News and Views from Scotland
Introduction and Index

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David's News and Reviews - An Introduction
Rampant Scotland is always on the lookout for interesting news items which are distinct from the usual daily diet of politics, crime and celebrity culture.

We are particularly interested in developments in arts, crafts and high quality products and services delivered by people with drive and passion. We are not averse to a certain amount of "quirkiness" either!

You will find that all the new stories are marked as such in the index below which is in chronological order.

If you would like to get in touch - either because you have a news items that fits the above, or to comment on any of the articles in this expanding collection, please email us at

Graphics From Some of the Stories Covered in News and Views

Index (In reverse chronological order)

        Queensferry Crossing - The new £1.35 Billion Queensferry Crossing is opening at the end of August

        Billy Connolly at 75 - Billy Connolly will be 75 in November and in addition to reaching that landmark he has been made a knight by the Queen, a PhD at the University of Strathclyde and had his portrait painted by no less than three well known artists

        Healthy Figures For Scottish Exports - Sales of Scottish food and drink hit £1.2bn in the first three months of 2017

        The Ups and Downs of Inverness Gathering Place - Another effort is being made to create public art on the banks of the river Ness in Inverness near the Eden Court Theatre

        Edinburgh Airport - Delayed Flight Figures Taking Off - Civil Aviation Authority data showed that of more than 110,000 flights to or from Edinburgh in the past year, 27% were delayed by at least 15 minutes.

        Flying Over Orkney Again - A teenager whose mother was the first baby born on a Loganair plane has become a member of the cabin crew

        Trump at Turnberry - President Donald Trump's son Eric jetted in to Scotland at the end of June to officially open the latest refurbished course at Trmp Turnberry in the south Ayrshire coast

        Clan Chiefs Have Another Go at Storming Edinburgh Castle - More than 30 clansmen and women marched to the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle for the first time since since the 1745 Jacobite rebellion when the Highlanders attempted a siege of the castle led by Bonnie Prince Charlie.

        Major Investment in New Aberdeen Hotel - A Canadian company controlled by the Gaglardi family in Vancouver is building a 218 room Sandman Signature Hotel in Aberdeen at a cost of £20million.

        Scots Marmalade Maker's Top Awards - Shona Leckie from Angus toasted the opposition in the recent World Marmalade Awards. Ms Leckie beat competition from a record 30 countries to lift the highest accolade at this year's competition which was held in Cumbria.

        Romancing in East Dunbartonshire - Boclair House Hotel - Glasgow and Clyde's Romantic Hotel of the Year and winner of the award for the Boutique Hotel of the Year.

        Whisky A Gogo? - Tommy Danvers who has worked with Kylie Minogue, Kanye West and other pop stars has founded a new whisky company is promoting a brand of blended grain Scotch distilled in Edinburgh to be sold in 200 UK and 200 Spanish venues this year and in clubs in Croatia, France and Germany.

        Ancient Greece Comes to Victorian Rothesay - Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, 1817-1875, was a Scottish architect whose imposing churches and mansions are some of the most impressive Victorian era buildings you will see in Scotland. His Tor House in Rothesay is now on the market for offers over £335,000. It is a substantial villa with some stunning views and if it was located in Glasgow or Edinburgh would probably be worth over £1 million.

        Scots Seaweed Butter Crosses the Pond - At a food and drink showcase in New York Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that the Scottish food and drink sector has secured £8.3M of export sales to the U.S. And Canada following a deal signed recently.

        Mull Mansion Moves to Monks - From a B&B - Oran Na Mara (Song of the Sea in English) which was on the market for £375,000, enjoys a stunning position overlooking Bunessan Bay on the isle of Mull, has been purchased by the Orthodox Monastery Of All Celtic Saints so that they can build a permanent monastery there.

        What is Art? The Pineapple Prank Makes Its Point - A pair of students claim to have tricked experts into believing a pineapple was art after they left the fruit at a gallery in Scotland.

        'Lights, Camera, Action' for New Scottish Film Studio - The Scottish government has granted planning permission for Scotland's first purpose-built film and TV studio on a site near Edinburgh, rejecting concerns that the site is in the wrong location.

