“Wha Saw The Tattie Howking”

Time moved on, I was around eleven years old, we as a family were moving up. The signalman had traded in his motorbike and sidecar for a manky old Bedford van, ex GPO with wooden bench seats in the back, the only downside was that it cost more petrol to run and so the mince had to be watered down even more. Mother worked in the mill. We had moved into a brand-new council house two years past, the move was a story in itself, one large perambulator with 100,000 miles on the clock to-ing and fro-ing, he had borrowed a huge railway cart to carry the sofa and the big stuff. No matter because in a few weeks I was off to school camp for a whole four weeks and the camp had two full sized football pitches. But there’s a small problem, I needed a pair of long trousers, so what to do? My pal came up with the solution, Tattie Howking. So the plan came to fruition and the Perthshire fields awaited our company. We found ourselves some days later standing at the bus stop waiting to be picked up, how could I possibly know that in the house with the bus stop outside my beloved would live, it took another eight years for us to meet at the Dunfermline Kinema and our life-time journey would begin.

Tattie howking, face down for four long weeks looking down at the Perthshire dirt extracting Solanum Tuberosum, if it was good enough for my forefathers, then it was good enough for me. As Chrissie Hyde would sing “Brass In Pocket” and troosers bought.

Fitbaw crazy school camp near Meigle, Scotland’s oldest village, Ardler House, Scotlands answer to ‘Broadmoor’. Cedar wooden huts with dormitories, best not to say what went on there at night, but needless to say, discipline was lax, looked after by a drunken but lovable Maths teacher whose nose was bigger and redder than any post box. What followed was four weeks of madness, lots of cold fresh air but masses of football. “Scotland’s Outdoor Educational Centre”. I loved it. The highlight for me was being coached by a football coach, one Davie McParland.

Davie McParland is listed as one of Partick Thistles greatest servants, he features alongside,
Husband – Davidson – McKenzie – Rough – Archibald – McKenna – McMullan and of course the Hanson brothers. “Firhill For Thrills” was the cry of the “Harry Wraggs”. Davies 109 goals in 548 games over sixteen years sounds absurd, but he will be remembered at Thistle for taking his young team to Hampden in 1971 and, look -away now, beating ‘The Tic’ 4-1. I’m certain that any older Celtic supporters would never forget that game and fair play to Davie, talk about a cup upset. It elevated Davie to Thistle cult status and Big Jock would keep him in mind, of that there could be no doubt. Davie played with and against some of the great players of that time, like Bertie Auld, Paddy Crerand, Jim Baxter and he didn’t look out of place. In 1976 Davie was invited to become Big Jock’s assistant, Sean Fallon was tasked with finding the next batch of “Quality Street Kids”, he had found the first set after all. Davie McParland took over training while Jock tried to recover from his near fatal car crash and Celtic won the League Title and the Scottish Cup double in 76-77. But the next season’s empty trophy cabinet gave the family’s board the excuse to dump Jock and Davie was just part of the collateral damage. Am I bitter at Jock’s treatment? Hell yes.

Davie McParland was a lovely human being, he was very much respected in Scottish football and for good reasons, he fully deserves to be remembered as a part of Celtic’s glorious history, but it will be as a part of the “Harry Wraggs” history that he will be remembered by them. I for one will miss his genuine smile.

Davie McParland (5th. May 1935 – 14th. July 2018). Requiescat In Pace.

By Bawheid

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Big Audio Dynamite

Thanks, Bawheid!
Love finding out little nuggets of info about our club. Every time I see Patrick Thistle -In relation to us- it always reminds me of our record in LC finals back in the day. 😱

Big Audio Dynamite

Who knew the Russian gov lurked on SC?

When I suggested they should have said the found WMD in Ukraine, I was actually only joking!
Sorry Vlad, I definitely won’t do it again 👍


Morning all,

Bawheid, excellent story 👏👏👏

Tomorrow in Wordle, I’m going for 55 ??????

Now where else have I heard that figure before ??

Hhmmmmm !!!!!!!!!!!!



