When Drouthy Neibors Meet - George McEwan and Bill Davidson
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George McEwan and Bill Davidson together again

Robert Burns Coca-Cola

George McEwan, Bill Torbett and Bill Davidson

They were at Carrick Academy together in the 1950s then lost contact until they got back in touch through the Maybole web site www. Maybole.org and met up again five years ago for the first time in 50 years.

In July 2009 George McEwan and Bill Davidson met up again in the Welltrees Inn in this Year of Homecoming, George travelling from Glasgow and Bill all the way from New York.

Bill’s son had suggested that a trip to Turnberry for The Open would be a great present for Bill’s 70th birthday and he jumped at the chance to come back to his roots and meet up with family and friends.


After a couple of beers they were astonished when Bill Torbett, owner of the inn,  gave them a special bottle of Coca-Cola with the image of Robert Burns on it.


Both are admirers of Burns and Bill had just visited Dumfries on the Burns Trail. Neither of them had known of the unique soft drink promotion and that Scotland’s national poet is the first person to feature on a commemorative bottle of Coca-Cola to mark the Year of Homecoming.


The promotional bottle is the first by Coca-Cola to be designated to one nation and an individual. Previous limited edition designs helped promote the Fifa World Cup and Olympic Games.


As the Welltrees Inn is almost a shrine to Robert Burns, the old friends immediately decided to toast the Bard in Coca-Cola!


The pair had lost touch when Bill left school in 1954. George started, and for a number of years ran, Ayr Folk Club where a friendship with comedian and actor Billy Connolly was forged. While working in Turner's lemonade factory George wrote The Welly Boot Song which for a while was Billy's theme song.


Bill has lived in New York since 1959 and retired several years ago as Vice President of Marriott Food Service Division.


He had logged on to the web site and reading through the visitor comments he was struck by a message from Bob Little who mentioned the Greenside and the School Vennel. Bob’s comments reminded Bill of a poem he had written several years before and that was added to the site along with several others, including one called “School Mates” which mentions some of Bill’s classmates. George, who was in the same class, recognised his own name and many others in the poem and got in touch with Bill.


They have exchanged several poems and ideas, one of which was a possible reunion of their class. Bill said, “With the exception of David Gray, George and I have no idea where all those people are, or how many are still alive and if they would be interested in such an endeavour.”

Poems by William Davidson            |             Poems by George McEwan