Neil Munro (1863-1930), journalist, author and poet.
Born and raised in Inveraray, Munro's imagination was fired by tales of the Highlands. He moved to Glasgow in 1881, and after working with several newspapers became chief reporter on the Evening News in 1888, eventually being appointed editor in 1918. His first collection of stories, The Lost Pibroch, was published in 1896, and two years later John Splendid was the first of many historical novels which established his literary reputation.
Writing as "The Looker-On" in a regular column of the Evening News, Munro introduced his readers to several humorous characters including Erchie MacPherson, the Glasgow beadle; Jimmy Swan, commercial traveller and Para Handy, skipper of a West Highland "puffer". Many of these articles were subsequently collected and published in book form.
The Para Handy tales reached a new audience when a television series Para Handy was made in 1959, with Duncan Macrae in the title role. The six episodes were such a success that the BBC commissioned new stories about the adventures of the captain, his crew and his puffer, and three series of The Vital Spark were made with Roddy McMillan in the role of Para Handy.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Gf 920.04 WHO
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
authors, Erchie MacPherson, Evening News, Jimmy Swan, John Splendid, journalists, Lost Pibroch, moustaches, newspapers, novels, Para Handy - Master Mariner, poets, puffers, television series, Vital Spark