Snack bars galore: the wonder of football food

From hatches to huts, sheds to retooled vehicles, let’s hear it for our terrace tuckshops and their indomitable staffBy writer Daniel Gray and photographer Alan McCredie for NutmegA Thursday morning in July and tourists gather outside the birthplace of the Patron Saint of Football Snack Bars. There are seven such visitors in all – a family of four, a pair of bronzed pensioners and a lone lady in a floral bucket hat. She ponders a segment of paper, the family point at phone screens and bicker like starved hens, and the couple battle to open an umbrella as if calculating how to assemble an AK-47 rifle for the first time. It is gently thrilling to find these disciples of our game’s culture here, outside 29 Main Street, Roslin, in Midlothian. They too must have come to see where John Lawson Johnston, genius inventor of Bovril, was born.Except, they don’t look very interested in the plaque that boasts his name. Then all seven drift away distractedly, and I realise they are looking for the chapel: Tom Hanks, The Da Vinci Code, Knights Templar and all that. Theirs is the wrong kind of holy grail.

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