Club News

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Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Ac­cess Net­work (BRAN) BRAN had two groups out on Satur­day. One was help­ing the ef­forts of a group of Ed­in­burgh stu­dents known as the Dirty Week­enders in Davie Park. This group of very en­thu­si­as­tic young­sters help community groups in their city and else­where clear up lo­cal en­vi­ron­ments, in this case the pond along Loon Braes and its as­so­ci­ated paths. Alis­tair MacLeod, coun­try­side ranger, or­gan­ised the visit from the 18 vol­un­teers who stayed at the Bridge of Cally Hall and worked on both Satur­day and Sun­day do­ing a great job of clear­ing the pond and its en­vi­rons. BRAN would like to thank the vol­un­teers and Alis­tair. BRAN vol­un­teers He­len and Dave Stanghon, Aileen Stack­house and Kristin Bar­rett worked on the paths and car­ried out lit­ter picks along­side the stu­dents. The group’s other ef­fort on Satur­day was a joint one with the Blair­gowrie Rat­tray and Dis­trict An­gling As­so­ci­a­tion. This group of eight set about clear­ing up the mess left by a group of home­less peo­ple who had been camp­ing on the river bank op­po­site the Tesco Store a few weeks ear­lier. Apart from over 20 bags of bot­tles and cans, a num­ber of mat­tresses, beds and chairs and a bi­cy­cle had to be brought up the bank. A re­quest has been made to have the fenc­ing re­stored above the bank to make ac­cess more dif­fi­cult. An area used as a toi­let still re­mains, the var­i­ous au­thor­i­ties are be­ing alerted to the ex­is­tence of this po­ten­tial haz­ard. The coun­cil are to be thanked for co­or­di­nat­ing the re­moval of the col­lected rub­bish as the vol­un­teers com­pleted their task. The rub­bish filled the ve­hi­cle. Those in­volved from the an­glers were Grant Kelly, Dave Hogg and Jim Christie with Roger Mackey, Ally Don­ald, Eric Grant, Brian Web­ster and Ian Richards from BRAN. Any­one wish­ing to join BRAN should con­tact the group’s sec­re­tary on email [email protected]­ or tele­phone 01250 871122 or 07787 317022.

Blair­gowrie and Dis­trict Ram­blers Au­tumn hues were very much to the fore on Blair­gowrie and Dis­trict Ram­blers’ fort­nightly walk, which took in the Murthly Es­tate re­cently. The weather was dry through­out and breezy in places, bring­ing down leaves on the path. The walk be­gan at Murthly Vil­lage Hall and led over Muir of Thorn, the moor­land which lies be­tween Murthly and Bank­foot. Fur­ther on, a brief stop was made at Ro­hal­lion Loch to ad­mire the calm wa­ters and take some photos. The lunch stop was at the small stone shel­ter, known as the Buf­falo Hut, which in the 1830s dur­ing the time of the then es­tate owner, Sir Wil­liam Drum­mond Ste­wart, af­forded stun­ning views over the Pass of Bir­nam. Sir Wil­liam had shipped to his es­tate from the Amer­i­can Wild West a herd of buf­falo and to watch over them two na­tive Amer­i­cans were em­ployed. Blair­gowrie mem­bers were joined by vis­it­ing mem­bers of Dundee, Stir­ling and Falkirk, St An­drews and Perth Ram­blers. Any­one wish­ing to take part in the next walk, which is the Kings­barns to St An­drews sec­tion of the Fife Coastal Path on Satur­day, October 28, please con­tact the walk leader on 01250 870260.

Bur­rel­ton and Wood­side Se­nior Club At the meet­ing held on October 12, Janet Reay, a trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cer with Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil, gave an in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive talk about how to pre­vent be­ing scammed by let­ter, phone or on­line. There was good in­ter­ac­tion be­tween Janet and the mem­bers. Marie Milne pro­posed the vote of thanks and gave Janet flow­ers as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion. Af­ter­noon tea was served and the do­na­tion of home bak­ing was by Doreen Rob­bie and Mar­garet Mor­ri­son. The next meet­ing is on Thurs­day, October 26, at 2pm when there will be entertainment from Grace Black and Wal­ter Ire­land. Any do­na­tions of food or toi­letries for the Christ­mas ham­pers raffle will be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.