        'Banking at your Convenience' - Residents in Juniper Green, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, are hoping to acquire the village toilets which were closed in 2015 so that they can be renovated and used as a community bank.

        Scottish Tech Company Trilas Li-Fi - PureLiFi, an Edinburgh technology firm that uses light to provide wireless communications, is carrying out the world's first large-scale trial of its system in Singapore.

        Donald Trump Meets Robbie Burns Via Andy Stewart - North Berwick Drama Circle impersonates the 45th President of the United States down to a tee in a performance of Andy Stewart's "Donald where's yer troosers" at this year's Burns Supper" captured for YouTube

        The Flying Scotsman Returns - The 94-year-old Flying Sotsman express locomotive steamed across the Forth Bridge on two trips from Edinburgh Nearly 800 passengers were carried on the runs round the Fife Circle, and later up the Forth via Alloa and Stirling.

        University Plans to Move Into Old Edinburgh Royal - New plans to transform the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary into a major educational hub for students have been submitted by Edinburgh University. If approved, work could start in 2018 and be ready for occupation by 2021. The proposed facility would be the largest of its kind in the UK.

        Happy End to Orkney Drama Paul Higson had that horrible sinking feeling when he realised that he had lost his wedding ring. But there was a happy ending to this tale when the couple had been out walking their own dogs on the Sands of Wright.

        New Avengers Movie Hits Edinburgh - The centre of Edinburgh will provide the backdrop for scenes in the next Avengers film.

        Fettercairn Jewel Brings a Sparkling Price - - Fettercairn Jewel, an enameled gold pendant locket setmade around 1580 has been bought at auction by National Museums Scotland for more than £200,000.

        Clydesdale Bank Customers Stranded on Bute? - Clydesdale Bank has Announced it is Planning to Close its only branch on Bute

        Chance to Observe Black Grouse Spring Display - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is running viewing events near Schiehallion to offer people the chance to see Black Grouse males displaying to impress the female grouse prior to mating

        Young Entrepreneur Taking a Pop at Unhealthy Snacks - A young entrepreneur has developed her own healthy snack alternative to popcorn using sorghum

        The Chimney Map - Near Miss for Historic Document - A rare 17th century Dutch map found after the restoration of a property in Aberdeenshire has been restored by conservationists at the National Library of Scotland

        Golden Eagles Lift £1.3 million - A project to expand the number of golden eagles in the South of Scotland has been awarded £1.3 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

        Loch Tay Pleasure Boat Trips restarting after 70 Year Gap - Boat Trips on the beautiful Loch Tay are to begin again after a gap of 70 years

        Alexander Greek Thomson - The BBC is televising a documentary - "Greek Thomson: Glasgow's Master Builder"

        Loch Garten Ospreys - A successful breeding pair of ospreys at Loch Garten wildlife reserve have returned from spending the winter in West Africa and have commenced their 9th breeding season.

        Queensferry Crossing Comes Together - The final section of the Queensferry Crossing has finally been slotted into place.

        Another Championship for Glasgow! - Glasgow hosted the individual World Badminton Championships in 1997 and is holding this prestigious event again on 21-27th August this year

        New Bridge to Revive Perth? - the go-ahead has been announced for the "Cross Tay Link Road", a major road improvement project and a new bridge across the river Tay costing £113 million. It is aimed at reducing the present traffic bottlenecks in the City of Perth and improve economic progress.

        Cash Boost for Pipes in Schools - 1,000 pupils will receive tuition under schemes funded by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust.

        Premium Scotch on the Rocks? - Collectible whiskies have recorded good returns in recent years but could Brexit be about to hit profits?

        Investment in Inverness Rail Stop - The Government has committed £3.34m to the planned stop at an existing railway station located at Dalcross, to the east of Inverness. It is currently projected to open in 2019 with direct connections to Inverness airport which is nearby.

        Millions of Disappearing Drams - About 60,000 litres of whisky worth £1 million disappeared from the Loch Lomond Distillers warehouse in Catrine, Ayrshire, because of an unnoticed leak in one of the company's giant vats.

