Bob Swift was a Yorkshireman who came to Scotland and turned native. Kilt-wearing and bagpipe-playing, he endeared himself to all who knew him by his deep knowledge of his adopted nation and his constant sense of fun.

His many visitors to his retirement spot in his beloved Argyll were greeted by a teapot that seemingly never emptied and his constant inability to pour out anything less than a generous measure of his favourite malt.

Journalist, publicist, and inveterate piper, Bob cut a dashing figure with his snowy hair and well-trimmed beard. Complete with pipe, he might have jumped out of one of his own cartoons.

Best known in his latter years as a publicist with the then South of Scotland Electricity Board (now ScottishPower), Robert Swift delighted in making a sometimes impenetrable industry more customer oriented. He not only made the annual report his special baby, introducing plain language and pictures that related to copy, but he created Electricity

Matters, a summary report

that always proved an interesting read.

No clock-watcher he, his idiom was to say ''I think I'll see the work out'', meaning that he'd stay late to finish a job. His dedication won awards for the SSEB, and his talents were recognised by being headhunted to work for a spell with the Electricity Council in London.

Bob possessed the knack of spreading happiness and laughter. He marked his passage with a stream of cartoons, poems, and caricatures, many of which were worked into retirement cards for colleagues.

But everywhere he went, his pipes went too, and his colleagues at the Cathcart offices became used to hearing Bob playing at lunchtime on the banks of the nearby river Cart. In bad weather, he sheltered in his car with his chanter. He was a longtime student at the College of Piping in Glasgow.

Born in Leeds, Swift's Scottish love affair began when he was seconded from the Royal Army Service Corps to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, then stationed in Inveraray. As he would later recall, he never felt at home anywhere else other than Scotland. Though he referred to his role simply as ''despatch rider'', his was an eventful war.

He was involved in combined operations, seeing service in Normandy and Italy, plus a raid on an enemy-held plant in Vaagso, Norway. Wounded three times, he met his future wife, Nancy MacFarlane, during a period of convalescence at Dunblane Hydro, and married her in 1943. Theirs was very much a love match and, in tribute to her, Bob adopted Hunting MacFarlane tartan for one of his half-dozen kilts.

Thanks to wartime contacts, he was invited to take up a post in government administration in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). It says much for Swift's imagination that he humorously viewed bureaucracy as merely another aspect of artistic creativity. By 1950, he and Nancy settled in Bridge of Allan where he indulged himself in all matters Scottish. Fascinated by Wallace's exploits at Stirling Bridge in 1297, he traced the likely location of the foundations of the original bridge, an issue settled in archaeology only last year. For 11 years, he indulged his love of history through a weekly column illustrated by his own line drawings in the now-defunct Stirling Sentinel.

A clubbable man, Bob proved an enthusiastic joiner of organisations. He was an active member of Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, the local branch of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), Glasgow Press Club, the Institute of Public Relations, the Saltire Society, Toastmasters, and Clarkston Rugby Football Club.

His long-time link with the electricity industry continued in retirement when he bought a former Hydro cottage in Cairndow. Settled in his beloved Argyllshire eyrie, he became an energetic member of the community council, developed into the neighbourhood piping guru, and helped organise the local sheepdog trials.

In 1976, Bob and Nancy lost their only son, John, aged 19, through a heart attack. Nevertheless, the last two decades of his life proved rich. The tartan was his daily garb, and until illness three years ago, he rarely missed a day without playing his pipes.

Hs wife, Nancy, predeceased him, and he is survived by daughters Catherine, Margaret, and Helen, and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Robert Squire Swift; born July 6, 1918 , died October 29, 2002.