Jennifer, Alan & Fiona's
Mum and Dad met in January 1966 at a Friday night 'hop' which
were held every weekend on the university campus. Ian had come
to Queen's College, Dundee
(then part of St Andrews University) in October 1965; Sheila
had matriculated a year earlier. Although both the same age,
Ian had taken a year out between school and university to do
a pre-university apprenticeship with Automotive Products (at
a wage of £2 12s 6d per week) in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
at Dundee Registry Office, on 18th May 1968, the wedding reception
was held, on a beautifully sunny day, at the Invercarse Hotel
on the west side of Dundee; Adrian Gifford was best man. With
Jennifer already born, and Alan shortly on the way, they needed
all the help to survive the lack of space and money; both families
- the Stewarts (Alf and Nan) in Balgowan Avenue, Dundee and the
Goodalls (Bill and Moira) in Campsie Road, Broughty Ferry - were
incredibly supportive throughout these tough and testing times.
first property was a rented first floor two-roomed flat (with
inside toilet!) at 40 Scott Street, Dundee. One abiding memory,
in 1969, of the cramped, but modernised, flat is of the family
(Jennifer, born May 1968; Alan, born June 1969) watching man's
first moon landing (Apollo 11) on July 20th on their tiny flickering
'405-lines' black & white TV.
took up an appointment with Procter & Gamble in Gosforth
in 1970 and the family's first house, a 3-bedroomed modern semi-detached,
was bought soon afterwards (120 Acomb Crescent, Gosforth) for
£4200. Fiona, the 'baby' of the family, was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
in 1971, completing the next generation. A brand new Wm Leech
house, at a cost of £6700, on the outskirts of town (21
Farn Court, Kingston Park, Gosforth) was the family home until
a move with Procter & Gamble to Manchester (15 Coppice Avenue,
Sale) in 1977.
back to Scotland became possible when Ian secured a senior position
- which qualified him to eat in 'the trough' (now demolished;
it was on the site of the new Scottish Parliament) - with Scottish
& Newcastle Breweries in Edinburgh in 1977. North Berwick,
on the east coast (Ian's upbringing on the Isle of Islay left
him with a strong desire to be by the sea), was chosen as the
place to live. A new 5-bedroomed under-construction house, then
on the edge of the town but with a glimpse of the sea, was purchased
(14 Ware Road) for £28,000 and the family moved in around
the middle of 1978.
In 1990, with
their children having flown the nest to University, Sheila bought
in Godalming, Surrey and Ian bought a house (since sold) in the
village of Shaldon on the river Teign estuary in Devon. Ian and
Sheila live in a modern house, with its new conservatory overlooking
the river, in Godalming on the banks of the river Wey and canal.
They now have a new game to play - being doting grandparents
to Katie and Lucy, Jennifer and Kevin's children, and Eilidh,
Rosie and Jamie, Alan & Anne's children. Finding time to
enjoy their share in the new French canal boat, Bon Viveur, and
to fit in a visit to their rows of vines in France to stock up
on essential supplies are something of a challenge!