More ‘Roamerisms’ from the mid 1980s
I felt suitably uplifted when I saw a Fort William contractor on his knees outside the church he attends – until I realised he was replacing a window frame.
The route march for council officers began on Monday. In inclement weather they made their way, walking, from the Transport Oval Car Park to Lochaber House. Just like us ordinary mortals, in fact. I hear, however, there has been a galling little hitch because Highland Region hasn’t yet got its bollards under control and that, horror of horrors, tourists’ cars have been parking in the hallowed spaces.
Here is the tale of the teabag. Once upon a time it was possible to buy tea – there were no teabags in those days – at the High Street premises of KK’s, McDonald Brothers, Coopers, Liptons, Riddlers, MacLennans, Hughie MacGillivrays, MacEwen’s and the Co- operative. An Gearasdan locals will recall three of these establishments were at the West End. Last week, however, with the West End now bereft of grocers’ shops, an elderly lady went into the Arts and Crafts emporium, sighted some ‘Souvenir Teabags’, and asked, ‘Are these the only teabags you have?’ Jimmy replied, ‘ Yes, but I’ll let you have half a dozen of our own to keep you going. Have you run out completely?’ Then came a response which will sound as astonishing to you as it did to me. ‘ We’re staying at a hotel miles out of town and we’ve been told by the staff that they’re only allowed to put out one teabag per room per day’. At least she left the Arts and Crafts with enough free teabags to last a week – by the standards of one Lochaber hotel!
Two likely lads from Glasgow were up here as guests at a wedding at the weekend. In the early hours, after the reception, they hailed a taxi to take them to their digs at Lundavra. But they couldn’t remember the address where they had left their suitcases. They searched in vain, then flagged down another taxi. The driver was unable to help them in their quest, but he felt so sorry for the lads that he offered to put them up for the rest of the night. Which explains why, later in the day, the taxi driver’s mum was seen carrying out a tray of tea and toast to the taxi parked outside her door!
How about this for the ‘hair of the dog’? A certain contractor south of Corran – there are quite a few of them down that way – was called out by his local hotel to attend to a late night emergency. Earlier, he had treated himself to one or two ‘small sensations’ so he walked to the hotel, accompanied by faithful doggy friend. Job completed, contractor wended his way home. In the morning he got up to let the dog out. No dog to be seen. Contractor opens the back door and there’s his dog, more shaking its head than wagging its tail. It had found its own way home from the hotel after its master had left it there all night.
I reckon we now need a horse warden in Lochaber. Judging by the amount of manure festooning the pavements at places such as Inverlochy road end and Achintore Beag, there is a requirement for an equine equerry. The by-product could be sold to the council’s gardening squad. Horse Guards Parade hasn’t a lookin compared to the amount of ‘cac’ in and around the Fort.
I see the Sunday Post credited Fort’s goal against Elgin City to John Dennison instead of colleague Gary Dunlop, who is a butcher to trade. As John himself says: ‘It’s obvious the paper doesn’t know the difference between Dennison and venison.’
Ice- cream van convoy dotting about Lochaber. Quite interesting to see – and hear – them hunting in pairs. Stop us – and buy two.
There’s a new ‘runabout’ ticket for the Mallaig Sunday excursions. Passengers can now board the train at Loch Eil Outward Bound Station after undergoing the extensive courses at the centre. Thus equipped they’ll be able to tackle the assault course at Mallaig of catwalk, buffers and fence to enable them to get in to Seagull City. Meanwhile, three lassies from Newcastle came back to the Fort on the steam train after completing the Krypton Factor poser as to how to get into Mallaig Station. They said: ‘ We were so late in figuring it out they should rename Mallaig as Manyana.’
The £10 winner of the Glasgow Herald’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcard competition is a Ballachulish man. The card was captioned: ‘All the Glory of Fort William Bus Station on a Dull Day’.
There was Alex Allan coming up Ainslie Lane on Monday morning after finding somewhere to park in Low Street. Entering the High Street, he observed a wine- coloured Renault ‘kerb crawling’ towards him. Alex put a step on it to reach the pavement and then thought. ‘Funny, there’s no- one in that car’! So the intrepid AF Allan ran after the motor which was on a wee bit of an incline. He jumped into the passenger seat and pulled on the handbrake. As he was sitting there in the car, on double yellow lines, a knock came to the side window. ‘Is this your car, sir?’ asked a voice, accompanied by a uniform. The number of the car having been duly noted in the pad for that purpose, the informed Alex, and uniformed ‘polis’, went their separate ways. The Renault stayed put in the meantime. At least Alex wasn’t asked if he was insured to drive the car while sitting in the passenger seat.
The King George V arrives at Fort William.