Great stuff, brought back memories.
Around 74/75 I would venture the mile or so along to Firhill with a Jags buddy, when Celtic were away.
The Thistle squad around that time had a strong Celtic connection- D McP as you mention but also Bertie who, I think, succeeded him. Stevie Chalmers finished his career there, I think.
Alan Rough, Benny Rooney, Ronnie Glavin, Joe Craig all played and would turn up at Celtic eventually.
My favourite for some reason was Dennis Mc Quade!
It was an entertaining team

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends. Thanks for that pleasant wee breakfast read, Bawheid.

Billy Bhoy

Great story Bawheid! Enjoyed reading that.

Leggy, congratulations on “genuinely” reaching 55! Sadly, like a hun, I lost my Wordle history while I was over in Portugal tecently. I was in the forties and then suddenly I went back to 1!! I’ve emailed the NY Times to see if they can help. If I don’t get any joy ill escalate the matter to Neil Doncaster. He has had some success retrieving history in the recent past 🙄


Morning all! Leggy…I passed 55/1 a few days ago, foolishly without the realising the significance of my achievement! I have now reached 58 which puts me on 4 In A Row. I’m now targeting the milestone of 63 which will assumes legendary status of 10 In A Row!
Here We Go 10 In A Row!


Good stuff Bawheid having lived facing Firhill where I always got to see one end of the park from my window, it brought back memories. I could at least see half the pitch, game and goals.

Davie was a character I remember he had at least 2 pubs one in Cowcaddens the other in Lennoxtown both called McParlands, I still do the odd bit of work in the Lennoxtown one, though it’s now named “The Drookit Dug” for those not of a Scottish persuasion, that’s The Wet Canine. It’s still a good Celtic pub.



Bawheid…great read. My bro-in-law is a Jag. He loves to talk about the 4-1 game, and rightly so, the wee Jags beating one of the top teams in Europe at the time is definitely worth remembering for the wee guys who don’t often get a chance to celebrate major victories. I give you St Johnstone and their two cup wins last year as an example! Brilliant!!

The Gombeen Man

Cracking read this morning Bawheid. You’re a great addition to the Blog.

So too CBB, it’s really refreshing to read new contributors here.

In a few moments, I’ll post one of my Irish rambles. I posted it quite a while ago, with Garry in mind due to its Irish-Polish connection.

Anyway, given current tragic events I think it might be topical?

Feel free to scroll past.

It’s good to see Neil Lennon back in work. He was working on the Saturday Premier Sports Live game here a couple of weeks ago.

He looked well and it was great to see him laughing again.

St tams

Lovely story .
My best mate growing up ,was a jags fan.
Went to a few games with him. Remember 2 in particular.
One against Honved in Europe and 1 against the huns when Brian Whittaker scored a cracker in the last minute.


Thank’s for the comments bhoy’s. I used to see Davie occasionally at Mass, he alway’s seemed to be a really decent person. Yes for the ‘Tic that 4-1 result was a shocker, but Thistle played out of their skins that day. The Saint Johnston comparison is a fair one. ASWLG – I never knew that Davie had a couple of pubs, so that’s a revelation in itself to me, so thanks, nostalgia eh.

There is something else that made me think back to the Tattie Howking, it was finding out about the ten young Irishmen from Achill Island that perished in the farm bothy near Kirkintilloch, the response from the people of Kirkintilloch and beyond was outstanding. Our ancestors came over to ‘Tattie Howk’ for many years, they worked very hard just to survive and to feed their families.
“They left to be ‘tattie howkers’,
As many had done before,
they were heading out to Scotland,
When they left from Irelands shore,
They arrived in Kirkintilloch,
Ready for their task ahead,
to send the money back to their kin,
And keep their families fed.”
A part of great wee poem from the past that reflected on that terrible tragedy

The Gombeen Man


Reading through the Irish Nine Year War period and its aftermath (1593 to 1603) can be tough.

Those were dark days, not known for their lighter moments.

Even in the midst of the most barbaric cruelty sometimes fate intervenes to lampoon the unjust motivations of the oppressor.

