Daily Archives: July 12, 2020

Givitsum was Born Here on First day of Spring 1942

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to return to my Place of Birth in wildest Aberdeenshire – Scotland.

Well two years ago – at Helen’s insistence we went off on the trail from our holiday base at the Grant Arms Wildlife Hotel in Granton-on Spey.

Our search took us over the Lecht by the ski slopes to Strathdon where we felt we were getting closer …

A chance encounter with a sprightly lady of 93 years young at an outlying farm helped us pinpoint the area for she remembered it well – having watched across the fields on getting home from a dance as a teenager – she had seen the old wartime wooden cottage burn down.

A chat with another helpful neighbour pin-pointed the exact spot where the one room cottage had been —

Dalherrick Croft —

for that was where I was born – now has a splendid double garage on the exact spot —

Thanks to the warmhearted Aberdeenshire country folk our search for a needle in a haystack turned out to be so much easier than we could ever have imagined.

givit – back at his birthplace – 75 years on.

Much has changed now – according to my big brother that place wasn’t much bigger than a henhouse and had grass growing up through the gaps in the shrunken floorboards. A fierce wind was piling snow up against the walls and doors and dad was off in North Africa fighting for his life and country. No wonder Mum spent her next couple of years seriously ill in an Aberdeen hospital while I was shipped around available family members.

One such place I remember was my Gran’s here at Gartly —

so it was realy moving to visit mother’s family grave —

Steady on givit – or you will have even me shedding a tear next —


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Posted by on July 12, 2020 in out and about


The Ducati Corsa 888 – a Blast From The Past

Yes I’ve had one of these proud fellas as well. The Italian Stallion from the early 1990’s.

Mine was the full race 956cc Corsa version. The last of the line – I bought it from Tony Jeffries. His son – the late great David Jeffries had raced it for the 1994 British Superbike series – the year before the game-changing Ducati 916 appeared on the scene.

She came with the full race pack – four or five sets of bodywork – half a dozen lightweight wheels – two motors and a whole heap of bits and pieces.

The whole package cost me the bulk of my settlement from a recent expensive divorce but it was money well spent in my opinion – at the time.

I had one meeting out of her – but it was a good one – the Daytona 200 March 1995.

The new 916 arranged for a very young Neil Hodgson was late out of the blocks – still in the factory in fact.

Not the end of the world – for Neil rode my 956 Corsa instead – finishing 5th in the Battle of the Twins and a very creditable 12th in the Daytona 200 proper – his first international race on anything bigger than a 125,

With the benefit of hindsight would I change anything?

Not a bit of it! All costs had been paid – including flights for the team – hotels – air freight for my bike and entry fee – all done and dusted by the Race Organisers.

The icing on the cake was that on returning to the UK a buyer was found for my Ducati outfit at the same price I had shelled out for it only a few short months previous. A result!

Where else was I going to get that sort of experience – with a future World Champion at the start of his Superbike career – riding my bike in the Daytona 200.

It certainly helped me over the trauma and heartache that divorce can bring after 30 years of marriage. I could have been a sad fool and blown the lot in Vegas for I have little luck when it comes to cards.

Bikes are much safer – even if I did break my neck on one sixty years ago next Jan —



Posted by on July 12, 2020 in out and about