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Weekly Mailing List Archives
18th June 2010

Electric Scotland News
Scottish Events
The Flag in the Wind
Book of Scottish Story
Oor Mither Tongue
Poems of William Dixon Cocker
Auld Biggins of Stirling
Old Pictures of Scotland
Scottish Notes and Queries
The Kingdom of Fife
The Complete Scotland
Furth in Field
Poems in the Dorric Language by John Henderson
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Roamin' in the Gloamin'
In the Hebrides
Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
Researches into the History of Tain
The Starling, A Scotch Story (New Book)
The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal (New Book)
Scotland as it was and as it is (New Book)
Clan Leslie Society International Newsletter
Robert Burns Lives!
Clan MacDowall History
Clan Ross Association of Canada
Allan Ramsay
The Gretna Green Memoirs (New Complete Book)

Electric Scotland News
This weeks mainly been about working on our new community. We've now settled on the forums we wish to make availble and thus have deleted one group and merged forums into another group. We've also created a number of sub forums. For example, in our Sports forum we've created sub forums for Golf, Fishing, Football, American Football, Rugby, etc.

Our Links system is now up and running and there are now 3 groups, "Scottish Links", "Members Web sites" and "Resources" with sub categories under each. Under the Scottish Links we've added "Scottish Council Areas" under which we have listed all 32 Scottish Council areas. The idea is that if a Scottish company adds their link to any category they can also add it to the council area where they are based.

The Links system is also going to replace our web site which we intend to close at the end of July 2010. The Scottish Links Group can be added to by guests although Members entries get further functionality. The other two groups are for Members only.

This links system offers members the ability to post messahes against a link and also add links to their favourites. Where a member has added a link they get the opportunity to get an email alter any time a message is posted against their link.

We added the photo gallery software which is rather neat in that it's also available as a widget which you close if you wish. We now show small thumbnail is the header of the forums and larget thumnails on the right border of the forums page. You get the opportunity to click to close this or can minimise it to just a header. The idea is that as we progress to add further widgets that they will be added to the right border where you get the opportunity to toggle their display on or off.

We are currently working on the Arcade system and the basic software is now installed and now have to add in the actual games. There will be less games in the new system than our current offering and so if you enjoy a particular game in our current system make a note of its name and if it isn't showing in our new Arcade let us know and we may be able to include it.

We've got quite a few messages up in the new system to get things started and some general guidance postings to set the scene for each forum. We've also enabled the YouTube video link to the forums.

We are also looking to add a New Members system where all new members will be announced in a "New Members" forum. This will let current members greet you and say hello.

As to our Calendar. When you click on the Calendar link in our menu our default calendar will be display but on the right you will see "Calendar Picker" and when you click on that you will see we have 2 other calendars available. One is for "Highland Ganmes and Celtic Festivals" where any of these events around the world can be added. The other is for "Gairloch and Loch Maree" which is in support of our special project for that area. In the default calendar members birthdays will also be displayed.

Our aim is to make our new system available by the end of this month and we are working hard to get all the basics installed by then. We will continue to work on the service after launch to bring in other functionality for you.

we are now mostly there. We still need to add the games to the Arcade. Add the "Thanks for this post" icons to the forums. We'd like to add the Radio and TV widget. And we need to customize our home page to reflect our own branding.

A few add-ons were broken with the last release of the forum software but have been informed a new release should be out before the end of this month to fix these. That in part is why we were holding off to the end of this month for our launch.

And so great progress has been made and if you have a little time Steve has posted a Poll in our current forum asking "How soon do you want the new system unveiled?". You can find this at and I know he'd welcome your views.

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section in our site menu and at

Scottish Events
I got in an email telling me of the Arisaig Games which while long I found most interesting so thought I'd include the full press release for you to read here.

Arisaig Games has announced threemajor developments for 2010’s event, on July 28th.
A significant sponsorship deal has been struck through the growing clan heritage strand of the games with GlenlivetWhisky.

