By Cara Sulieman
SIGNS of Fred Goodwin’s imminent arrival were present on Oswald Road the day before he was pictured returning from France.
Friday night saw a hive of activity outside the home of the ex-RBS chief as his staff prepared for his arrival.
At 9pm a man in a dark blue suit carried two Tesco shopping bags into the driveway of number eight Oswald Road under the cover of darkness.
He was shortly followed by a silver BMW that glided through the gates.
Soon after, Goodwin’s gardener left the property on foot, also through the driveway, and headed around the corner of the mansion.
The slick operation came just 12 hours before Goodwin arrived on foot carrying his briefcase.
It is believed that the ex-banker left his wife and children in the south of France.
With schools due to go back later this month, it is expected that his kids will return to their private schools for the new academic year after the family’s six month exile.
Most of the Goodwin’s neighbours were unwilling to speak yesterday.
But one resident, who has lived across the road from the family since they moved in, said that he had seen a lot of movement at the address in the run up to his arrival.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s been all quiet at the Goodwin residence since they left, but there’s been quite a few people going in and out in the past few days.
“The housekeeper has been coming once a week or so, and the gardener every few days, but we’re not seen anything else.
“My wife saw a lot of movement on Friday, and I watched as a few cars went in and out that night. They must have been getting it ready for him – filling the fridge up and that sort of thing.
“We haven’t seen Fred himself since he got back – the first I knew of it was when I saw it in the papers this morning.”
But he said that there’s no bitterness on his part, despite the fact that he is an RBS customer.
He added: “I think he’s paid his price. It must be having a bad effect on the children.
“I think it’s time the family were left to get on with their lives.”
And the shamed banker has drafted in an expert to get his reputation out of the gutter.
David Burnside, who was head of PR for British Airways in the 1990s, will be trying to get Goodwin back in the good books.