Chapter 1 1982
Laudale is a Georgian shooting lodge on the shore of Loch Sunart, listed Category B by Historic Buildings, with an estate over 12,000 acres and an income from forestry and fish farming.
John’s father, Bry, was the youngest brother and there was no room for him at the factory. John’s Great Grandfather married Mary Clark in 1865 (the Quaker family who were already producing shoes in Street) and in 1899 the partnership of these families became “Clark Son & Morland Ltd”, occupying the site at Northover now named The Red Brick Building. In its time, it was the biggest sheepskin tannery in Europe. By the outbreak of war in 1939 Bry and his wife Deena lived in Hampstead. John remembers going up to the Elephant & Castle in the holidays and looking out at London burning, with the silhouette of St Paul’s standing firm against the crimson flames.
John and I got together again and after a couple of years of courting, we were married in December 1951.
By the Sixties, soon after our youngest daughter Ruth was born, poor John was suffering from migraines which continued to haunt him for the next 30 odd years until he had an angioplasty. So it must have been a heart problem all that time. He would get one or two migraines each week, which entailed having to sit quietly for an hour or so while his pills took effect
This is the name of a mountain in Perthshire – with spelling somewhat modified – and which the whole family, including Ruth aged about 5, managed to climb in gum boots.
Only once, in all the years we spent there, did we enjoy electricity and then it was only for the first day or two of the holiday, as it had rained the previous week. Another time, we returned home after a perfect fortnight in Scotland, when some French visitors to Strontian had complained of the heat, to find that the floods were out on the moor at Cowbridge.
one on which to cook the fish and the other of dried seaweed.We stood in the smoke of the latter for awhile to escape their attention. Then, before these became commercially available, John had got his mother to buy some fine dark material from Harrods from which he made his own protective veil – the only alternative in those days was a dab of oil of citronella. “We’d better go back now”, I said.