No. 32 July 2005
And so it was that a select half-dozen sat down to lunch at The Royal Hotel in Winchester after a two-hour Blue Badge Guide tour of the city. The guide took us into the Cathedral and round the old parts of the city, showing us hidden corners that we should certainly have missed otherwise. Along the River Itchen we went and back into the town in good time to arrive at the hotel for the meal.
The Royal Hotel was a well-chosen venue. We sat out in the light drizzle under an umbrella on the patio for our pre-prandials and began swapping stories of Kinnessburn. Main course and sweet were served in a private room by courteous and attentive staff, and several bottles of wine later we realised there were still plenty of tales to tell but no time to finish them. Have you, for instance, heard the one about Anthony Ashwell, Gordon Roy and the huge salmon? No? Then read on.
A great pity that illness and/or family commitments prevented the presence of a number who had hoped to attend the Reunion, but fear not – plans are afoot (or possibly in hand) for a get-together in the Glasgow area in 2008 and for a St Andrews Reunion in 2011 to coincide with the University’s 600th anniversary. This will also be Kinnessburn’s fiftieth year. Beyond that? Well…..!
From the ALUMNUS CHRONICLE –
p.28 ‘Lost’ Man BRIAN PROTHERO is now Rector of Weybridge, Surrey.
p.39 St.CLAIR STEWART writes again as Secretary of the Belgian St Andreans.
p.43 Your Editor photographed at the Gatehouse Gathering of Graduates (not organised by himself!)
The Rev. ANTHONY ASHWELL contributed this fishy tale of
THE ONE THAT DIDN’T GET AWAY.
“In June 1965, before my Graduation, Gordon Roy invited me to spend a week at his parents’ country estate up Glen Lyon. It’s 40 years now, and my memories of the time are pretty hazy for reasons that will soon be clear.
“It was Gordon’s habit (when at home and with the salmon running) to make 3 casts in each of 4 locations along his stretch of the river before breakfast. He would drag any resident guest out of bed to act as “ghillie”. Midway through my stay we struck lucky. At the 3rd location he hooked something, apparently large, which unusually made for the near bank, to make its stand immediately beneath us. We were both hungry and needing breakfast, not a long fight with a fish. I was ordered to fetch the gaff from the “Landy” and after a huge amount of heaving, slipping and swearing we hauled a massive salmon onto the bank and despatched it with a suitable bit of granite.
“We took the unfortunate fish to the Fortingall Hotel where the necessary measurements were made. With Gordon holding the fish at shoulder level its tail just touched the ground and weighed 37lbs. He then proceeded to sell it to the hotel for £1 a lb, and armed with £37 we made for the liquor store to stock up with some bottles of decent malt. The idea was that we would drink one bottle per night until the end of my stay. I never got beyond the first night (the first shall be last) and very suddenly went off whisky. Only in recent years have I recovered some appreciation of the amber nectar. Ah, well.”
GRAHAM FLEMING sends his thanks for yet another Kinnessburn newsletter. “It's interesting to see how much of a network has now developed from your initiative, together with the hard work and persistence you put into it. I am sure your efforts are well appreciated by all, who look forward to the newsletters. [Thanks, Graham, but there are others who work just as hard in the background.]
“I remember the Kinnessburn Christmas Party which was held in the summer. The strongest recollection I have of it was, in fact, after the party, when we were disposing of the Christmas tree. This was being towed to the municipal dump along South Street behind a vehicle belonging to one of the Kinnessburn gentlemen (it may well have been Pete Shaw with his Land Rover) when the entourage was stopped by the local constable (Sergeant Taylor, perhaps?) asking us whether we had a licence to tow Christmas trees! Ah, did Prince William have such fun?”
Dr ALISTAIR FORRESTER writes, “Dorothy and I are thriving. I retired in 2002 but I still do a lot of locum work in GP including nights. So what's changed? I am able to pick and choose where and when to work, and there is no administration to attend to. I am currently taking a 4 month break to climb Munros of which I still have more than 120 to do (out of 284). I ve also gone back to playing golf but seem unable to reduce my handicap from 28! At the same time I am about to make plans for our medical 66 Club Reunion for 2006.”