To set the scene,

Britain was brought close to bankruptcy by the Nine Years War. The conflict cost £2m, a colossal sum . That couldn’t be allowed to happen again. Drastic measures were required to subdue the unpredictable Gael.

The new King, James I was astounded at the lack of funds in the Treasury. England needed money and fast.

The Battle of Kinsale in 1601 was the beginning of the end for the powerful Gaelic Earls, Rory O’Donnell (Earl of Tyrconnell/Donegal) and Hugh O’Neill (Earl of Tyrone).

They sailed into exile from Rathmullan, Lough Swilly, County Donegal in 1607 for Europe.

The Flight of the Earls left London with a huge problem.

Thousands of what the authorities called “Idle (Irish) Swordsmen” were left behind. Additionally, there followed the short-lived, O’Doherty Rebellion of 1608. It shocked the British. Its leader, Cahir O’Doherty had previously supported the Crown. The rebellion resulted in Derry being burned to the ground and the killing of its Governor, Sir George Paulet. O’Doherty was later shot and killed by musket fire during a skirmish at Kilmacrennan, Donegal.

O’Doherty’s head and the head of his supporter, Phelim MacDavitt were displayed by the British on spikes at Newgate in Dublin.

The remainder of the O’Doherty Clan were pursued to Tory Island, (a small island off the north-west coast of Donegal) and besieged in a small castle. Henry Folliott, Commander of the Crown Forces, issued the notorious ‘Pelham’s Pardon’, “Bring me your commander alive or his head in a sack.”

Facts are scarce but a few of the rebels survived the events that followed. Folklore claims that the survivors changed their surnames to numerous forms of Docherty/Dougherty, as a result of the trauma.

Medieval English justice had been meted out.

The fear of the return of Hugh O’Neill and Rory O’Donnell and the ramifications of Cahir O’Doherty’s Rebellion, accelerated the Crown’s plans to replace the combative, unpredictable Gael. With a more submissive crop of Lowland Scots, English and Welsh.

To achieve that : The Idle Irish Swordsmen had to be removed. No God-fearing Briton could be expected to till fertile Irish soil with starving, marauding swordsmen on the loose.

An unlikely solution to the Idle Swordsmen problem presented itself in the form of Sweden’s War in Russia against Poland. James I struck a deal with King Karl IX of Sweden to sell Irish soldiers to Sweden, for combat against the Polish.

James would make money and nullify the threat from the Idle Irish Swordsmen.

The perfect solution.

It’s thought there were 16,000 impoverished, highly trained Irish soldiers were in Ireland in 1609. Of that total 4,000 were in Ulster. Initially several hundred destitute men took advantage of the offer of food, money and clothing and were transported to Sweden.

Recruitment slowed and coercion, force and brutality became the preferred methods of persuasion. The more cynical of what were called ‘Undertakers’ (those charged with clearing Ulster for Plantation) advocated hunting down the Irish “for sport.”

Alleged Rebels held in prison after the Nine Years War and O’Doherty’s Rebellion were forcibly put on ships and told they’d be executed if they returned to Ireland.

Eventually sufficient numbers were press-ganged. And held for departure. Inishowen was emptied of young men. Three boats were loaded with their human cargo in Derry and a fourth in Carlingford Lough, near Newry.

A mutiny happened onboard the ship at Newry. Captive Irishmen smashed the ship’s compass and the vessel ran aground. Several alleged ring leaders met their deaths by summary execution.

Fate intervenes…

The resistance to enforced transportation delayed the departure of the four ships. They set sail in October/November 1609. The weather deteriorated and the four vessels were blown off course and sought shelter on the east coast of Britain.

Ships docked at Harwich, Tilbury, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Peterhead. Blessing their good fortune and the opportunity presented by the “tidal waves.” Hundreds of Irish prisoners immediately escaped. Starving and impoverished they began to “harass  Britons from Fife to Kent.” Much to the embarrassment and consternation of the British establishment.

In a later enquiry a Captain Litchfield explained, “Many (Irish) soldiers escaped, (they were) the most wicked and ungodly creatures.”

