The Rampant Scotland Newsletter - your insight into what has been happening in Scotland, snipped from the Scottish media, for Scots in Scotland and abroad. Bringing you news and events, plus a Scottish magazine section. Published every second week, with 100% recycled electrons.
Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in the Archive> and the Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here>.
The Scottish Snippets Newsletter in its original format began in April 1997 and continued in an unbroken series for 591 issues. Although no longer produced in that format there is now a regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site and also "Scottie's Diary" on an intermittent basis, To receive this, kust send an e-mail to Scottie with "Subscribe Newsletter" in the subject line.
Scottish Bank Bailout
The UK government has had to effectively nationalise the two largest publicly quoted companies in Scotland. The government will provide the once mighty Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) with a government cash injection and will take preference shares, resulting in the taxpayer owning around 60% of RBS and 43% of a combined HBOS and Lloyds TSB bank. The sums involved are staggering - £20 billion support for RBS and Lloyds TSB and HBOS (who are to merge) needing £17 billion. The price at which Lloyds TSB is taking over HBOS is being "renegotiated" - ie lowered, in the light of the emerging state of the bank. The RBS chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin, is to step down and their chairman will resign from the board next April. The HBOS chief executive and chairman will both step aside when the bank is taken over by Lloyds TSB. All the senior executives are waiving their entitlements to large severance payments built into their contracts. Once the present turbulence in the financial markets has settled down and the two banks hopefully recover and no longer need government support, the aim is for the preference shares to be sold - ideally producing a profit for the government and - ultimately - the taxpayer.
HBOS Sells Australian SubsidiaryTroubled Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) has accepted a "fire sale" of Western Australian-based BankWest to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for £1.2 billion. Analysts had earlier valued BankWest at between £2.5 billion and 3 billion and HBOS is reported to have rejected an offer of just under £2 billion earlier this year. But HBOS shares are trading at under £1 in the London Stock Exchange and the takeover by Lloyds TSB is being "renegotiated" at a lower price, HBOS. The Australian banking regulators were said to be getting concerned that BankWest could be destabalised by the troubles of its parent, putting pressure on the rest of the banking system there.
Scottish Universities Among World BestAn international league table of the top 200 universities has ranked three Scottish universities in the top 100. Edinburgh was rated at 23rd, Glasgow at 73rd (10 places up on last year) and St Andrews was placed at 83rd this year (down from 76th last year). And Aberdeen was placed 153rd (down from 137th). The American universities of Harvard and Yale were rated first and second respectively, with English universities Cambridge and Oxford slipping a place each to be ranked third and fourth.
Unemployment RisingRecently, unemployment figures in Scotland have been at an all-time low and numbers in employment at an all-time high. But the current world economic problems are having their effect on jobs and the latest Government data shows that in the last quarter the number of people claiming Jobseeker's allowance rose by 19,000 on the previous quarter, to 124,000. That's an unemployment rate of 4.7%, which compares favourably with the overall UK figure of 5.7% The number of people in work also fell by 19,000, to a total of 2.538 million. That is an employment rate of 76% which is higher than the UK figure and above that of almost all the countries in the European Union.
Car Sales Skid BadlyThe number of new cars bought last month in Scotland dropped by 26%, compared to the same period last year. Only 29,014 cars left the showrooms in September 2008, down from 39,218 a year ago. Sales were at their lowest for September since the new registration system was introduced nine years ago. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) pointed out that the car sales were one of the first casualties of an economic downturn because cars were the second largest purchase - after houses - for many consumers. Luxury cars such as Range Rover (seen here) saw the biggest downturn - sales fell by 43% - and the only winner was the mini-size Smart car which saw a 9% increase in sales.
Airport Passenger Numbers FallAfter many years of steady growth, the number of passengers using Scotland's three largest airports fell by 6.6% in September, compared with the same month last year. Suffering from the loss of Zoom and XL, Glasgow had the biggest decline of 11%, handling just 786,273 last month, with international traffic recording an even larger fall. Edinburgh had a comparable overall drop of just 2.9% to 823,301, with international traffic growing by 3.5%. Aberdeen's passenger numbers were down to 298,467, a decline of 4.2% on last year.
