintage car, stored here for two years has suddenly had I.R.A. painted in large white letters along each side – he will be real furious.

I am enclosing some snaps taken when the family were here for a week.

Take care of yourself,
Very much love.

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

23rd November 1971

My dear John,
Just discovered this is the only writing paper I have in the house – I got these little notelets from a Convent in Falkirk.

I was so delighted to hear you would be home soon. Seems such an age since you were here – just hope you may have a fair time at home. I notice in the papers today that things are a little better in your corner of the world.

I was through in Edinburgh yesterday the first time for a long time and all were well. Had lunch with your Mummy and spent a while with the Gordons later – they are all in the midst of colds – I did not see Stuart.

I see your friend Wilkinson has got a new appointment and enclose the cutting from the Courier which explains everything.

The Moffats are not staying long in Scotland – a great pity they went so far from friends – the son-in-law could leave New Zealand at anytime and then where would they be?

We have had a spell of rough weather but the snow has started to go away but roads are still very nasty.

You would know that Smedley Canners had been taken over by the Imperial Tobacco Company some time ago – they have closed the Dundee factory and now have only the Blairgowrie Factory in Scotland – you will see by the enclosure they have sold the fruit farm connected with the factories – a sign of the times.

I am just going to Stirling to post some letters to catch the last mail. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

10th April 1972

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter regarding the Manse at Kilchrenan, Argyll – I went up yesterday on my own but I doubt this is no good for you. I called at the local store to find out anything and was informed they were expecting over £12,000 for it – they would not voice an opinion about it, good or bad – in case I would turn it over to the Minister I think – but they did say ‘see what the minister has to say about the dampness!!’ I left the store and went fully half a mile on I looked down on the Manse – 15 chimneys a rambling old house – the extra land was full of old scrub trees, and many trees lying since the big storm. I did not go down; I saw it was out of the question. Taynuilt would be the nearest place for Tradesmen and it would cost a fortune to do anything – just think of heating alone – and the road would have to be made-up at your expense. No garden just hillside – a lovely view, but so has the cottage. The man at the store said houses were very expensive in that area; a Roadman’s house had been sold and fetched £3,500 – just nothing to look at.

Wait till you get home, no more thinking about property and when you think, try somewhere on the Gulf Stream a wee bit west of Loch Awe.

The garden you mentioned was open for the day yesterday strangely enough. I went down but the rain came in torrents, everything was a quagmire – a lot of bloom of all kinds sheltered by blocks of trees on all sides. I saw no one – it belongs to one of the Browns, the shipbuilders. It would really be lovely on a good day. I had lunch at this hotel on the P.P.C. a lovely spot about 2 miles away very expensive – must be for the fishing. I cannot understand how it can carry on and get the prices – the lowest price is £3.50p per night, breakfast an extra 45p!!

I met Ian Hamilton the Advocate (Stone of Destiny man) on the booze he told me he had just been appointed Custodian of the J.M. Barrie cottage at Kirriemuir – he considers it a great challenge!! Poor soul, he said he was glad to get out of Zambia.

I see what you say about staying another year it will probably pay you well so to do.

I had a letter from your Mummy today, she seems to be enjoying Australia – I think Robert will be quite a one! I think she would like a few lines from you soon – do your best. I am always pleased to hear too but know it is not easy.

I looked in at the window of your cottage at Loch Awe all looked in order – quite a good show of Daffs we planted that day. The Gordons enjoyed the wee break at Loch Awe the weather was none too good – I enjoyed them being here, Gillian is going to be a wee smart one as sharp as a needle.

I see the off-shore Island has been having some fireworks!!

Hope you keep fit and well.
Much love.
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

18th April 1972

My dear John,
Just thought I would send you on these prints taken with my little camera – just hope it does not make you home-sick – they are very good taken on a lovely day – I have more but the Gordons have not seen them yet, but I will send them on later to you and Helen. A very wonderful view – Tanzania has nothing on this view. It’s good of the three wee ones – something you will be proud to show to your friends.

