Brothers reunite for first holiday

Did you hear the one about the journalist, the decorator, the cop and the oilman? Vince Docherty tells the story of four brothers meeting up for a long-awaited holiday in Scotland.

Denys and Vince Docherty on ferry to Arran, 1960s (courtesy Docherty family)

When my brother Denys and I were growing up in Barrhead, near Paisley, we went on holiday to the Clyde Coast, to Aberdeen, to Arran, and to Ireland - always by train and "Railway Steamer", as our dad Bill was a railwayman. Although we went with parents and sisters we always missed the older brothers in the family, who by that time were already either away at school, or working in apprenticeships and not available for seaside adventures.

Vince Docherty in a rowing boat, 1960s (courtesy Docherty family)

Our older brothers, John and Willie, had had plenty outdoor adventures of their own, and always thought that us youngsters had been there among the gaggle of cousins who often came along.

At my 50th birthday in 2007, the flood of nostalgia and old photos brought to light the fact that Denys, John, Willie and myself had NEVER gone on holiday at the same time! Within days of that party, a plan was hatched to have a get-together for the four brothers. The search began for a venue for what we'd dubbed "CAMP CALAMITY".

John, Vince and Denys at Parton Lookout, nr Loch Ken (courtesy Docherty family)

Somewhere new, with fishing and hill walking, picturesque towns and good food, was the general recipe. A quick internet search came up with the answer : Dumfries and Galloway. The area ticks all the boxes and is - sort of - between Denys and Willie in Glasgow area, and myself and John who live in England.

A hike round Glen Trool, some fishing, and visits to places like Kirkcudbright, Dalry and Castle Douglas, from a base at Loch Ken's scenic waterside holiday Park, made the week in May a great success. Recounting the history of our family, and a few singsongs with musician Denys in charge, put the icing on the cake.

The Mercedes at its 100,000 miles on the raiders road (courtesy Docherty family)

An added item of interest was the elderly Mercedes driven by myself, Vince. Bought to accommodate my family of three boys and Scottie dog on our own family adventures, the car had a low mileage and was due to pass the 100k mark after 25 years of Sterling service. To ensure a fitting moment for this anniversary, a route was planned to take the car past Clatteringshaws Loch on the seasonal Raiders Road.

Vince, John, Wullie and Denys Docherty at the Bruce Stone (courtesy Docherty family)

Our photo records the fateful moment, which was just another part of the great adventure of Calamity 2008. Within minutes of that photograph, Willie bought the car from his youngest brother. It's metaphorical that the car's past and future will be linked to the Docherty brothers' first holiday together and to our native Scotland.

Vince Docherty

All photos are featured courtesy of the Docherty family.

If you'd like to tell us about your own adventure plans email the Scotland Outdoors team with details.

Page first published on Wednesday 18th June 2008
Page last updated on Thursday 16th October 2008

Your Views

vince docherty
glad you liked our adventure. next year we are considering Ireland. We are Scottish, but our Great Grandparents came over from Ireland in the 1880's.in the very northwest of Ireland - the tribal homeland if you like - there is a Docherty museum, so common is the name in that area.As usual, some but not all of the family have been....... Could be the ideal venue for our next meeting.

N.G. Nauen, of central New York
Thank you so much for sharing your long a waited trip. Hope you'all plan more trips together it looks like you had a good time N. Grace of Central New York

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