Glasgow in World Top 10The travel guide company Lonely Planet - which has sometimes had harsh words for some aspects of Scotland - has put Glasgow into its list of 10 top cities of the world. The guide says: "Forget castles, kilts, bagpipes and tartan. You come for the cocktails, cuisine and designer chic (plus the legendary native wit). Glasgow has shaken off its shroud of industrial soot and shimmied into a sparkling new designer gown." The Lonely Planet travel editor says: "The time has come for Lonely Planet to let one of its worst-kept secrets out: Glasgow's got everything. We're delighted to highlight such a fun, stylish city." Glasgow was the only UK city in the top 10 list. The others were Antwerp, Beirut, Chicago, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Warsaw and Zurich.
Houses for Love Street?The plans for the development of the Love Street football stadium in Paisley have taken a major change of direction. Originally the Tesco supermarket chain bought the site so that it could create a new outlet in the town and planning permission was - eventually - granted. That will allow St Mirren to move to a new home in nearby Ferguslie early next year. But now Tesco has put forward a consultation document on building houses on the Love Street site and creating a new superstore (one of their largest in Scotland) in a nearby industrial estate, nearer to the city centre. That would create jobs for around 600 people. It is claimed that free car parking at the store would draw more shoppers into the town, benefitting local retailers. New planning permission would be required and that could take two years and involve both Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government, due to the scale of the proposed 136,000 sq ft development.
Last Farewell to QE2The famous Cunard liner QE2 was launched at John Brown's shipyard on the river Clyde in 1967. Since then, the 70,000 tonne ship has travelled 5.9 million nautical miles, carried 2.5 million passengers, crossed the Atlantic 804 times and completed 25 World Cruises. Earlier this month she called at Greenock on the Firth of Clyde for the last time, during a farewell voyage round the British Isles. After that she will sail into retirement as a floating hotel in Dubai. Thousands of spectators lined the shoreline as the ship spent a day at Greenock. Many others took trips in small boats from up and down the river to get a close-up view from the water.
£350 Million Development for IbroxRangers Football Club has been given planning approval for a multi-million development including a hotel and shops on a site close to its Ibrox stadium in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council is to transfer the land to Rangers, noting that it would make a significant contribution to its own plans to regenerate the rundown area of Govan. It has taken a number of years to get to this stage - and now the hard part begins. Rangers chairman David Murray has to obtain financial partners for the project - no easy matter in these credit crunch times.
£30 Million Makeover for Golf HotelTurnberry Hotel in Ayrshire is already a 5-star resort with its famous golf courses and views across the Firth of Clyde to Ailsa Craig. But it has recently been sold and the new owners - Leisurecorp, headed by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Sulaiman in Dubai - have unveiled a plan to spend £30 million on a makeover which will see the many previous refurbishments peeled back to return it to look much as the original Scottish architect had intended. The concept when Turnberry Hotel was built, was to bring the outside inside and vice versa. So the reception area, for example, will once again have a view of that brilliant vista of the Clyde and Ailsa Craig. The original architect, Glaswegian James Miller, made his name as a designer of railway stations (including Prestwick and Troon) and the vast reception area he designed originally had the look of a grand waiting room. Turnberry is becoming part of a group that owns some of the world's most exclusive golf courses, including Dubai's Jumeirah resort. Even so, the company stresses that the courses will not be just a playground for the rich and famous but will be open to non-members. Turnberry Hotel is scheduled to close on 1 November and will reopen at the start of July 2009 in time for the 138th Open Championship.