We are having a bit of railway trouble here – I cannot see how this country can carry on with all the strife and wage demands.

I have got Anna out working just now; she is working short time so it is quite handy for me and her too. We are having better weather again just hope it lasts.

I look forward to hear from you.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

21st April 1972

My dear John,
I am enclosing a few more snaps for you some of Loch Awe side which are really very good, the sun makes a difference when it shines – Margaret and the children are excellent – they were taken by my camera so I hope you like them.

I never knew I was so old looking till I saw the one with the children and myself at Braco. I am expecting the Gordons for the day on Sunday – I hope Stuart has more to say for himself, heavy going to say the least, but I always have Margaret and the children. Just wish I could see the Brinks and yourself.

Expecting a note from you soon. Take care of yourself.

Much love,
Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

7th June 1972

My dear John,
I was very pleased to get your letter this morning, it seems a long time since I heard from you – it is good that your mother is joining you this week, it will be good for you to have one of your own around with you for a while – you are long enough on your own.

I am sending this note to Arusha as I am not sure if you will be back to Kampala for a while.

I was in Edinburgh at the weekend ‘Baby Sitting’ and managed to cope quite well – Catriona had a wee bout of earache but is back to usual now. Never a dull moment at Buckstone Dell.

Quite a bit of interest being shown in Drumdruils at the moment – planning is the problem. I will keep you informed. Varney the builders are very keen on 40 acres. I wish I could see it move. I am getting very tired of it all now – can do nothing but lose money on it. I could do to get out of it all now – I feel I have had more than enough and the future holds little for fruit in this country. I will keep you informed of any move if you let me know where to write from time to time. The vultures in Surrey and in a lesser degree, Edinburgh will be taking wing – I had a letter from John Kelly about ten days ago giving me his considered opinion what to do!! Which I have ignored as he has nothing to do with the matter. I only wish you were here just now – so easy for the Hollidays and Kellys to speak when they are not putting anything into the place to keep it going – I am getting really tired now.

I do hope the weather improves for your mother’s stay with you – the trip will have done her good, like Mrs Cadun to Granny “you get many a fine hurl.”

Take care of yourself,
Fondest love to both,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

12th June 1972

My dear John,
You will now have your mother with you for a wee while which will do you a lot of good and you will be all the better for her presence – I hope she had a good journey from Australia but I will write soon.

I am enclosing an offer from Messrs Varney for 40 acres of Drumdruils a good price if planning permission comes along – Varney appears to think it should come – I know Mr Burgoynes very well one of the Senior Partners in the Law Firm – he also acted for Weir and I got on well with him, in fact he looked at the house at the Orchard for himself at one time. David Webster has highlighted the conditions as those in the offer and sets a rigid time for them to apply. I wish it was all sealed and settled. It is a real nightmare for me – I just want to get out of it all, it is all so hopeless, and the Common Market will make things worse.

I got a letter from John Kelly giving me his considered opinion about Drumdruils which I have ignored he does not have anything to do with it, and it is my money that is being lost in the meantime. Your Aunt Mary has phoned several times but I have said nothing about John’s letter.

You might send the letter and offer back to me in case I need it for reference.

I hope and pray this goes through, will write soon, let me know what you think.
Very much love to you both,
Yours aye,

Daddy.

The Gordons are all well coming here for the day on Sunday.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

7th July 1972

My dear John,
I hope you got my birthday card and book in time for your birthday; it was a new book on Scottish Lochs by Tom Weir and should be very good. I also left a book on St Andrews with your Mummy in Edinburgh for you too.

Your Mummy was, or rather is, looking well, but a bit tired after her long journeys – a wee while at Loch Awe will help her get back to her usual. I think she had a tummy upset but the Edinburgh doctors say they will have cured ere long.

