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Fife woman ‘flabbergasted’ as brother’s message unearthed behind wallpaper of home after half a century

Alison Sibbald with a photo of her brother, who wrote the message more over 55 years ago.
Alison Sibbald with a photo of her brother who wrote the message more over 55 years ago.

A message scrawled on a living room wall more than half a century ago has helped a Fife woman to reconnect with the past and her deceased brother.

After decorator Alister Dyson signed his name in 1965, it lay undisturbed until Margaret Cowin stripped the wallpaper from her newly purchased home in Scott Road, Glenrothes, last week.

Ripping away the layers of wall coverings she uncovered the message: “A Dyson, Valley Gardens, Kirkcaldy, painter & decorator, 22/10/65”.

Alister's message had remained undisturbed for decades.
Alister’s message had remained undisturbed for decades.

Intrigued to find out who the mystery decorator was, Margaret posted a photo on social media and was astounded when she received a reply days later.

Alison Sibbald, Alister’s sister, was alerted to the photo by a friend and instantly recognised it was the work of her brother.

Painter and decorator Alister Dyson wrote the message on the living room wall of the house in 1965.
Painter and decorator Alister Dyson wrote the message on the living room wall of the house in 1965.

Margaret said: “An elderly man had lived in the property for many years and clearly hadn’t decorated for some time.

“As soon as we found the message we were desperate to know just who the mystery ‘A Dyson’ was.

“I posted a photo of it on a Glenrothes Facebook page but never really expected much back therefore we were amazed when received a response from the lady saying the decorator was her brother.”

Sister left ‘flabbergasted’

Alison, who lives little more than a mile away from where her brother left his mark, said: “I was absolutely flabbergasted when I saw the photo but instantly knew it was my brother.

“It’s such a wonderful surprise after all the many years it’s been hidden especially as since it’s now more than 20 years since Alister passed away.

“He was one year older than me and would have been 76 years old this year so being reconnected to him and my past is such a thrill.”

She said her late brother had been a skilled tradesman.

“We were from a very large family of 14 children, seven boys and seven girls, and we lived in Valley Garden in Kirkcaldy at the time and Alister taught every one of us to decorate, he was very good,” she added.

“Sadly there are only four of us remaining but we are all thrilled by the discovery and I’m sure Alister will be looking down on us and having a laugh at the message finally seeing the light of day all these years later.”

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