Of the 1,100 prisoners that were forcibly transported from Ireland during the winter of 1609, it was reported that over half escaped. Hundreds made their way to the Netherlands and joined exiled Irish Regiments.

Others returned safely to Ireland. In Peterhead dozens of Irishmen escaped and made their way to Edinburgh, despite warnings from the Scottish Authorities not to escape, “on pain of death.”

The cruel plan of James I had spectacularly backfired, to his acute embarrassment. It not only brought the  Irish Swordsmen onto British soil but added hundreds to the ranks of the Irish Regiment in Flanders.

Over the following 5 years, it’s estimated that over 5,000 Irishmen were transported against their will to Sweden to fight in Russia. Different routes were followed and sailings made use of the summer tides.

Conditions in Sweden were dreadful. The fact that Karl IX was a Protestant fighting the Catholic Polish didn’t resonate particularly well either. Hundreds of Irishmen escaped from Sweden and journeyed across Europe to join their countrymen in the Netherlands.

Several hundred others changed sides and joined the opposing Polish forces. Irish veterans of the Nine Years War and enforced transportation fought with the Polish and eventually assisted in the occupation of Moscow in 1610/12.

Ireland rose again in 1641. Suffered Cromwell in 1649. Endured the Williamite War of 1690/91 and the enforced exile of a further 19,000 Irish soldiers to Europe, with Patrick Sarsfield. Over the following 40 years it is estimated that 120,000 Irishmen were killed or wounded fighting in campaigns in Europe (The Wild Geese).

Ireland rose again in 1798 and 1803. Her population was halved during the starvation of An Gorta Mór of 1847. Later came The Fenians, The Invicibles, IRB, Easter Rising, War of Independence, Civil War, Border Campaign, The Troubles.

Add to that the not so small matter of a Celtic Football club founded in Glasgow to feed starving immigrant Irish families winning the European Cup in 1967. Nine League Titles in a Row –  twice.

An unbroken History of 135 years directly connected to the Celts of the past

Will someone tell folk like Vladimir and his counterparts in London and Washington. We’ve seen this movie before.

History repeats until we hear it’s message.

It’s that simple


Terrible tragedy Bawheid, though not sure they could have been described as men the youngest was only 13yrs old, they had slept that night in a tattie shed store using straw as bedding. May they rest in peace



Wonderful stuff-and grateful thanks!

I was at THAT game. My first Cup Final it was too. I’m fairly certain it was the first time in my four years of attendance that I saw us lose. Picked a good game for it,blowing the treble into the bargain.

Btw,I too am still raging at how Jock was treated back then. With injury problems like ours that season and a tight-fisted board hoarding the cash,they should have built his statue just as a reward for him avoiding relegation.

There’s a special place for Des White on my own hit-list

Saltires en Sevilla

Bobby & Mahe

You have mail -apologies for delay lads..


“History repeats until we hear it’s message.”

Don’t think history has ever had Mutually Assured Destruction in mind.

Saltires en Sevilla

Sol – Rudi Got Married -one of the few songs that enticed to the dance floor – wonderful

Big Packy – telling Tony Bennett where to get aff the stage … I mean stave …always admire folk that play and read directly from music. 🎼🥁


SES Tony Bennett ? he’s the American one, it was Tony Christie the English one, you’ll never get a job as a postman 🤣

The Gombeen Man


Only the human being could devise a weapon to ensure its own destruction and still come up with a rationalisation for it’s retention, let alone it’s use.

Old Firmisim on a grand scale.

It’s interesting that Putin is using the Anglo-Saxon as the culprit to garner support with the Slavic peoples.

Where have we seen that before?

Clue : Hun v Taig.

Modern lethal technology in the hands of the same old tribalistic, fear based, flawed thinking.

Enjoy the day.

