Literary Connections

Scotland over the Solway
Scotland over the Solway

In around 1910, Richard Hannay arrived in London from the, then, British colony of Rhodesia. He had been a mining engineer, had worked hard and stashed his savings away sensibly. He thought he would live the high life that he had dreamed of out in the wilds of Africa. He soon grew disgruntled with the London social scene and, when he found himself invited to talk to a group of elderly maiden ladies, he decided that he would be better off back in Africa. Luckily for John Buchan, Hannay soon became embroiled in a series of murders designed to make him out to be the murderer.

As time was the essence of the murderers scheme, Hannay decided to leave London and try to conceal himself somewhere until after June 15th. He looked at a map and decided that the place that looked reasonably unpopulated but easy to get to would be the Scottish Borders, so he caught a train out of London with that in mind.

This is where the coincidences start. Just after the war (as in WW II, I know, a lot’s happened since then) our family moved out to Africa, to Rhodesia as it happened. Much later I decided to return and made my way to London. Full Disclosure: I have had none of Richard Hannay’s adventures.

John Buchan often visited his grandparents who lived in the little village of Broughton, just north of Moffat so he knew the area well, no doubt why he brought his hero here.

Now, I live just the other side of the border. Hardly thirty nine steps away from the scene of the action.

John Buchan ended up as Governor General of Canada – I wouldn’t mind Canada..

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