Old photos, Ayr and Rabbie Burns

 Not long ago we were sorting out one of our many boxes of old photos.'This won't take long', I said. Fatal mistake. For hour after hour we were immersed in 'that was when' memorabilia - both Delia's and my own. All our yesterdays ...

Of such absorbing interest were not only the people and places of the photos but the vintage cameras with which they were taken. This particular one featured yours truly in the summer of 1954 at the pitch and putt course in Ayr. My very first trip north of the border. I and my first wife had entrained there from York for a holiday. At the time I was still serving with the Royal Air Force - National Service gas turbine mechanic, SAC, seven one treble o three one: sir!

I would not have recognised that (over) confident looking young man had it not been for the suit, custom made by Alexanders in York as I recall.  The dark glasses? Shades quite clearly of my idol, James Dean. How thin I was. My first boss referred to me when making his customary speech on the occasion of the company's annual dinner. 'Methinks he hath that lean and hungry look,' he said, quoting W.S.'s Julius Caesar. How right he was.

As usual in those days we had barely enough money to pay our (separate rooms!) boarding house in Ayr and our food and drink. Fortunately it was very warm for we ran out of cash and spent the last night huddled up in the sand dunes down on the beach. Very uncomfortable and, by the standards of today very innocent! Lack of funds never seemed to be all that important and certainly did not mar our holiday.

One event I do recall being able to afford, however, was our visit to Burns' cottage in Alloway. As I said in my yesterday blog, tracks that cross and criss-cross ...

You may notice in the photograph what appears to be the background ghost of a gasometer! No idea how this happened or indeed where was the gasometer in question. Almost certainly York. Anyway, a double exposure I suppose.

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