Dunning Parish Historical Society in Perthshire Scotland has local Dunning history data including dunning village census and grave yard geneaology records Dunning history society logo text

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Looking back, the night of Dunning's 1998 Barn Dance was indeed one to remember. Our third successive event at Ian Philip's Leadketty farm didn't attain the sellout of its predecessors but about 250 people enjoyed the music and fun with a little more room for dancing than in previous years. The weather held, though it was a little too cold to sit outside, and as in previous years, we were joined by squads of European students (plus one Mongolian) working as berry pickers at Broadslap and Leadketty. A total of £963 was raised for the Society coffers, in the most pleasant way imaginable. In the village in the small hours, the lively action continued when burglars tried to break into the Spar shop and were intercepted by owner Steve Fletcher fresh home from the barn dance. He broke a golf club swinging at one thief attempting to escape with a duvet full of cigarette packages. Steve's wife Janice had called the police who pursued the getaway vehicle, apparently a stolen painters' van, as it was driven rapidly towards Perth. In an attempt to slow up the police car, all the equipment--ladders, paint cans--was thrown out of the van. The vehicle was soon apprehended by a police roadblock. But still visible even now are over a dozen great splashes of paint scattered at intervals on the back road from Forteviot Bridge through Dupplin Estate, a reminder to all travellers of yet another colourful night in Dunning's history.


In June, Charlie Laing, author of "Dunning The Way It Was" led several dozen people to spot locations remembered from the twenties and thirties in his booklet. It was much enjoyed, with coffee in the Scout hut. On Sept. 3 in St. Serf's, we continued Society policy of making use of this historic church with an intriguing presentation by Kirsty Doig and Clare Richards. Kirsty introduced excerpts from the scrapbook of the Rev. Peter Thomson, a former minister at St. Serf's. Clare Richards took time off from her busy acting career at Pitlochry to come and present these excerpts to us. There was a fine audience, including sseveral newcomers, in this first event of our seventh year.


Of course not every one of us has access to the Internet, or indeed even much concern about it. But for any of us interested in propagating knowledge of Dunning's history it's heartening to know that the Dunning Parish Historical Society website established earlier this year is being well received. It's of particular interest to people from afar who have little opportunity to visit the village, St. Serf's church, Historical Society events etc. and they have been letting us know their approval from places like Australia and South Africa.

Indeed, ours must be among the first websites established by a local history group in Scotland. Simon Warren, who is our Webmaster, and his committee and contributors have done a brilliant job in designing a site that's attractive and informative, containing interesting graphic material as well as facts.

Among the information now available on our website is the Society's full survey of the inscriptions on St. Serf's gravestones, a very handy thing for distant delvers into family history.There's still much work to be done on the website, (lots of material yet to be added) and most of the ample funds (largely donated) set aside have still to be spent on equipment, software etc. But thanks to Simon & co. it's a fine start to our being on the Net!

Curious? Our web address is simply www.dunning.mcmail.com

NEWS FLASH: On Sunday am, Sept. 7, DPHS member Mike Tanner reported the sandstone cross atop the Maggie Walls "burnt as a witch in 1657" cairn on Auchterarder Road had been broken off by vandals. The Society is working with Dunning Community Council to arrange repairs to this famous but officially "unscheduled" monument, which is of rough construction and apparently un-owned. More details in the next newsletter.


This was a talk given to the DPHS by Janet Crowe as part of the members' evening "Houses With Stories to Tell", February 19, 1998

Line drawing of The Castle

--Sketch by Kenny Laing

My home is called "The Castle". For those of you who don't know it, it is situated immediately behind Dunning Primary School and is reached by a road off to the left from the Kirk Wynd, just before you reach the second footbridge over the burn.

I'm going to say a little bit about the buildings which make up the house: their construction, the alterations to them and their use. The property consists of more than one building, as you will have gathered, and I'll tell you something too about the people who lived there.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Dunning was one of many villages where the majority of inhabitants earned their living by weaving, so I'll start with a little historical background.

