Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Iain Mor na Cnamhan.

Iain Mor na Cnamhan was a big man in every sense of the word. After an education in Carloway and at the Nicolson in Stornoway,John Maciver left Dalmore to join the Metropolitan Police in London,and within time,rose to high rank, in this his chosen career. He married a beautiful and delightful lady,a Londoner called Celia,who worked as a telephonist with the B.B.C. They had twins,John and Joan,who like us,spent every summer holiday in Dalmore. More so,they spent the whole of WW2 with their grandparents in Dalmore,away from the Blitz and the frightening V1 and V2 bombs. Through necessity they spent this time away from their mother,Celia, who related to my mother the impossible situation which arose when the twins were returned to London at war's end. Here was a mother who could not understand a word spoken by her children(they spoke only Gaelic),and children transported to an alien environment,now living with a woman whose language was utterly foreign to them. Celia spent a couple of years of hardship,getting the children to accept her,and educating them all over again in English. The strange thing is that ever after,John and Joan could neither speak nor understand a word of Gaelic.
Big John rose to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent at Scotland Yard and was in charge of many high profile cases including the "Jack Spot" London gangster case,and the Ruth Ellis murder investigations. Ruth Ellis was the last woman to hang in Britain,in 1955. John Maciver was in his time Master Mason of London. Any time we were staying in London or travelling on to mainland Europe,we would stay in Colindale with Celia and John,and we were always welcomed like family. I remember once being driven by John, with Celia at his side, to Euston Station to catch a Saturday evening train back to Glasgow.It was the end of the Glasgow Fair Holiday,and the station was packed with a multitude of people. John navigated his large black saloon through this throng to the station's main entrance. A young London bobby approached the car,and told John firmly but politely that he could not enter and would need to reverse. John said nothing,and his expression remained unchanged. Reaching into a waistcoat pocket,John showed the bobby what was obviously his warrant card."Just follow me,sir.Make way for this car".I felt like a thousand pounds.
P.S. The first time I tasted a mushroom was in Dalmore. Celia,on holiday one year in Dalmore,had espied large mushrooms high up on croft No.10,under the hill. I asked John and Joan why they were harvesting those large saucer like objects. "Come over to the house and you'll see". When I tried my first fried mushroom,it tasted like a juicey piece of steak - truely delicious,although it would be many years on before mushrooms appeared on my plate again.

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