Saltires en Sevilla

Bawheid – Great read today with care and feeling, thanks for sharing and filling in a few blanks … always liked Dave McParland and admired his suits – very dapper- also remember tattie howking at The Cunningham Estate in 1970’s … fingers still sore…

TGM – Great read on 9 Year War – going on 900- remember reading that Irish Earls intervened to restore sequestered/escheated lands and goods to Gaelic/Catholic families after James 1 and saxt (6th) replaced Elizabeth c1602/3/4? I gave up on my faith a long time ago and only mention religion in context of that period etc. Earl Thormond intervened to restore lands to his ‘family’ in Armagh who were RC but by that time Thormond was Church of Ireland and we know his brother joined O’Neill & O’Donnell on their ‘flight’

It seems adopting a faith was simply a device for holding onto title and would like to hear your thoughts on Old English and Gaelic Earls, and how they were foes then initially ignored then acquiesced to Reformed faith and then full went to full rebellion c1641

They seem as slippery and elusive as some of those modern day new-fangled VPN thangs…

Some fantastic contributions in the last few weeks and feels like the blog is coming alive, so refreshing to see folk returning and new contributors adding colour and flavour… and a right laugh

Spring is in the air…

Edit: completely lost my first draft of this posted before 10 am and apologies in advance if it resurfaces at some point later today.

Saltires en Sevilla

ASWGL – 😂😂😂

Doh !! knew it was an important guy .., 😄


With nickel hitting $100k per tonne,betcha our friends in the US have their heads down the back of the settee,looking for small change.

Btw,a year ago it was about $5k per tonne!


The 4 -1 cup final in 1971 was a bit like the Spanish Inquisition

No one expected it.

I was there I think but its not a game my memory bank has recalled often.

Looking at a video I do remember it was Thistle wing play that devastated us from crosses but it is all a bit of a bad dream.



Ronnie Glavin cleaned Jinky out early. Only one sub-Jim Craig. They never looked back!

Saltires en Sevilla


Might be a glitch but 2 posts appeared then disappeared – if you find them on the naughty step you can delete v1#

Or both if they are too naughty or just too shoite 😅


SES it happens sometimes due to the site cache taking longer than normal to catch up, on a refresh F5 they will dissapear, well one should

Saltires en Sevilla


Thanks buddy 👍

Saltires en Sevilla

Bawheid & TGM

Outstanding and entertaining posts today lads thanks


Why the fekk are all the Scottish Cup quarter finals played this Weekend, except ours which is on a bloody Monday night ?

I’m guessing sky that’s mind blowing if so.


Thank’s Bobby, if nothing else it gives both you and Mahe a few hours rest. 4 -1 What a Shockarooney!!

You couldn’t mention the ‘Harry Wraggs’, without mentioning the legend that was Bertie Auld.
The eldest of eight born and brought up in Panmure Street Maryhill, a Partick Thistle ball bhoy, who signed for Celtic from Maryhill Harp. What a partnership he had with your namesake Bobby Murdoch, for me the most formidable mid-field partnership that i ever saw. Bertie was the Partick Thistle manager twice, the first time for six years where he succeeded Davie McParland and when he passed, he was mourned all over Scotland but mostly by the Celtic support and equally at Partick Thistle, where he too achieved cult status. Talent – Personality – Drive, the Panmure Street Bhoy, the Lisbon Lion, whose memory will live on in our hearts. Bertie Auld RIP.



Premier Sport have ours n Hun games.
BBC the other two.



I totally agree with you about Bertie. He was all that you say,but he was a damn sight more too. If we ever meet up at a hoot,I’ll tell you about the lengths he was prepared to go just to help ease the suffering of a young lad,Celtic daft,in the US

The only reason it didn’t happen was because Bertie’s wife Liz fell ill. But he still phoned the young fella twice a week. And if you know Bertie,those calls weren’t likely to be brief.

He is much missed by his family and friends,but he treated the entire support as family and friends. And we miss him too



Post restored



The problem with the rationale of deterrence is that it only takes one lunatic running their asylum to annihilate all.


CFC much obliged 👍

bada bing1

Broonie leaving Aberdeen today………


He’ll mibbe take a wee holiday in Cyprus soon 😀


Yes Bobby, The word I missed out among many others was Berties, COMPASSION.
But it would take more than one post or one article to list the qualities of that man and yes his passing is still raw, it will take a long, long time to heal.