Glenlivet will be sponsoring the piping competition at the 2010 games, and prize money will be increased substantially. Arisaig will now have some of the biggest prizes in piping in the west Highlands. It is hoped, too, that the numbers of pipers will be increased and provide a greater spectacle for this celebration of Highland culture. The Glenlivet team will host an exhibition tent with free tastings of their products in their tent. They will also be welcoming local licensees to visit and develop a greater appreciation of their product. The deal was coordinated by Ranald Macdonald, younger of Clan Ranald, son of the current chief.

Welcoming the deal, games secretary, James MacKenzie, said “We are delighted that The Glenlivet are to sponsor the Piping competitions at this years Arisaig Highland Games. Support from such a high-profile brand is an exciting development for our event.”

Ranald is also proprietor of the Boisdale group of restaurants and eateries in London and the southwest. Boisdale will be providing a unique event for a Highland games in the Glenlivet tent when two of their chefs will demonstrate butchery and cookery skills in front of spectators.

The second development at Traigh this year will be An Tilleadh. This is a new event based on the acclaimed Homecoming 2009 which sought to bring far flung people home to Scotland to sample the culture of their past and present heritages. An Tilleadh, (Gàidhlig for ‘The Return’) seeks to do the same for families whose roots are in Arisaig.

The inaugural An Tilleadh will focus on Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair, the first bard of the Gàidhlig Enlightenment and bard to Clan Ranald. A forceful and raucous figure, MacMhaighstir Alasdair was born at Dalilea near Acharacle, and ended his days living on Rhu. He is acclaimed as one of three of the greatest Gàidhlig poets ever to have lived, hismain rival to the title being the late SomhairleMacGilleathain.

The third of those bards is the contemporary Aonghas Phadràig Caimbeul who lives on Skye. Aonghas Phadràig will also be at An Tilleadh performing and discussing the poetry of his bardic predecessor. Complementing him will be Allan MacDonald, Glenuig, another huge name in Highland culture. One of the three piping Whaler boys, Allan is famous worldwide and has an abiding interest in Pìobairachd and the history of piping in general. He has published widely and teaches on the RSAMD BAMusic: Piping course at the Piping Centre in Glasgow.

For that combination alone the event will be worth coming to. But there will also be contributions from Jane Henderson of Mallaig, and Maggie MacDonald, Curator of the Museum of the Isles at the Clan Donald Centre on Skye.

An Tilleadh is a two day event, however. The day before the games Elizabeth and Allan MacDonald will be leading a walk to Rhu to see where MacMhaighstir Alasdair lived. The walk will also cover the birthplace of the legendary bard, Ossian, as well as a variety of other important historic sites and features. The MacDonalds are well known to local and international readers of the area’s newspaper Westword, where Allan has a regular column on genealogy, to which Elizabeth also contributes as well as doing her own one off features and series.

Elizabeth said recently, “We are thrilled to be getting An Tilleadh underway. The history and genealogy strand of cultural interest has been growing rapidly in recent years, and it is good to see Arisaig taking its place in that. We have a great story to tell, and a huge number of descendant families and other Albaphiles scattered across the globe to tell it to.”

An Tilleadh will finish it’s first day with a visit to Castle Tioram where Boisdale, Clan Ranald and the Glenlivet are hosting aWild Highland Barbecue for guests.

The final development for Arisaig Games is its website. Due to be launched just before the games this year, the site has been funded by a generous grant from the Arisaig Fund, a trust set up by Arisaig Partners, an international investment management company, to benefit Arisaig and projects designed to promote and develop the village.

Chas MacDonald, Promotions Manager, was enthusiastic about the site, saying “The grant from the Arisaig Fund has been fantastic for us and is greatly appreciated, This quality of site would have been almost impossible without this help. It will allow us to get our message out to our competitors and regular visitors, as well as to let people coming to the area know that a great event is on hand for them, at what is truly one of the most beautiful settings on earth.

