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- Robert Burns






Watching 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.


When 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. 

My St. Monans fisherman Grampa John was the salt of the earth. Just a wonderful man.