We are having a very bad spell of weather the worst I have seen it and before the fruit season. I have picked only a few gooseberries and strawberries are looking really miserable – I only hope I get a surprise in the end – it is time I was out of it all – I just wish you were here – I expected a wee note from you with your views and advice. To get planning is a lot of nonsense – houses are the only thing you can do with land like this, and it would be no loss to the country covering this area with houses. I feel I have had more than enough; I get no chance to relax. I have really lost all interest in fruit now; we have never had a fair crack of the whip like farming.

You will see by the cutting that our old doctor has departed this life – he will be sadly missed. I know I will miss him a lot coming in each week, I just wish you had seen him the last time you were home – he was always so interested in you and your doings. We will never see his like again.

I have Eddie here on his fortnight’s holiday. We have had the water polluted once again. I doubt they will need to put in Mains water. I will write again soon. I am just taking Eddie to the bus and will post this letter.

Very much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

7th August 1972

My dear Constance,
I had this letter from Helen this morning and intended Margaret to take it through to you, but she had a lot to do and forgot to take it, not really much news just the usual problems.

I am missing the Gordon bairns a lot already they are a good wee bunch, each different, but all sweet wee souls.

We are not having the best of weather for the Rasps and I am really sick of everything – Soul destroying to try and cope with workers each and every day.

I just wish John was around. I am needing him around. Hope you got a good report about your eyes today.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Rab.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

20th November 1972

My dear John,
Many thanks for your letter which came this morning – I am very pleased you are keeping fit and well – I am feeling much better myself – I do not know what they did the last time I was in hospital, but I was under dope for over two hours and feel quite different and I am getting the spring back in my step again.

Mr Dickson takes over Spittalton on the 28th of November – he is highly pleased to get the place as it runs into his own place so well.

I had John of Highgate for the day about 10 days ago – he was in his usual form –he was going to St Andrews for a days golf, but did not intend to see Sandy not very cousinly like. I enclose a letter with some news from Margaret Wedderburn which will keep you up to date.

It has got much colder here and yesterday was our wettest day for many weeks, mostly snow and sleet.

I will drop you a note sometime soon.
Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

31st December 1972

My dear John,
So pleased to get your card to-day and to hear your finger was getting better. I was delighted to hear you have an interview in Europe in the near future, and wish you well when it comes along.

The Gordons have had a bad time with colds and flu over Christmas and the New Year and your mother has had more than enough to do. Margaret has had the worst go but father Stuart has been at a low ebb!!! Your mother and Catriona have weathered the storm – I am going through to see them again tomorrow. So the festive season has been somewhat of a flop.

I am glad Helen sent you a photograph of the children – I got two, one of the group and one of Robert who I think is so like you at that age.

I will be seeing Mr Smith later in the week and will explain to him – I got a bottle of Chivas Royal whisky from him – the first whisky I have had from the bank since Bert Flockhart reigned supreme here!

Please let me know about that book which I promised you – give me particulars of the one you want.

Take care of yourself – I look forward to hear from you.

Much love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

18th April 1973

My dear John,
Enclosed a few paper cuttings from today’s paper no doubt you will have had the paper before this arrives.

Had Duncan Clark’s cousin up yesterday wanting grazing for two ponies – he is in company with the Wilsons of Dollar and some others to convert —– he has just bought a house for £35,000 in Dunblane, money seems to flow freely, his wife was the daughter of Jeffrey in Raploch who had the filling station I went to years ago.

I got a very good batch of heathers for your garden also a few shrubs. I will take a turn up sometime soon and have a real look around.

Not feeling too well these days I am sure it is just the strain of this place on my nerves.

Will write soon,
Much love,

D.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

2nd May 1973

My dear John,
Seems an age since I sent you a few lines, but you are in my mind every day. I wish I saw you in Europe, but no doubt that will come along.

I have not managed up to Grantown so far, and also pleased that not too much planting has been done this season, as we have had very late frosts and quite a vast amount of damage has been done to established gardens at Crarae and elsewhere in the West. I sent up quite a few bushes and trees and about five dozen mixed heathers – once again it is not easy to procure good trees as they have been taken up with the campaign “Plant a Tree for 73” to help the countryside – it will be easier by next year when all that is over – most of the trees come from Holland. I hope later to get some from Crarae and I will get first class Rhododendrons and Azaleas – the hardy type from Cox of Glendoick near Perth – I will be guided by him as to the best varieties for your part of the country – he has travelled all over the world collecting seed and I am sure he has the best in the world.