Tartan Register Approved by ParliamentThe Scottish Parliament has backed measures to protect, promote and preserve tartan as one of Scotland's most iconic and valuable assets. Members of the Scottish Parliament have approved stage three of the bill and Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said afterwards: "Tartan is deeply woven into the cultural fabric of Scotland and is an internationally recognised symbol of our country. We also know that the tartan industry makes a significant contribution to Scotland's economy. We have been working constructively with Jamie McGrigor MSP since last year and I am pleased that all our efforts have now come to fruition with the Bill receiving cross-party support. It is only right that we take action to safeguard one of our most valuable assets for future generations by establishing a Scottish Register of Tartans." The register will be launched in time for 2009, Scotland's "Year of Homecoming" and people across the world will be able to use the Register as an on-line resource. The National Archives of Scotland will play a crucial role in setting up, operating, maintaining and facilitating access to the Register. The Court of the Lord Lyon and tartan experts will play roles advising and supporting the Register.
£125 Million Six-star Hotel for GlasgowThe Jumeirah Group, which operates the world's most luxurious hotel in Dubai, is to build a 26-storey hotel in Glasgow's Argyle Street. It will have 160 luxury rooms, a rooftop cocktail lounge, swimming pool, health spa and gym and extensive conference facilities. An adjoining block will have 68 serviced apartments, built to the same high standard. The eye-catching new building will have great views across the city and down the river Clyde and will open in 2011. The location is close to Glasgow's International Financial District - and along Argyle Street from another up-market establishment, Radisson SAS Hotel. The Jumeirah Group operates Dubai's Burj Al Arab - the tallest hotel in the world which last year was voted the best in the world.
Locals Guide to ScotlandA new, free guide has been launched by the tourism agency VisitScotland which is designed to highlight the more "authentic", off the beaten track Scotland experiences, revealing many hidden secrets. "Real Scotland - The Locals' Guide" will also feature insider tips and Top 10 lists from the people who know best, including caddies' favourite courses, pub musicians' favourite haunts, designers' favourite boutiques, stonemasons' favourite buildings, rangers' wildlife hotspots and - of course - fishermen’s best fish & chip shops. Also included are a number of interesting facts and figures covering everything from Scotland’s famous history to how long a kilt should be and a guide to first footing. The guide was launched at the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar - hardly a secret location as the queue is often down the street in the summer! Copies of the guide can be obtained online via www.visitscotland.com/real.
Blank TV Screens?52,000 homes in the Scottish Borders will no longer get an analogue TV service next month when the transmitter at Selkirk is switched off. There has been a major publicity campaign to alert residents to obtain a digital TV or an adapter that would allow them to receive digital signals on existing sets. But it is estimated that with only weeks to go, although 90% of homes have digital on their main TV set, 32% of all analogue sets are still not converted. Part of the slowness may be due to the fact that only around half of the homes in the area can receive the digital Freeview channels. The transmitter involved will be able to increase its power once analogue is switched off - that will then allow 98% of households to receive the digital service with the extra Freeview services.
The picture is of the advertising character "Digit Al" used to publicise the changeover.
Whisky Returns to ScotlandThe world's largest collection of Scotch whisky has arrived in Edinburgh from Brazil, where an enthusiast built up his record-breaking collection over 35 years. Claive Vidiz has sold his 3,384 bottles to drinks giant Diageo and it will be loaned to the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile, to be displayed in a specially designed vault there next year. The collection ranges from popular brands all the way through to the rarest, including one of only 100 bottles of Strathmill single malt produced to celebrate the Speyside distillery's 100th anniversary. One of the favourite's of the Brazilian collector is Dimple Pinch, one of the first special editions of a Scotch whisky ever produced.
Scottish Cup Renamed2009 has been designated as "Homecoming Year" during which Scots abroad will be encouraged to come to Scotland. Various events are being held to mark the celebration. As part of this, it is being reported that the Scottish Government has been negotiating with the Scottish Football Association and Willie Haughey, a former Celtic director and refrigeration tycoon, to sponsor the Scottish Cup for the next three years. Mr Haughey is putting up the £800,000 sponsorship funding, but does not want the cup named after his business interests. That has given the Scottish Government the opportunity to name the trophy as the "Homecoming Cup" in 2009 and other titles over the next two years. Already, there are suggestions that it might be named "The Salmond Cup" - but this has been denied - on the basis that the Scottish Cup is not grand or impressive enough to carry the First Minister's name... Of course, nobody wants to turn the Scottish Cup into a political football by calling it the "Independence Cup".
