THE BOMBING AT WAMPHRAY, DUMFRIES-SHIRE
AGUS THARRUING IAD A CHLAIDHEAMH AS A THRUAILL
[And they drew the sword from its scabbard]
It was December 1972. The Sword,
having been returned in September, was not yet displayed in the
Abbey Craig tower. Don and Gerry returned to their humdrum lives with
not to do but wait and see how the Sword would eventually be put on show
again. All was still, when suddenly a shock reverberated not only
throughout Britain but around the world. It was a shock which would
cause big waves and would change not only the lives of the two
nationalists but would nudge history, resulting almost in the
restoration of the Scots Parliament. If anybody thought it was going to
be just another ordinary year they were in for a few surprises.
1972 was a general election year in
Scotland. Earlier that same year the S. N. P. had made huge gains
in the local elections and for the first time in its history it would
contest every parliamentary seat in Scotland. It had the largest
membership of any party in Britain, and its members were young and
aggressive. The demand for Home Rule had never been so strong since 1745.
As a result the Tory party held a an annual conference in Scotland to
compete with the S. N. P's. A. G. M. and met in the town of Perth. Their
leader was Ted Heath. He had no time for Scotland. It must be remembered
that the English, [Germans] had been trying to conquer Scotland for 1000
years as part of their dream to rule the world, and they weren't going
to hand it back just because a majority of Scots might overcome all the
English dead by simply putting an X against a name on a piece of paper.
The contempt of the English for the Scots
can be exemplified by the English Chancellor of the Exchequer's comment
"Have we not bought the Scots and therefore cannot we do what we
like with them?"; and the Daily Telegraph's editorial and The
Economist's description of Scotland's union with England as being
"subservient"; a term they also used for Wales. Sir Alec
Douglas, [which way the wind blows], Home had once described his
job when Secretary of State for Scotland, [Gauleiter in Nazi speak], or
England's office boy, as being "to divert the cause of Home Rule to
futility". Now the Tories were at it again. In a thinly
disguised snear at the "Arbroath Declaration of Independence"
of the 1300's, they wrote what they called the "Declaration of
Perth". This "promised" the Scots a Green Paper which
would allow the British parliament only to discuss Home Rule but it
would not actually do anything about it. Ted Heath made a big mistake.
Knowing that talking was all the "spineless jellyfish" ever
did about their own freedom anyway, [they have died in their thousands
for others], he thought that eventually if they could find time in the
busy agenda of the British parliament then they might get round to
having a wee chat about the Scotch and their ludicrous hopes. They could
even hold the chat on Derby Day when all the English members could go
down to Epsom and watch the big race, which was far more important than
Home Rule for one of their serfs. The Scotch "collaborateurs"
were 100% behind this trick, since they hoped that all the Tories who
were going over to the S. N. P. would fall for it.
In the event the Tories won the election.
When some Scots members asked as to when the big discussion would take
place, Ted Heath laughed his socks off. That was only an
"election" promise. Hadn't they heard that all is fair in love
and war, the used car business and promises to talk about Scotland.
Imagine! True to form the "Boneless Wonders", [ Churchill's
description of the Scotch members of parliament], did nothing except eat
dirt, their favourite dish, whilst looking for a spine to run up at the
mention of Home Rule.
However this time somebody did something.
Wendy Wood, the 75 year old president of the Scottish patriots did live
up to her creed. She promised to starve herself to death unless Heath
the liar would fulfill his promise just to discuss the matter. Strangely,
unlike the politicians of the S. N. P., she knew the art of
politics- compromise. If she could just get even a discussion, it would
be a start.
On December 7 1972, Wendy Wood started to
starve herself to death for Scotland. The Scots, horrified did nothing.
They looked round for a leader, but the only one they had was leading
herself to death, the first person to do so since 1745. Imagine, here
was a Scot who could walk it like she could talk it! Even British
members of parliament were frightened and they got on train and plane
and reversed the trend of over two hundred years. Even English members
were traveling 400 miles to Scotland to beg this gallant lady to give up.
She didn't. Typical was Jim Sillars, a Scotch Labour member. This man
was a virulent opponent of the S. N. P. and Home Rule. At one time
he had published an anti- S. N. P. pamphlet
that was so bad that even Tam Dayell, himself described by an English
member as a traitor to his own country, [Scotland], disowned him. Jim
Sillars would eventually, having observed Scotland's farcical position
in the English parliament, join the S. N. P. and sit in the House as an
S. N. P. member! Jim traveled the road back to Scotland to plead with
Wendy to no avail.
