Full Circle

by Tez Watson for Storytelling Week 2020

By Tez from Iolaire

Tez runs Iolaire the Design, Edit & Print business at Logie Steading. Today's story is Tez's personal history of where he came from and how he ended up here. Read on to find out more about him!...


Full Circle (more or less)

Growing Up in Rural Yorkshire

I’m amazed I’ve done so much and been involved in so many different things in my sixty years. I was born on the farm in the West Riding of Yorkshire where my father was as a farm labourer. My parents moved about a mile away to a tied cottage on a small country estate soon after I was born. With five farms in the small village of Campsall I grew up immersed in the ways of agriculture and country living.

Harvest time is always a favourite with long summer days, eating in the field, riding on the combine and hopefully little rain. Bringing back the straw bales to stack in the yard – a great opportunity for boys to make dens.

When there was nothing for us to do we ranged over the land amusing ourselves – damming streams, picking mushrooms, blackberries, watercress and anything else that grew (wild or otherwise) to feed ourselves. I know it’s an old cliché but we left after breakfast and came home at lighting-up time.

Aged 12 I found a ‘Saturday’ job delivering bread I worked Saturday (6.30am until 6.00pm) plus Wednesday and Friday evenings for £1 10s (£1.50) a week, in the holidays I worked six days a week. The round took us out into surrounding villages and as it turned out many of the farming folk knew my parents, they’d give me stuff to take home – eggs, produce, pickles, etc and good tips at Christmas!

At thirteen, along with three school friends, I cycled to Scotland and back during the Whitsuntide holiday week. And this adventure opened my eyes to a wider world. At first my fascination with maps led me to apply to Ordnance Survey and I needed a pass at Geography ‘O’ Level. I passed at the second attempt but already had a clutch of qualifications in the bag – Physics, English, Maths, French and History. The Royal Air Force had started to figure in my plans and they wanted a Physics certificate.

I submitted my application to Ordnance Survey, meanwhile I started labouring for a local builder and at the same time took the RAF aptitude tests. Neither seemed to be in a hurry to take me on so I went back to school for a year and did extra studies including Home Economics which was great fun and I learned some very useful skills. The following summer after two separate accidents at work (I fell three storeys through a large manor house and a wall collapsed on top of me) the RAF insisted on a second medical examination and deferred my proposed entry by six months. I’d still heard nothing from Ordnance Survey.

Tez of Iolaire as a child for Storytelling Week
Tez of Iolaire in the RAF

Life in the RAF

Giving up on the surveying career I joined the RAF in February 1976 and finished my training as a aircraft radio fitter in August 1977. I arrived home on leave to find a letter dated late July from the OS offering me a four-year apprenticeship as a Field Surveyor. Too late, that boat had already sailed – I was now a Junior Technician earning great money. During the Firemen’s Strike after the briefest of training I did a stint of duty on the Green Goddesses around Liverpool. My career saw me move swiftly promoted to Corporal and subsequently a posting to RAF Kinloss. I was living in Scotland as I’d promised myself in 1971.

I worked on the Nimrod flight line, this became one of the most enjoyable periods of my life – working hard, playing hard, becoming more confident, self-reliant and being recognized for my talents. Sandra and I married in June 1981, our daughter, Kimberley was born in October of the following year. Shortly afterwards we were posted overseas to Germany. There we toured by bicycle around the local area, meeting and mixing with local people. Bruce, our son, was born in Monchengladbach in 1984 and about a year later we returned to Scotland to take up a differing post at RAF Kinloss.

The thirteen years I served on the Nimrod Software Team – as an engineer, as an instructor and as a quality assurance auditor - all proved to consolidate my professional skills and character. For most of those years I was a Scout Leader another thing that helped my personal development. I took the Troop camping at every opportunity and we hiked, sang and cooked/ate our way through those years including at a camp with over 6000 other Scouts in Germany.

Life After the RAF: Graphic Design & Photography 

Leaving the Air Force in 1997 was a bit of a wrench but I’d decided the time was right, I was still under forty and felt I could carve out a new career – as a graphic designer, having self-taught myself. After a lengthy interview process I landed a position at Gordonstoun School. Inside six years I had launched the School onto the internet, created their corporate branding and made a significant impact to their marketing efforts. During rationalization my job was cut but I bounced back six months later as manager of a professional photo lab in Nairn, this meant dealing with customers in a more direct sense.  I learned a great deal in the four years at C S Boyne. The buyout by Jessops was traumatic, I left before they crashed, they settled my grievance out of court and thus began my freelance career.

I realised that I couldn’t make enough of a living to start with so I looked for something part-time to supplement my income. Very soon I found myself helping Derek Laing at The Warehouse Theatre in Lossiemouth.

Working from home initially seemed like a good idea but there were many distractions so I found premises and moved out of the house. I got the chance to relocate to Nairn, the unit at the railway station was good but after a couple of years some changes forced me out and Sandra joined the business. We found a small shop by the harbour and traded from there for seven years until various external factors forced us to close up. In September 2014 Bruce and I cycled the Camino de Santiago rekindling my love of cycling despite covering 625 miles and climbing 41,000 feet in nine days – life-changing indeed.

Finally Back to a Rural Setting

Fortuitously, I received an email from Panny Laing asking if I’d fancy moving my business to Logie Steading and the timing could not have been any better. We closed the Harbour Street shop whilst Sandra ventured into bed and breakfast.

Now into my third year at Logie I’ve almost come full circle – based in an agricultural setting albeit much different to where my life started but there’s a comfort in the knowledge that whatever we face as we grow older that things can turn out well given determination, hard work, sound relationships and a bit of luck.

BTW I’m based behind the bookshop, next to the Fisheries Office and offer numerous graphic and photographic services/advice. Always happy to talk about projects and possibilities…

Tez Watson




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Full Circle

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at http://www.fnlft.org.uk/downloads/)
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.