Craigie James Bell Sal­mond

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - COMMENT -

“I was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in a re­cent ref­er­ence (by the Man with Two Dogs) to the writer and jour­nal­ist, James Bell Sal­mond,” writes He­len Lawren­son of Wor­mit.

“As the ar­ti­cle recorded, Sal­mond fought on the Somme, and his war po­ems are es­pe­cially mov­ing. Al­though he was an of­fi­cer in the Black Watch, Sal­mond speaks in his po­ems with the voice of an or­di­nary sol­dier. In 1917 he be­came a pa­tient at Craiglock­hart Of­fi­cers’ Hos­pi­tal, at the same time as Wil­fred Owen and Siegfried Sas­soon; he suc­ceeded Owen as edi­tor of ‘Hy­dra’, the hos­pi­tal mag­a­zine.

“Af­ter the war, Sal­mond be­came edi­tor of the Scots Mag­a­zine, which moved to Dundee in 1927, and it was here that he did great ser­vice to lit­er­a­ture – en­cour­ag­ing writ­ers such as Neil Gunn, Hugh MacDiarmid and Lewis Gras­sic Gib­bon.

“He was a great pro­moter not only of lit­er­a­ture, but of the city of Dundee it­self. As I have writ­ten in my ac­count of Scot­tish coun­try danc­ing in Dundee (‘Petronella to the Prince of Wales’), Sal­mond be­came a pop­u­lar Pres­i­dent of the Dundee Branch of the Royal Scot­tish Coun­try Dance So­ci­ety, whose meet­ings he at­tended when­ever he could.”

Ring­ing sound

“About half an hour ago, I de­vel­oped a per­sis­tent ‘ring­ing’ in my left ear in which I wear a hear­ing aid,” writes Mary Smith, of Mary­burgh. “I de­cided it must be the bat­tery so changed it. No im­prove­ment. I tried an­other. Still no im­prove­ment. Had I de­vel­oped tin­ni­tus?

“Oh dear, why do these things al­ways hap­pen at the week­end when only emer­gency ser­vices op­er­ate? How would I be able to en­joy TV pro­grammes un­til I could get help on Mon­day morn­ing?

“I cleaned the hear­ing aid and re­signed my­self to a noisy un­com­fort­able week­end. Af­ter about 15 min­utes I went to an­other room and, in the pas­sage, the noise was even louder. Per­haps it wasn’t my hear­ing af­ter all. My first thought was the smoke alarm which I took off the wall. Then I went into my bed­room and, guess what, it was an alarm clock. Prob­lem solved!”

A deluxe “piler”

“Pa­trick Mitchell re­cently ques­tioned the spell­ing of a word for a child’s four­wheeled cart. He asked if it should be ‘piller’” writes a Craigie reg­u­lar. “I had such an ad­vanced form of trans­port from the age of nine in Dundee. It went ev­ery­where with me.

“I have no idea what the of­fi­cial spell­ing was, but we pro­nounced that par­tic­u­lar word ‘piler’ as in ‘pile of stones’.

“These home-made ve­hi­cles also re­joiced in the names of ‘cair­ties’ or ‘bug­gies’. My first ef­fort had the body­work of a wooden John West salmon box with a wooden plank down the mid­dle un­der­neath and run­ning the length of the box, with one end ex­tended to sup­port the steer­ing front axle. The rear axle was bolted to the bot­tom of the salmon box.

“The wooden wheels came from a sawmill in Loons Road and the axles were made by a black­smith with his forge op­po­site Cold­side Pri­mary School. I had no drill and bored the holes for the bolts for the axles us­ing a red-hot poker heated on the fire.”

Talks on Great War

The Aber­tay His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s evening lec­ture se­ries con­tin­ues on No­vem­ber 9 with three short talks look­ing at as­pects of Dundee’s ex­pe­ri­ence in the Great War. Speak­ers are Univer­sity of Dundee His­tory grad­u­ate David Wilkinson and Great War Dundee steer­ing group mem­bers Linda Ni­col and Matthew Jar­ron.

Linda Ni­col’s talk, ‘Chil­dren in War­time: the im­pact of the Great War on their young lives’, will look at the ac­tiv­i­ties pur­sued by schools to as­sist the war ef­fort, the so­cial im­pacts brought about by the sep­a­ra­tion of fam­i­lies and the daily hard­ships fac­ing many.

David Wilkinson’s talk is en­ti­tled ‘Con­sci­en­tious Ob­jec­tion: Press, pro­pa­ganda and pub­lic opin­ion fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of Mil­i­tary Ser­vice Act, 1916’. While Dundee gave nearly two thirds of its el­i­gi­ble men to the armed forces in sup­port of the war ef­fort, David will ex­plore what hap­pened to those who stayed be­hind on the grounds of their con­science.

Matthew Jar­ron’s talk is en­ti­tled ‘“Splen­dour and Sor­row”: Dundee’s news­pa­pers artists at war’. His talk will ex­plore the ways that artists be­gan to re­spond to the war in print, and look at the for­tunes of some of the many artists who signed up for the front.

The event takes place in Lec­ture Theatre 1 in the Dal­housie Build­ing at the Univer­sity of Dundee. The talks start at 6.30 pm, with the doors open from 6pm.

The hole truth

The reader who asked the ques­tion about stones he found at El­liot, Ar­broath, is de­lighted to learn that the holes drilled through them were made by mol­luscs, and thanks all those who sup­plied the an­swer.

He adds: “Sea crea­tures drilling holes in stones! And I thought wood­peck­ers were daft!”

To­day’s pho­to­graph, taken from our files, shows the new club­house at Carnoustie in 1968.

Dundee Cen­tral Li­brary. Pic­ture:

Writer and jour­nal­ist James Bell Sal­mond. See story above.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.