Re­mem­ber­ing Ge­orge For­rest Auld

21st May 1939 to 5th De­cem­ber 2018

The Arran Banner - - News -

Af­ter pass­ing my driv­ing test on Ar­ran in the 1970s, I spent the next 20 years of my car buy­ing life bliss­fully un­aware some peo­ple ac­tu­ally chose the make and model of the ve­hi­cle they de­sired.

I as­sumed ev­ery­one or­gan­ised trans­port the same way as my­self and those that I knew on the is­land. You sim­ply gath­ered up as much money as you could muster, gave it to Ge­orge For­rest (Foggy) Auld and asked him to find a car at the mar­ket which he vis­ited each week with fel­low mot­ley me­chan­ics in­clud­ing D G Weir, E K Ribbeck and D S Ban­natyne.

When the MOT was re­quired you re­turned to Dip­pen and faced For­rest’s oral exam. ‘Are the brakes OK?’ ‘Not too bad.’ ‘Is the steer­ing OK?’ ‘Not too bad.’ ‘Are you tak­ing it to the main­land?’ ‘No.’ ‘Are you plan­ning to sell it?’ ‘No.’ ‘Ach well, it should be fine.’

When­ever you met Foggy there was al­ways the joke of the day – he must have had a thou­sand of them tucked away as there was never any rep­e­ti­tion. And there was al­ways the ‘twin­kle’. That cheeky sparkle in the eyes that said G F Auld knew some­thing you didn’t and that he may or may not tell you de­pend­ing on whether time and cir­cum­stances per­mit­ted.

For many years he met up with the 5 o’clock club in the Whit­ing Bay Ho­tel and Shurig where along with Messrs An­gus, Spiers, Ross-Bain and Moglia he swapped pat­ter and gos­sip as well as con­tribut­ing to the fi­nan­cial well-be­ing of the whisky in­dus­try.

For­rest was a long serv­ing mem­ber of the Coast­guard and fur­ther helped the com­mu­nity by mak­ing him­self avail­able at all times of the day and night to ex­tri­cate er­rant driv­ers (in­clud­ing his sons) and their cars from the ever present dan­ger of is­land ditches.

Re­mem­bered

Al­though orig­i­nally a bank clerk he, of course, will be re­mem­bered as a me­chanic whose mantra was ‘get the cus­tomer back on the road as soon as pos­si­ble’.

Not be­ing me­chan­i­cally minded, I as­sumed For­rest’s tech­nique was stan­dard – dis­card­ing parts that were deemed non-es­sen­tial and ad­ding a se­lec­tion of nuts, bolts and pieces of wire in a Heath Robin­son ar­range­ment that would have prob­a­bly baf­fled the orig­i­nal de­signer.

Born and raised in Dip­pen, he was one of the last of his gen­er­a­tion to do Na­tional Ser­vice - in Ger­many. Af­ter that he sel­dom strayed too far from the is­land. In 1961 he met Mar­garet, who was hol­i­day­ing on the is­land, and three years later they mar­ried in Dan­der­hall, Ed­in­burgh. Af­ter a brief spell at Springhill, Whit­ing Bay, they moved to Dip­pen where they spent the next 50 years, rais­ing sons Ni­col and Ross and daugh­ter Yvonne.

Mar­garet and For­rest lived hap­pily at Dip­pen un­til ill health meant his last few years were spent at Mon­trose House.

In the last few weeks, For­rest’s health de­te­ri­o­rated and he passed away sur­rounded by his fam­ily on De­cem­ber 5.

The fam­ily thank the won­der­ful staff at Mon­trose House, the Ar­ran doc­tors, dis­tict nurses and all those who have given good wishes and sup­port over the last few weeks.

For­rest, who was 79, is sur­vived by wife Mar­garet, daugh­ter Yvonne, sons Ni­col and Ross and brother Jim. Con­trib­uted on be­half of

the fam­ily.

Ge­orge as he will best be re­mem­bered.

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