Recent Weather in ScotlandOnce again heavy rain and flooding hit the headlines, this time in central and southern Scotland last Friday. The river Irvine burst its banks in and around Kilmarnock and there was widespread disruption to local services in East Ayrshire. The flooding was the worst since 1994 - after which a £9 million flood prevention scheme was completed in 2004. Dozens of roads across west of Scotland were closed and flood warnings were issued in parts of Glasgow, the River Lyon in Perthshire and the River Nith in Dumfries. In general, the weather over the last couple of weeks has been the usual mixture of cloud, showers and some sunny spells. Maximum daytime temperatures have been mainly in the range 12/14C (54/55F) although Aberdeen did hit 18C (64F) last Friday. Overnight temperatures have occasionally been low enough to produce ground frost. The outlook for the next few days is heavy rain and showers.
The picture here is typical of recent weather with the dahlia bathed in the setting sun and the darek clouds looming in the background.
This Week's Colour SupplementThis week's large format photographs taken in Scotland to show the current season and its flora and fauna include:
~ The round straw bales of harvested cereal crops, dotting the landscape in Fife;
~ St. Michael's Parish Church in Linlithgow, with its controversial aluminium crown added in 1964 (see thumbnail here);
~ Linlithgow Palace, begun by King James I in 1424 - the French wife of King James V compared it to the noblest châteaux of France;
~ The crests of the four orders of chivalry to which King James V belonged - the Garter of England, the Thistle of Scotland, the Golden Fleece of Burgundy and St Michael of France;
~ The "King's Fountain", created to impress visiting monarchs and dignitaries with the opulence of King James' court, is now Britain's oldest surviving fountain, dating from the late 1530s;
~ The pink trumpets of Nerine flowers, creating a bright splash of colour in the late autumn;
~ The initial brown feathers of a young cygnet, beginning to give way to the white of adult swans.
For all the photographs, see This Week's Colour Supplement.
Historical Affairs - Topical Items from Scotland's Past
Landmark Having a BallThe Time Ball on the Nelson Monument, on the top of Edinburgh's Calton Hill, was installed in 1852. It enabled ships in Leith harbour to set their chronometers accurately as it dropped from the top of the monument at exactly 1pm each day. An audible signal was added nine years later, when the One o'Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle began to fire at the same precise moment. But 18 months ago the city was battered by gales and the Time Ball was damaged and has not operated since. Now, thanks to a £50,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, it is to be restored over the next six months. A large iron band is corroding inside the stonework at the top of the monument and it will have to be removed and replaced. The Time Ball used to be connected to the One O'clock Gun by a 4000-feet telegraph wire that stretched all the way from the Castle to the Nelson Monument. This was removed in the 1930s.
17th Century Gardens at Drum CastleAn archaeological dig in the grounds of Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire has produced clear evidence of gardens which surrounded the castle in the 17th century. They were probably established when a new mansion house wing was added to the medieval castle. The planting patterns would have been appreciated from the windows of a long gallery in the luxurious new extension. Foundations of very substantial walls and stretches of paved pathways have been uncovered. It seems that there were two main walled enclosures in an area now covered by the south lawn and a formal parterre in the enclosure nearest to the castle. Fruit trees were probably grown against the enclosure walls. The gardens have been covered in lawns for over 250 years.
Anniversaries of Scottish Historical Events
- October 19 1687 - First sedan chairs available for public hire introduced to Edinburgh.
- October 20 1971 - Explosion at Clarkston Toll shopping centre, killing 12.
- October 21 1956 - Last tram car ran in Dundee.
- October 22 1861 - Foundation stones of main Post Office and National Museum of Scotland laid by Prince Albert in his last public engagement before his death.
