Loudon’s books are like buses

A Borderer who two months ago published a book that looked back on a life in music has a second coming up that this time focuses on his adventures – and misadventures – as a schoolboy.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 4th January 2021, 12:43 pm
Loudon Temple.
Loudon Temple.

Loudon Temple cast off the chains of lockdown after his Brookfield-Knights music agency business ground to a halt in March last year.

“It will seem like this one flew out in record time,” he said,” while talking about the new project, “but in actual fact, I’ve been tinkering away at this for some time, well over a year,” he said.

“It was the big health scare that presented me with the opportunity to write The Music Goes Round and Round, the book that looked back on the Borders music scene and all of my other exploits associated with music over the years.

Loudon Temple's new book (yes, another one) is published on January 21.

“Once I started, it just all flowed, and it was done and dusted in around 10 weeks.

“This one’s been more of a slow burner.”

Hot on the heels of his first publication, the new one takes us on a nostalgic trip back to the 1950s, recalling the great characters who were loved in the community, and re-visits some of his daredevil exploits while remembering his circle of chums, as well as traditions and street games, many of which have disappeared, that were part of everyday life not so long ago.

He says: “As a lively, thrill-seeking youngster, I got into more scrapes than the average schoolboy, including several near-death experiences, but survived unscathed to tell the tale.”

And what a story it is as, born in Selkirk and growing up in Hawick, he milked life for all it had to give, and savoured the cream that he skimmed off the top.

“When you’re born on Good Friday and baptised at Easter, it is said that you’ll inherit the power of healing ... wouldn’t that have been a blessing for a youngster with an adventurous spirit who collected bumps and bruises instead of stamps,” he added.

“Some of these childhood recollections will hopefully raise a smile, while others will possibly shock, surprise and take the reader’s breath away.

“I was an ‘awfy daft’ laddie!”

Loudon remembers local characters who made a big impression on his early life in Selkirk, including ex-Standard Bearers, Chip Miller, Jim “Fingers” Smith, a family friend called Wullie Ward whose father was one of the founders of Gala RFC, and a jovial barman nicknamed Jim The Provost who worked for his grandparents when they owned the Dryburgh Arms Hotel in Newtown St Boswells.

His schoolboy heroes in Hawick included local rag and bone man, “Tam Mid,” and other worthies, known as Cowboy Cooper and Blind Wullie.

Recalling family camping holidays in the Ettrick Valley, he says the title of the new book, “There’s Gold In Them Thar Hills,” is a reminder that there are many 24 carat experiences to enjoy right on our own doorstep by getting out into The Borders’ countryside.

“Right now, people are more nostalgic than ever and looking to happier times for a temporary escape, and hopefully some light relief from what’s happening in the world.”

Due to be launched on January 21, it will be available (£9.99) from various different outlets from that date. Both books can also be purchased online at his www. beenandgoneanddoneit.com travel-writing website.