‘Capone’ car

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As a retired minister myself, I could not share Mrs Bertram’s reluctance (Letters, 1 July) to “add to the free publicity that William McVicar is already getting” for the sale of the Ley. After all, Mr McVicar – an elder of the Kirk – spent a good part of his life helping retiring ministers to find a home when the manse had to be left.

Besides, “the good story” does have more life in it.

When I was helping out during a vacancy in the parish church, an extremely trustworthy Innerleithen member who had been brought up in the area told me that as a young girl she had seen a photograph of Al Capone standing on the grand piano of a big house “up the granites” – where The Ley is situated – signed by “Uncle Al”.

Now, as a Walkerburn man these days, I hasten to say that I omitted this good story from my memoirs in case any of rival Innerleithen’s defensive denizens cast up the absolute untruth that in the same decades Walkerburn men used to put a cow on the railway line so that the train would stop long enough for them to load all their poached salmon for the London market!

(Rev) Jack Kellet


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