        Bagpipes went from and to the Mull of Kintyre - the late Archie McGeachy was a champion Scottish piper who emigrated from Campbeltown in the Mull of Kintyre and eventually settled in Ontario, Canada. After his death it was suggested that the pipes should return to Mr McGeachy's home town. So now Calum McKillop, a 14 year old member of the 3A Kintyre Schools Pipe Band, is now the proud owner of the renovated the top quality set of bagpipes.

        After 182 Years Airdrie Savings Bank to Bite the Dust - Airdrie Savings Bank, the last survivor of Britain's independent savings banks, has announced that it is closing down.

        Scots Cuisine - The (High) Life of Pies - Aberdeen Football Club has confirmed the name "Pittodrie Pie" for its half-time snack has been successfully trademarked. Meantime, Brownings from Kilmarnock have been crowned the world Scotch pie champion.

        Baby Boxes Rolled Out - The Scottish Government has launched a pilot scheme of Baby Boxes which have a variety of useful baby items to give all children an "equal start". All newborn children in Scotland will receive the boxes by this summer following a three-month pilot.

        A Menu to Float Your Boat on the Clyde - Plans have been announced for a pontoon restaurant at a prime location on the Clyde, overlooking landmarks such as the Finnieston Crane, the Clyde Arc

        Arise Sir Andy! -World #1 Tennis champion Andy Murray finishes 2016 with yet another title - a knighthood!

        Skyscanner Bought By Chinese Giant - Edinburgh based start-up company Skycanner is a travel price-checking website, founded in 2003 by three friends. Now it has been sold to a Chinese company for $1.7 million.

        Gold Coins From Cononish - Sale of Commemorative Gold Coins From Scotgold mine near Loch Lomond

        Massive Effort to Sort the Rhino's Toothache - Edinburgh's Firefighters were called to assist vets at Edinburgh zoo carry out a dental procedure on a rhino suffering from toothache.

        Scottish Cricket Set to be Stumped by Lack of Scorers - Cricket remains a popular sport in Scotland but The number of qualified scoring officials in Scotland is small with some approaching retirement age. There is concern that it could lead to international fixtures being cancelled.

        Scottish Tourism Flourishing - an upbeat new assessment of the Scottish economy suggests that tourism is showing strong signs of growth with transport and communications also performing well.

        A White Rainbow Captured on Rannoch Moor - a photo has been published of a rare "colourless rainbow on Rannoch Moor.

        Scotland's best visitor attraction - Stirling Castle has been named Scotland's best visitor attraction at the inaugural 2016 Scottish and Outdoor Leisure Awards.

        New Highland Connections But Train Critics Continue to Be Rattled - New developments on train service in the north but central belt customers less happy with ScotlRail's performance.

        Chim Chim Cheree Part II - the business of sweeping chimneys is back thanks to the popularity of wood burning stoves.

        Golden Eagles - Flying High in Scotland - Scotland is now thought to be home to the UK's entire population of golden eagles and there has been a 15% rise in numbers since 2003.

        Yet More Success for the Murray Brothers - How much better can it get for the Murray family? Andy, the Wimbledon champion, gets his place in the sun as the world's number one. In February he and wife Kim had a baby girl, Sophia Olivia.

        Burrell Collection to Get Major Revamp - One of Glasgow's top museums is preparing to close its doors for four years as a major refurbishment begins.

        Buchan Observer's View on The Donald - The Buchan Observer touched a nerve with its headline about Donald Trump's election as next US President.

        Pointed Rebuke to a Montreal Piper - A Montreal resident was dressed up in the full Highland rig on his way to blow his pipes at a university event when he was nabbed by the cops...

        Airbus Touch and Go at Stornoway - Recently the small airport at Stornoway on Lewis hosted a huge long-range Airbus A350 which can carry up to 400 passengers and is similar in size to a Boeing 777.

