The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Peep through Hedge

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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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