Caught by the River

Shadows & Reflections – Edwyn Collins & Grace Maxwell

23rd December 2007

In which, as the year comes to it’s end, our friends and collaborators look back and share their moments;

Edwyn on Mary Wilson Macintosh;

I loved my Granny. Sometimes she was a little monkey. Sometimes she was quiet. Sometimes she sang for me. “The sun shines bright on Charlie Chaplin.” From the First World War. She liked walking, always with a stick, striding out. I recollect her home in Glasgow, 12 Merrylee Road. Nice and cosy. I stayed there a lot.
She liked fishing, catching salmon and trout on the River Brora, in Sutherland. Many fish she caught. She was taught by her father, Grandpa Wilson. He was a tremendous fisherman.

Grace on Mary Wilson Macintosh;

Edwyn would recite one of his Granny’s many familiar mantras on the road north to Helmsdale. “The Dee, the Don, the Deveron…” …all the rivers you cross on the journey. There is a photo of her in waders, shirt and tie, bobbed hair, in the middle of a river, taken in the twenties. Granny gave Edwyn her beautifully illustrated copy of The Tour of Doctor Syntax, which he named his last but one record after. She introduced me to Turgenev. She sent me a copy of Fathers and Sons when I was laid up in hospital. Mary was the most erudite woman I knew. She died aged 97 last week. Edwyn sang at her funeral on a freezing blue morning. And the last piece of music they played he instantly recognised, although it’s been many years since he heard it. Schubert’s “The Trout.”

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