Scotland’s journalism Class of 1988 – not noted for good legs.

News reached me this week that a couple of my old college classmates are gamely trying to arrange a get together to mark the 20th anniversary of our graduation in Journalism Studies.

Hard to believe – for me anyway – that it’s 20 years since we finished up at Napier College of Commerce and Technology (aye, we were there before it was even a polytechnic, never mind a full-blown university!) and headed out into the big bad world to fend for ourselves.

I’d love to see the reunion come off – as personally it would have a special kind of symmetry in the year when I’ll also turn 40.

In the meantime, the man behind the whole thing -Dutch media guru Rupert Parker Brady (yesh, I know it doesn’t shound Dutch. But he mosht defintely ish) – forwarded me a bunch of pics to whet my appetite. They included a couple taken in 1986, not long after we started at college and had a “getting to know you” football match against the second year students at the Craiglockhart campus (not the spaceage dome it is now!).

I’ve loosely kept tabs on the progress of many of my classmates over the years. But seeing the pics from back in the day took me slightly unawares. I laughed to be reminded just how young we actually were. Then I slipped into a bit of a blue funk over just how fast those intervening years have disappeared. I picked up again to see just how well everybody has done.

But most of all, I had to admit that as a class, we had pretty crap legs (the ladies excepted, of course).

Napier Football Team

Ladies and gentlemen I give you:

BACK ROW (L-R): Some guy called Dave (whose surname escapes me cos he left after three weeks); David Dinsmore (Slaphead Scottish Sun editor); Steve Walker (I’ve seen him naked, so can only guess he was keeping his “spare” pair of socks warm in this photo); Rupert Parker Brady (beanpole dyke plugger); Alex Barr (BIG Parntership and Bothwell’s richest man – probably); Steve Smith (heid like a quite extraordinarily bouffant burst sofa – now a lawyer); Craig Wilson (Falkirk’s finest who went on to be a bigwig at Grampian TV).

FRONT ROW (L-R): Anna Steven, (baby of the course but now a mum herself and part of the BT Scotland press office); Patricia Kane, (Writer in residence at the Scottish Mail on Sunday); Yours Truly (aye – I know I’ve changed. And not for the better. So no need to rub it in); Raymond Hainey (Globetrotting journalistic itinerant); Chris (extremely quiet but likeable lad who surname – and career details – escape me).

I have nothing to say in our defence. Yes, we were badly dressed. Yes we had woeful barnets. Yes we were crap at football and got humped of the park.

But apart from that, we done good. Roll on September and the chance to catch up with them all again.


24 thoughts on “Scotland’s journalism Class of 1988 – not noted for good legs.

  1. Scott, what a great picture!

    You should take some credit for a bit of trend-setting. Even now, Simon Cowell is still copying that hairdo.

    And this was even before you reached your Spandau Ballet stage.

    On a slight tangent, the young Swalks bears a striking resemblance to Glaswegian comedian Des Clarke. Nothing funny or unusual about that, just an observation.

  2. Scott – thanks for brightening up a dull day – the pic is priceless and caused great hilarity here at MoS with Trish and Steve – duty lawyer today – running for cover lol.

    Cheers John Nairn

  3. Long time no speak, John. Glad to hear you’re still fighting the good fight.

    That’s not a flattering picture of anybody so glad it raised a few laughs.

    Trish has already been on the phone to berate me!



  4. Oh Jeeez. And I thought it seemed like yesterday. Scott, i reckon you must have photo-shopped that pic, we didn’t really look like that did we. Thankfully i’m not in that pic!

    Tim Reid

  5. Hello Tim,

    It’s been an awfy long time.

    Probably just as well for the rest of us that you weren’t in the picture. You still look exactly the same. Worryingly, so do most of the others. I’m getting worried I’m the only one who has aged badly.

    So will you be making the reunion in Edinburgh, for old time’s sake?

  6. That picture is the funniest thing I’ve seen for ages (most notably for the “posing man” shot of Alex Barr!).

    I can’t remember that guy Dave’s surname either, but do clearly recall that he had a leather jacket bearing the legend: You’ve had your blast from the past, now get up to date with the future”. This is mainly because Jennifer and I still laugh about it (as we’ve obviously never grown up!).


  7. Aah, the memories…

    Great pic – and if you think the posing was bad, thank Christ there’s no video of the match itself – I was rank!!

    (The guy Dave-with-no-surname reminds me of the drug dealer from Withnail and I – “If I medicined you, you’d think a brain tumor was a birthday present.”)

    Looking forward(!) to more embarrassing photies being unearthed before September 5th.


