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Sojourning with Dad

Dad bought himself a 197cc Excelsior motorcycle from Angus Campbell Motorcycles in Dunfermline and when the Fair Fortnight came around, it was agreed that Mum would take my sisters with her to Butlins holiday camp down in Filey and I would go camping with Dad on the back of the motorcycle. It is still my sister’s belief that the arrangement was not so much for me to spend quality time with Dad but as Mum’s guarantee that she would not return home to find a postcard behind the door from some far-flung corner of the world, Dad having signed on some new ship.

To carry our tent and camping gear we needed panniers for the back of the motorcycle. Britain was still a world of make do and mend, so Dad and I set off for the local corporation dump, situated at the time between Oakley and Blairhall. Dad soon found what he needed and between us we carted a variety of old metal and wire mesh home to the workshop. No welding equipment at that time, of course, so everything would be bolted or riveted together, my task to drill holes in the angle iron that had been centre punched for me, slow work with the old upright pillar drill turned by hand, but by the end of the week, the little motorcycle sported her newly painted panniers to which two ex-war department back packs would later be strapped.

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