An Tilleadh spans 27th – 28th July. Games Day is Wednesday 28th. There will be a parade through the village at 10am, followed by the opening procession at 12pmat Traigh, both of which all are welcome to join. And Games Day ends with the Games Dance at 10:30 in the Astley Hall in the village. Contact formore information on any event, to take part, or just to come along.

Note to Editors

2010 marks the 74th Arisaig HighlandGames, and the 6th Clan Ranald Gathering. It is held at Traigh Farmthreemiles from the village or Arisaig on the west coast of Lochaber, Scotland. Arisaig Games is a charitable organisation run solely for the purpose of celebrating the local culture and getting the community together.

The Glenlivet is one of Scotland’s most respected and highly acclaimed whisky strands with a variety of product brands associated. It is the second biggest brand of Scotch whisky worldwide and enjoys an enviable reputation in sales, butmore importantly in quality and distinction.

The Arisaig Fund is a trust fund set up by Arisaig Partners, an independent, employee-owned, investment management company established in October 1996, and based in Singapore.

Web site:
Google Map:,+Scotland&sll=56.535258,-5.844727&sspn=0.168113,0.426407&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Arisaig,+Inverness-Shire,+United+Kingdom&ll=56.911036,-5.842353&spn=0.166442,0.426407&z=11

This weeks issue is compiled by Jim Lynch. Jim departs somewhat from his usual format to bring us some answers from Parlimentary questions which make an interesting read.

You can read more about this at

The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP diary entry for this week can be viewed at

Note that last's weeks issue arrived a day late... not yet sure about this weeks issue.

Book of Scottish Story
Thanks to John Henderson for sending this book into us.

This week he's sent in "Albert Bane: an Incident of the Battle of Culloden" by Henry Mackenzie and here is how it starts...

When I was, last autumn, at my friend Colonel Caustic’s in the country, I saw there, on a visit to Miss Caustic, a young gentleman and his sister, children of a neighbour of the Colonel’s, with whose appearance and manner I was particularly pleased.

The history of their parents, said my friend, is somewhat particular, and I love to tell it, as I do everything that is to the honour of our nature. Man is so poor a thing, taken in the gross, that when I meet with an instance of nobleness in detail, I am fain to rest upon it long, and to recall it often, as in coming thither over our barren hills you would look with double delight on a spot of cultivation or of beauty.

The father of those young folks, whose looks you were struck with, was a gentleman of considerable domains and extensive influence on the northern frontier of our country. In his youth he lived, as it was then more the fashion than it is now, at the seat of his ancestors, surrounded with Gothic grandeur, and cornpassed with feudal followers and dependants, all of whom could trace their connection at a period more or less remote with the family of their chief. Every domestic in his house bore the family-name, and looked on himself as in a certain degree partaking its dignity, and sharing its fortunes. Of these, one was in a particular manner the favourite of his master. Albert Bane (the surname, you know, is generally lost in a name descriptive of the individual) had been his companion from his infancy. Of an age so much more advanced as to enable him to be a sort of tutor to his youthful lord, Albert had early taught him the rural exercises and rural amusements, in which himself was eminently skilful; he had attended him in the course of his education at home, of his travels abroad, and was still the constant companion of his excursions, and the associate of his sports.

The rest of this story can be read at

All the other stories can be read at

Oor Mither Tongue
An Anthology of Scots Vernacular Verse by Ninian Macwhannell (1938) and our thanks to John Henderson for sending this into us.

The Tryst

You can read these at

The other poems can be read at

William Dixon Cocker
W.D. COCKER (1882 – 1970)

W. D. Cocker was a Scottish poet who wrote in both Scots and English. In the First World War, Cocker served with the Highland Light infantry, and was taken prisoner in 1917. His war poetry is interesting and includes the poems "Up the Line to Poelkapelle", "The Sniper" and a five-part sonnet cycle entitled "Sonnets in Captivity". However, he is best known for his humorous poems in Scots.

