Six word Saturday: toddler on the run in Rothesay

Me and my dad's legs; Rothesay Bay, Scotland, probably summer 1963.

Me and my dad’s legs; Rothesay Bay, Scotland, probably summer 1963.

Catch me if you can Dad

Sometime before my brother was born in 1964, my mum, dad and I went on holiday to Rothesay, on the island of Bute. I’m guessing it was in summer, probably August, and almost certainly 1963 – which means I was almost two years old.

I think I have memories of that holiday – although it may be that what I “remember” is what my parents have told me. The memories are hazy – being on a boat (the ferry from Wemyss Bay?), eating breakfast in a huge (to me) dining room with lots of other people around, and this jaunt down the pier. What I think I remember is a sense of freedom – no-one holding on to my hand or restraining me. What my dad remembers is a sense of panic – I was apparently heading for the harbour.

I’ve been conscious of this photo for most of my life, but it’s only when I scanned it yesterday that I noticed a name and address on the back in handwriting that belongs to neither of my parents. And that makes sense. My dad (or at least lower half) is in the photo; my mum wasn’t the family photographer – and would hardly have been idly snapping pictures while her only child toddled towards the water. Someone must have taken the picture and somehow sent it to my parents. The name and address on the back is Mrs C. Galbraith, 22 Hillside Avenue, Kilmacolm.

Kilmacolm is a village in Renfrewshire, about 15 miles from Wemyss Bay, from where the Rothesay ferry departed. I don’t know if Mrs Galbraith was a professional street photographer, or someone staying at the same hotel as us who had got to know my parents.

Guess I’ll be asking next time I talk to Mum or Dad.

This post was written both for Six Word Saturday and as part of the Word a Week Photographic Challenge: Run at A Word in Your Ear.

Here are some other “Run” posts I’ve enjoyed:

22 thoughts on “Six word Saturday: toddler on the run in Rothesay

    • Thank you; I love the way that even the mos straightforward seeming things from the past have some sort of mystery around them.

    • Thank Lynne. I looked at the street on Google Street view. A cul de sac of the sort of pebble-dash semis you see all over Scotland, but fantastic rural views. This was such a throwaway little story, and now I have to find out who the photographer was! Hope all is well with you πŸ™‚

      • Sorry something wrong with my phone! Still enjoying blogging about our travels and finding some interesting info on John’s family history.
        Sometimes these throwaway stories are the best and I hope you find an answer to the puzzle of the photographer. When you mentioned Kilmacolm my first thought was someone who was well off!

    • Thanks. I’ve had this photo in my life for 50 years, and only noticed when I blogged about it that my dad was wearing a cardigan. I havent’ seen him in one for years, but remember he used to wear them a lot. And I love the woman in the background’s skirt. So much detail I’d never noticed.

      • Fab to have… I love pouring over the ones my father has…. The outfits, the hairstyles, the cars, I love it all…. And the small square black and white images

  1. Me too. My dad was the family photographer and mostly used slide film. When we were kids it was a huge treat to get the slide projector out and spend an evening watching all the old pics. My parents always had the same squabbles about “where and when” and we loved watching them in their dress-up clothes – fur coats and crocodile handbags were favourites as I remember. πŸ™‚

  2. We had the same slide show gig going! I’ll have to ask Mom if they still have the slides, they need to be made digital!
    There is a great resemblance between you and your son around that age. wow!
    and I love the lady’s outfit too.

    • It was fun, wasn’t it. I miss those evenings. We had a real sense of family togetherness.

      All my family looks alike; I can spot previously unseen cousins at the airport almost without fail because we all look like our granny and aunties.

  3. Pingback: What would I do without my mum? | Shaking the tree

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