The Angels’ Share

Started by port perran, September 04, 2023, 04:47:25 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

port perran

Part Twenty Two

Later that evening Sandy and Doris sat down for their evening meal.
Sandy had chosen pan fried local prawns served with fresh samphire as a starter followed by his favourite rump steak with french fries whilst Doris chose leek and potato soup and braised lamb shank.
Whilst sipping a glass of chilled Blue Nun wine  and waiting for their starters Doris looked over to Sandy, "What did PC Peel say in his message? I rather liked that young chappie when we met him up in Silliness".
"Oh, he was just mentioning a case I've been working on. It concerns young Jimmy Johnstone, the reason we are down here in Cornwall, and another hoodlum called Daniel Brodie".
Sandy took another sip of his wine, "I've been meaning to talk to you about Jimmy Johnstone my love. I'd like your opinion as a probation officer. I know you only did the job for a few years a while back but I know you have some considerable experience and, of course, a very caring nature".

Sandy continued "Jimmy grew up in the Gorbals as the youngest child of five, two girls and three boys.  Dad has been out of work for years and has a drink problem whilst Mum has never really been fit to look after children. Hence Jimmy has drifted into a life of petty crime, drinking and so on. He has, however, demonstrated a quite remarkable talent for whisky tasting which has been noted by at least two distillery managers. It is my belief that, given a little encouragement he could turn his talent into a lucrative career".

Doris sighed, sitting  back in her chair, "It's a story I heard so often when I was working but you sound, if I'm correct, as if you really want to help this lad?"

"I'd certainly like to give it a try if it is at all possible Doris".

With that the starters were served to the appreciative couple who didn't notice the tall, slightly portly and , elegantly dressed middle aged man walk into the far side of the restaurant with a much younger man dressed in a smart but much more casual way.
The two sat down at a table with the younger man having his back to Doris and Sandy.

"So Jimmy", said the older man after taking a sip from his pint glass, "You say you have something to tell me and that you have spent the entire day thinking about it. Is it something to do with the proposition I put to you yesterday?"

"It certainly is Bill", Jimmy was still struggling with Bill rather than Sir William. "You see it has been extremely difficult for me. Cornwall is so very different to Glasgow and would take a lot of getting used to. I honestly don't know if I could make the change and do myself justice but....."

At that precise moment Jimmy looked up, mouth open, to see Sandy Murdoch standing at the table.

The view from Doris and Sandy's table at The Cedars hotel
I'll get round to fixing it drekkly me 'ansome.


Quote from: Ed on September 22, 2023, 10:27:09 AMGosh, every episode ends with a cliffhanger  :)


And another one  ;)


Mind you that's a lovely view

port perran

Quote from: Nbodger on September 22, 2023, 02:36:22 PM
Quote from: Ed on September 22, 2023, 10:27:09 AMGosh, every episode ends with a cliffhanger  :)


And another one  ;)

I can't see anyone hanging off those cliffs in the photograph  :)
I'll get round to fixing it drekkly me 'ansome.


Quote from: port perran on September 22, 2023, 02:55:33 PMI can't see anyone hanging off those cliffs in the photograph  :)

That's because their muscles gave out waiting for the next part!!!  ;)
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with them.

port perran

Part Twenty Three

First a photograph of Trepol Bay station.

Sandy extended an arm to Jimmy who, trying to appear calm, took it in his stride returning  a firm handshake.

"I'm sorry to bother you two gentlemen" said Sandy, "My wife and I are between starter and main course but I would like a brief chat with young Jimmy here. Maybe it would be convenient to meet in the bar, perhaps when we have all eaten. It won't take long and it's nothing at all to worry about. By the way, I'm Sandy Murdoch from Police Scotland. I vaguely know young Jimmy here, who I know has moved down here from Glasgow. My very  good friend Walter McTavish from the Auchentoshan distillery speaks extremely well of him".

Sandy had taken a wild guess that the man sitting opposite Jimmy was something to do with the St Agnes distillery. He was to be proved right by what came next.
"Good old Walter I know him very well. I'm Bill Rundle owner of the whisky distillery just up the road. Walter is quite correct in speaking so highly of young  Jimmy.He has a truly remarkable palate and more importantly a huge potential in the whisky world. So much so that yesterday I offered him a position of some importance with us. I'm just waiting to hear his reply".

Jimmy relaxed, visibly, a point not missed by Sandy's experienced eye, but he still didn't have any idea what was coming next.
What on earth did Sandy Murdoch want with him and was it trouble?

"We'll meet in the bar at nine", pronounced Sir William glancing at his expensive looking watch, "I'll treat you to one of our extra special whiskies that they keep hidden away under the bar here for special occasions. Now, you and your wife enjoy the rest of your meal in peace. You can tell us what this is all about later".

"Thank you" , replied Sandy, "I'll look forward to that whisky and Jimmy, it really is nothing to worry about. I just want a snippet of information from you. Now, I'll leave you to relay your decision to Mr Rundle. I hope it's good news that you are about to give him".

I'll get round to fixing it drekkly me 'ansome.

cornish yorkie

 :hellosign: :greatpicturessign:
   Gosh Martin many thanks a superb tale that's got everyone waiting for the next chapter (including me)  :thumbsup:
 stay safe regards Derek

port perran

Jimmy's decision will be revealed tomorrow so stay tuned.
I'll get round to fixing it drekkly me 'ansome.


keithbythe sea

Quote from: port perran on September 22, 2023, 08:42:57 PMJimmy's decision will be revealed tomorrow so stay tuned.