Another 4 pages up which can be read at

The other poems can be read at

Auld Biggins of Stirling
The contents page of this book are done alphabetically so we're adding new chapters in the order they appear in the book and not as they appear in the contents. Loads of illustrations which do add to the enjoyment of this book.

Added The Raploch, Kippen and Gargunnock

You can read this at

Old Pictures of Scotland
We have been adding some old pictures from Scotland and now onto...

Set 21 - West Highlands (Part 6)

You can view these at

We're also adding a wee book about "Scottish Loch Scenery" to this page and this week have added...
Corra Linn

You can view these at

Scottish Notes and Queries
This is a periodical we came across launched in 1887 and we are going to scan in a number of issues for you to read.

Added Volume 2 Issue 7

You can read this at

The Kingdom of Fife
Its Ballads and Legends by Robert Boucher, Jun (1899)

Added "An Archetype of Ecclesiastics"

This can be read at

The Complete Scotland
A comprehensive survey, based on the principle motor, walking, railway and steamer routes. Historical section by J.D. Mackie, M.C., M.A. Professor of Scottish History and Literature and the University of Glasgow and geology and scenery by T.M. Finlay, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S.E., University of Edinburgh.

Added this week...

Glasgow to Oban via Loch Long and Inveraray

You can read this at

Furth in Field
volume of essays on the Life, Language and Literature of Old Scotland by Hugh Haliburton (1894).

Added The Books of Loch Leven.

This can be read at

Holiday Cottages
These are wee tourism articles. Got in this week...

Isle of Islay - The Island Destination of Scotland

This can be read at

Poems in the Dorric Language
By John Henderson

John has sent in new poems which can be seen at the foot of his page at

By the British Medical Association (1922)

We've added another chapter to this book...

Glasgow Royal Infirmary; A Kirkyard Eclogue. By Dr. William Findlay

You can read this book at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added Page 380, Drainage, Draining Board, Drains, Page 381, Drains, Draught, Page 382, Draught, Draughts, Draughtsmanship, Draw-Boring, Drawer, Page 383, Drawer, Drawings. These can be read at

Roamin' in the Gloamin'
By Sir Harry Lauder (1928)

We've added the final two chapters which now completes this book.


Here is how the final chapter starts...

ONCE again I returned to America by the direct sea-route Sydney to San Francisco. When I first hit "Frisco" eighteen years ago it was an exceedingly hot spot on the then rather hectic Barbary Coast. There were sights and "doin's" in the old town that would not be tolerated today; even Chicago had nothing on the great western seaport for excitement, sensation, and general lawlessness. But within recent years it has quietened down to an eminent respectability, thanks in great measure, I should say, to the wise, popular and progressive rule of my friend Mayor Rolph. For something like sixteen years now Mr. Rolph has adorned the civic chair of the city; the inhabitants refuse to give him up and thereby show their good taste and common-sense. Rolph and I are good friends and I get a most genial welcome from him every time I arrive at 'Frisco either by sea or railroad. Tom asserts that the Mayor is one of the very best men in the world but I have a suspicion that Thomas is prejudiced in his favour on account of the fact that the Mayor entertained him and his wife at a banquet in honour of their silver wedding.

Seeing that I am back again in the States I may as well take the opportunity-­I shall not have another in these memoirs—to recall several of the more amusing experiences and incidents of my twenty years touring of a country which, to my mind—and quite apart from certain obvious reasons-- never loses its interest and fascination. Only the fact that I am getting older and thus not so keen on seeing new places and new faces prevents me from bubbling over with enthusiasm at the start of each new American "attack" by the Lauder-Morris combination of gold-diggers. But in the old days it was different. I was constantly breaking new ground. Every year I was up against fresh propositions and with no certainty that they would pan out successfully. There were whole vast tracts of the American continent where the name of Harry Lauder was unknown.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

In the Hebrides
By C. F. Gordon Cumming (1883)

Added more chapters and this now completes this book.

