The James Bond franchise has captivated audiences for nearly six decades, since Sean Connery first brought the character to life on the big screen back in 1962. His first spy flick Dr No was widely praised at the time and enabled a continued series of films that are still being made to this present day. With the release of upcoming 007 film, No Time To Die, pushed back until November amid fears about mass gatherings following the coronavirus outbreak. The film will see Daniel Craig reprise the role for a final time. His work and that of the scores of actors before him, may not have been possible had it not have been for the first groundbreaking portrayal by Sean Connery. He brought the James Bond character to life and for many remains the visual embodiment of the fictional hero to this day. Despite his success in the titular role, Sean never dreamed of becoming a big movie star. Instead he had more humble hopes of owning a horse, if not many, and being able to roam free among in the vast landscapes in the countryside. 

Thomas Sean Connery, known as Tommy, was born to a working class family in the tenements of Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1930.

Far from the leisurely lifestyle of his post-fame years, he secured his first job at the age of nine as a milkman and would also go onto get a newspaper round too.

Hard work was instilled into the future Scottish star from an early age and as a “child of the Depression” era, he was deprived of much of the fun and frivolity of youth. 

One of very few rare occasions that he was able to roam free and rediscover his inner child, was at his grandparents’ cottage – where they had an abundance of land for the youngster to play on. 

It was there that Sean was able to nurture his imagination, play “crazily” without fear of consequence and dream bigger than a life in the Edinburgh slums.

One of those dreams was a longing to be away from the cramped quarters of the city and to pursue an outdated, less than traditional career path. 

This unusual hope was documented in Michael Feeney Callan’s 1983 biography ‘Sean Connery: The Untouchable hero’.

The writer described how the future Bond actor was spoiled by his grandparents Neil and Helen Maclean, who were “worldwide, clever, fun-loving people utterly at ease with children and passionate about their grandsons”.

At their cottage just north of Kirkcaldy, in Fife, they were able to breed pigs and chicken, along with keeping one majestic Clydesdale horse.

There they lived a simple life without running water where they would bathe in the stream and would take a pitcher to their nearby farm each morning for milk “still fresh and warm from the cow”.

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Sean’s younger brother Neil described: “There was a pond where we fished for tadpoles, newts and frogs… and a huge Clydesdale horse on the farm, a real whopper.”

This calmer existence was a total contrast to their “jam-packed airless” home in Fountainbridge and for the Connery brothers it “took on magical aspects”.

Here Sean was allowed a short respite from the responsibility of earning a wage to support his family and was able to “play kid again”.

Biographer Mr Callan wrote: “In Fife, he discovered things about himself that had been buried under the rush to grow up. 

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“He found he liked his own company, liked to indulge his fantasies about being a cowboy riding the range.”

Sean discovered his affinity for horses, especially this large Clydesdale horse, which he found “far better and wilder” than those used on his milk round.

Biographer Mr Callan wrote: “It was actually possible to mount the Clydesdale horse and romp over prairie – like meadows – with never a fear of admonition. 

“Day in, day out, almost as if freedom had no boundaries.” 

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