- October 23 1295 - Treaty between King John Balliol of Scotland and King Philippe IV of France which promised mutual help against the English - the start of the "Auld Alliance".
- October 25 1960 - Elvis Presley touched down at Prestwick airport, his only visit to Scotland.
- October 26 1845 - Lady Caroline Nairne, songwriter and poet, died at Gask.
- October 27 1728 - James Cook, circum-navigator of the globe, born to Scottish parents in Yorkshire.
- October 28 1794 - Birth of Robert Liston in Linlithgow who was to carry out the first operation in Britain with the aid of an anaesthetic.
- October 29 1740 - James Boswell, biographer of Dr Johnston, born at Blair's Land, Parliament Square, Edinburgh.
- October 30 1925 - First moving image on a television screen when John Logie Baird transmitted the image of a 15-year-old office boy in his London workshop.
- October 31 1888 - Pneumatic bicycle tyres were patented by inventor John Boyd Dunlop from Ayrshire.
- November 1 1695 - Bank of Scotland founded by an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
Gaelic ModThe annual celebration of Gaelic language and culture took place in Falkirk this week, attracting 10,000 visitors, including 2,000 competitors, from across the world. The Mod has been held each year since 1892 and there are over 200 competitions in all. Throughout the mod there were also shows by Gaelic performers in pubs and clubs. This was the first time that the event has been held in Falkirk and it will provide a useful economic boost to the town. Next year the Mod will be held in Oban and in 2010 it will be Thurso. This week the organisers opted for the Western Isles in 2011 - regarded by many as the Mod's "spiritual home" due to the larger number of native Gaelic speakers. A strong bid to host the 2011 event in Paisley just lost out, even though (like Falkirk) it is not immediately associated with Gaelic culture.
Burns Was Bob Dylan's InspirationMusic legend Bob Dylan was asked what lyric or verse had the greatest impact on his life - and he selected the love song "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" written by Scotland's national poet Robert Burns in 1794. The US song writer revealed his choice to HMV as part of the music retailer's "My Inspiration" campaign. According to some experts, it is based on a song Burns heard a girl singing in the countryside. Burns referred to it as a "simple old Scots song which I had picked up in the country". The director of the centre for Burns study at the University of Glasgow called the words "one of the greatest love songs of all time". He added " It's a song that resonates down the ages. It's part of the Burns song canon. It's one of his most emotive and emotional, perhaps his biggest expression of love. It's very much about comparing love to the joyous things of nature and in the arts. It's Burns where he rejoices most in love." New research has found that Burns also influenced President, Abraham Lincoln in his battle to abolish slavery. It seems that Burns' verses and passion for social justice had a profound influence on Lincoln during the American civil war. All the words for "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" can be found at Scottish Songs - My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.
New Conductor for Scottish Chamber OrchestraDescribed as a "phenomenal talent" and "one of the most exciting young conductors in the classical music world", 25-year-old maestro Robin Ticciati has been appointed to the role of principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), one of the country's most revered ensembles. Ticciati is from London (his father's family is mainly Italian) and has been signed on a three-year contract after the orchestra's musicians lobbied for the appointment after he conducted a series of concerts in the Highlands. Ticciati was one of the youngest conductors to perform at La Scala in Milan, and the youngest at the Salzburg Festival. The seasoned professionals in the SCO were impressed by his "musicality, presence, charisma and class".
Makeover for Pitlochry Festival TheatreThe Perthshire "theatre in the hills" in Pitlochry started in a tent in 1951 and moved to a permanent building in the late 1970s. As the popular theatre approaches its 60th anniversary, there are plans to give the building a £6.5 million makeover as the auditorium, backstage and front-of-house areas have been largely untouched in nearly 40 years. An appeal has been launched for funding so that a new rehearsal facility can be built (the present one leaks!) and new seating, carpets, lighting and decor are high on the list of priorities. A second phase will include a studio theatre, larger foyers, a new restaurant and shop and direct access to the riverside and the Explorers’ garden from the theatre.