Strath­more Speak­ers Club A good turnout of mem­bers filled the newly-dec­o­rated room at the Kir­riemuir Golf Club, where the club meets fort­nightly. Pres­i­dent David Howat wel­comed ev­ery­one and, af­ter busi­ness, he asked Muriel Smith to step up to the lectern to con­duct the train­ing ses­sion. The time­keeper was Bob Ste­wart. There were three speeches sched­uled for the evening. The first one was by Ali­son Summers. Her ti­tle was ‘A Cap­i­tal at War’ and was a very flu­ent ac­count of how Lon­don coped with the out­break and con­se­quences of war be­ing de­clared in 1914 as, at the time, it was in the throes of fierce Suf­fragette sab­o­tage in­clud­ing win­dow break­ing in the West end, among other so­cially-mo­ti­vated up­ris­ings. The ir­re­press­ible spirit of the pop­u­la­tion thrived, coped and found ways to sus­tain them­selves un­til peace came in 1918 when they thronged the streets and cel­e­brated. Jim Gibb eval­u­ated and awarded her a re­sound­ing pass. The sec­ond speech was an im­promptu speech from the ad­vanced sec­tion by Pamela Howat, which meant she had to re­tire to a quiet place to pre­pare while the first speaker was giv­ing her speech. She could pick ‘choos­ing a pet’, ‘the joys of travel’ and ‘house build­ing in the fu­ture’ and opted for the third. As a tech­no­crat in the build­ing in­dus­try, facts and fig­ures flowed with her hardly need­ing a note to help her. Her pre­dic­tions for the con­ver­sion of ship­ping con­tain­ers and pre­fab­ri­cated build­ings for the fu­ture, made in fac­to­ries, due to the lack of man­ual skills and in­dif­fer­ence to out­sidein-all-weath­ers job prospects, cre­ated a steady flow of ques­tions and com­ments from those present. Andrew Thom­son, as eval­u­a­tor, con­grat­u­lated her on a fine im­promptu speech and gave her a pass. Af­ter the meal, Andrew Buist took to the lectern to de­liver his mini lec­ture, which is an ad­vanced level as­sign­ment. It was en­ti­tled ‘A Cru­sad­ing Gen­eral’. The gen­eral in ques­tion was an un­sung hero of the Sec­ond World War, Bernard Paget. Andrew had re­searched and gleaned in­for­ma­tion from a book writ­ten by the gen­eral’s el­dest son, Ju­lian. He had ob­vi­ously en­joyed the book and was able to pass this on to his au­di­ence. He drew a par­al­lel with his own ex­pe­ri­ence of jug­ger­naut or­gan­i­sa­tions – in his own case, the NHS – where every­thing moves very slowly. Eval­u­a­tor, He­len Flem­ing, ad­mired Andrew’s easy, con­fi­dent and in­clu­sive style and his abil­ity to en­gage his au­di­ence and awarded a pass. Graham Carr con­ducted the top­ics ses­sion and gave all par­tic­i­pants plenty of flex­i­bil­ity and scope for de­vel­op­ing their topic with a selec­tion of words which were two words mak­ing up one word. Each one had to speak for three min­utes on the word as a whole or on ei­ther or both of the syl­la­ble. David Howat was given But­ter­stone and spoke au­thor­i­ta­tively and ge­o­log­i­cally on stone. Ste­wart Downie had pep­per­mint and spoke about pep­per­mint, pota­toes, lor­ries, trac­tors and then back to pep­per­mint. Bill Walker’s sub­ject was Ban­nock­burn, dur­ing which he sidestepped both ban­nock and burn and spoke on Ban­nock­burn and its mean­ing to the Scots. Eric Summers’ word was Maid­stone and he con­tin­ued the Scots theme, mak­ing a con­nec­tion with the Stone of Des­tiny’s in­volve­ment with Kir­riemuir through one of the reivers. Dou­glas Wares spoke on Grange­mouth – firstly the Grange burn first and then to Bratislava where den­tal sur­geons equip mouths with im­plants. Jim Smith’s word was Bankhead. He felt it epit­o­mised the speak­ers club as there were two head­teach­ers and two bank man­agers. He went on to men­tion the fact that us­ing one’s head was part of the en­joy­ment of the club. Ed­die Petrie in eval­u­at­ing felt it had been a re­laxed, cor­dial evening and all seemed to greatly en­joy all the con­tri­bu­tions.

Walk Mem­bers of Blair­gowrie and Dis­trict Ram­blers are pic­tured at the small stone shel­ter known as the Buf­falo Hut near Murthly

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