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Issue 40 - Goingdownthetoilet?

Whisky Magazine Issue 40
June 2004

 

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Goingdownthetoilet?

DaveBroomgetsallnostalgicwhilevisitingthegents

SothereIwasinRothesay,gazingatZavaroni's(asinLena)fishandchipbar.Forthoseofyouwhohaven'theardofthetown,RothesayisthecapitaloftheIsleofBute,thoughlikemostGlaswegiansitwasyearsbeforeIdiscoveredthatitwasn'tthenameofthewholeisland.Asfaraswewereconcernedit,likemostoftheClydeCoast,hadonefunction–asasummerholidaydestination.
“We'reafftaeRothesayfurrtheFerr.”(*)

Actually,that'saslightexaggerationonmypart.ThefamilyBroomusuallypreferredtosailfromWemyssBaytoBute'sneighbour,theislandofGreatCumbrae(akaMillport)ontheJeannieDeans,thefinestoftheClydepaddlesteamers.

Thesamereassuringritualwasrepeatedeveryyear.Theshriekofthegulls,thebrinymetallicaromaofthesteamer.Jokes,laughter.Assoonaswesetsail,myfatherwouldtakemedowntoseetheengines.

ForyearsIthoughtthiswastotryandinstilanunderstandingofengineeringandmechanicsintohisbookishson.Tookmeyearstoworkoutthattheengineroomwasconvenientlylocatednexttothebar.

Thepistons,goldenwithgrease,slidlikehoney;coldandsuppletheypoweredthepaddleswhichhurledtheClydeagainsttheviewingwindow.Theatmospherewasclose,thesmellofoil,cigarettesmoke,beerandthesea–asweetsmellthatmeantholidays.Iwouldstaythereforthewholejourney,whichnodoubtpleasedDad,untilthosepistonsslowedandtheboatgroanedagainstthepilesofMillport'sorRothesay'spier.

Idon'trecallevergoingtothetoiletonmyarrivalinRothesay.WhyshouldI?ForthesimplereasonthatthegentsonRothesayPieristhemostremarkablepublicconvenienceinBritain.Apalacetomicturition,itwasbuiltin1899andhasrecentlybeenfullyrestored.Aspacioushall...

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