Cupar man publishes poems for cancer charity

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THE managing director of a Cupar fabrication firm who comes from a family of country blacksmiths has published a book of ‘Couthie Poems’ to raise money for Cancer Research.

Jim Mudie of Gray Fabrications has drawn heavily on his own life experiences to write the poems, some of which are funny, some observational and others deeply moving.

Though he’s long since swapped the anvil for a computer, his roots lie firmly in the Angus countryside and he maintains strong links with the area despite having left his home town of Forfar aged just six.

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The book even includes a section written in the doric peculiar to Forfarshire, where Jim’s family made their living as blacksmiths.

Jim served his apprenticeship at a smithy in Cupar and did his national service as a blacksmith with the REME in Benghazi, Libya, then worked in Africa for several years before returning to Cupar.

‘Couthie Poems’ is dedicated to Jim’s daughter Louise, who died in South Africa at the age of 36 of a diabetes-related illness.

She has inspired the first poem in the book, called simply ‘Louise’, while his wife Pat, a lollipop lady in Cupar for almost 30 years, inspired many of the others. Even his workmates at Gray Fabrication have provided ideas for his verse.

In writing ‘Couthie Poems’, Jim is following in the footsteps of his Uncle Will, a blacksmith who turned to writing poetry following the death from cancer of his beloved wife Janet.

While Will sold his books of poems door-to-door to raise money for Cancer Research, Jim’s book is on sale, priced £5, in Cancer Research UK shops, including the branch in South Street, St Andrews.