It’s a real family affair at Bearsden Literary Society lecture

BEARSDEN Literary Society’s lecture last week was something of a family affair.

The Thomson Memorial Lecture - which followed the AGM last Monday evening - had Dr Gordon Henderson as speaker.

He was the grandson of Wes Thomson, the honorary secretary of the Society for many years.

Both Mr Thomson’s daughters, as well as several grand-children and great-grand-children were in the audience.

The talk was an illustrated one from Mr Thomson’s extensive photographic archive and outlined some of the travels which he undertook by rickety motorbike and a variety of elderly cars across Scotland and Europe, from the late 1920s until the eve of the Second World War, and some of the peaks climbed along the way.

There were probably not that many Scottish tourists in Italy and Austria in the summer of 1938!

The younger members of the audience were particularly impressed by the very rough state of many of the roads, including major Alpine passes; while the older members of the audience felt slightly nostalgic for the emptier roads - even in the major towns, from Milan in the south to Oslo in the north.

An interesting literary link emerged during the evening between Mr Thomson and the society.

As scientific editor of Blackies Books, he had worked alongside the literary editor, RF Patterson, the author of a 1940 verse parody of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

This work, entitled Mein Rant, and illustrated by the famous Heath Robinson, is once again in print; and Patterson’s daughter – Mrs Jean Morgan - is a long-standing member of the society