        Homer Simpson Philosophy Class from Glasgow University - A one-day course is to take moments from The Simpsons TV cartoon series and relate them to philosophical questions around morality, religion and free will and will examine whether Homer Simpson is a "virtuous" character.

        Queensferry Crossing Moving Closer to Completion - Recent reports, however, show that all three of the towers and decks for the new bridge across the river Forth have been lifted into place closing the remaining gap of about 50 metres.

        Monarch of the Glen Painting Deal - Drinks giant Diageo, owners of the iconic picture "Stag at Bay" has agreed to gift £4 million to the National Gallery of Scotland and the hope is that the gallery can raise a further £4 million to keep the picture in Scotland.

        CairnGorm Phone Box's Connection Intact - A campaign to save the UK's highest telephone box have been successful and the traditional red box at the skiing base station on CairnGorm is to remain

        Consultation on a New Vision For Edinburgh - All categories of Edinburgh residents are to be asked to give their views on how the capital will look in 2050.

        Scots Company Continues to Fly High - Tech start-up Skyscanner was started up in 2003 and is now valued at more than $1 billion

        Dennis the Menace Gets Digitised - The first digital stream of characters from the Beano features a treasure trove of video and information relating to the dreadful Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx.

        Golf in the Rough - Golf courses need to be more enjoyable to stem a decline in uptake of the sport, the co-designer of this year's Scottish Open venue has said.

        Sir Jimmy Shand - Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer - The sale of Sir Jimmy Shand's archive of memorabilia attracted bidders from all over the world

        Thunder in the Glens As the Harleys Roar - 4,000 Harley Davidson motorcycles hit the Highlands in the last week of August marking the 20th anniversary of this gathering in Aviemore.

        Ferrari Choose Kelpies to Promote Latest Model - Ferrari joined up with the Kelpies to promote the Ferrari California T sports car

        Whisky Galore! - Special LA Screening - On 24th of September there is to be a special screening of the remake of the movie film "Whisky Galore!" organised by the St Andrew's Society Los Angeles.

        Medals Galore for Scots in Rio - Scottish Olympians in Rio equalled the country's best ever medal tally from any Games, matching the 13 from London four years ago.

        On a Clear Day...You Can See the Mainland...and the Cairngorms as Well! - pictures of Scotland taken from space including the International Space Station (ISS), 220 miles above the earth.

        Scotland's Population Reaches New Heights - Scotland's population topped 5,373,000 in June last year, an increase of 25,000 on 2014, according to National Records of Scotland.

        Crieff Hydro Pushes the Boat Out - The Crieff Hydro Group has recently announced the purchase of the Ballachulish Hotel and the Isles of Glencoe Hotel. It now operates a portfolio of six hotels, including the Peebles Hydro.

        A Caledonian Camino to Attract Pilgrims to Scotland? - Moves are afoot to establish a pilgrimage route form Iona to St Andrews. Walkers would be required to trek 185 miles following a route which goes back to medieval times.

        Edinburgh Festivals Booming Away - Edinburgh's year-round festivals generate £313m for the Scottish economy and attract combined audiences of more than 4.5 million.

        Tillypronie - Scotland's Priciest Property - Tillypronie estate in Aberdeenshire is on the market - if you have £10 million to spare you could do worse than buying this estate comprising 12,000 acres and an 11-bedroom home was built for the son of Queen Victoria's physician.

        Commercial Use of Bothies Has Potential for A Stushie - The Mountain Bothies Association, has stated that the shelters are at risk because of their use by commercial companies.

        Perth Bid to Become 2021 City of Culture - Perth has launched its campaign to become the UK City of Culture in 2021.

        Dundee FC Looking to Desert Dens Park - The American owner of Dundee Football Club, John Nelms, has confirmed the club are looking for a new stadium

        Scotland Edges Towards Space Tourism Blast-off - A memorandum of understanding has been signed between California-based space launch vehicle designer XCOR Aerospace and space plane design and operating company Orbital Access Limited. If successful the plan will be for the space tourism operation to be launched at Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire.

