Bob was born in 1942 at Kingskettle. His family owned the Kettle Linen Factory which closed down during the war, an all too common occurrence for linen and wool mills at that time. In 1953 Bob’s family inherited “The Poplars”, a big house in Kingskettle and while the furniture in the various rooms was being scrapped and replaced, a collection of violins and cellos was discovered, infact a whole room full! Bob was allowed to keep the instruments and his life of collecting and restoring began.
Bob went to Bell Baxter High School and then to Dundee Art College. After two years he moved on to take up employment at a demolition company. At the age of nineteen Bob joined the Fife Police Force moving up through the ranks to Detective Constable. He was then seconded to the Scottish Crime Squad, based in Edinburgh but covering the whole of Scotland. During Bob’s time with the Force he also worked as a member of the Royal Protection Squad whose numbers were increased after the attempted kidnap by armed men of Princess Anne in 1974.
Bob with the Royal Protection Squad when the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh launched the first oil rig, "Highland Queen" at Nigg Bay in the early 1970's
Next Bob moved to Glasgow C.I.D. working with the Identification Squad (the Murder Squad) during which time he underwent many harrowing unforgettable, experiences, which remain forever etched in his memory.
Whilst serving with the C.I.D. Bob continued to extend his collection of violins, violas and cellos. After leaving the force in 1976 he continued to buy and refurbish instruments, at first travelling to fairs and selling from a stall. Later, he settled in Falkland and opened The Violin Shop. The building had previously been a drapers (owned by a Mr Bryce), a branch of the TSB and then a private house, the home of a woollen mill owner.
Bob’s varied and interesting life continues, meeting Johnny Cash and his daughter Rosanne has lead to a long distance friendship between them and Rosanne has even recorded three tracks in his shop!
Rosanne made a gift of the guitar Bob's holding in this photograph.
Rosanne Cash with Bob. She sat on a chair in his shop and recorded three songs there.
A postcard from Rosanne.
Yes, an interesting life for Bob Beverage. He has been a member of the BBC Antiques Roadshow Team. He was the presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme "Tracing the Footsteps of Johnny Cash and has also written books.
As a champion hill runner Bob was asked to contribute a pre-race commentary on the Ben Nevis Race. He is still running up and down Lomond Hill.
as told to Liz Coates
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