I had great fun hearing the Gordons making a tape recording for Australia – Margaret would say ‘come along Gillian’ is now going to say something she would sing “You’re my long haired lover from Liverpool.” I was suggesting to Helen it might do instead of God Save the Queen – which they intend to drop!

I have been watching with great interest on TV ‘The Source of the Nile” base on Cunningham and Starkey (?) – it is very interesting, and much of your country comes into the film – wild wild country.

You will have heard that young Rob is now engaged to Helen (forget her name) a Doctor’s daughter from Durham and he brought her through for lunch a very nice girl – the best of the lot – he thinks he may be sent to Kenya later in the year – so you will have company!! He is greatly improved both hair wise and clothes wise.

I am greatly taken with the Renault car – not much in its looks, but cheap to run 1100 Engine, 40-miles to the gallon very smooth and silent car. I had a call from Duncan Monteith two days ago he also has a Renault as has his wife – she supervises the staffing of cleaners in most of Forfarshire schools – he was through for an interview for a job at Stirling High but did not get the job – I think St Andrews would be better for him as long as the children are at school, Sarah Jane is now 17 and the younger Mary Ann is as tall as her mother!

Nothing to report about Drumdruils so far, I am afraid I have lost all taste for John, if I ever had any. John is now Sales Manager for the new company John Kelly & Sons (Edinburgh) Ltd. I hear they had a big stand at the Trade Show in Glasgow and were extremely busy.

I called on Tom one day I was in Edinburgh some time ago, but he was on holiday in Jersey by himself for ten days rest.

I had the Gordons here for a week never a dull moment, they are a lovely family, and Gillian is great pals with me meantime.

Moira Forrest was over at St Fillans for a fortnight with her youngest boy – she is a very lovely girl and all the poise in the world. She asked me out from dinner with Jenny and Sheila – the place was well filled and I could see all eyes move wherever she went. It must have cost her a lot even the meal Jenny and Sheila chose all the prize dishes!! And drinks! Finishing up with Brandy.

We had quite a heavy fall of snow on 30th April about 4 inches but it is nearly away again.

Hope to hear from you some day soon.
Much love,
Yours aye,

D.


Bridge of Allan

Thursday.
(summer 1973)

My dear John,
I was delighted to get your letter on returning to-night, and so pleased to note the tribute you paid to Uncle Bobbie. He was a very good fellow, and got so very much kinder and friendlier as he matured – I am so glad his family managed to visit him during the last months of his life, not that they thought anything wrong with him. So one of each family has died with heart condition: Bobbie, Susie, and Jimmy Prentice.

I have sent you a new type of aertex shirt for your birthday, it is supposed than the other shirts I used to send you – I do hope so. I sent away a silver mug to my wee namesake en route to Australia, it will arrive in plenty time.

Still got my problems here a daily visit to Stirling starts to walk and usually gets a kind motorist to give the old man a lift!! Today he had gone down to get his sick relief and went to cash it in Stirling, but had to return to B of A as it was made out to that Post Office – he arrived back after getting a lift from a kind lady, discovered he had not got his cigarettes, so phoned for a taxi – makes me furious.

I will need to come to some arrangement with them as I have this headache at Drumdruils to look after.

I am going to the Highland Show one day with Rob Moffat, I hope the daughter comes she is good fun compared with mother Moffat.

I will be with Margaret for a couple of nights. I will enjoy being with Catriona and the wee lad – she is such a sweet wee girl – each time she comes here I have to give her a bath before she leaves at night. I am sorry not to see the Brinks for such a long time – I think the photographs of the Brinks will be the same as I got last week – they are very good. Frances has got the conscious look that her mother had at the same age. She is a real able lass Helen. I am so very proud of all the family.

