Panic for Piper writer after bin lorry tragedy

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The bin lorry accident last weekend in Glasgow, which cast a shadow over the city’s Christmas celebrations, caused some panic locally.

As news of the event unfolded, Cults-Culter area reporter Kathleen Robertson, who hails from Glasgow, knew that her brother-in-law Jim Blair’s favourite jaunt was to catch a bus to George Square in the city centre.

She spent hours anxiously trying to get him on the telephone, without success.

She said: “Jim is a spritely 91-year-old and lives in Denistoun, a couple of miles away from George Square.

‘‘He’s always been a great walker and, despite his age, he still loves getting out and about with the aid of a walking stick around Glasgow.

‘‘I knew he gets the bus into George Square to stroll around the shops.

‘‘ When neither myself nor his daughter, Lesley, could get hold of him, we were both frantic with worry.”

Eventually, however, later in the day of the Glasgow accident, the active pensioner contacted his daughter and sister-in-law to say that he was alive and well - but only just - because Jim had got off his bus about five minutes before the lorry ploughed through the area by his stop.

Jim is, in fact, no stranger to either drama or Deeside.

In his younger days, both he and Kathleen were in amateur dramatics together in Glasgow.

Still interested in theatre, he came up to Aberdeen a couple of years ago to watch a performance of Culter Theatre Group’s hilarious production of the TV comedy “Allo, Allo” in theVillage Hall.

As probably the only World War Two veteran in the audience, he was also delighted to have his photo taken for the Piper along with two of the cast.