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Rock ’n’ roll at Presleyland in Scotland

London, March 23 (Reuters): Elvis fans have a new shrine to their hero — a remote Scottish hamlet named this week as the ancestral home of the king of rock ’’ roll.

After six years’ research, writer Allan Morrison says the singer was the direct descendant of blacksmith Andrew Presley who lived 300 years ago in the Aberdeenshire village of Lonmay. “It was like striking gold,” he said of his research in the US and Scotland. “You have Graceland in Memphis. Now hopefully you will have Presleyland in Lonmay.”

Morrison found records showing Andrew Presley married Elspeth Leg in Lonmay on August 27, 1713. Their son, also named Andrew, became the first Presley in America when he arrived in North Carolina in 1745.

Scotland was the only piece of British soil that Elvis Presley ever walked on. In March 1960, he made a two-hour stopover at Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport when returning home after he served with the US army in Germany. Fans still pay homage at the airport to their hero. Now they could take in Lonmay on a new Elvis pilgrimage route.

But Presley devotees with suspicious minds could be torn on where to go as the Elvis lineage has long been a source of dispute from the Presili hills in Wales to an Irish saint from Munster called St Elvis.

Villagers in Lonmay, a remote corner of the world with wonderful birdlife and spectacular sunsets, are both amused and bemused by the new-found Elvis link. “Of course it is fun for the whole area as this is a forgotten corner of Scotland. It will be good if it draws people in,” said Pamela Hall whose soon-to-be-opened bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the hamlet could be given a welcome boost.

So could “Jailhouse Jock” T-Shirts and tartan blue suede shoes be next' The idea may appeal to some locals, but others are not so sure — Jim McCue for one, the bar manager at Lonmay’s only hotel.

“I am not a fan of Elvis — not at all,” he said ruefully. “I wish it had been Jimi Hendrix.”

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