Chapter XI
A Royal Fugitive

Chapter XII
Legends and Folk-Lore - Tidal Current off Vaternish—Scotch Bagpipes—Associations—Dunvegan Castle—Legend of Somerled—MacLeods and MacDonalds—Ancestral Relics—Fate of Lady Grange—Summer Nights—Seals—Cormorants —Star-Fish--Fish accounted fit for Food—Eels—Turbot--Of Scaleless Fish—Forbidden Meats—Drawing the Nets—Lump-Fish--Jelly Fish—Barnacle Geese—Families who claim Descent from Seal-Maidens or Mermen—Corn-crakes.

Chapter XIII
Oil on the Waters - Grey Rain—Portree Harbour—Becalmed—Whistling for a Wind—Oil on the Waters—St. Kilda Puddings—Shetland Cods' Livers—Oily Fish— Fishermen of many Lands —Wrecks averted by use of Oil— Mr. Shields at Peterhead—Application of Oil to Life-buoys—Wreck Register.

Chapter XIV
Farewell to the Isles - Three Weeks alone in the Rock Wilderness—A Family of "Haavelings" —Yachtsmen—Sligachan Inn—The Ouchullins—Divers Tourists— Loch Corruisk—A Good Day's Deer Stalking—Old Boar Hunt—A Whale Ashore—"Blocs Perchis"—Giant Fossils on Isle of Eigg - Legends of Clan Fights—The Grave of a Viking's Daughter—Old Churchyards of Snizort, Nigg, &c.—Of Funeral Feasts—The Skye Railway foreseen by Local Seers—Drive vid Balniacarra and Loch Aish to Shiel - House Inn—Eileen Donan Castle—Glen Quoich—Fort Augustus—Castle Urquhart.

You can read these chapters at

Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
It's Records, Traditions, Inhabitants and Natural History with a Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree and a Map and Illustrations" by John H. Dixon FSA Scot. published in 1886.

We're making good progress with Part I. - Records and Traditions of Gairloch. Added this week are...

Chapter XIV.—The Baronets of Gairloch and some other Gairloch Mackenzies

Sir Kenneth, eighth laird of Gairloch—M. P. for Ross-shire—Sir Alexander, ninth laird of Gairloch—Builds Flowerdale—The "Forty-five"—Murder of the Gille Buidhe, valet to Prince Charlie—Duncan Macrae conveys a keg of gold for Prince Charlie's use—The " sian "—r-English man-of-war fires at Flowerdale—Sir Alexander, tenth laird of Gairloch—Builds Gonan House—His son called " Fighting Jack," the father of the British army—Sir Hector Mackenzie—Lives at home—Lord-Lieutenant of Ross-shire—His beloved lady—Sir Francis Mackenzie—Publishes his "Hints" in 1838-—Sir Kenneth, present baronet—Mackenzies of Letterewe—Mackenzies of Lochend—Mackenzies of Gruinard—Large family—Mackenzies of Kernsary—Summary of Mackenzie History—Crest, Badge, Slogan, and Pipe tunes.

Chapter XV.—Gairloch Estates, and Old Names of Places

Kenlochewe—Gairloch—Description in protocol of 1494—Description in retour of 1566—Description in 1638—Names in Dutch map of 1662—Second half of the water of Ewe bought in 1671—Strip on north of River Ewe acquired in 1844— Letterewe originally Kin tail property—Acquired by Charles Mackenzie in 1696— Sold to Mr Bankes in 1835—Northern parts of Gairloch belonging to Gruinard Mackenzies before 1655—Sold to Davidson of Tulloch in 1795—Afterwards acquired by Mr Bankes—Mr O. H. Mackenzie's estate of Inverewe.

