SR’s editor compiled many thousands of notes for his books ‘The Invisible Spirit’ and ‘The Broken Journey’ on the life of Scotland between 1945 and 1999. Many of minor interest never found their way into print. For this daily series, he has rescued some of these abandoned scraps from the dustbin of history.
Early July 1960
Love in a piggery
Lord Wheatley presided over an unusual divorce action in the Court of Session. He refused decree to Gilbert Young, lorry driver of Ayr, who had sued for divorce because of the alleged cruelty of his wife, Evangeline Grindrod Young, who he claimed kept nagging him, often into the early hours of the morning, so that he was deprived of sleep.
She counter-claimed that he was committing adultery with other women. Wheatley found that Young had had an adulterous relationship with a young woman named Isa Mackay, although both the husband and Isa Mackay strenuously denied that she made frequent visits to a piggery overlooked by a Church of Scotland manse. The minister had been ‘obviously distressed’ at what he witnessed. Wheatley said it had been suggested that a piggery was unlikely to have been a place where adultery would be carried on.
‘Certainly’, he continued, ‘a piggery is not a classical conception of a focus suspectus
, and it is not perhaps the ideal setting for a love idyll, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that if a long course of adultery was being carried on they were content to indulge in it in the one place which was readily available. The husband admitted there was a couch in the piggery and I doubt if it was there for the convenience and comfort of the animal inhabitants'. The judge went on to quote in Latin: ‘A man alone with a woman in a suspected place is presumed not to be there saying his prayers’.
More domestic misery
The Court of Session heard a case brought by A E Pickard, a cinema magnate, against five members of his own family. Pickard claimed that more than 300 houses in the Glasgow area were legally his, but his family contested the claim, maintaining that Pickard did not contend that he was the true owner of the properties until after the death of his first wife. Relations with his family deteriorated when he re-married, and his children ‘refused to receive’ his second wife.
Death of a theosophist
Miss Isabelle Pagan, author and lecturer, died in Edinburgh. The second of a remarkable family of seven sisters, she wrote and produced plays and was the first to introduce Ibsen’s works to Edinburgh audiences when, under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, she staged ‘Peer Gynt’.