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Taffy the Paint

TAFFY was 58 years old and 5 feet 3 inches tall. His real name was Joseph Macallum and he wasn’t Welsh, but he’d once spent three weeks in Cardiff with a boat and come back with an accent.

In those days he’d worked at something in the shipyards. Nobody could remember what it was, but as time passed Taffy sort of evolved into a self-employed painter and decorator. With his maturing trade came an endless supply of wee cards which assured potential customers that ‘no job was too big or too small’, and his rates were reasonable.

Taffy also described himself as single, but proof of a liaison, blessed or otherwise, certainly existed, for he had a married daughter living in Greenock. His own parentage was no less obscure, since he always claimed to have been born ‘a love child’.

Taffy liked his nickname and never tried to change it. He felt it to be useful to him on painting jobs because it gave him a topic of conversation. It was the same with being unmarried.

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An independent publication celebrating the innovation, successes and achievements of Scots while promoting the nation’s interests, culture and influence to a world-wide audience