Strict Christians in Banffshire fishing ports criticised as 'Holy Willies'.
The fishermen around Gamrie [Gardenstown] and Macduff were all very religious. "They'd sing on the Lord's day, but they'd steal the milk out of your tea on the Monday." They were all terrible 'Holy Willies' in the opinion of Charles 'Codlins' Simpson, but views broadened after the First World War, as a result of mixing with people from elsewhere: a lot of skippers joined up as warrant officers. "Never trust a Christian," is Codlins's motto. Hamish Henderson refers to Burns on the subject, and Codlins agrees that Burns had them well weighed up. Codlins was brought up amongst the Plymouth Brethren, of whom he says, "The word o mou [mouth] is all their holiness!" But one good thing about the Brethren is that they quote, "A little wine is good for the stomach," and it could be whisky.