The Luck of the Irish at the Linburn Centre

Posted: 12/08/2015 | Scottish War Blinded

Scottish War Blinded member Margaret Dunlop, affectionately known as ‘Peggy’, has enjoyed visiting the Linburn Centre for several years. Despite standing less than five feet tall, Peggy is larger than life and her cheeky Irish humour brightens the day of both Scottish War Blinded staff and fellow members.

Peggy served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during World War Two (pictured right) and recalls her memories of over forty years ago: 

“I made the trip to Belfast to sign-up for the ATS in 1944. I was seventeen at the time and the youngest recruit throughout training at the barracks in Ballymena. After basic training I remained in Northern Ireland serving as a Cook’s Assistant, Orderly and Waitress for the Officers on the base. I met my future husband during that time and we moved to Scotland after the war. He always said Scotland’s better than Ireland but, of course I disagreed, and continued to do so! (laughs).”

Peggy became a Scottish War Blinded member in 2013 and describes the process:

“I went into the hospital to have my cataracts done, the doctor told me I would no longer have the use of my left eye with limited vision in the right. I was visited by a health worker at home who noticed an old photograph of me in ATS uniform on the mantelpiece. I was then visited by Scottish War Blinded staff at home who then organised a visit to Linburn. I now enjoy weekly visits to the Linburn Centre.”

Peggy describes the range of activities she has enjoyed at the Linburn Centre:

“Since coming to the Linburn Centre I have enjoyed having a bash at many things. I have been gliding, 4x4 driving, kayaking as well as yachting on the River Forth and a trip to the Royal Yacht Britannia. I also have enjoyed making a bird table for my son-in-law in the workshop, I was sawing the wood so I was! (laughs), pottery and cooking.”

“I went on the recent Battlefields Tour with Scottish War Blinded which was a wonderful trip to be part of. I was honoured to be one of three which laid a Scottish War Blinded wreath at the Menin Gate which was a very powerful, emotive experience. I also enjoyed the opportunity visit Irish War memorials and learn about the Irish regiments which served during World War One.”

Do you know anyone who has served in the ATS, WAAF or WREN’s living with a significant visual impairment in Scotland? Anyone who has done so will be eligible for Scottish War Blinded membership. Guide them to us