Retro Nostalgia 1974: Port’s seedy side is now headline news

Was Grangemouth really a den of iniquity back in the 1950's?
Was Grangemouth really a den of iniquity back in the 1950's?

Dr George Mair became the centre of controversy this week when he came under fire for the ‘‘Peyton Place’’ picture of Grangemouth which is portrayed in his autobiography.

In the book ‘‘Confessions of a Surgeon’’ published on Monday, Dr Mair devotes a section to his time as a GP in the town between 1953 and 1964.

He writes of neighbours indulging in wife swapping, patients faking illness to avoid work, upper crust girls operating as prostitutes, a docker involved in the drugs black market, a trade union leader who threatened to blacklist his practice, a company boss being blackmailed to reveal industrial secrets and a local politician who refused to allow his son to be certified.

This week, at his Polmont home, Dr Mair emphasised: ‘‘The people I had in mind were only a minority.

‘‘I had a great affection and respect for an enormous amount of people in the practice and this is something I still treasure.’’

His lurid account of Grangemouth’s seedy side brought a counterblast from Provost Tom Simpson who said: ‘‘I’m flabbergasted by these statements!’’