Sallying forth

THE Diary has many fond memories of Una Stubbs, who has sadly died in Edinburgh. The actress proved to be a miracle worker early in her career by being just about the only person to ever make Cliff Richard look cool, by starring alongside him in Summer Holiday. Cliff was too stiff a quiff to compete with Elvis, but if he could hang out with Una, he surely had something going for him.

She was also memorable in the sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, and playing Mrs Hudson in Sherlock.

The Diary most fondly recalls her performance in Worzel Gummidge. This was wooden acting of the highest calibre (she played Aunt Sally, a wooden fairground doll come to life.) Few performers were so versatile.

Versatility is also what The Diary is all about, as the following classic stories from our archives prove.

Each tale is truly unique. Or should that be Una-ique?

Footy faux pas

A TALE about the late, great broadcaster Steve Hamilton, the first DJ heard on Radio Forth. Steve was the consummate professional, though even he could find himself in awkward situations. Hosting a radio show from a local hospital, he cheerily asked a patient: “Back on your feet again soon?”

“No, I’ve just had my legs amputated,” replied the patient.

Vanishing act

THERE was once a May Day Cabaret in Oran Mor featuring “Marxist magician Ian Saville.” The Diary asked the organisers what a Marxist magician was, and were told: “Well, whereas David Copperfield is content with little tricks like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, Ian aims at the more ambitious goal of making international capitalism disappear – although he hasn’t entirely succeeded yet.”

Boozy badinage

IN a Bridge of Weir pub one imbiber was overheard saying: “When the doc asked me about alcohol I told him I hadn’t touched a drop for 18 years. He was very impressed.”

After a long gulp of his pint, the chap added: “So I didn’t want to spoil it by saying that since my 18th birthday I’ve hardly stopped.”

Grave graffiti

WE recall the poster in the waiting room at the Queen Mother’s Maternity Hospital in Glasgow which read: "Have faith, the first few minutes of life are the most dangerous."

Someone later added the graffiti: "The last few are no’ too clever either."

Flight of fancy

FOREIGN holidays can be entertaining, even before you reach your destination. A reader once suggested a fun thing to do on the plane trip abroad.

“Find out how loud your partner can scream,” he said, “by waking them up on the flight while wearing your life jacket and oxygen mask.”

Hat trick horror

WE recall the line from divorced stand-up Maxine Jones, delivered at the Glasgow Comedy Festival one year. Describing bringing up her sons after separating from her husband, she admitted it was tough going.

“Basically,” she said, “you’re rearing three replicas of someone you don’t like very much.”

Pole position

A TEACHER asked her class why mobile phone masts could be bad for your health. After a lengthy pause, one pupil hesitantly answered: “You might walk into it?”