Capone car

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Patricia Bertram will understand it is easier to spoil a good story, as she claims to have done, (Letters, 1 July) than to obliterate a local legend.

Her late father, William C Miller-Thomas of Ley, was a commanding figure, very involved in whisky exporting.

He drove a large Rolls Royce, cast his arms with a motto in old French of Je suis mon estoile sans peur in a large stone plaque above the front door of this house, and, as Mrs Bertram confirms, did bring over from the USA in 1938 a large Al Capone-type motor car.

It is not too difficult to see how this “local legend” took root. I can only assure her I have not invented this story for the sake of a little free publicity, as she rather harshly implies. It was first relayed to my wife and me many years ago on our moving into The Ley.

Personally, I am happy at the fate of her late father’s Buick – but do rather wonder how 77 years ago she was so sure it was not Al Capone’s car.

Incidentally, her father transformed the original 1860 house here into a quite stunning house which we have been extremely fortunate to have enjoyed for more than 30 years and are grateful to him.

Long live the legend.

William McVicar

The Ley

Innerleithen

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