After the Union of Parliaments in 1707 trade and commercial life in Scotland improved only very slowly. Trade with the English colonies did improve because these markets were now open to the Scots, and in England there was great demand for Scottish black cattle which were brought from all over the Highlands to be sold at the big cattle markets in Crieff and Falkirk. But the linen trade wasn't doing too well, however. In 1726 an Act of Parliament laid down strict regulations governing the production of linen: there was to be use of better flax seed, improvement in manufacture and in stamping of the finished product to guarantee its quality.

The Board of Trustees for Manufactures was set up in 1727 and it gave money to benefit the linen trade. It offered premiums for the growth of flax and for the introduction of better methods of scutching and heckling, processes that prepared the flax for spinning, methods which were at that time carried out by hand. The Board brought in skilled weavers from Flanders to assist the Scots weavers, introduced machines for scutching and heckling and encouraged the laying out of bleaching fields. Before this time the finest linens had to be sent to Holland to be bleached or dyed. Between 1728 and 1733 production increased from 3 million to 5 million yards. However it was not until 1742 and the passing of the Bounty Act that there was a level playing field for Scottish linen to compete with English. After this, linen played an increasingly important part in the expanding trade between Glasgow and the American colonies. Another boost came in 1746 with the setting up of the British Linen Company (totally Scottish despite its name) to promote the marketing of Scottish linen to America and Africa.

From the 1780s onwards, there was a rising demand for cotton and when raw cotton from the West Indies became plentiful and cheap and easily accessible from Glasgow, the linen weavers changed with the times. Large cotton mills were established at places like Stanley and Doune, but the old cottage industry carried on for the greater part of the 19th century, with the weavers gradually changing from linen to cotton and finally to wool.

In the Statistical Account of Scotland the population of Dunning in 1841 was said to be 2,125 as opposed to 1,500 in 1801. It says the greater proportion of inhabitants were weavers who were supplied with work from Glasgow.

By the end of the 18th century Dunning was gradually expanding due to the encouragement of the 6th Lord Rollo and in 1814 Mary, Lady Rollo feued the land on which my house is built to one John Whittet, described as a labourer. He in turn sold it to David Cunningham, a weaver, in 1824. David Cunningham was my great, great, great-grandfather.

In the title deeds the land surrounding the feu is listed as belonging to Lord Rollo, Col. William Drummond of Keltie, the feu of John Kinmouth and a piece of land bordering the Kirk Wynd containing a one storey building with a blue slate roof built by John Whittet. Nowhere does it actually say that John Whittet built the other houses on the land he feued, but is seems quite likely he was a bit of an entrepreneur. There were certainly no buildings marked on this ground, in the map of the area dated 1755.

The Castle as you approach from the Kirk Wynd adjoins a cottage, Castle Cottage, presently belonging to Mrs. Peggy Calder. The old map of about 1862 shows the land with an L-shaped building, which in fact contained five separate houses and it is designated "Castle Grange". This consisted of our house, at that time three storeys high, Mrs. Calder's cottage which she tells me was originally divided into two, and the other arm of the L-shape, also divided into two. This building is no longer joined to the house. The interior of the main house was divided into separate living quarters too. The room which is now our bathroom and has a door leading from the hall, was once a bedroom with a door leading off the kitchen.


Ordnance Survey: Map of about 1862

The mystery of the Castle is really to do with its name. I always thought it was called the Castle because it stood out above the neighbouring houses which were single storey. However the title Castle Grange on the map circa 1862 may imply something else. Grange is from the French meaning granary or barn, and from a book of definitions of Scots words, grange is given to mean the granary of a religious house, as in the "Grange of Lindores" by Lindores Abbey near Newburgh, Fife.

The only other explanation could be that in early maps the words "Grange" and "Granco" got mixed up: the street called now "The Granco" is only just down the road from The Castle. I've seen one map where Granco was written G.R.A.N.C.E., so it could have been a mistake in spelling or simply due to bad handwriting. In the 1755 map the three houses at The Granco are referred to as the Granco Cottary of Kincladie.

