John McNeillie - My Childhood

Clutag Press £15.00
ISBN 0-9547275-0-9

John McNeillie you may not recall. But his pen-name Ian Niall you will, if you value angling literature. Trout from the Hills is perhaps his best known book, a magical work that deservedly makes it onto many ‘top ten’ lists. Despite being aware that McNeillie was a prolific writer, I knew very little else about him, until My Childhood dropped through the letter box.

Only available direct from the publisher, this is the most beautiful little volume, the larger part of which is an essay called ‘My Childhood’, covering his days at North Clutag farm in Wigtownshire. The interesting thing about this tale is that McNeillie published a different version in A Galloway Childhood, back in 1967, but this has become hard to find and it doesn’t contain the four delightful and previously unpublished little stories that form the second part of My Childhood. This collection has been edited by John’s son, Andrew, and although there may not be much fishing in it, anyone who enjoys the countryside is in for a serious treat.