I will be giving Lachie and Betty a phone to-night to see how things go. I nearly forgot to tell you John of Highgate was at the top of the poll as a Tory in a tough quarter of London. I think he is shattered as he never thought he would do anything – he even had London Scottish players as body guards in case of trouble. So one more Scott goes into politics!

I am so glad you are having a much needed break – take care of yourself.

Fondest love,
Yours aye,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

12th September 1973

My dear John,
Just one more lot of stamps for your collection – hope they will be some value later.

Had lunch with your Mummy and Gillian at the Woodside en route to Loch Awe both in good fettle. Gillian’s great word is now ‘yep’ I do not know if she got it from Colinton or Australia!!

Having a bottle with Weir – your Aunty Deety has sent him a stinker – the Kellys are humbugs. Just wish you were back here but have good backing from David Webster (who is now on holiday) also Mr Smith the banker – he cools me down or I would say more.

Hope to hear from you soon.
Much love.

D.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

16th August 1974

My dear John,
Sorry to be so long in writing, just cannot settle to anything this last month or two – I was in Edinburgh this week had lunch with Stuart, and then up to see the family all very bright and looking well – the spell at Grantown did them a lot of good.

I think I told you that David McNaught had died – I called in to see them one day last week and was telling them about your various houses – to-day I got a letter from Mrs McNaught asking about the Grantown House for Isobel and the minister husband – you may have others booked – but you can write and tell her – they will have plenty of cash I would say.

Margaret has been rushing me on about Australia, and I mean to go as soon as possible – I never was keen on spending money on myself. I was speaking to your mother last night she is having a good holiday although yesterday had been very wet. She had been in touch with Betty and Lochie and is going to see them.

We are a troubled World now – Greed is the cause of all.

Hope to hear from you soon,
Very much love,

Daddy.


Drumdruills
Bridge of Allan

21st August 1974

My dear John,
Many thanks for your picture-postcard from Lisbon – you have some grand hurls. Your mother had a grand holiday in South Devon, but will enclose her letter.

You will now be back in Brussels. I enclose a paper cutting sent by your mother through Jessy Marshall about Angus Ogilvy – on Monday a Helicopter went round the place a few times and I know not why. Landed on the top grass fields and took off again – they may have been taking photographs who knows. I will be sad but glad to stop off in South Australia, away from it all, I have had enough.

I had the Gordons through on Saturday – said Stuart I think we should pick a lot of eggs. He is going to miss me – I never had a hand out like they have had – may ever.

I was at Dalrymple Crescent last week. John and young Rob were never mentioned or Drumdruills. I hope you can come early in September to see what you would like or what would suit you. I am having John Foster who does valuations and a very fine man to check over. I will see to all you want.

I hope you are feeling lots better.
Much love,

Daddy.

P.S. Will write soon
P.P.S Just had Mrs Angus Ogilvy up with her children for a wee walk round – I am so glad they got the place.


23 Highland Drive,
Bellvue Heights,
Adelaide.

Date not recorded ‘Tuesday’
(late 1974 I think)

My Dear Constance,
I was very pleased to get your letter today, also the pills and various papers – you certainly had a run around with John – I am so sorry I missed him.

I do not know how Helen copes with all she has to do. She has so many people in for meals – some I like but others I detest but say nothing – I think she notices how I feel.

They have been making jam, apricot and plum, and I just picked two more buckets of plums, and as I write, I can hear Frances telling her mother she wants to pick plums, but I can see that lasting a few minutes. Fiona is my wee sweet. She goes to the shop with me every day, and is much admired everywhere she goes.

This Flinders University has a reputation second to Stirling – they went through a grim time, and like Stirling no money is spared. I am sure Neil is left in his views though he says little about it – my goodness he was lucky to get Helen.

I have taken a great interest in the cricket and met Grieg and Tilmers in Adelaide and got signatures – I sent them to Madite, as she is one of our few who follows cricket, and two of the best in this year’s tour.