If it is ever asked who eventually got
Scotland back its Parliament, then the answer must be Wendy Wood. Who
else pray, was going to die, who else would give such a lead? Can anyone
answer? When the start of the fast was announced, Don and Gerry met. At
first they were just shocked. Then they asked the question. What
was anyone going to do? They knew that there was only one answer in
Scotland-Nothing. But they knew that they had to act. They could not
stand by and let an old lady die and then go to the flag bedraped
funeral and listen to the hypocrites sing her praises to the sound of
Don and Gerry decided to "put a bomb
up their arse." In 1961, whilst canvassing in Glasgow Hillhead for
the S. N. P. Gerry had been told by a stolid working class pair of
pensioners, man and wife, "Ye'll no get onywhere son until you put
a bomb under them. Shocked and stunned at the time, McGuigan now saw
that this was there only hope. Now "everybody and his granny"
in Scotland at that time knew how to make a bomb from everyday common
household things. The B. B. C. , [known in Scotland as the
Anglo-Saxophone], had even put a program on the television showing how.
Two Glasgow schoolboys tried out the recipe and blew up a second world
war concrete air raid shelter. In later years the police would try to
prove that Don and Gerry had wandered all over Scotland breaking into
bomb stores and what not in black capes at dead of night in order to get
the wherewithal to carry out their dastardly deeds. No need, Woolworths
sufficed and they bought their tools legitimately in broad daylight. Don
and Gerry had no intention of getting caught by such needless escapades
and aborting their work. There was no time to lose. They knew that there
was no point in asking help. The kind of "help" they had got
in Stirling was like that spare hole in your head that you don't need.
Once again Donald's knowledge of electricity proved useful in choosing
the target. At that time the oil pipeline had not been started. However
Scotland already exported its power through the electricity lines, one
of which snaked its way through the remote countryside of the borderland
between the two countries. An electricity pylon at Wamphray,
Dumfriesshire would be hit. It would be done using a timing device so
that it would explode at three in the morning in this remote area They
drove down to Wamphray, set two bombs on one of the legs and went back
to their car and drove off. In planning the operation they had
decided on three principles; no talking on phones, nothing in writing,
no-one should be hurt; they were about to demonstrate how England's
power could be cut off with the greatest of ease.
Gerry had phoned the Scotsman newspaper
and told them that The Border Clan had blown a pylon at Wamphray. He had
started his report to the Scotsman with the words which would become
their code signal; "Listen very carefully". There was no
report in the papers, so they got in touch with David Sharkey and he
drove them the next night to see what had happened, if anything.
Sharkey dropped them off and waited until Don And Gerry had inspected
the pylon. It was blown; the bomb had worked. There was only one thing
wrong. Sharkey had talked and half the Craigton Commandos turned up to
join in the fun.
It had worked. Quod erat demonstrandum.
The advice of the Glasgow pensioners was good advice. Within a week of
the start of her fast and two days after the Wamphray bomb it was
announced in the Commons that a Green Paper would be produced. A
week had achieved what years of talk had not. It was banner
headlines again and the news was spread all over the world. The media
did their usual wonderful job. Scotland was on the march to Home Rule.
The English establishment and their Scotch manques were on the run,
Don and Gerry took stock. Everything had
gone like clockwork. Inventing the detonator had delayed them for two
days. Even although the pylon had only been damaged, it had been
sufficient. One bang in pouring rain in the Scottish borders in the wee
sma oors had been "heard" loud and clear in the security of
the House of Commons 400 miles to the South. They were jumping like only
scared people jump. Fear is the key. They had gone back to
Wamphray to see what had happened. There had been no report in the
papers, so they thought that perhaps nothing had worked and were
frightened that someone coming on it during the day might get hurt. They
never repeated this potentially dangerous thing of returning to the
scene of the crime. The next day a gamekeeper discovered the blast.
Gerry phoned The Scotsman and told them it had been done for Wendy Wood
by The Border Clan. After years of threats and inertia it was all
starting to happen. Don and Gerry made notes. No-one suggested that the
100 Organization and The Border Clan were even connected. Two small
bombs had got a Green Paper; saved the life of Wendy Wood; saved
Scotland's honour, such as it was, and started another myth, The Border
Clan; they had made a contribution to the reduction of electricity
costs; they had invented the three legged electricity pylon;
generally had set the heather on fire all over the world. If two bombs
in one night equalled all this, what about some more equations? Could a
sustained bombing campaign get-Home Rule? The English and their manques
were running scared. With all their power, police the law, the army,
they didn't want to know about it. Another I. R. A. and this time right
on their doorstep? And North Sea oil looming up. The pipeline had not
yet been started. The S. N. P. made all the correct noises; tut
tut tut, what were things coming to; this wasn't English politics,
tartan ribbons notwithstanding. Another thought occurred to Don and
Gerry. In 1971, a huge explosion had shaken Edinburgh castle in the
middle of a Festival performance. Miraculously there were no casualties,
the culprits were never caught and the story, unlike the Wallace Sword
saga, had died a death. But
that's another story for another chapter. It was December 1972 and if
anyone thought that 1973 was going to be just another ordinary year,
they were in for a bit of a shock. The shit was about to hit the