TED HILL replies, “Reference to my sail with Harvey MacPherson, ‘Arch’s’ description of me being appalled is only too accurate - I have never forgotten it to this day. Leaving St A. harbour against my advice in a thick haar the skipper sang out to me, "Oh Ted, pop below and set me a course...". I didn't even know where his charts were! Having struggled about and shouted him up a bearing, even from below I could tell he was turning the wrong way. On deck I quickly saw he was heading in the opposite to intended bearing. I told him so. He said laughingly, with no apparent concern, "Oh, got myself a reverse bearing have I?". It got worse as the day wore on............it was, at times, seriously dangerous.
“I'm sure all who met Harvey MacPherson will remember him as a complete, but quite likeable, nut. It is reported that he nearly died on his boat in the harbour during one winter when he closed up a canvas cover with a paraffin stove burning and was only rescued by a passing alert policeman and sent to hospital in an ambulance.”
It was at the Winchester Reunion that Sir PHILIP WILLIAMS suggested our readers might appreciate a set of Kinnessburn stats. The fact is that I don’t have data which can be tabulated. We operate under Exemption 5 of the Data Protection legislation which prevents me from keeping lists which are not strictly necessary for the running of the “club”. The only information I have is –
and I don’t have a full set of any of those. Some of you are even known by your initials rather than your personal name. You are, of course, entitled by law to ask for a copy of your details, presumably in case you have forgotten who you are!
The only statistics I can provide are numbers of those receiving an e-copy of the newsletter (60), paper version (38), not receiving news at all (80). Of the latter group 64 are Lost #, 11 deceased and 5 don’t wish to keep in touch. Grand total to date 178 Men of Kinnessburn.
Now I am allowed to provide statistics in respect of the newsletters. They cover nine years at an average of 32/3 issues per year. The size of the electronic files works out at a mean value of 332kb over the last two years. Make what you will of that.
# LOST MEN - Malcolm Baker, Harry Barker, John Baxter, John Bennett, Eddie Birkby, Ian Booth, Dave Brewin, John Cameron, Iain Campbell, Jim Campbell, Alastair Chisholm, Richard Clark, Tom Conroy, John Cook, John Cordingley, Brian Crowe, John Cunningham, Paul Davies, Stuart Donaldson, Dave Eggeling, KM Ferguson, Mike Foster, Andy Green, Fraser Hall, Tony Hancock, Doug Harrison, Lenny Helling, Paul Holloway, Ian Jack, Pete Kerry, PJ Lawrie, Dave Lindsay, Derek Lodge, John Lowe, Ian Mallard, PDR Marshall, Sandy McAlpin, Colin Miller, Alan More, Simon Ollivant, Jock Paton, Dave Pattullo, Rob Perry, Mike Peterson, Iain Prain, JCW Richardson, Brian Rickard, Pete Rogers, JEV Rose, Robin Rose, Charlie Scott, Pete Shaw, Alistair Simpson, Graham Smith, Barclay Stewart, Keith Taylor, John Thewlis, Mervyn Thompson, Peter Thorogood, Tony Ward, Duncan Watters, Tom Whiteside, David Wright.
BILL ALLAN remembers the Red Soup + Green Soup incident. It was a formal meal and we all were waiting to see what colour soup it was. One of the people who was on top table (or seated very close) was Duncan Watters, who had had more than one pre-prandial. When the soup appeared he rose from his seat and delivered this piece of fundamental philosophy, "If you mix red soup with green soup you get brown soup," and then collapsed back into his seat.
Those who use a more sophisticated system than Microsoft Outlook v6.0 will be unsurprised by the news that the Editor is now unable to send long e-mail files, hence the paper copy to all.
Edited for the Men of Kinnessburn by Graham Robertson