If the Castle was indeed a granary or grange, the question is which Castle was it the granary for? The old maps before the big house at Duncrub was built between 1861-63 show a large house with walled gardens, but no castle. The only actual castle in the area is Keltie Castle which belonged to the Drummond family and was acquired by the Rollos in 1835.

There is the possibility that there may have been buildings on the Castle-Grange site prior to the burning of the village in 1716. Especially if there was indeed a granary or barn on the site, the retreating Jacobites would not have wanted their opponents to have any shelter or means of feeding their animals and it would have been a prime target for burning.

But this is all speculation and won't solve the mystery of Castle Grange. It could be that John Whittet or the Cunninghams simply thought up a grand sounding title for their house and that is all there is to it!

Now on to some facts. As I have already mentioned what are now sheds at the back of our house were once joined to it, and when the house was renovated in the early 1930's the "weaver's shop" as my granny used to call it was separated from the house and a modern scullery built on to the main house in the gap where the shed was demolished. There were two large sinks with running water in the scullery and a proper bathroom was added. The end of the shed was finished off in brick, and a former window was bricked up.

In the sheds, as in the house, the walls are of stone and you can still see the original lath and plaster construction about the window, and the lime-washed wall. The roof was made of rough hewn beams with vertical beams hanging down which were attached to horizontal beams which went across at the height of the top of the wall and supported a false ceiling (which unfortunately we had to knock down as it was in a dangerous state). The windows are about 12-18 inches thick, at shoulder height, and the floor is of beaten earth.

The weaving shed was divided into two parts, and the division is complete inside apart from a window sized opening high in the centre of the wall. This makes me wonder if the second part was built on later. If not, what could the opening have been for?

The right hand part of the shed seems to have been used as living quarters, rather like a farm bothy, for workers who were not part of the family.

The left hand side of the shed seems to have been where the weaving took place. There are small holes in the wall where the looms were fixed and we have found parts of an old loom and weights and dye pots. The roof in this part was replaced in the 1930's.

In the garden, we have dug up a number of old coins dating back to 1631, along with pieces of clay pipe, medicine bottles and spoons. Three years ago while replacing the floor in what was the kitchen, we found an old pair of slippers under the floorboards, neatly placed at the right hand side of the fireplace and we replaced this message from the past back where we found it.

The census of 1861 shows quite a number of people living in the Castle (not called Castle-Grange by this date). They were David Cunningham, my gt., gt., gt.-grandfather: a weaver aged 61, his wife Margaret Marshall aged 58, their son David, 37, who was a travelling musician (a fiddler who was probably also a dancing master: he later died in Edinburgh aged 55), their daughter Isabella aged 38 who was a widow and her son John aged 14 (more about them later), their daughter Jean, 20, and David Arnot who was the son of another daughter, Emily. There was also another daughter Janet Cunningham, 29, her husband Robert Gray, 36: another weaver, with their daughters Margaret, 6, and Jane, 3. (Another daughter Isabella was born later).

As well as the family there were three boarders, all weavers: John Laurie, 24, who later married Jean Cunningham, William Hutton, 60, and James Dron, 44. All in all, rather a crowded dwelling.

From my mother's recollection, before renovation the Castle's front door was the common double type which opened from the middle and there was a spiral staircase leading to the upper floors. I know from correspondence with my granny's cousin, who was born in the Castle in 1898, that her bedroom was in the attic, and on the back wall of the house you can see where the window was, now blocked up. You can also see the third chimney which was for the fireplace in the attic (quite dangerous!). All the bedrooms had fireplaces.

Although it is interesting to know about people it is even better to fit a face to the name. Robert Gray who was married to Janet Cunningham is on the back cover of Lorne Wallace's book "Crossroads and Characters". He lived until well into his eighties and died in 1908.

Line drawing of village

Dunning from the Haughs (The Castle in r. centre) Sketch by Kenny Laing

We of course have photos of the family, including one of my grandmother taken in the late 1960's at Muirhead Farm with her husband, my grandfather Charles Robertson, who for many years was station master at Dunning Station. They lived in the Castle after he retired.