Chapter XVI.—-Ecclesiastical History of Gairloch

First church in Gairloch—Other early ecclesiastical buildings—Rector of Gairloch at date of Reformation—Presbyterianism—Tulchan bishops—Changes from Episcopalianism to Presbyterianism—Rev. Alexander Mackenzie—Rev. Farquhar Macrae—Rev. Roderick Mackenzie—Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie of Kernsary—Rev. John Morrison—Persecuted by Episcopalians—Anecdotes—His turf-built church in Tollie Bay—Christmas story—Rev. James Smith—First school in Gairloch— Anecdote of Rev. Mr Sage—Rev. AEneas McAulay—Rev. John Dounie—Rev. James Russell—His imperfect Gaelic—Poolewe made a separate parish—The Disruption—Presbyteries of Dingwall, Kenlochewe, Chanonry, Gairloch, and Loch Carron—Churches in Gairloch—Manse and glebe at Achdistall, Cliff and Strath— Free churches and their ministers.

Chapter XVII.—Ancient Gairloch Ironworks

Two classes of remains of ironworks—Rev. Donald M'Nicol's statement— Coin found near old Yorkshire ironworks—Iron implements used by ancient inhabitants—Disappearance of them accounted for—Other ancient remains in Sutherlandshire, Ross-shire, and Inverness-shire—Bog iron was the ore used of old in Gairloch—Processes of the ancient ironworkers—Wasteful richness of their slags accounted for—Charcoal was their fuel—The ancient forests of timber— Their disappearance—Water power anciently employed for working hammers.

Chapter XVIII.—The Historic Ironworks of Loch Maree

The present series of Scottish ironworks commenced on Loch Maree—The licence to Archibald Primrose for making iron ratified in 1612—Spread of the iron industry in the eighteenth century—Iron furnaces in Glengarry—Abernethy furnaces of the York Buildings Company—The Bonawe furnace—The Argyle Furnace Company—The Lorn Company—The Carron ironworks—The Wilsonton works—Furnace at Goatfield—Pennant's notice of the furnace near Poolewe—The Fife Adventurers and the Lews—The Rev. Farquhar Macrae, vicar of Gairloch —The Letterewe furnace established in 1607 by Sir George Hay—Previous history of Sir George—His residence at Letterewe—His ironworks—The timber consumed—The goods produced—The improvements he effected—Act prohibiting the making of iron with wood—Monopoly of iron manufacture granted to Sir George—Ratified by Parliament—Proclamation restraining the export of iron ore —Licence to Sir George to sell iron in royal burghs—Sir George's probable acquaintance with John Roy Mackenzie, laird of Gairloch—Sir George's friendship with the Rev. Farquhar Macrae—The minister's stone—Sir George leaves Letterewe—His distinguished after-career—Created first Earl of Kinnoull—Continuance of the ironworks—Tombstone of John Hay—His probable relationship to Sir George—Discontinuance of the ironworks—The artisans employed— Whence they came—The Kemps—The Cladh nan Sasunnach—Condition of the ironworkers in the then state of the Highlands—The Big Englishman.

Chapter XIX.—The Iron Ores used in Gairloch

References to local iron ore—Local bog iron used at ancient bloomeries— Ferruginous rocks and shales—Traditional quarries—Richness of bog iron— Places where it is still found in Gairloch—Bog iron originally used by Sir George Hay—He afterwards imported red hematite and clayband ironstone—Mr Marr's description of these ores—They were landed at Poolewe—Remains of them there— Mr Macadam's analyses—Mixture with local ore—Classification of the ores.

