Taxi driver treats ex-tradesmen to special tour
A GROUP of retired Elgin tradesmen enjoyed a sing-along on a special Speyside tour laid on as a thank-you for their contribution to the town.
Garey Stewart, owner of Guvnors taxis and tours, picked up the eight pensioners on Tuesday for a tour he named "Jogging Memories".
The men, with a combined age of 675, all worked as tradesmen or in local industry. Mr Stewart wanted to treat the men, who now find it harder to get out and about after leading very active working lives.
Mr Stewart said: "It's just something I'd like to do to give back to the community. A lot of these guys are now elderly – the oldest is 93. So it's just a little tour I've called 'Jogging Memories'."
The group included: Arthur McKerron, businessman and plumber; Dougie Clayton, businessman and plumber; Hector McDonald, businessman and joiner; Syd Watt, electrician; Ernie Sim, plasterer; Brian Sim, butcher and ex-gas board member; Bob Walker, distillery worker; and Bill Anderson, forester.
Mr Watt marked his 80th birthday on the tour, which took in a harbour drive at Lossiemouth, drams at Glenfarclas and Benromach, the Aberlour Hotel for lunch and a visit to the Speyside Cooperage.
Piper Mr Stewart stopped past Craigellachie Bridge as an atmospheric backdrop for a tune for his VIP guests before they headed back to Elgin for a meal at the Sunninghill Hotel.
Mr Stewart said he enjoyed hearing reminiscences from the group as they travelled along. He said: "The men got a lot out of it. It was great listening to all their stories as we drove along.
"Some are living alone so it’s something special for them to get out and about in company they can relate to, which I feel is a great thing for the mind.
"Mr McKerron said a few times, 'it’s great how the names and memories come back when you start talking'.
"That’s what my tour was to be about – Jogging Memories – 'getting the wheels and cogs going', as one of them said."
Mr Stewart hopes to run another special trip for a group of elderly local women in the near future.