Born and died with an Eildon view

Ken Grant, who died recently.Ken Grant, who died recently.
Ken Grant, who died recently.
The Galashiels rugby community is mourning one of its famous sons.

Kenneth Lindsay Grant was born in Gattonside in December 1930. In 1932 the family moved to Galashiels where Ken’s father owned a decorating business, JG Lindsay & Son. Lindsay Grant served in the LDV during WW2 and later became Provost of Gala.

Ken’s beloved mother Margaret lived for 101 and a half years. His sister, Sheila, died in 2018.

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Ken went to primary school in Gala with his lifelong friends, Alex (Eck) Mann, Nick Cuthbert, Dave McCaig and Grant Weatherstone, then moved on to Edinburgh Academy, which like him, was sports mad.

Ken Grant in action for GalaKen Grant in action for Gala
Ken Grant in action for Gala

Due to his father’s ill health Ken left school early to join the family business and completed his apprenticeship in Glasgow.

He loved playing water polo and joined the Arlington Street baths near his digs.

He played for the Gala ASC who won the second division Scottish East Coast championship in 1950.

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Ken joined the army in 1950 and felt soldiering was one of the happiest experiences of his life. He joined the Royal Horse Guards and rose to the rank of full corporal, two stripes and a crown.

He had two main barracks stays, the first, in Germany, an ex Luftwaffe hospital, two to a room with a hand basin.

Called back to Windsor, Ken boarded in the stables, above the horses, learning quickly that horses eat straw and fart all night long.

As a member of the army sports team Ken would spend all day long in track suit with a towel round his neck. The team would head out the gate, straight to a nearby café, where they’d spend the next couple of hours, training.

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Ken returned to the family business and in 1969, shifted Lindsay Painters from Lawyer’s Brae to Sime Place. The business closed in 1995.

In 1971/2 Ken was president of the Scottish Decorators’ Federation. He was a great speaker, spending hours refining and rehearsing his speeches.

He always said he would never let a man go up a ladder that he wouldn’t, though one day at Netherdale when they had to use all three 25ft sections of the ladder on top of a lorry, he almost changed his mind.

Ken’s great love was rugby.

He played for the Gala club for many years and was also selected to play for the South of Scotland. In 1956 he captained a young Gala Sevens team which won Hawick Sevens, rating this victory as possibly his best rugby achievement.

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Ken met Ann when he was best man for Eck and Jean. They married in 1960 and in 1965 moved from Gala back to Gattonside. He cared for Ann until he no longer could and she died at Knowesouth in 2012.

He loved all things Scandinavian, had a great eye for detail and loved to sit in his sunroom, listening to music and scanning one of his many books on art or interiors.

Ken’s eldest daughter married a Kiwi and moved to New Zealand. He loved his visits to Napier, especially dancing in the streets during the Art Deco celebrations.

Ken has five grandchildren whom he loved to bits. He died at home in Gattonside on August 29.

He was born and died with an Eildon view. A man of great charm, character and wit, he will be dearly missed

by Jane, Kim, Rona and their families.

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