Crossroads and Characters
in Old Photographs
by Lorne A. Wallace
A tranquil scene from the early 1900's captures two of Dunning's landmarks: the sculpted thorn tree which commemorates the 1716 burning of the village by the Jacobites, and the early 13th century steeple of St Serf's Church.
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This book started out to present early picture postcards of what an 1898 correspondent described as 'a typical auld Scots village'. However, the more scenic views I saw of Dunning, the more I wanted to learn about its social atmosphere and the characters who enriched life in rural Scotland a century ago.
With the help of many people from Dunning and elsewhere, the search began for snapshots, group photos and formal portraits as well as postcards which would show a cross-section of village life as typified by Dunning. Village old-timers dug into their memories for tales of their childhood and what they had been told by their parents. Included here is whatever material seemed to capture the flavour of the times and to tell an interesting story.
As a Scottish-Canadian incomer resident in Dunning, where my mother was born,I am especially indebted for local knowledge to the late Mary Laing, who was my first, superb, guide to this ancient village.
The book owes much to the help of my wife Patricia, and to John R. Crow and James Grant who generously loaned their collections of postcards and photos. I am grateful for rummagings in dozens of attics by Dunningites, ex-villagers and their descendants, including Ken and Greta Laing, Mary Dougall, Charles and Rita Laing, Peter Duncan, Christina and Harry Smith, Christeen Gardiner, Angus Howie, David Morris, Callum and Yvonne Davie, Cathie Semenioff, Eric Lord Rollo, Isabella Duncan, Ina Hepburn, Willie Hart, Barbara Gordon, David Doig, Nancy and Agnes Hurry, the Dunning Bowling Club, Mima McLaren, John Stockley, John McDonald, and Dorothy Benzies with help from many others. I also wish to thank St. Andrews University Archives for permission to reproduce items from their Valentines postcard collection, and Perth and Kinross Library and Archives staff for invaluable research assistance.
Finally, the book is dedicated to my mother, Mary Jane (Souter) Wallace, who emigrated to Manitoba from Dunning in 1906 at age eight and who early kindled my fascination with this 'typical auld Scots village'.
(Copyright) Wallace Communications
ISBN 0 9518501 0 5
(Computer version by Simon Warren
for Dunning Parish Historical Society
by kind permission of Lorne Wallace.)