DIG a little deeper and you'll find everyone has an interesting tale to tell� but few are likely to be as unique as that of a former Bankie teacher. The amazing story of Carl Vaughan's somewhat unlikely journey from Jamaica to Clydebank is surely one in a million.

The 88-year-old great grandfather, who retired as head teacher of Edinbarnet Primary in Faifley more than 20 years ago, has taken his time to put his autobiography on paper.

However, after resisting the prompting of his relatives for many years, Carl is now adding the final touches to his memoirs and is hopeful it may not be too long before his tome goes in to print.

The humble octogenarian said: "I wasn't really that bothered about writing a book but my family had often suggested I should put my story down on paper because it's interesting enough. To me it was just happening and didn't seem like anything special but I put it down anyway and now that it's written I thought I should get it published." Carl was born in St James, Montego Bay, on May 15, 1925. He was christened Ludlow Murcott after a prominent Jamaican doctor and Justice of the Peace but, as he explains in his book, his grandmother wasn't keen on the name, preferring Carl, a moniker that's stuck ever since.

Growing up as a child on the sun-kissed island, he could never have imagined that life would lead him to Scotland where he would fall in love with Dina - his wife of 65 years - raise four children - a son and three daughters - as well as find a new home.

His journey to Britain began in 1942 when he and 22 others left their homeland to fight for King and country in the Second World War. He didn't realise it at the time but the first leg of his 4500 mile trip from the Caribbean to the Clyde would later provide perfect fodder for the foreward to his book.

He writes: "There is a saying in Glasgow: 'Do you think that I came up the Clyde on a banana boat?' "It is most often said in response to the telling of an incredible story, or after someone tries to pull a trick on another, but is found out. A humorous way, typically Glaswegian, of saying: 'Do you think I'm stupid?' "Well, I like to think that I am not stupid, but I did come up the Clyde on a banana boat. This is my story, from Jamaica with love." That familiar sense of humour runs through Carl's writing and is as good an indication as any that he has a genuine affinity with the city he now calls home.

There are many striking passages that portray a young man with a sense of adventure who is spellbound by a world so different from the one he left behind when he was just 18.

When he set off as a Royal Air Force volunteer he knew the little Elders and Fyffe boat he was sailing in was a sitting duck for German U-boats.

He points out that before the war the company - famous for shipping exotic fruits to the UK - had a 40-strong fleet but by the war's end that number had been reduced to only seven.

Thankfully, Carl and his fellow volunteers made it safely to Tampa, Florida, before travelling by land through the USA to Canada where they would then set off for Scotland.

His first impression of the UK won him over straight away but, as Carl describes, he was quickly put in his place by the quirks of what was then an alien climate.

"Like a mirror image of the Canadian coastline," he writes, "we saw the most wonderful scenery of distant mountains on that lovely autumn evening, moving into winter. That beautiful first view of Scotland will always be one of my favourite memories.

"Because Jamaica is so hilly, we Jamaicans always appreciate the sight of mountains. My colleagues and I all agreed that we were fortunate to arrive at such a lovely place. But we were not yet to go ashore, with one more night to spend onboard, moored on the Clyde.

"Next morning we quickly ran up to the deck to enjoy the wonderful scenery we had seen the evening before, but to our disappointment there was a very thick fog which prevented us from seeing more than a few yards. This was perhaps more typical Scottish weather for the time of year." The book goes on to describe his wartime experiences based at Bomber Command in High Wycombe where he was attached to the main planning room responsible for co-ordinating heavy bombing raids over Germany. His team's job was to monitor the many operational planes that were out there, and that meant they would often hear distress signals from aircraft which were limping their way home after bombing operations.

It was a vital and at times harrowing occupation because, as Carl points out: "If you missed their signal, those people were done for." When the war ended he was given the opportunity to do a foundation medical chiropody course at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital, returning him to the city that was to become his home for the next seven decades.

It's perhaps not surprising to know his early years in Glasgow were not always easy. He writes frankly about the racism he experienced but never dwells on the negative and there is certainly no hint of bitterness in his heartwarming narrative.

His romance with Dina began at the Playhouse dance hall on Sauchiehall Street where the young couple enjoyed dancing to the big band sounds of the day. Their relationship blossomed and they were married on May 15, 1948 but, as Carl explains, the minister was not in favour of their union and they were wed at the registry office with Dina's brother-in-law taking them there in his taxi.

The latter part of his story goes on to explain the unconventional career path that would take him from chiropody to teaching at Edinbarnet where he would remain for around 20 years until he retired.

The affection he still has for the Faifley school is evident and he looks back with fondness on what he says was the most fulfilling and rewarding part of his working life.

Recalling the first day he arrived at the school, which was then just a couple of years old, he writes: "I had never been to that part of Clydebank before, and on entering the driveway of the school I saw this marvellous building in the foreground and the wonderful rolling hills in the background, the very same hills I had seen as I sailed up the Clyde all those years before. I at once fell in love with the view and hoped everything else proved as good as that first impression." The penultimate chapter of Carl's tale reflects on the many joyful years he spent in Faifley and is sure to appeal to many Bankies, especially those who attended Edinbarnet when Mr Vaughan was in his pomp. Intriguingly, the former head has never felt the urge to return to his old stomping ground for reasons he best explains himself.

He writes: "Strange though it might seem, I have never since returned to my old school, although it holds so many good memories for me. Of course, when I retired, an open invitation was given to me by my successor to return any time I wished - but memories so fond are, I think, better kept idyllically safe close to one's heart forever." Rest assured it's a story that deserves a place on every Clydebank bookshelf, as well as Montego Bay.