IT'S that time of year when old timers (like me) go all misty-eyed reminiscing about the Royal Smithfield Show.

Sadly no longer with us, this event saw an annual pilgrimage by planes, trains and automobiles to London and to the rarified atmosphere of the Earls Court arena – becoming, in the process, the source of many legends.

So, The Raider thought he would compile a few from memory, though many brain cells were hurt and some permanently removed in the making of these recollections!

Getting to the show

The late Andrew Morrow, the Highland cattle king for Douglas and Angus Estates, was a frequent visitor to the show and on one famous occasion had seemingly enjoyed the trip down by train to the capital.

On arrival, Andrew (famous for his saying: 'Mooth like shuvvel and tongue like a scythe') and his pal, Alec Young, literally fell onto the platform, a deliverance that necessitated a trip to A and E for attention to a split heid.

The upshot was that the injury needed stitching and so the young Doc asked Andrew, before administering anaesthetic, if he had been drinking on the train. To which Andrew said: "Aye, but only two whiskies."

The young Doc: "Okay, only two shots of whisky?"

"Naw, two bottles of The Famous Grouse," was the reply. Little additional anaesthetic was needed in the making of those stitches.

Round trip

The MacPherson family from near Oban were famous for their wins at Earls Court, most notably with The Bandit in 1989.

A beautiful thing it was too, but they were also successful another time with a black and white gomerel of a thing called Sheridan. This unexpected win resulted on one Donald MacPherson become so over-refreshed that he attempted to go 'up town', a move which proved pretty pointless as he went round the District line asleep on the train so many times that he ended up back at the Tube's overnight stop and was awoken by the cleaning wumman!

Taxi to Alnwick

ANOTHER legendary Smithfield escapade was when the late Bobby Robinson, of Snipe House, Alnwick, decided that on leaving Earls Court, he needed to get home.

The story goes that he got in a taxi in the rank outside the show's front door and when the cabbie asked: "Where to sir?" ... Bobby famously replied: "Snipe House, Alnwick."

Upshot of this was that the cabbie did, indeed, take Bobby home to Alnwick, was well rewarded for his efforts and then came to stay every year thereafter for a short holiday as a guest of the family. A mostly true legend!

Immovable object

ANOTHER well publicised homecoming from Smithfield involved the two Hamilton brothers, Stewart and the late Douglas.

A pair of very big lads from the family business Hamilton of Larkhall (Stewart was a Scotland B International rugby player) had their usual fill of the Case International hospitality at the show – they never saw another stand, nor a beast that day! – and wavered their way to the airport.

In those days, the authorities were not quite so strict with boarding procedures and there were two Scotland-bound planes leaving at about the same time ­– one to Glasgow and one to Edinburgh.

You can tell what happened next? The pair got on the wrong flight and when the cultured voice of the captain announced the the 8.35pm flight to Edinburgh would be leaving shortly, Stewart (Big Hammy to his pals) declared in a loud Larkhall-stype voice that 'Am urnae gaun tae Embra, am gaun tae Glasgow ... take me to Glasgow!"

This necessitated, of course, the arrival of a platoon of Polis necessary to remove a very large belligerent off the plane and back into the airport. This, reputedly, resulted in a large fine and a night courtesy of Her Majesty.

(Might be more stories next week ... this could be a dripping roast! Any relevant recollections to or ring 07803970225)