Stop messing about with these cliff hangers!  >:D
We need to know what the decision is.
We set sail for foreign parts tomorrow, hope I can get a satellite signal.  :-\

port perran's the long awaited next instalment with only one, very small, cliffhanger at the end.
Hopefully it's in time for @keithbythe sea to read before he embarks on his travels.
Jimmy's decision is revealed at long last.
I wonder if it is as expected or does it come as a surprise?

First though, a photo of the long lost Port Perran layout :

Part Twenty Four

So it was that all three men met in the bar at precisely 9-00pm.
Doris elected to sit in the far corner with a gin and orange and the latest copy of Women's Own magazine.

Sir William was beaming, "It's great news Sandy, young Jimmy here has decided to join us at  the St  Agnes Distillery as Brand Manager. The idea being that he promotes our whiskies, and in time possibly other spirits, in Cornwall, England, the UK in general including of course Bonnie Scotland and, thinking longer term, across the globe. He  will be initially on a six month contract and if he conducts himself well the post will be made permanent and will attract a significant salary increase. So the onus is very much on Jimmy and that brings me onto my next point".

Sandy looked relieved, extending his hand to the young lad who looked somewhat embarrassed, "Well done Jimmy lad, I am so pleased for you. Now, I have something to ask of you but don't worry, it won't affect your prospects in any way. First though I'll let Sir awilliam, sorry Bill, continue".

"Before I do", said Bill, "Let's crack open a bottle of whisky". He nodded to Brenda the barmaid who produced an old looking bottle and three glasses from under the bar.
"I want you both to try this. It"s a 40 year old example of a single malt from the now defunct Ladyburn distillery in Girvan. It's a fine example of a Lowland malt, light, refreshing and with a grassy sweetness. The age has matured the dram beautifully".

All three nosed the drink before taking a sip.
Jimmy was the first to comment, "What a truly magnificent whisky. So light but full of character. I can detect the essence of freshly cut grass, honeysuckle in flower and just a hint of roasted almonds. This is definitely one of the best whiskies, if not the best, that I've sampled".

"Slainte", responded Bill, " And that is one of the reasons we've invited Jimmy to join us. He has such an exquisite palate, as we keep saying, and his whisky experience is developing all of the time".

Bill took another sip, "Now then Sandy, let me fill you in on what Jimmy has said to me and how we see him developing.   First off, it was an extremely difficult decision for him. As you know, he's used to a, shall we say, less civilised lifestyle in Glasgow and he's openly stated that the transition will be pretty difficult. Getting used to a working day will prove to be a challenge and let me say straight off that this will be no nine to five, Monday to Friday job. That's why we're offering an initial salary of two thousand five hundred pounds per year rising to three thousand two hundred and fifty if he successfully completes the three month probation period".

Sandy looked astounded, "Jimmy lad that's mighty good money for a lad from the Gorbals"

"It certainly is" continued Bill, "In addition we'll be paying for the lad to learn to drive and providing a car once he passes his test. We're also providing a small flat for him in or around St Agnes".

Jimmy turned red with embarrassment. Inwardly he was wondering if he could deliver on what would be a huge challenge.

"I won't bore you with the details of the job", said Bill taking another sip, "Suffice to say that we are looking  to expand and extend our range and we see Jimmy as the man to help achieve that. He has filled me in fully on his past life and misdemeanours and  I'm going to  overlook that, trust him and help him rise, hopefully, to the very top, eventually, of his profession. We realise that adapting to the change of lifestyle will be difficult and to that end we'll be looking to provide some sort of professional lifeskills development if we can find the right person".

Sandy thought for just a moment before butting in, "I may be able to help there, or rather my wife Doris might.  I've been thinking over several weeks that Jimmy is the sort of lad who needs encouragement and guidance rather than spend his life in and out of prison. My wife Doris over there used to be a probation officer and has plenty of experience of this sort of thing. She would, I'm sure, be happy to help out if she can".

"Certainly, certainly" said Bill, "Perhaps we can talk to your good lady a bit later but first, you said you had something to ask my new employee here".

"Yes indeed" continued Sandy turning to Jimmy, "Like Bill here I'm happy to overlook your past but am trusting you to stay on the straight and narrow. Very quickly though, do you know a wee laddie called Daniel Brodie and more importantly, do you know where he is right now?"

Jimmy's face reddened, ever so slightly, which Sandy spotted straight away before Jimmy cleared his throat and began his reply............

I'll get round to fixing it drekkly me 'ansome.

Chris in Prague

Ah! Port Perran of very fond memory and still, a cliffhanger! 8-)


My congratulations to Jimmy. It has been a while coming - and my finger ends can testify to that - but worth waiting for. I shall have a drop of the 'Auchentoshan' that was recommended to me, later tonight, in celebration.  :thumbsup:
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with them.

keithbythe sea

Well done Jimmy, lad! Now the hard work begins. Fabulous salary for the early sixties.

Thank you Martin, just in time!  :beers:

Train Waiting

Thank you for another terrific chapter, Martin.

And for that splendid picture of Port Perran.  What a magnificent layout that was.  However, rather like Jimmy, Port Perran has a skeleton in the cupboard as it was a massive influence on the development of my Table-Top Railway project.  Without Port Perran, there would be no Poppingham, or, at least no Poppingham as we know it!

Thanks again and all good wishes.

Please visit us at

'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

The Table-Top Railway is an attempt to create, in British 'N' gauge,  a 'semi-scenic' railway in the old-fashioned style, reminiscent of the layouts of the 1930s to the 1950s.

For the made-up background to the railway and list of characters, please see here:

Please Support Us!
March Goal: £100.00
Due Date: Mar 31
Total Receipts: £12.34
Below Goal: £87.66
Site Currency: GBP
March Donations