There is a family gravestone in St. Serf's kirkyard, which reads:

"Erected by John Cunningham in memory of his father David Cunningham, feuar, Dunning, who died 19th August 1864 aged 67 and of Margaret and James, his sister and brother, who died in infancy. Also his grandmother Isabella Miller who died 9th January 1845 aged 71. Also in memory of his nephew John Duncan, a young man of great promising ability who died Feb. 14th 1869 at the early age of 22 yrs. Also his mother Margaret Marshall died 13th May 1876 aged 74 years, also his brother David died at Edinburgh 21st July 1877 aged 55. His sister Janet, spouse of Robert Gray, feuar, Dunning died 11th January 1889 aged 58 years and Robert Gray died 31 May 1908 aged 88 years."

The furthest back I've been able to get on this side of the family is to David Cunningham's grandfather John Cunningham who married Janet Lutfoet in 1740's and lived at Ternavie.

Finally I promised to tell you a little more about David Cunningham's daughter Isabella. Born in 1823 she married John Duncan, a weaver of Bannockburn but she was a widow by 1861 with a 14 year old son.

The story is not really hers but concerns the father-in-law and his mother. We have a picture of her from a periodical called "The Sketch" which carried this story told by Isabella to the writer of the article.

The story begins in 1746. A sergeant-paymaster with a portion of the Hanoverian army was stationed at St. Ninian's just outside Stirling. He had with him his wife and young daughter. The wife died suddenly and the sergeant took to drink, and when the army moved away he went with it and left the child behind. No enquiries were ever made for the girl who was about four or five. She said her name was Betty Wilcox.

The parish took care of her and eventually she went into service. By the time she was 20 she had a young son named John, the reputed father being the Laird of Suchie. Although his mother wasn't married the boy was known by the surname Duncan rather than Wilcox. Eventually he was apprenticed to Robert Spittal, the master of a sailing vessel out of Alloa. For some time Betty heard little from him. Then news came that he had been press-ganged into the navy. Not only that but his ship had been captured in the Baltic and he was a prisoner in St. Petersburg.

Betty was determined to rescue her son, and decided to send a gift to the Tsar, Alexander I. Not having much money she had to do the best she could. She walked 30 miles to Paisley to buy some fine wool (a piece of which I still have) and 30 miles home. She knitted 3 pairs of long stockings with a fancy pattern fashionable at the time, and got a professional letter writer to write telling the Tsar that the stockings were for him to wear when he went out hunting, and that her son, his prisoner, was her only son and that she relied on him for support and sustenance.

The stockings and letter were sent via a skipper sailing from Kincardine on the Forth to St. Petersburg, and the skipper in turn passed them to another Kincardine man at the Tsar's court, Sir James Wylie (1768-1854) who just happened to be the Tsar's doctor.

The Tsar was touched by the woman's initiative and her faith in him, and probably was also influenced by his doctor. He ordered that John be released and Betty be sent the gift of a hundred pounds. As far as I know John returned home and settled down.

Betty had always wanted a high clock and with some of the money she had David Somerville, a noted clockmaker in the district, make one for her. It was a long-case or grandfather clock of mahogany inlaid with boxwood, with a brass dial-plate and coloured pictures in each corner round the dial. One picture was of a woman and baby, one of a sailor, one of the Tsar and one of a woman knitting. Over the top of the clock was fixed a piece of wood with the words "Who wad hee thocht it, stockings wad hae bocht it".

This clock passed to Isabella as the widow of the sailor's son, also called John Duncan. Unfortunately her own son John died at the age of 22 from a virulent strain of tuberculosis, only 4 months after falling ill. So when Isabella died the clock was sold by David Cunningham, the son of her brother William, at Dowell's Aucton House, 18 George St., Edinburgh in October, 1902. It was bought by an American and disappeared from these shores forever.

The story of the clock entitled "The Russian Emperor and the Sailor's Mother" was written in ballad form by a lady called Agnes Bowie in 1892 and copies were sent to Queen Victoria and the Tsar of the time and acknowledgments were received from both of them. It must have been quite a popular ballad because the pamphlet was reprinted several times.

