White Van Man reminisces for days gone by

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This week I want to look back at my younger days but before I do I will focus on 2017.

These days we all seem to communicate by mobile phone and online. Gone are the days when people sent hand-written letters.

When families sit down at the dinner table, the young people are still texting then, meal finished, disappear to their rooms to spend time on their computers or gaming devices.

I thank God that when I was young there was no such things as mobile phones, computers or gaming machines.

At the age of 12, three of us from the white city (Glencruitten) joined Oban Junior Pipe Band. We were Davy MacAdam, who is now in America, and Colin Forgrieve, who is now in Dunoon, and me.

I spent fantastic years with the band, which I will never forget. We were all great mates who spent nights having a laugh and playing games like hide and seek.

I would go round to Dalintart Drive to the Forgrieve home where we played various instruments and where great ceilidhs took place with the occasional appearance of Cathie Gemmell giving us a song. Then there was the tying door handles together and running away. Brilliant times.

I remember the three-day fog in Oban. We were all fed up but out of it the Oban Misty Evening Pipe Band was formed. Davy, Colin and I were joined by piper Donnie Files. We grabbed some metal bin lids and played some great snare effects at the top of the golf course.

The neighbours in Glencruitten Drive whooped and clapped, though Archie Gilchrist, a sergeant in the Argyllshire Constabulary, was not amused.

There was the weekly dance with Oban’s own Crystal Heaven mobile disco and the highlight of the week was playing postman’s knock in Dunbeg Village Hall.

Those times are long gone but they were happy days with self-made entertainment. If only we could turn back the clock.