  8. OMG!!!! – I know there will be ageing, pernickety news editors and journalism lecturers out there who will berate me for the flagrant use of upper case and unnecessary exclamation marks, but Christ it’s appropriate here is it not?

    Am now hurtling down memory lane at breakneck speed, praying that the photos from the Arran trip and a drunken night in Cinderella Rockafellas remain in some dark, dusty corner and don’t appear for the world to see (for see, read piss themselves laughing).

    Roll on September, I can’t wait to see you all again!

    M x

  9. Hey Scott! Just dropping in after linking from the Napier reunion thingie over on Facebook.
    Excellent picture – brought back many a memory. Thanks to Mr P-B for providing it.
    For info (and thanks to my ever-disturbing powers of recall) Mystery Dave’s surname was Hill.
    And the surname of Chris (very nice guy, as I recall) was (and most likely still is) Saunderson.
    Oh, and if everyone thinks the photo’s bad, pray my old video of our year two press conferences with the communications students has decayed after years in the cellar. I retrieved a copy of the vid from the technician before we all left college and it’s got all the old faces on it … in living colour and full sound!
    Providing it’s still playable, of course. Must look it out…

  10. At last, a group of 20 year Napier hack celebrants who look worse than we did.

    Naw, your no’ getting a picture.

    Still laughing at the memories. Enjoy your reunion, Fraser, King, et all certainly did. I think.

    BTW, does anyone know where Bill Allsop is these days and if Donald is still with us?



  11. Bill Allsopp’s alive and well, bagging munroes these days. He wrote recently to Donald but I don’t know if he heard anything back yet, so can’t help you with that one.

  12. Just thought, one bored evening, to pop my name on to the net – and, Lordy me, see what happens. Most of you seem to have survived and even got JOBS! But how many of you can still write your name in shorthand?

    Pity I missed this re-union – if it ever happened. I wouldn’t have recognised any of you, I bet. All grown up and grey and wrinkled and over-dressed. Second thoughts – maybe it was better I missed the gathering.

  13. Bill, thanks for settling an “arguement”. Was at a retirement do for Ian Kyle a few weeks ago with Scottie and Notaranglo and it was suggested you had popped your clogs. I was sure you wouldn’t have shuffled off without having the decency to tell us first. Hope you are well.
    Don’t think I was ever able to write my name in shorthand.
    Niall, Donald appeared on the newspages of the P&J only a month or so ago with a mug shot. Napier graduate and P&J deputy editor Richard Neville flagged it up to me. Donald featured in a story on the Braemar Gathering, think the line was it was first visit to the Games since he met his wife there something like 50 years ago. Still looks a handsome old bugger.

  14. Is it just me, but do the males in this pic look like a right bunch of wankers – the sort of creeps you would gladly cross the road to avoid.

  15. Nah, it’s just you.

    The kind of weaselly, web-creeping, sneaky-insult-lobbing w*nkspud who lacks the fibre to put a name to your sniping.

    Even grappling with your sort in cyber space leaves me feeling sullied. You leave an unpleasant online residue that’s akin to the oily sweat from the back of a child rapist.

    But thanks so much for your traffic.

  16. What am I getting myself into… Just back from a book signing by Lorraine Kelly (Class of ’78) Got caught up with you lot again. And now you’ve reminded me that Donald is wandering the Highland glens and games looking for a lost wife. I’m going into renewed retirement. Allsopp

  17. So I take it as a gutter press hack, you’ve never hid behind a house byline? If you say no, then you’re lying.

    What did you say again?

    “The kind of weaselly, web-creeping, sneaky-insult-lobbing w*nkspud who lacks the fibre to put a name to your sniping.”

    Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  18. Chris Saunderson, I can confirm, is alive and well and either deputy editor or sports editor – or perhaps both – of the Northern Scot in Elgin. Had to call them recently and blow me down, there he was. Greetings from Grampian. Raymond.

    • Glad to hear Chris is flourishing in the hielan’s.

      I do actually have the good fortune to chat with him every now and then. Still as nice a guy as we all remember from thos college days.

  19. Hello!
    Just found this after googling Mr Dinsmore to see if it was the same one.
    This is “Dave”, of the long black coat & badly bleached hair, btw. To those few of you with whom I interacted at all, all I can do is offer my apologies! I was 16 years old & very far off the rails.
    Life is good: wonderful wife, wonderful kid, teaching English in Istanbul. Very happy.
    All good wishes to any of you who read this.
    Peace ‘n’ love,

  20. Wow – hi David! Just found this again and – apart from my eyes boggling at Scott calling some cyber moron a “w*nkspud* – it was really nice to see your message. Great to hear you’re doing well. And, yes, it was the same Dinsmore…now editor of The Sun UK.


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