Everyone, thank you one and all, I much appreciate your kind and considered words.


Very good article Bawheid, well done! 🙂


It’s easy to forget just how good this wee geniuses goals were.

big packy

SALTIRES and ASWGL, that was a true story regarding tony christie, his real name was tony fitzgerald,but we all called him tony christie,I once said to him, tony you dont look like a christie from croy,he didnt see the funny side of it,.LOL. BTW before I go TLR glad your back on here, sincere apologies about our little conflab,LOL.i remember telling you about 12 months ago you have a lot to offer to this site, so keep posting, well that was short and sweet,back to lurking stay safe ghuys and ghals.H.H.

Margaret McGill

I remember the tattie howking up at Old Robbs in Blaeberryhill farm.
one days work I got 26p and 3 stane o tatties.
My dad said “youre no going back”

Margaret McGill

We the City of London (sorry British people) are going to wait to see what steps we need to take to re-launder Russian oligarchs money.
Ukrainians? no way….was one of the stipulations of the Brexit funding and we are just very very racist!


An excellent read. Thanks for that. As you obviously enjoy history, I would recommend Tom Minogue’s blog. It was on this blog that I first read about the bothy fire.

Big Packy

Pass on my best wishes to Joan. I’m so glad that she is doing better.

Hail Hail.



Davie McParland brings back great memories of games at Firhill. Davie was a left winger who had both pace and ball skills. In the early sixties in Scottish football, there was an influx of small wingers like Jinky, Henderson, Cowan and Alex Edwards. McParland was an exception being taller and stronger. He formed a great partnership with an under rated inside left, Neilly Duffy. In many ways, they were the strongest left sided duo in the league in 1962……the year that PT almost won the league.

For some reason, Duffy never hit the big time. In this respect, he was similar to a Killie player, Dave Sneddon. Very talented but rarely capped.

Incidentally, Alan Rough went to the same school as me and played in the second eleven when I was in the first eleven. The teams were determined, not by ability, but by age. Rough was a standout in a very good team.

Ah, the memories!


Saltires en Sevilla


Bawheid is Tom ? Or Did I just assume it was? … having a bit of a day Tbf so happy to be corrected … going for 55 today like Big Leggy… if it really is a Birthday buddy have a Happy 1st 😂

St tams

Was that Knightswood secondary



I am as awful as my brother War,
I am the sudden silence after clamour.
I am the face that shows the seamy scar
When blood and frenzy has lost its glamour.
Men in my pause shall know the cost at last
That is not to be paid in triumphs or tears,
Men will begin to judge the thing that’s past
As men will judge it in a hundred years.

Nations! whose ravenous engines must be fed
Endlessly with the father and the son,
My naked light upon your darkness, dread! –
By which ye shall behold what ye have done:
Whereon, more like a vulture than a dove,
Ye set my seal in hatred, not in love.


Let no man call me good. I am not blest.
My single virtue is the end of crimes,
I only am the period of unrest,
The ceasing of horrors of the times;
My good is but the negative of ill,
Such ill as bends the spirit with despair,
Such ill as makes the nations’ soul stand still
And freeze to stone beneath a Gorgon glare.

Be blunt, and say that peace is but a state
Wherein the active soul is free to move,
And nations only show as mean or great
According to the spirit then they prove. –
O which of ye whose battle-cry is Hate
Will first in peace dare shout the name of Love?

Eleanor Farjeon.

Colour Blind Bhoy

Good afternoon everyone.

Bawheid, great wee read today, thank you.

Had a job interview today, after spending 32 years with my previous company it was a strange feeling but also great to get my brain energised.

BMCUW, that 71 cup final was also my first, I was promised by my Dad and Uncles that I’d see Celtic winning the cup that day. Ronnie Glavin (wish we had him for our penalties when JJ is on the bench) taking Jinky out and us only having a right back on then bench were clearly significant factors. Can you imagine if Jock had a bench of 9 that he could utilise 5 of?