the British Open Golf Championship at Turnberry rolls back my clock for me. During
World War II when I
was a teenager and a cadet in the Air Training Corps I spent two
weeks on an advanced navigation training course at Castle
Kennedy airfield, Stranraer and at RAF Turnberry. Where the
Turnberry golf course is today is where RAF Turnberry was and the runways were in World
War II. Most days in the afternoons, after mornings of book
learning, cadets got to put book learning into practice by navigating from the backseat of open cockpit biplane Swordfish
torpedo bombers. From Castle Kennedy which was the take-off airfield,
many of the flights consisted of flying out over the sea then back to
the Ailsa Craig to finally arrive at Turnberry where one of
the runways was painted to resemble the deck of an aircraft
carrier. Last was to navigate back from Turnberry to Castle
Kennedy which was a short distance. At the end of our two
weeks the navigation course ended with a flight
to the north of Scotland and back in a
geodesic Wellington bomber that shook and rattled so badly I was
convinced it would come apart.
I returned home I was greatly saddened and disappointed when I was
told that while I was gone my grandfather
John Reekie who lived with us had died. Before I got home he
(his earthly body that is) had already been interred in the churchyard of the Auld Kirk at St. Monans.
St. Monans fisherman Grampa John was the salt of the earth. Just a wonderful man.