No’ bad for a wee lad

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - COMMENT -

“As part of the BBC’s One Show trib­ute to Diana on the an­niver­sary of her funeral, they did a fea­ture on four peo­ple who had con­trib­uted in some way to the event,” says Tom Dolan of St An­drews.

“Craigie read­ers may have de­tected the lo­cal ac­cent of one of the men in­ter­viewed. He was for­mer Dundee man, Alec Brown. Alec is a piano tuner, and was re­spon­si­ble for pre­par­ing the piano which was played by El­ton John dur­ing the funeral cer­e­mony in West­min­ster Abbey.

“Alec’s ser­vices are much sought af­ter through­out London, as hewasem­ployed for many years by the BBC, and was re­spon­si­ble for the prepa­ra­tion of the pi­anos used on ev­ery show for the broad­caster. The num­ber of celebri­ties he has en­coun­tered in his ca­reer has prob­a­bly caused him to lose count. Alec can also list Buck­ing­ham Palace as one on his ‘job list’.

“In 1967 Alec set off to London with wife Gla­dys and the first­born of his daugh­ters, Me­lanie. Kelly, who was born in London, came later. Soon af­ter he ar­rived down south, he was re­united with his great friend from their Dundee past, Pat Mur­ray. Pat and Alec had am­bi­tions to get their song­writ­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion up and run­ning in the mu­sic scene that was London.

“Their for­tunes quickly took a strange turn, and they found them­selves writ­ing com­edy scripts which brought much suc­cess to them with such names as the Two Ron­nies, Mike Reid, and Marti Caine, among others. Sadly, the col­lab­o­ra­tion ended with Pat’s very sud­den death.

“Alec, or Eck as Gla­dys calls him, started his ca­reer as a trainee piano tuner and tech­ni­cian with Larg’s Mu­sic­sellers in White­hall Street in Dundee, and re­flect­ing back on his 77 years, he says: ‘No’ bad for a wee lad born three stairs up in a Dundee ten­e­ment to make it to Buck­ing­ham Palace.’”

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