There are other stories linking the family to the Auld Hoose O' Gask and to the Tay Bridge disaster, but I haven't enough detail to tell you about them at the moment. So I'll conclude by thanking you for letting me share with you a little of the history of my home and the people who lived there.

--Janet Crowe, February 1998.

Line drawing of machinery


Earlier this year Charlie Laing of The Granco published a booklet titled "Dunning the Way it Was" giving an account of village businesses in the twenties and thirties, and on June 17 he led a Society walk around Dunning showing where these places were. Now Charlie presents us with a few more jotted memories of the village as he remembers it from his youth.

Water and Gas

In the 1920s the inhabitants of Dunning obtained their water by means of wells situated around the streets. The streets in the village were lit by gas lamps. This got me thinking as to how the gas and water came to be in Dunning when other villages were not so well catered for.

To suggest that the Councils of yesteryear were forward looking would be a gross understatement. As long ago as 1850 they thought that using lamps and cooking on stoves fuelled by paraffin should be done away with. In 1854 this came about when a gas works was built and pipes were laid throughout the village.

The works were situated in Lower Granco Street and consisted of a Retort house, engine room and gasometer. Between the buildings and the Burn were the purifiers.

A good number of lamps were placed at strategic points in the village. Some were on standards and others fixed to house walls. These were lit during the dark nights by a lamplighter known as a "Leerie".

Although the Churches, the Hall and School took advantage of this new fuel, the inhabitants were more reluctant to do so. Even after I started my apprenticeship as a plumber in 1936 we were still installing gas lights into houses. Most of the homes in which gas was installed only fitted one or two lights and a stove or ring for cooking. Paraffin and candles were still being used when one went to bedrooms etc.

Before the Second War the gas company had a full-time manager who stayed in the house provided and employed part-time stokers. When the Retorts were refilled the old coal was raked into a metal barrow and wheeled under a sparge pipe. The cold water was turned on and this sealed the residue and turned it into coke. This coke was bagged and sold to the Bakers to heat their ovens. When the bakers began to replace their ovens or heat them by gas the company still was able to sell their coke outwith the village and recouped their local loss by the amount of gas used by the bakers.

The gas company carried on until 1949 when it was nationalised. The gas works were closed shortly after that, although the gasometer was kept and gas piped in from a gas making plant at Lurgie. This carried on until the gas from the North Sea came to the village in a high pressure main. All traces of the gas plant are now gone.

In the summer time, Jock Dunn had the job of preparing the lamps for the following winter. This got me wondering, as I had to help him, as to where all these lights were situated. The following are the ones I remember, but perhaps someone could add some more:
The Straw House, as it is now known
James Crow's office
The Village Hall, over the gateway
Corner of Circus Street, in Lex Hogg's garden
W. Clark's house on Muckhart Road
Masonic Hall over the gateway
The Williams house in Kirkstyle Square
On Wilkie's shop (no longer there but it was opposite the present post office)
On the old Police Station in Perth Road at the top of the lane going down to the Burn
Two on St. Paul's Church, one on each gate pillar
Lower Granco at the end of the gasworks house (now Glengarry)
The Village Green
The end of Thimble Row
The bottom of the Park (the side of the Dunnock) at Bridge of Earn Road and the Pendicle
Top of Quarry Road at Stockley's corner
Bottom of Quarry Road
On a house at top of Well Road
Beside Doigs' house at the top of the Dragon

Can anyone add any others? Please write or call me at 684 484.

And can you help with another list? There were 16 water wells installed in the village. I can remember where some were located:

  1. Townhead
  2. Thorntree
  3. Foot of Hall Close
  4. Corner of Circus Street
  5. Kirk Wynd at the ford
  6. Granco House on the Lower Granco
  7. Top of the Lower Granco
  8. Corner of Green and Chalmers Street
  9. Smiddy Close
  10. End of Thimblerow
  11. Stewarts' house, Newton of Pitcairns
  12. Bottom of Quarry Road
  13. Milligan's shop (the house up the Dragon with the post-box)

These were made of cast iron about 3 feet high and 1 foot in diameter.