Chapter XX.—Remains of Ironworks in the Parish of Gairloch

Mr Macadam's description of two classes of slag—List of six localities of ironworks—Glen Dochartie—Fasagh—Analyses—Lochan Cul na Cathrach— Furnace, Letterewe—Talladale—Garavaig, on Slatadale farm—Red Smiddy, near Poolewe—Iron articles found—The borings at Cuil an Scardain—Chronological order of the ironworks—Other supposed furnaces—Notices of ironworks or mines in old Dutch map, and in "Present State of Great Britain and Ireland "— Conclusion.

You can read all these chapters at

I might add we were sent in the April 30th, 2010 issue of the Gairloch & District Times. This is the local newspaper which goes out every 2 weeks and is a print only publication. They kindly converted this issue to a pdf file which you can read at

Researches into the History of Tain
By Rev. William. Taylor

A new book we're starting which is only 3 chapters and an Appendix and we've nowcompleted this book.

You can read this book at

The Starling, A Scotch Story
By Normal MacLeod D.D. (1877)

We've posted other books by this author and also a biography about him. He was a well know personality during his lifetime and also chaplan to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

This is an interesting story of a character in this Highland village and how he got into trouble with the church and became a focus for gossip, both good and bad, in the community. I felt this story was very reflective of country life in this bygone age and thus should have a place on our site.

We have the first few chpateres up now which can be read at

The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal
This is the very first volume of this journal which I thought would make interesting reading. I'll let the Preface set the scene...

"Let the words be few"

ALTHOUGH the value of a Club Journal as a means of circulating information must be so apparent to members as to render editorial introduction almost unnecessary, it may not be out of place, in this the first number, to indicate briefly one or two points in connection with it.

Probably it will surprise many readers to learn that there are more than three hundred mountains in Scotland whose height exceeds 3,000 feet above sea-level! Even were our explorations to be restricted to mountains of no lesser altitude, here truly is a formidable undertaking. Their very names might furnish us with philological study for considerable time to come, without trenching upon the more scientific aspects of their botany, zoology, and climatology; and even if we content ourselves with them from a topographical or a climbing point, it will be long indeed before they are exhausted. But fine walks, hard climbs, and magnificent scenery are by no means restricted to the higher mountains.

It is probably not too much to say that some of our Scottish summits have never been ascended; that others have only seen the adventurous climber at long intervals, and then only in the shape of the forester, the shepherd, or the sportsman, who have climbed them in pursuit of their avocation, and not in search of the picturesque or the difficult. And if they are known to these visitors, they are wholly unknown to the world at large, for many of them have never been described at all, and the only account of others is as old as the days of Pennant and MacCulloch. The field that lies before the Club is therefore a large one; and when our members have climbed all the peaks, and explored all our beautiful glens and passes, we shall still have the excellent advice of Mr Pilkington, a Vice-President of the Alpine Club, to fall back upon: for he tells us that when we have found all the easy ways up our hills, we must turn our attention to conquering the difficult ways. This it is that has largely maintained the interest of the Alpine Journal, full as its numbers have been, of recent years, of old friends presented under new aspects in the way of ascents and explorations by routes hitherto unattempted.

And just as in the case of the Alpine Journal there were critics who prophesied its speedy starvation from want of material, so in the case of this, its humble imitator, some of our friends assure us of early extinction. Whether this comes about depends entirely on members themselves. The field, as has been said, is large; so is the number of workers—to wit, the members of the Club. It is hoped that the formation of a Mountaineering Club in Scotland will give a considerable impetus to the pursuit of that fascinating pastime; and the result ought to be the gathering of a great mass of most diversified and interesting information, whose natural channel should be the Journal.

It is intended to concern ourselves principally, of course, with the hills of Scotland ; but our pages will not be closed to the story of mountain adventure across the Border or in Ireland. The Club being in some measure responsible for a Journal published in its name, and under its direction, all the narratives inserted will be written and signed by members; but as it is felt that this would tend to narrow our sphere of action, there will be a section devoted to Notes and Queries, Reviews of Guide Books and Maps, Scientific Information, and, in general, everything that has a bearing upon the aims and objects of the. Club. This section will be open to all persons who may be interested in these matters, and it is hoped that it will be by no means the least entertaining portion of the Journal. It is intended to publish thrice yearly if possible. This should not be difficult if members take up the idea warmly.

