Fifty summers ago, Helen Blades (6/6); Marion Dibley (4/4); and Anne Duncan (Hoffmann) loved to sit out in our back garden, which was a little sun-trap. It was a rare interlude from the drudgery of the everyday lives of the mums. They enjoyed the sun and the craic over a Kensitas or Players Number 6 cigarette.
Peter; Anne; and Iain Hoffmann with their mother Anne circa 1962
Gail; Fiona; Liz; Ruth; and Esther Blades
On one occasion, I was showing off as usual, by sprinting around the four blocks. Helen said to me, 'Peter, one day you'll be in the Commonwealth Games.' I felt a million dollars, until Liz Blades (not unrealistically) said 'Don't be SILLY, mummy.' I was immediately deflated and my pride was stung.
Helen died on 20, October, 1978. We attended her funeral, four days later on 24, October. I wore my Commonwealth Games blazer as a mark of respect, because she had helped light the spark.
1978 Scotland Commonwealth Games, Athletics Team
(Peter Hoffmann back row, third left; Paul Forbes, second row, fourth right)