Mother was always bothered about the Soviet Union to such an extent that when there was any unusually loud aircraft noise overhead she would cry out “the Russians are coming”. I don’t like to reflect on the anguish I caused her in 1956 at the age of seven when I decided to pay an unscheduled visit to a Russian lifeboat in Lerwick Harbour and was entertained by her crew for a couple of hours, returning to the Orkney and Shetland mailboat just before she set sail.
How times have changed! Lovers of Local Hero are familiar with the more recent klondyking tradition on the West coast, which led to countless friendships and more. In fact despite the decades of the Cold War there have always been strong bonds between Scotland and Russia, going back to the earliest trading links.
Accordingly it’s great that the Russian Navy decided to pay us a surprise visit at Christmas time, the fleet including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and her supporting vessels.
It’s just a pity that there were no Royal Navy vessels closer than 600 miles to share the Christmas cheer, due to UK Government cutbacks. You can see the Russian sailors celebrating without their British chums here: tvzvezda.ru