Today we had the children at one of the Parks where a lot of old agricultural implements are displayed. Robert tore the seat out of his pants and had to go and get a pair in Woolworths! They are good children.

This is a lovely day around 26 and getting hotter – I think I will take Fiona a wee walk in her little pram. I love the glint in her eyes.

Now I must go. Will write soon.

Much love,
Rab.


23 Highland Drive,
Bellvue Heights,
Adelaide 5050

My dear John,
I am so sorry to be so long in writing, somehow I just cannot settle. I am being well done by – all so kind and take me around a lot – my memory is my only failing. They have many laughs as I lose my way in the house.

The children are some bunch all different. Frances somewhat spoilt and whines a lot – Robert I think will be very bright yet, but as wild as you make them – a streak of Uncle Alec about him with the same flashing eyes. David a good wee boy but that Australian whinge grates on me a lot so high pitched. Fiona a wee devil but a wee pet, she goes to the shops every morning with me. She is getting very like me in looks, but she will be tiny!

They had a swimming pool for Christmas and it has done them a lot of good – Robert will be a strong swimmer yet – he took to the water like a fish. Frances is fairly good too – David timid a bit like me. Fiona just loves going round with Helen holding her.

The weather has been wonderful – too hot at times but they have air-conditioning in the family room which makes all the difference. It is a very nice house and garden, but I do not like the soil, but I have been surprised with the crops, all very good, but it is absolute murder to work 2 inches of top-soil, 5 inches of clay, and boulder, clay or rock below that. I picked most of the fruit which has been bottled, as have a lot of tomatoes, as well as tomato juice.

I do not know how Britain is going to work out and it is getting almost as bad here. Strikes at the car plants in Adelaide and most of the cars selling are from Japan who have made big cuts in prices.

I do not know exactly when I will be going back – I intended returning about the end of February but Helen and Neil think I should delay till the cold weather is over – they are terribly kind. The cost of living here is a lot less than Britain in most things. I have just heard that sugar is 28 cents for 2lbs, it was about 10p when I left.

Thank you very much for all the papers, just too good of you – you could cut it down to a Monday Glasgow Herald a week – they take about 2 months to come – yesterday I got twelve copies.

Just been to lunch, David goes to Kindy every morning and when he was finishing lunch he sits on a form at the table, he was dreaming and fell on his back, luckily he took it as a great joke, and could hardly get up for laughing.

Just heard today that Cyril Grant had died suddenly, he has not been too well for a while. I did a lot in potatoes with him – he was quite a bit younger than me – very decent chap with one son and no use – a real guarded type who was caught up with drugs. He was at Aunt Grange and Strathallan but was expelled when about 15 from Strathallan.

I expect to make a few visits in the south on the way back: Hollidays – Jean – John Scott and Marshall.

I left a cheque or two with Stuart to pay any odd bill that came in – I also told him he could have a ladder almost new costing about £20 – hardly ever used – he said will Carluke people not be coming this way – I said no special journey for that get a hold of something – I notice the bill had been paid £4 at my expense! He has some nerve.

I will drop a note soon again. Take care of yourself.

Much love,

Daddy.

Was very amused with Bobby Scott’s exploits. I remember them well. I sent it on to Lindsay & Maureen who I am sure will be greatly amused – I will get it back again.


23 Highland Drive,
Bellvue Heights,
Adelaide.
5050

March 1975

KELLY.
Suddenly at home 9 Dalrymple Crescent, Edinburgh on the 23rd 
February 1975. ROBERT FORREST KELLY, dear husband of Mary, 
and father of Tom, John and Rob. Service at Mortonhall 
Crematorium on Wednesday 26th February at 2pm to which all 
friends are invited (Family flowers only, no letters please.)

My dear Constance,
It came as quite a shock when I got your letter yesterday to hear about the death of Rob. On seeing him last time I thought or rather felt I should be away before him. He has suffered a lot for quite a while – I was very surprised that no reference had been made in the papers about his death, when you think of so many who have a great write up for doing less than nothing.

