Peep through Hedge

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - Comment -

The beech hedge at Meik­lour was at one time classed as one of the Won­ders of the World. Planted at the time of Cul­lo­den in 1746 it is now on borrowed time, for the life of a beech tree is be­tween 180 and 200 years.

A book has been writ­ten – ‘Peep Through the Hedge and Find Meik­leour’ – with many old pho­to­graphs of the hedge and of the vil­lage be­yond. It is a lit­tle jewel full of listed build­ings – even the tele­phone box is listed.

The book re­lates the his­tory of the smiddy, the school, the former coach­ing inn now called Meik­leour Arms Ho­tel and Restau­rant, the es­tate and tales of the past in­clud­ing a char­ac­ter called ‘Clootie Jean’.

A short run of 100 copies sold out com­pletely at the launch last Novem­ber in the Meik­leour Arms.

The book was writ­ten af­ter a fourth gen­er­a­tion mem­ber of the black­smiths of Meik­leour got in touch with lo­cal his­to­rian Margaret Laing.

“Arthur Barty had a wealth of in­for­ma­tion and old pho­to­graphs and I was ‘hooked’,” says Margaret. “I just had to find out more and that re­sulted in the book. Af­ter re­tir­ing from the Army, Arthur Barty be­came the Queen Mother’s chauf­feur for 27 years un­til she died. The Queen Mother of­ten vis­ited Meik­leour.”

Kevin Don­ald of Mitchell Newsagents, Blair­gowrie, Meik­leour Arms Ho­tel and Margaret Laing are fund­ing a re­run of 200 copies and profit from sales is go­ing to the char­ity Help 4 Heroes.

The book, priced £12, will be on sale in Mitchell Newsagents, Meik­leour Arms Ho­tel and West Elec­tri­cian, Coupar An­gus.

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