On the occasion of Robert’s birthday, word is definitely out in Aberdeen!

The immediate environs of HMP Aberdeen, Craiginches, with its grim, 10 metre high, granite-block perimeter walls wouldn’t immediately strike anyone as an ideal place to hold a birthday party, particularly right on the corner where Grampian Place meets the busy A956, one of the main arterial roads leading out of the city.

Yet this was the spot chosen to celebrate Robert’s 66th birthday, being the closest we could possibly get to the man of the moment, short of being able to go inside the said walls.

As it happened, the chosen spot for our celebration turned out to be ideal place to display the bright green Free Robert Green banner to maximum effect. Arriving in my taxi from the station I easily spotted it at 300 yards and obviously every passing motorist would do too.

Judging by the numbers of hoots and thumbs ups our very visual display achieved as the rush-hour traffic swirled past, Aberdonians seem by now to be well aware that they have the honour to be hosting the UK’s most famous prisoner and we can safely say by now, the national hero of 2012 in their municipal penitentiary. They might then have noted that yesterday 27th March was the hero’s birthday, according to extra lettering on the banner and an efflorescence of balloons fluttering on the trees and lampposts.

The noisy, windy street corner absolutely wasn’t the place for the planned singsong, however, so finally in slight frustration I grabbed my loud-hailer off Sam, the demo organiser who had been enjoying bellowing “Free Robert Green” into it and sounding its siren at for the best part of two hours and made off with it round the back of the prison to a quiet car-park where I’d spotted the top of what looked like part of the residential facilities sprouting above the massive perimeter wall, in order to deliver my birthday ovation and musical rendering to the famous inmate.

As well as Happy Birthday to You, Bob Marley’s I shot the Sheriff, Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin and Chris and Andy’s
The Tale of Robert Green the medley included an offering freshly composed on the train going up to Aberdeen, to the tune of ‘Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen’:

Robert Green, Robert Green, driving through the glen
18 times back and forth to court at Stone-ha-ven!
Loved by the good, feared by the mean!
Robert Green, Robert Green, Robert Green!

Well he tried to give out leaflets on the streets of Aberdeen
For some this was a very nasty crime
The Sheriff found him guilty, to condemn him he was keen,
So Rob’s now in Craiginches doing time.

Robert Green, Robert Green, driving through the glen
Robert Green, Robert Green, he’ll be back again!
Loved by the good, feared by the mean!
Robert Green, Robert Green, Robert Green!

The medley ended with more Happy Birthdays and We Love You Robert, See You Very Soon, Hang in There! Good Byee!

How much of this reached anyone’s ear on the other side of the wall I had no idea, I felt like the proverbial reed singing in the wind as by that time with the sun setting it was getting decidedly chilly and my teeth were chattering, nor did it help that the batteries on the loud-hailer were giving out after all Sam’s blasting. Still it felt like mission accomplished.


Lorna also said Robert’s eyes filled with tears when he recounted Hollie’s birthday message to him which had touched him most of all apparently. He was bowled over too to receive 60 more cards on his actual birthday on top of the 70+ he’d already received in the days leading up to the 27th! Well done everybody! Lorna said Robert’s been harder at work than ever today writing back to thank everyone.

Meanwhile back on the windy corner near to the entrance to the prison, was in full swing. I arrived back from my singing mission to a very merry scene of wives and children of Robert’s fellow inmates piling in and out of cars. More hooting and tooting – clearly they all knew about Robert and what he’d been done for and eagerly took the proffered leaflets and said they’d pass them on.

Then suddenly a shadow fell over the festivities. Across the road a door opened and a smartly-dressed, middle-aged lady emerged and stood stock-still in front of her house for a few minutes, shaking her well-coiffed head and glowering at us meaningfully before crossing the road.

She had clearly come to complain and complain she did. Oh yes, she knew all about this, she said, she was actually a friend of one of those who’d been accused of being a paedophile! How terrible to do that to anyone! Well it was that Anne Greig who was behind it all, of course.

How well do you know Anne Greig? she then demanded, rounding on me being the only other female. “Oh, I know her quite well by now, she’s a very clever and a very nice woman,” I replied. “Well, you’ve no idea at all what she was like years ago, she was off her head!”

“Yes I’m aware that her ex-husband was working hard to get her sectioned but that was because…” but by that time the lady was laying into Malcolm who then told her what had happened to his small daughter. She softened slightly, but dismissed what Malcolm had recounted as “different” to the present issue which was outrageous.

I attempted to persuade our irate interlocutor that everything must be blamed on Grampian police who in 2000 obtained clinical evidence for Hollie’s abuse BUT THEN DID NOTHING MORE! This whole kerfuffle going on now would have been avoided if the local police had done their job properly all those years ago!

But there was no getting through with any logic to the lady; it was a case of “I’ve made up my mind so don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Having delivered her tirade she flounced off back into her house where she could be spied through the two-way mirror glass of her front window (a somewhat odd alternative to net curtains, or am I being rather English and old-fashioned here?!) still glowering in our direction, a cordless phone clapped to her ear. It didn’t need much imagination to guess whom she might be phoning…

A motorcyclist in a helmet then called at the lady’s house whom a couple of the supporters identified as the youngest member of the Dragon family who had given witness evidence at Stonehaven. He left again half an hour later, still with his helmet on and still carefully avoiding looking over in our direction. Which in itself was odd, with most members of the public showing a healthy curiosity on coming upon such a colourful display in front of the grim walls of Craiginches.

By now dusk was falling and it was time to pop a cork and toast our invisible hero and congratulate ourselves on a job well done, or done as well as was possible in that location.

I hear that there has also been some kind of ongoing party on Facebook in honour of Robert’s birthday over the past couple of days, with a string of other well-known songs being adapted to suit the Free Robert campaign, The Green Green Grass of Home, Please Release me, Behind Robert Green’s door (behind the green door – Shakin Stevens), Get your kicks at age 66! (Robert is 66 this birthday).

Bearing in mind some of us will be boarding buses and trains next month to an undisclosed location we now have plenty of numbers to sing-along to pass the journey-time. Song-sheets supplied on request but give me a few days to collate all these topical new versions of old songs and keep them coming!

5 thoughts on “On the occasion of Robert’s birthday, word is definitely out in Aberdeen!

  1. brilliant post ,we behind you robert ,all the way ,great letter i recieved ,glad you liked your cake card,hope they gave you one ,you deserve it ,maybe u was sent for a reason in there, a mission ,keep some of them men on the straight road when you get out LOVE TO YOU robert xxx

  2. And I read today that Rusty of “Rusty’s Skewed News Views” whose website at http://thesatirestall.blogspot.co.uk/ has been campaining for Hollie’s cause for sometime now, has apparently been silenced by the Grampian Police for posting views on the ongoing scandal, and bailed on condition he will not access the internet for the duration. Anyone else had news of this?