the Wayfarer - Time to come clean about sources of tales for the Gazette

Perhaps it is time that I came clean on all my tales, and that does not mean that I am giving up my search for them.

It all started when, as a boy I listened to the tales expounded to me by my relatives, an aunt in particularly who loved to pass on an old tale. I was asked by the Gazette if I could put them into weekly articles which I have thoroughly enjoyed doing even though it has necessitated a lot of research.

Every tale comes from a variety of sources and often I find that the same tale appears in several old books, but each with a different slant.

I have enjoyed putting my slant on them, but perhaps I should now give credit where it is due before I get accused of something unmentionable. I have mentioned before that the more a tale is told the more it becomes embellished, so I ask you to bear that in mind.

Most tales have been handed down from various sources and I must thank Dane Love who provides very interesting historical facts about this part of the world and he confesses to gleaning them from other authors.

Thanks also to Tom Atkinson of Luath Press, whom I knew personally, he wrote about various areas in Scotland principally for the tourist and the Reverend Lawson was a well known purveyor of local places of interest. All of these have provided me with a source of tales, but I must remember to give a lot of credit to D.C. Cuthbertson who wrote ‘Carrick Days’ recounting his travels around Carrick.

He wandered the highways and byways by bus and by foot in the 1920s and when he came upon a fisherman casting his line in a local river, or a farm worker perhaps mending a fence, or even just another local tramping the countryside, he would stop for a blether. He picked up many tales from these sources but all were not, in his opinion, repeatable or could be justified . Mr.Cuthbertson had of course read all he could about Carrick before he set out on his travels and was therefore forearmed as to what to look for.

He felt that the Highlands and Islands had been widely covered from every angle but not such places as Carrick. I quote from his book as follows ‘Carrick is a kingdom by itself, rock girt and bounded by mysterious hills, a land that reaches one’s heart and lives there- forever.’

I could not improve or embellish upon these words.

I hope you find my tales to be of interest even though many of my readers may have heard some of them before, but perhaps expressed differently.

Stay with me and I hope to see you next week.