Jill McGown was born on August 9, 1947, in Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland, on the Mull of Kintyre. Her father and his brother owned a fishing boat and earned their living as fishermen. Her mother, who was originally from Glasgow, was a secretary. During those years, the family spent summer holidays at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, which seemed much more lively than Campbeltown, with its end-of-pier shows and its one neon sign. The McGowns would also take steamers to such places as Lochranza on Arran and Ardrossan in the Firth of Clyde. However, though she did enjoy beach picnics, McGown soon realized that she was not overly enthusiastic about nature. She was delighted when her mother took her to Glasgow to visit her aunt and uncle, and she could choose between her two favorite modes of transportation, the subway and the tram.
While the family was still living in Campbeltown, McGown attended an infants’ school, then a primary school, and finally a second one. In 1957, when she was ten, she had to change schools for a fourth time. Jill’s father, realizing that he could no longer make a living fishing for herring, decided to move to Corby in Northamptonshire, England, where he found a job at Lloyds Ironworks, later Stewarts and Lloyds. Because the company was bringing in a great many new workers from Scotland, though McGown now lived in England, she grew up in an atmosphere more Scottish than English. Scottish accents dominated, and there was an annual Highland...
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