Rob was a personality, and none of the boys show any sign of following with his ready wit. He wrote many articles for Chambers journal and quite a few other magazines and papers – it was quite unfortunate that he gave up the Varsity and went into the firm.

As a letter writer few could equal him – I had a letter from him just before I left and his hand was as steady as the best of writers. Just one more phase in life gone – how he would have loved to see that game against Wales. He had a lot of friends amongst the Welsh and kept up with them over the years. I just wonder what will happen to Mary – perhaps the wee diplomat will take her to Kenya for a spell.

I am glad you see weir like me. I had no time for him from the first look. I had been in Thornhill and on returning found a car in the yard – when I went into the house I met John K. and Weir coming down the stairs. Some nerve. They called John K. the ‘lang headed one’ at home. I hate his silly laugh and down the nose look to me. Tom was far and away the best – enough of the Kellys.

Helen has just taken Fiona away to her dancing class – a neat wee figure all in black with her almost blonde hair – we have had so much sun – and she is a character, and can put the fear of death on David if he takes any of her toys. The whole family are well – all looking in the pink – we do get quite a bit of feet stamping and doors closed ever so quietly with a bang.

We had a note from Margaret yesterday with photographs of the Gay Gordons – very good, a wee bit dark, but they are all looking well – I think Gillian is a lot slimmer and lost her baby fat – they all look well including Peter with his one tusk.

I expect to leave here in about a fortnight, just after Robert’s birthday. Helen wants me to go by Perth, but that means paying a bit more in fare. I never ever thought I would spend so much on myself. They have looked after me well. Will write soon.

Much love to all,

Rab.


c/o Gordon
38 Bonaly Avenue,
Edinburgh EH13

10th July 1975

Mr John G. Scott,
European Residences,
77 Rue Archimedes,
Brussels. 1040

My Dear John,
It was good to hear from you today – You will certainly have a long trek before Xmas. We have had a good spell of weather in Edinburgh, but not so good at Lochawe. They are lucky to have such a lovely house to spend a holiday. It is good to have Stuart away out the road with all his moans about the Manager. I get terribly bored with all the talk and have a feeling he should be well enough fixed to do some little payment for the children. It is going to be quite a lot to School these children and no doubt fees will go up quite a bit fore long – he just takes everything for granted – pennies from heaven.

I am still not feeling over good – but surely I will be back to normal before long.

I am staying at Dalrymple Crescent at the moment – plenty of dogs running around – John should get them way out of here – far too much for your Aunt Mary to exercise. She may go out to Kenya later in the year with John and Janus. They have lots of folk coming and going here all the time.

I will write again later,

Much love Daddy.


38 Bonaly Avenue,
Colinton,
Edinburgh.
No date but probably July 1975

My Dear John,
I am late as usual getting your present away – I hope you will enjoy it. McVicar played Rugby for Stirling County years ago – he was and is a great character – I am looking around for something more.

Stuart’s aunt and cousin were here last night for coffee. I did not know till the last minute. I found we had very low in Spirits, so phoned your mother and she brought the best part of half-a-bottle. Stuart did the host and poured it out and left. Wish you had seen your mother’s face – if he had paid for it – would have been a different matter – he is a real idiot.

I am seeing David Webster must work about the children going to Watson’s – they will need to do a share of the paying – he has around £4000 a year, and one never knows the end of the story on the value of money – and I have the Brinks and yourself and your mother to think about. He is a real Clown, thinks it is pennies from heaven. I cannot stay here for much longer he gets me down all his bleet about the Manager. I do not know why the Manager does not spell it out to him – after all you are not made a Colonel in the Army for nothing. Wee Margaret likes his story and takes it all in.

Just wonder if you have been to Africa again – drop a line soon lets us know how things go. Still have notion of going back to Bridge of Allan. Looking forward to your visit later and getting away for a spell. Take care of yourself – this will be light reading for you – you will enjoy.

Very much love

Daddy.