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Jim Forster

I First met Rabbie at Lowes market garden in 1941. He was a happv-go-lucky person, always cheery, always singing, cowboy songs were his favourite. He was a very good and experienced gardener and I learned a lot from him as did the other young boys who started at Lowe's.
During the 1939-45 war. agricultural workers were exempt from the armed services. I know for a fact that Rabbie twice tried to volunteer for the RAF but twice they refused him. sending him back to work in the Market Garden.
At Rabbie's instigation, every dinner time we had a quick piece then out with a ball and we played football for three quarters of an hour. We were always able to do our work in the afternoon even though a few were limping!
I left Lowe's in 1950 to go to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh but I was to come into contact with Rabbie again in the 1960s, this time on a committee for organising football for 15 year old boys and under. It was to be a football league to take place during the summer holidays. Tins would keep a numerous amount of boys occupied. There were Jackic Wood. Wallyford. Michael Boyle and myself. Prestonpans. but the driving force behind us was Rabbie. He was mad keen to see that the boys got proper coaching in the art of football. He got good referees for the games, booked the parks and saw that the boys conducted themselves in a proper and respectful way. All the youngsters had a tremendous respect for Rabbie. He carried on training and coaching youngsters long after the rest of us had given up. A great number of his proteges went on to play professional football.
Rabbie was a Prestonpans man. full of passion for his locality. This was proved beyond a doubt when in 1986. the local council decided to have a Local History Week. The Council ran a competition for locals to write about their memories of Prestonpans. There was a very high standard of entry and Rabbles was judged the best of all. "Six to Twelve years old", was his title and I feel sure that occasion would be one of Rabbie's proudest moments when he was presented with his winning pri/c by Councillor Tom Wilson.
A final and fond memory of Rabbie, for me. was one evening in 1947. Roddy McDonald. the Boilerman at Lowe's. ran a Table football league. This game was called Suhhuteo and it was eventually to become popular world wide. There were about thirty of us in the league and I met Rabbie in the final of the Scottish Cup. I was Celtic. Rabbie was - You've Guessed! - Rangers. Rabbie had the great ability to hype most things up and this final was no exception. On the evening of the game which took place in a big shed at Lowe's. there were about forty spectators in attendance. The place was in a frenzy, the bets were flying all around!
The referee was Roddy McDonald, fifteen minutes each way. The first half finished without a score. Five minutes break and the second half started. After five minutes Rabbie scored a goal and put Rangers one up. What did Rabbie do? Just what Rangers always did at that time. He put up the Iron curtain - every player back in defence! Needless to say the game finished. Rangers I - Celtic 0! A great time was had by all - we were all good sportsmen. These are just a few of Rabbie's achievements. There were many, many more.

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