Globe-trotting Aussie returns to the ‘home’ land after 52 years

Leslie Dalziel reads about his previous visit to Motherwell in the Times & Speaker archives which are held at North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre
Leslie Dalziel reads about his previous visit to Motherwell in the Times & Speaker archives which are held at North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre

A globe-trotting Australian with a very familiar local surname has returned to Motherwell for the first time in over 50 years.

Back in October 1967 a then 27-year-old Leslie Dalziel arrived in Scotland from Sydney keen to find out more about the history of his clan.

It was while visiting the mother of West Lothian MP Tam Dalyell in Linlithgow he was made aware of Dalzell House in Motherwell.

Contacting Motherwell Town Hall he was given the keys to the 15th century baronial mansion and allowed to explore the historic house at his leisure.

He also visited Dalziel Co-operative Society receiving a booklet on its centenary.

Back in 1967 Leslie, who now lives in Adelaide, had visits to 24 countries under his belt, he now has 87.

After ticking Scotland off the list the next stop was Canada he met his late wife Eileen McArthur, a biochemist who incredibly was from Bellshill.

Even with his return visit the coincidences haven’t ended.

Leslie said: “When I was here in 1967 I had the opportunity to see the QE2 launched at John Brown in Clydebank and I’m now travelling to Dubai to stay on the ship where it is moored as a floating hotel.

“It is good to be back in Motherwell after all these years, I’ll be 79 in August so I wanted to do it one last time.

“The town has of course changed in the last 52 years, but there is still a familiarity about it, the biggest shock was learning that after being given free reign to wander around Dalzell House in 1967 that it is now private apartments.”