An exquisite memoir of a Kirrie lady

MEMOIR: Kirriemuir author Cora Murray with her book 'Journey into the Unknown'.
MEMOIR: Kirriemuir author Cora Murray with her book 'Journey into the Unknown'.

A LOCAL lady has written a fascinating memoir about an unforgettable decade of her life.

Margaret Rutherford, also known as Cora Murray, was born in Dundee and educated at a local primary school and Harris Academy. She worked in two offices in the city until her marriage in 1961.

After she married marine engineer Alexander the couple moved to Iran in 1965 where they lived on and off for over 10 years.

It is this period which is the focus of Margaret’s book - ‘Journey into the Unknown’.

In 1967 the family bought a house in Kirriemuir and after Alexander’s untimely death in 1978, this is where Margaret settled to bring up her son and daughter.

The memior essays a history on an unexamined period of her life in which various experiences came together to make a decade of unforgettable memories.

The ‘Journey into the Unknown’ entailed much soul-searching and dredging of memories for an authentic, emotional, even spiritual picture of the 1960s.

It takes place in Dundee and Abadan in south Iran with London and Kirriemuir thrown into the eclectic mix.

Margaret Rutherford starts her narrative by describing the society of her youth, an era which comes alive in this book.

It tells of how Margaret and Alexander planned for a long life together and of how she came to learn about being the wife of a merchant mariner.

Margaret also tells of her experiences as a parent of two children diagnosed and treated for Cystic Fibrosis - a genetically-inherited and incurable condition. This changed the family’s lives dramatically.

In particular, Margaret concentrates on May, her eldest and the circumstances of her sickness, death and the life made after it.

Eventually, Margaret and Alexander would adopt two children which served to strengthen the family once again.

It is with a spirit of acceptance that this book was written. With bits of everything - 1960s life, human behaviour, love, marriage, death and sorrow - the ‘Journey into the Unknown’ is a story well worth telling.

In controlled, measured tones, readers are shown an emotional but non-violent gravitas, a levelheadedness that few outside Margaret’s circle of family and friends could appreciate and an insight into life as a journey to savour and remember well.

For all of its lessons and insights, this memoir stands not only as a personal monument but an unforgettable story about life.

Margaret is well-known in the Kirriemuir community and her interests are mainly centered on children.

Since before her marriage to Alexander, Margaret has had a great interest in the Guide movement and she has run both Rainbow and Brownie units.

Since then Margaret has also held office within Guiding at a county and Scottish level.

She is also a keen member of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute.

If you would like to order a copy you can do so in the following ways: e-mail and you will be given a link to Paypal - you do not need to have a Paypal Account to use this option.

You can also find the book online at or by sending a cheque payable to M. C. Murray for £15.49 (including postage) to Mrs M. C. Murray, Claypot Cottage, 1 Gladstone Place, Kirriemuir, DD8 4JB.

The book can also be ordered in ‘The Book Worm’, Kirriemuir.