The well in Auchterarder Road at the entrance to the Glebe and the one in Bridge of Earn Road at the top of the Upper Granco were converted from pumps to the piped supply. A cast iron lion's head was fitted with the water coming out the lion's mouth and the operating handle a little above.

Charlie Laing,The Granco, September 1998



The Data Protection Act requires us to advise members that data relating to them are held in a computer. The data comprises name, address, phone no., type of membership. The information is used for administration of the club only. The membership data is not distributed or made available to any other organisation. If you object to your data being held on a computer please advise Ian Philip #3 Leadketty, Dunning PH2 0QN in writing.


What could we possibly do as a follow up? That was the problem confronting a group of Society members trying to find a way to mark September 3, 1999, the 60th anniversary when 300 children, mostly from Glasgow, were suddenly evacuated to Dunning to join 100 local children then in school here.

The Society had already held one wonderful reunion in September 1994 with some of the evacuees sent to Dunning 55 years before, with a reenacted billeting to village homes, an evacuee visit with pupils at several area schools, a dinner with on-stage reminiscences, and an unforgettable "big band" dance.

The following year, the evacuees responded, arranging a special church service in Dunning parish church, presenting a plaque now on the kirkyard wall in Tron Sqaure which expressed thanks to the village.

Last year, during the Flower Festival, a committee of evacuees and Society committee members was set up to plan the next get-together. When the committee met in May they quickly decided not to try for an event in 1998 but to concentrate on a 60th anniversary reunion around September 3, 1999. The group, including evacuees George Boardman, Lily King, May McCusker, Les McColl and committee members Liz Fletcher, Ted Dorsett, Lorne Wallace and Ian Philip, also decided not to try to duplicate the reunion of 1994.

Appropriately Liz Fletcher came up with the idea. Liz was once dux at Haghill School, the school from which most of the evacuees had come to Dunning. Why not, said Liz, invite selected staff and pupils from Haghill to come to Dunning school to meet the surviving evacuees and local pupils? Head teacher Jill Tanner and her counterpart in Haghill are working out the details.

The committee decided also to invite again the Tayside Big Band of Ron Spearman, providing an occasion for evacuees and villagers to get together. More reunion details will be announced in future newsletters.

An important project also to be timed for next year's anniversary is the Society publication of reminiscences by Dunning evacuees. Editor/interviewer Lorne Wallace promises this will be an "unforgettable and bittersweet" collection for the Society's website, hopefully to be available in print too.

So, mark the date on your calendar: September 3, 1999, for what we hope will be another memorable get-together.

Line drawing of Rookery

THE DUNNOCK ROOKERY A linocut by Mary Thomson


For someone with Dunning connections, remember Society gift items are available. Video programmes include "Dunning '97", "An Introduction to Dunning", "Tradesmen's Tales", "The Evacuees", "Tattie Memories", "Tattie Holidays", "The Thorntree", "The Butler's Son", "The Return of the POW", "Dunning Flood '93", "The Patient Art of Fieldwalking". You can choose any two of these programmes on any VHS format local or foreign: just £6.99 for members, £8.99 non. Booklets available are "Dunning the Way It Was" by Charlie Laing, and "In Full Swing" the golf history by Barbara Gordon with illustrations by Mary Thomson, £1 each. Angus Watson's book "The Ochils: Placenames, History, Traditions" is £9.95 from us. Leather bookmarks designed by Albie Sinclair are £1. Cost of all postage/packing is £1 UK/European, £2.50 overseas. Please order from David Williams, Burnbank House, Kirkstyle Square, Dunning PH2 0RR, phone no. 01764 684 232.

Line drawing 11.113.1kb


It took three and a half months. On March 16, 1998 the Scottish Secretary of State, Donald Dewar, announced his final decision about the relocation of the historic Dupplin Cross.

After years of tug of war between local residents and the National Museums of Scotland, the Secretary had ruled the ancient stone cross was to be removed from Dupplin Estate, taken to Edinburgh for restoration work, put on display in the new National Museum in Edinburgh for 3 years and then at the end of 3 years is to be placed on permanent display in old St. Serf's Church in Dunning, under the care of Historic Scotland.