King of the PictsUniversal Studios has launched a project to make a film about a fictional king of the Picts, a tribe who dominated Scotland north of the Firth of Clyde from the 4th to the 9th centuries AD. They left no written records - but their language permeates many place names and their stones carved with strange symbols are located in many locations. Director Peter Berg has been engaged to develop the project about warrior "Bran Mak Morn." The character is the creation of Texan author, Robert E Howard who also wrote the Conan the Barbarian books. The story line focuses on the fictional king and his fight against the Roman army in Scotland.
Scottish Culture Around the WorldThe main focus of the Scottish Snippets is news items, usually about Scotland. But the "Scots Abroad" section, invites folk to write in about Scottish-related events in their part of the world. It allows publicity for them and an appreciation by others of just how much Scottish culture is perpetuated in every corner of the globe.
St Andrew's Society of Rhode Island hold AGM in ScotlandThis year the St Andrew's Society of Rhode Island decided to hold their Annual General Meeting in Scotland. Such an ambitious venture led to some concern that there would be a quorum present. However on Sunday 12th October 2008 sufficient members met at 13:00 sharp and managed to get the whole affair over and done with in 10 minutes flat in order to allow them to enjoy the rest of their day out in Scotland - Scotland Connecticut that is - just across the border from Rhode Island - at Scotland's 21st Annual Highland Games. The games may not be the largest in New England but the organization - involving just about the entire community - is flawless. Off site parking, shuttle bus transport to the field where the usual range of Highland Games activities takes place. The game's website by Monday morning even listed a "lost and found" section which included a successful reuniting of an owner with their diamond engagement ring. Funds raised by the town are used to give scholarships to students pursuing post-secondary school education while giving significant amounts of their time to Scottish Arts programs in their schools - thus denying themselves the opportunity to take part time jobs to support themselves. Pictured are some members of SASRI before the meeting voting "aye" to anything that will allow them to get out and enjoy the unseasonably fine weather.
See also St Andrew's Society of Rhode Island.
The Seaside Highland GamesThe Seaside Highland Games returned to the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Central California Coast on October 11 & 12, 2008 with a full array of Scottish/Celtic activities including Pipe Bands, Highland Dancers and Heavy Athletics. Several stages were filled with Celtic entertainers from Alex Beaton to Celtic Spring - and a special extended day of music by the Wicked Tinkers on the Celtic Rock Stage on Saturday night! Two North American Clan Societies gathered and conducted their AGMs - Clan Graham and Clan Ross. There were 50+ vendors and lots of authentic food and drink from the British Isles - including haggis! Much more information on the Games website Seaside Highland Games.
League TablesLast weekend Rangers lost 1-0 to St Mirren at Love Street, the Paisley club's ground. Substitute Stephen McGinn, grandson of a former Celtic chairman, scored a goal that will enter the club's folklore as it earned the club its first win over Rangers for 17 years and the first at home against the Ibrox team since 1986. That put Rangers in second place behind Celtic on goal difference. This Saturday, Celtic's defeat of Inverness Caledonian Thistle moved them three points clear at the top. Rangers' match against Dundee United has been postponed. Kilmarnock are in third place. At the foot of the table, Falkirk have just 7 points, behind Hamilton (9 points) and Aberdeen, Motherwell and Inverness (all on 10 points).
Queen of the South were defeated by Airdrie United and now only head the First Division on goal difference - Dunfermline and Livingston have the same number of points and St Johnstone is only one point behind.
Scotland 0 Norway 0Scotland's hopes of qualifying for the football World Cup took another dent with a goalless draw against Norway at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow. That leaves Scotland with just four points from three games so far. Chris Iwelumo missed an open goal on his international debut and Scotland had few other occasions to trouble the rookie Norwegian goalkeeper.
Andy Murray Reaches Another FinalScots tennis star Andy Murray maintained his recent consistency and defeated former world number one, Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters on Saturday. In the final, Murray will now play Giles Simon, who had a surprise win over Rafael Nadal in the other semi-final.