        Kites To Fly High Over Electric Scotland? - Kite Power Solutions has invested nearly £4 million in creating its system and has been generating power from its demonstration kit for several years. The company plans to move its operations to Scotland, near Stranraer and build a larger model which it hopes to sell commercially.

        Muirfield Tees Up Another Vote to Allow Lady Members - Earlier this year the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which runs the Muirfield golf course, had a postal vote on the issue of admitting women members but did not get approval from the required majority. The club is now running a second ballot - the value to the local economy of staging The Open Golf Championship is forcing a rethink.

        Queen Drops into Historic Edinburgh Pub - Queen Elizabeth and her retinue created a stir in a historic Edinburgh bar not far from Holyrood Palace when they dropped in for a bite to eat

        Winds Blow Bridge's Opening Date Back Six Months - The new bridge across the river Forth between West Lothian and Fife is reported to be six months behind schedule due to adverse weather conditions in April and May this year.

        Glasgow's Soothing Piano Initiative - Gartnavel Royal Hospital is offering free access to instruments and lessons for National Health Service patients with conditions including depression and dementia. "Pianos on Prescription" is yielding promising results.

        Whisky Galore! Remake Uncorked - It has taken twelve years to bring the remake of Whisky Galore! to the screen. The film, which received its premiere on 26 June, builds on the true story of SS Politician which foundered in 1941 on the uninhabited island of Calvay.

        Edinburgh Rolls Out Film Festival Programme - The Festival ran from 15 - 26 June 2016. Begun alongside Edinburgh's International Festival in 1947, EIFF was one of the world's first international film festivals.

        Futuristic Underground Trains for Glasgow - Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has placed a £200m contract for futuristic new trains, signalling and equipment for the Glasgow underground train system with a Swiss/Italian consortium

        Top Ten Scottish Forenames - A survey of the forenames chosen by parents for the 50,460 babies whose births were registered last year reveal a surprising number of unique names.

        North Coast Route in Pole Position - God Bless the Prince of Wales - Scotland's North Coast 500 is gaining in recognition been named as one of the world's best coastal trips - ´the ultimate 500 mile journey in the Highlands of Scotland´.

        Findra on A Roll Making Fashionable Cycling Gear - Scottish entrepreneur is taking on a particular challenge - making clothes for female cyclists that is practical, stylish and comfortable.

        The Edinburgh - Glasgow Rivalry - a Cartoonist's View - Social media gurus at Jurys Hotels who have alerted us to a fun new take on the traditional Edinburgh v Glasgow rivalry with a cartoon.

        Killie ing Me Softly With His (Pie) - The famous "Killie Pie" has had to be renamed Kilmarnock Pie after the chiefs of Kilmarnock Football Club and the pie maker fell out with one another."

        Dogs Guided Round Edinburgh Airport - Eight puppies and their handlers boarded the Edinburgh Tram then walked from the Edinburgh Airport Tram station and into the airport before going through security before boarding an aircraft.

        Free Surfing In Edinburgh - Edinburgh Council has signed a 10-year contract to provide access to free, high-speed internet connectivity in the city centre streets.

        Tesco's Scottish Taxi Titan Takes To the Road - Expenses claimed by Benny Higgins, the Scottish CEO of Tesco Bank,have come under the spotlight

        Aberdeen Airport Preparing for Take Off - The first flight from Aberdeen to Warsaw took off recently, creating a new air link, operated by Wizzair, between the Granite City and one of eastern Europe's major capitals.

        A New Era for the Kelvin Hall - Glasgow's iconic Kelvin Hall, former sports arena and home to the Museum of Transport, is being transformed into one of the biggest museum and academic research centres in the UK.

        How Much is the Coffin in the Window? - A group of Elgin ladies wanted to challenge the reticence that surrounds the end of life with an educational event and planned three days of talks and information sharing - and put a willow coffin in a shop window to publicise the event. That was a taboo too far - other businesses complained and the whole event was then cancelled.

        Melrose Rugby Club to Encourage Football in the Borders? - Melrose Rugby Club, one of the Borders most illustrious rugby clubs is starting a modernisation programme which looks as if it will be of great benefit to the local community.

