My grandmother Catherine McLeod was a Labour Party organizer in Greenock in the 1940s. In 1941 the MP for Greenock, Robert Gibson, retired to become chairman of the Scottish Land Court, and a by-election was called to fill the vacancy at Westminster. It fell to Catherine to scare up a candidate. According to the story my grandfather Archie said, "That Hector McNeil's a good man." McNeil had stood for Parliament elsewhere four times already but lost each time. Catherine phoned him (their apartment was one of the few dwellings in the neighbourhood with a telephone) and in two hours McNeil was on the doorstep. He received the nomination, ran and won, and served as MP for Greenock until his death in 1955. He rose to the position of Secretary of State for Scotland in the Attlee government, was vice-president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, and helped bring the IBM plant to Greenock.
In 1963 the new indoor swimming pool on Inverkip Road was name after him. Isn't it the picture of Sixties functionality? If it were a coat it would have narrow lapels. The building was demolished in 2002 and the site remains empty to this day. Photos of the demolition here.
Falkirk visit Cappielow today. Last season the Bairns finished third in the division, though the Ton had the advantage in head to head meetings, with two wins, a loss and a draw. Falkirk were very active in pre-season friendlies, beating Stirling Albion, Turriff United, Fraserburgh, and Hearts(!), while losing to Alloa, East Fife and Middlesbrough of the English Championship, and tying Formentine United, Spartans, and Bolton Wanderers. They beat Stirling Albion in the first round of the Challenge Cup and Elgin City in the first round of the League Cup. Then they were selected to meet Rangers in the next round of both competitions! Morton haven't played Rangers in twelve years! Last Tuesday Rangers beat them 1 - 0 in the Ramsdens Cup. Next Tuesday they meet again in the League Cup. [Ugh. Falkirk win 2 - 1. Morton goal by Campbell. Partick take over first place.]
Today is Round One of the Scottish Cup. A gallimaufry of 36 junior and amateur clubs compete for the opportunity to draw Rangers in the next round. Let's keep an eye on Spartans, an Edinburgh club that has been trying to get into the SFL and would be my pick to replace East Stirlingshire whenever promotion into the Third Division comes to pass. [Spartans lost 2 - 0 to Wick Academy.]