Hawick writer pens 1969 Euro hitchhiking memoir

Doug Archibald. Hawick author.
Doug Archibald. Hawick author.

Former Fleet Street journalist Doug Archibald from Denholm has written a book about a summer hitchhiking in Europe with a Hawick friend.

The award-winning reporter and pal Fred Landels thumbed lifts across the continent in 1969, with Fred going on to India and Doug returning to the job he’d left at his east London newspaper three months earlier.

Doug, now of Moniaive, told us: “It was character-forming. I met so many different characters, people are the same. It doesn’t matter what religion, race, colour, we’ve all got the same emotions underneath and to me compassion has always been the greatest human emotion. People helped you and I thought it was absolutely amazing.”

‘See you in Omonia’, available as a Kindle edition on Amazon, is Doug’s first book and gains its title from when the two friends split up in the Gulf of Corinth, arranging to meet in Omonia Square in Athens at 4pm (and, hitching there, they both succeeded). The highly readable romp takes the two heroes from London to Crete with entertaining encounters along the way.

Doug’s first job on leaving school was at sister paper, Hawick News. The 66-year-old grandfather also worked in Peeblesshire after London and latterly in Dumfries.

He was among the first journalists on the scene at the Lockerbie bombing and won one of his awards as part of a team covering the atrocity. For more information on Doug and his book visit www.dougarchibald.co.uk