Enough has been said to let it be seen that there are many sources from whence to draw a steady supply of matter sufficient to support our literary effort for a long time to come. And if, sooner or later, it is thought advisable to discontinue, at any rate it may be hoped that we shall have supplied a want long felt in the shape of reliable description of much of the wilder and more picturesque part of our country; that our pages will hold the record of many pleasant friendships formed and fostered; that their perusal will inculcate a love of our manly pursuit in persons who might not otherwise be drawn towards it; and last, but by no means least, that they will remind us of many an agreeable expedition amid scenes wherein, more truly than in other spots, we may say that—

"Our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."


You can read this book at

Scotland as it was and as it is
By the Duke of Argyll, George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke (1887)

I will first of all mention that each chapter of this book is quite substancial and so you might need to organize a cup of coffee or something before you start.

And the Preface is also substancial so let me just quote the first paragraph...

HISTORY has now taken its place among the Sciences which must be studied on the principle, and according to the methods, of the Division of Labour. Its larger outlines have indeed been traced already, and some of them, at least, by master hands. But our growing knowledge has raised a growing sense of the volume that we have yet to learn. The problems of human life are felt to be infinitely complex, and the Acts which throw real light upon them, are seen to be of a corresponding character. No one mind can recognise, or record, or classify, more than a fraction of them. Mere out-lines, even when not positively misleading, are at the least wholly insufficient. It is the work of our time to fill up such outlines by the careful study of particular epochs,—of some particular class of facts, —or of some special chain of causes. The field is a wide one, and the harvest is immense. Many who have neither the leisure, nor the learning, to take up the task of the general Historian, may have excellent opportunities of knowing thoroughly doings and transactions which have a deep root and a wide significance. With no other qualification than an eye habituated to the perception of certain truths, such writers may render invaluable service. And if their own business or calling has been of a kind which is connected with the earliest times, and with the oldest elements in human civilisation, any careful analysis of that business, as it has been conducted in the past, and as it exists at the present time, cannot fail to be, at least, a useful contribution to the vast—the yet unaccomplished —work of History.

You can read this book at

Clan Leslie Society International Newsletter
We got in the June 2010 issue which you can read at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

We got in this week...

Chapter 88 - The Peculiar ‘Research’ of Patrick Scott Hogg.

You can read this at

All Frank's Robert Burns Lives! articles can be viewed at

Clan MacDowall
Got in an updated history of Clan MacDowall which you can read under Clan History at

Clan Ross Association of Canada
We got in the May 2010 newsletter which you can read at

Allan Ramsay
Got in some scans from John Henderson of an article about him which also includes some of his poems. It is said that were it not for Burns being born he would have been Scotland's No.1 poet. We have added these scans to the foot of the biography we already have on the site.

You can read this at

The Gretna Green Memoirs
This is a short book of Introduction, Memoirs and Appendix which John Henderson found for us and makes a good and interesting read. This is the place where English couples escaped to get married as the minimum age for getting married in Scotland was younger than in England.

You can read this at

And to conclude here is a wee humour story I got in...

Ale Imitation

When the chairman of Goodyear was visiting the company's then tyre company in Glasgow,
it was decided to take him for a haggis dinner, which would be piped in, and then the chairman and the piper would be given a glass of whisky to toast the haggis.

The American PR executive who came with the chairman quickly pointed out that his man was teetotal and must only be given ginger ale.

So he watched anxiously as the toasts went ahead and then told the hotel manager: "Thank God that went off OK - think of the awful consequences if the drinks had got mixed up,
and the chairman had got the whisky!"

"That's nothing," replied the manager.

"You couldn't imagine the consequences if the piper had got the ginger ale."

And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)


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