Steam comes to Burghead – Memories of Patsy a grand lady xxx

Steam comes to Burghead!

As I was recovering from my late night after a busy day on Friday I was making my tea when I heard a loud rumble outside. The wee house shook outside was a selection of Steam engines going full pelt up the main street in Burghead an incredible sight. The air was full of the smell of steam, smoke and the engines and the main street was taken back to another age. The weather was superb and added to the fun. Lots of kids were enthralled and followed the engines on their bikes. People came out and instead of rushing about were enjoying the unplanned fun in the sun.In the end they stopped at the pub and were there for a few hours a bit of an annual ritual. It was a grand site and took me back to when my Grandpa used to take me the railway station in Ayr to see the steam trains. He was a lovely man, Grandpa “Cavanagh” who used to take me for huge walks pulling out sweets along the way from his pocket and telling tales of another era. He was always very smart unlike me and very kind and softly spoken just like his daughter my Mum, she came from great stock. I was very young but amazing how a memory comes flooding back. I hope my wee granddaughter gets the same fun and stories from Grandpa Heavy. I will do my best to make sure she does.

Beautiful Canmore Canada- lots of memories.

 

Sad news from Canada where my great friends Malcolm ,Dave Sue and family lost Pasty last week. I had visited in March when I was lucky enough to go out for an ice climbing holiday. Patsy is Dave’s Mum and spent her last few years in the Eagles view home at Canmore Hospital , she was suffering badly from memory loss. Patsy was a lovely lady, always had a smile and along with  her husband Malcolm were great company. The first time I went over to Canada recently in 2008 and Dave and Sue were away leaving me and my friends the house for two weeks. Patsy and Malcolm lived in the basement which was a house on its own at “Ambleside Lodge” in Canmore.  They never complained of the early morning noise as we left at first light too climb or the racket the younger guys made when they came back late from a day off and decided to have a hot tub! They had seen it all before and were so good to us. They had recently moved over to Canada to be with Dave and Sue a huge change for them but they enjoyed the country and made many friends. I took time with them and when the boys were away doing the big routes I stayed with them. We had some fun and Pasty always enjoyed our morning coffee and even more her wee drink, always saying lets have another one.  I was supposed to be writing my book but the breaks got longer and the time with them so enjoyable. She was so full of life, had a really cheeky smile and reminded me so much of my Mum. I visited her recently regularly when she was in the home next to the hospital. We had some fun and I learned a lot about life from these visits. I have a lasting memory of the Tuesday singing class being held so tightly by Patsy and a friend and they would not let me go. They were singing their hearts out and having fun. The staff I am sure thought I was one of the patients by my antics, much to Patsy’s sense of humour. Patsy had a great family looking after her and visiting regularly which can become so difficult as her memory worsened. She was always glad to see them and was well cared for in a lovely place surrounded by caring staff. I doubt I will get the chance to visit Canada again but I have some great memories of being with Patsy and looking out the windows at the snowy Rockies and her beaming smile. When I speak about Canada I will always remember Patsy.   My thoughts are with Malcolm, Dave, Sue and family.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
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