Opportunity Knocks

Wed 14th September 2016 at 12.50 - 14.00

Jim Macgregor hopes the V&A in Dundee will grab the opportunity to immortalise local humorous worthies such as Andy Stewart, George Duffus and Jimmy Spankie

Our speaker this week was Jim Macgregor, a past president of the St Andrews Rotary Club.

 He hopes the VIctoria and Albert Museum in Dundee  will grab the opportunity to immortalise local. humorous worthies,  You may have noticed in the press that the family collection of memorabilia for the Great Jimmy Shand is about to be auctioned off and probably split up.  I believe this is a tragedy as it is very big part of our heritage.  Recently we heard about the V&A in London having bought the local archive material of the late and great Tommy Cooper. One of the things that made him so indistructable was that, the worse his joke, the more the audience would enjoy it!  Bearing in mind that the V&A in Dundee is charged  with the responsibility to reflect a Scottish dimension to our life and times and even more an East coast one!  I would like to suggest three local humorous worthies who could knock seven bells out of Tommy Cooper.!!

I omit Scotland the What as they were a group and their talent was for situation comedy.  I also omit West and Central belts thus excluding Jimmy Logan and Billy Connoly, who are immortalised in places like the Peoples Palace in Glasgow.  Others will remember Andy Stewart, born in Glasgow in 1933.  He travelled the world mainly with The White Heather Club before settling in Arbroath where he died in 1993.  He achieved major success with A Scottish Soldier and The Battles Ower, but who can forget Donald and his trousers!  His particular talent lay in Comedy and Music.

We can now come to Dundee and North Fife in the person of George Duffus, who was an Insurance  Broker and Financial Advisor.   He entered the business by way of after dinner speaking and also the folk circuit club . He was a contemporary of Barbara Dickson and Bill Barclay and was an Honorary Member of the North Fife Rotary CLub but sadly died at the age of 57 in 2002.

Finally I come to our local hero....one time piper in the Black Watch,  Continuity Announcer,  Reporter,  Top Team Presenter and pinup in every Woman's Rural in the Angus Glens !! ..Jimmy Spankie!  Dredging into only one facet of his extensive archive, Jimmy will plumb the depths of East Coast Scotland's small town humour!

I rest my case.  Three local humorous worthies who deserve to be immortalised in the Dundee VIctoria & Albert Museum just as much as Tommy Coooper in the London one..

An amusing vote of thanks was given by Bill Whyte..

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