At the beginning of July 1998, the Cross was removed from Dupplin Estate. During the public inquiry in December 1995 the National Museums had argued that the removal would be enormously expensive, that preliminary archaeological work would have to be carried out at the site before the Cross was moved, and that the probable size of the base of the Cross was a strong argument against placing it permanently in Forteviot Church (the proposal advanced by the Friends of the Dupplin Cross and our Society among many others). No information about the cost of the removal, the carrying out of an archaeological survey of the site, or the size of the base of the Cross has yet been made public.

Local newspaper articles in July reflected the scepticism some residents feel about the Cross ever coming to St. Serf's especially after it is put on display in the new Museum opening in November in Edinburgh. Perth and Kinross councillor Janet Law reflected local feelings when she commented she could accept the Cross had to be moved to preserve it and that Forteviot Church was judged by some an inappropriate place to house the Cross, but she added that she felt strongly there should be no backing down on the promise to bring the Cross from Edinburgh to St. Serf's. Such a move, she pointed out, meets the clear Historic Scotland guidelines to keep monuments locally.

After the hard struggle for local retention led by the Reverend Colin Williamson and the Friends of the Dupplin Cross (in which our Dunning Parish Historical Society members and committee played an important role), and after decisions by two successive Scottish Secretaries to keep the Cross in Strathearn, we hope the government of three years hence maintains the same just resolve to bring back the Dupplin Cross to Strathearn where it belongs.

P.S. An encouraging bit of news off the grapevine: Historic Scotland is reported to have visited St. Serf's in August to measure up the church interior, presumably for the alterations necessary to accommodate the Cross.


An article in the Strathearn Herald earlier this year described us as "the incredibly active local history society in Dunning".

That's flattering and also, come to think about it, fairly accurate. And it's surely because we are member-driven. Even if you live far away from us, you know from your newsletters about the many events we hold and about the varied activities we participate in. Your joining us as a member helps us in collecting many historical recollections (often from you distant members), in undertaking projects like the website, in publishing expanded newsletters, in production of video programmes, in holding major events like the evacuee reunion planned for next year and in providing other member services.

The energy to accomplish this comes from you. In 1997-8 we had well over two hundred members, and we want to keep you as a member. This year there is a slight increase in dues but it has been kept to the minimum to encourage you to re-join. If you haven't already renewed, please fill in the enclosed form and send it to our treasurer David Halliday. We do need each other!


Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. "Innerpeffray". As Ted Powell knows, visitors to Innerpeffray in Strathearn are charmed by this beautiful and historic spot, combining a Roman setting, an old chapel and Scotland's first free lending library. As Librarian, he brings interesting illustrations to show us, in preparation for the Society's field trip to Innerpeffray next spring.

Saturday, November 7, 10 am Our annual coffee morning and historic display is on the theme "Technology Through the Ages", featuring examples of all kinds of technology which affected village life. Anybody willing to lend artefacts (which could range from knitting needles to spinning wheels, tractors to radios and kitchen utensils) or related photos should please get in touch with Ted Dorsett 01764 684 797 or Ian Philip 684 269.

Thursday, November 19, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. "Speaking of the Vernacular" Dundee architect Bruce Walker is going to tell us about Scottish vernacular architecture, the architecture of houses. He includes illustrated references to some Dunning houses.

Thursday, January 14, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. "The Ups and Downs of the Auld Kirk". Kenny Laing has combined a career as architect with the hobby of local history. In tonight's illustrated talk he draws on recent research to give us a fresh and sometimes startling view of old St. Serf's.

Wednesday, February 17, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. It's members' night, and as usual we'll be entertained by three or four talented members who'll be telling us about a topic of historical interest close to their hearts.

Thursday, March 18, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. Video night, as we see recent video programmes on local topics produced by Society members, including Lorne Wallace and David Doig. Among the subjects: Memories of the Kirkstyle.

Coming up: that trip to Innerpeffray Library, our annual coach tour, a special speaker at our agm being held on May 13, another field trip and, as always, some unexpected treats.

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