Doug the Diver
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.
His 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
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.