Doug the Diver  

Doug W

Doug was a delightful Scot whose father had been a diver in the Royal Navy during WWI, based at Scarpa Flow, where he welded and repaired ships underwater. Doug’s stories of growing up in Glasgow during the 1920’s and ‘30’s, where his Dad then worked as a diver in the Clyde River, were full of escapades and scrapes of life in the harsh tenements near the river.

Diving Suits of the 1920sHis mother, originally from a very genteel family in Bermuda, found life very difficult as her small family crammed into a 3 roomed apartment and shared a ‘backyard privvie’ with all 50 of the tenement residents.

She made Doug and his younger brother Robbie come home for their midday lunch of hot soup and scones, which the boys resented as their friend’s all bought a half-penny’s worth of hot chips and ‘scratchings’ from the bottom of the fryer!

Doug followed his Dad into the Royal Navy in WWII, which was when he married his wife Bridie, a lass from the Shetland Islands. Her mother had hoarded dried fruit from before the war and made them a wedding cake, Doug’s Dad and mates from the Clyde Docks produced a barnacle encrusted bottle of rum from the floor of the river and a haunch of beef that ‘fell off a lorry’ for the wedding breakfast.

They went on to have a happy life raising 6 children of their own as Doug moved into the Post Office, ending up specialising in communications, including telephones.

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