        Anyone For A Kind of Sporran? - Jen Cantwell from Forres produces a range of upmarket sporrans and accessories, using a range of unconventional recycled materials

        The Cumnock Tryst Festival - Cumnock, a small former mining town in Ayrshire will be hosting a major music festival this October. The project is has been led by Sir James MacMillan, the composer, who was brought up in the town. The project is has been led by Sir James MacMillan, the composer, who was brought up in the town.

        BFG Movie to Boost Scottish Tourism? - The Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant is scheduled for its release in July; it was filmed in several locations in the Highlands and islands including the Shiant Islands and Old Man of Hoy.

        Increased Cash for Scottish Genomes Partnership Research - The Scottish Government has recently announced £6m of investment for the Scottish Genomes Partnership (SGP), a cutting edge medical research collaboration between Scottish universities and the National Health Service.

        Top Scottish Tourist Attractions - Seven Scottish tourist attractions achieved more than one million visitors in 2015, according to new research conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University

        Combating the Glimmer in the Glens - From Whisky Casks to Designer Shades - Glenmorangie, the whisky brand owned by William Grant & Sons, is going into the optics business with a maker of upmarket sunglasses.

        Drone technology company Cyberhawk Innovations poised for further expansion - A £2million funding package from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks will help an eight-year-old firm to accelerate growth, create jobs, develop its products and services and expand its geographic footprint in the growing global remotely operated aerial vehicles (ROAV) market.

        Perth Pontoons Hitting a Buffer? - Plans to create pontoons on the river Tay at Perth to attract tourists to the city are being torpedoed by a master mariner.

        Will a Haka Make a Difference? - Workers at Glenturret distillery have come up with an alternative Scottish version of the New Zealanders fierce "Haka" dance designed to impress opposing teams before each international rugby match.

        Glasgow School of Art - New Images Show Impact of 2014 Blaze - The images will form the basis of a model to document the restoration, which is expected to be complete by 2019/20 with the cost of restoring the building reaching £35m.

        Glasgow To Tighten Belts - A £130 million package of Local Government council cuts are to be made in Glasgow as funding from the Scottish Government is again being tightened and as part of a range of measures - and councils are unable to raise local taxes.

        Arran Distillery to Make it a Double - The Isle of Arran Distillery has unveiled plans to open a second distillery site on the island at the location for an original 19th century distillery.

        Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown CBE, DSC, AFC, Hon FRAeS, RN - Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown who died recently at the age of 97 flew 487 differing types of aircraft in his flying career and his 2,721 take-offs from aircraft carriers and 2,407 landings are world records. And in April 1945 he made the world's first landing of a jet aircraft on an aircraft carrier.

        Nip Can be Even Smaller thanks to Moray Council - Smaller measures of whisky can be drunk at tastings and distillery tours, after new guidance was issued in Moray, the local government area which includes Speyside, where dozens of distilleries attract thousands of visitors every year.

        Scottish Gold - Nearing the Jeweller's Window? - A mining company announced that it plans to start extracting gold in the early summer from the Cononish mine at Tyndrum. It is now planning a processing plant where it will trial ore-processing in the hope of persuading investors to back a larger project.

        Orkney Scores in Quality of Life Survey - Orkney topped the list in the Bank of Scotland (BoS) survey for "Rural Quality of Life Survey" for the third year running, with Shetland in second place.

        Martha's Lunches and Mary's Meals - A Scottish Charity Enters a New Phase - A Scottish charity that provides daily meals to more than a million impoverished children around the world will benefit from £5m in UK Government funding.

        Some Hope of Cashmere Investment After Hawick Knitwear Unravels? - A Hong Kong businessman, with experience in cashmere, is reportedly ready to launch a new cashmere manufacturing operation after Hawick Knitwear went into administration.

        Sir George Martin and Sir Jimmy Shand - George Martin, the 'fifth Beatle', who died in March is best known for his pioneering work with the Fab Four. But before the Liverpool Sound George Martin produced a number of Scottish country dance records and in 1955 Jimmy Shand and hit the charts with his wonderful Bluebell Polka.

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