Hawaii of the NorthThe island of Tiree lived up to its reputation (well, one of its reputations) this week as 50 competitors from around the world competed in the Tiree Wave Classic on the island's wind-swept and rugged coast. "Hawaii of the North" may be a wee bit of marketing hype but the event is in its 22nd year. The men's championship was won by John Skye - who comes from England, despite that Scottish name. The surfing championship has been expanded this year to include a triathlon. The Coll Challenge involves running, wind-surfing and mountain biking and organisers say it is the most remote adventure sports challenge in the UK.
The "Magazine" section includes songs/poems of Scotland, Scottish humour and brief descriptions of Scottish Culture items added recently to the Rampant Scotland Website - with a link to the page where you can find the full feature, if you find the subject of interest to you.
Scottish Castles Photo Library
Caldwell Tower, East Renfrewshire
Records for the Caldwell estate near Uplawmoor in East Renfrewshire go back to 1294. Gilchrist More (or Mure) acquired the lands and castle of Caldwell through marriage to the heiress of Caldwell of that Ilk and the estate remained with the family until the late 17th century. Caldwell Tower is all that remains of Caldwell Castle, which was probably built in the 16th century. A new mansion house was built around 1712 by William Mure. However, the present Robert Adam designed Caldwell House was built by his son, William 'Baron Mure' about 200 yards lower down from the original. The castle fell into disrepair and only the tower (partially restored) survived. Despite its probable 16th century origin, it is referred to locally as a "folly". For more on Caldwell Tower, see the illustrated page at Castle Photo Library - Caldwell Tower.
Scottish Poetry and Song
She's An Awfu' Lassie Jenny Here is a short song by Alexander Anderson (1845-1909) about a young lass who has a mind of her own and is not only giving her suitor a hard time but her mother as well!
She's An Awfu' Lassie Jenny
She's an awfu' lassie, Jenny,
No' her like in a' the toon,
For her heid is fu' o' mischief,
And her hair is hingin' doon.
What a faught maun ha'e her mither
Frae the mornin' till the nicht,
But she's awfu' like her granny,
An' that pits wee Jenny richt.
I ha'e tried to coort wee Jenny
But she'll no' ha'e me ava',
She wad raither ha'e a penny
To buy sweeties or a ba',
When I speak o' oor sweetheartin',
Just as lown as lown can be,
Wad ye think it for a moment?
She pits oot her tongue at me.
She's an awfu' lassie Jenny,
Yet a denty, bonnie quean,
An' there's licht, an' love, an' lauchter
A' at ance within her een.
Yet I ken fu' weel her mither
Maun get mony an unco fricht,
But she's awfu' like her granny
An' that pits wee Jenny richt.
Meaning of unusual words:
faught maun ha'e her mither = struggle must have her mother
coort = court, woo
no' ha'e me ava' = not have me at all
sweeties or a ba' = sweets / candies or a ball
lown = soft, gentle
licht, an' love, an' lauchter = light and love and laughter
ance within her een = once within her eye
ken fu' weel = know full well
Maun get mony an unco fricht = must get many a great fright
Is It Time?
After ten years of dating Sandy, one beautiful evening on the Isle of Skye Jean thought at last it was time to ask "the question". "Sandy," she breathed, "is it not about time we were getting married?" After a heavy silence. Sandy sighed. "Yes, Jean, indeed it is." A hopeful gleam spread over Jean's face, but he went on: "Yes, Jean, it is. But who would have us?"
Lachlan's Laws - # 76
That great Highland philosopher, Lachlan McLachlan, propounded a number of irrefutable laws of life, the universe and everything, usually after a "bevvy" in the Auchenshuggle Arms on a Saturday night. Here is another example: "Remember that half the people you know are below average...."
Young Kirsty was in the bathroom, watching her mother putting on her makeup, as she had done many times before. After her mother applied her lipstick and started to leave, young Kirsty looked up and said, "But Mummy, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!"
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Places to Visit>