Most of you who follow me and read my books will be familiar with one of my Kirsty Campbell mysteries, Devil’s Porridge. What I hadn’t expected would be that someone from TV land would have noticed it. But notice it they did, and an email landed in my inbox asking if I would like to take part in an episode of Secret Scotland and asking me to phone them.
Now, in this day and age of multiple scam emails, I must admit I looked at it with jaundiced eyes but it looked reasonably genuine so I gathered my courage into my hands and phoned the number. And, guess what, it was genuine!
Filming was planned for July, not long after the government lifted the lockdown, So, accompanied by my granddaughter, we drove down to Gretna in a state of great excitement. The only thing dampening my enthusiasm was my Covid hairdo and my Covid teeth. No time to get them sorted, and I wasn’t going to turn down an invitation to appear on TV simply to cater for my vanity.
We stayed overnight in Gretna and then travelled to the film shoot at Eastriggs early the next morning. So early, we barely had time for breakfast. In between showers and the sound of passing cars on the main road that runs past the Devil’s Porridge Museum, Susan and I chatted about Devil’s Porridge, the explosive not the book, and the gigantic munitions factory built in the area during the First World War. The factory was so large it stretched for nine miles along the edge of the Solway Firth from Dornock in the north to Longtown, near to Carlisle, in the south.
In the Eastriggs part of the factory, the munitionettes made the devil’s porridge, a mixture of guncotton and nitroglycerine which was then transported to the Longtown end to turn into cordite, a propellant for use in the guns at the front.
Susan and I discuss the munitionettes and how their life was in the munitions towns of Eastriggs and Gretna. Parts of the discussion cover the role alcohol played in the townships and how the government of the time handled this. We also take time out to look at the social life of the munitionettes and Susan has a wee whirl around the dance floor.
If you would like to join us by viewing this episode of Secret Scotland, it’s on tonight (Friday 9th October) at 8 pm on Channel 5. If you would prefer to view it later, you can see it on catch up. It’s series 3 episode 4, Galloway and the South, and here is the link https://www.channel5.com/show/secret-scotland/
|Me and my granddaughter being photo bombed by Susan Calman|
I hope that if you manage to view the programme you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed taking part.
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