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

DPHS Logo 17kb



Fellow members, I hope you'll agree we've have had a very successful and eventful finish to our eighth year and the Second Millenium. Our programme has made good use of the abundant talents within the Society, from Dr. Macintosh's project of recording recollections to David Doig and Lorne Wallace's film night, Brian Boag's flatworms to Raymond Young's Mud Shed---could a season's programme be more varied?

A most enjoyable outing to the new Scottish Museum and Rosslyn Chapel took place, arranged with usual efficiency by Peter Duncan. Our Website goes from strength to strength. The quality of our site has been oft remarked by its users and the credit for that must go to Simon Warren. However, he desperately needs more help, so please, anyone who is computer literate or would like to be and can spare a few hours, please come forward. There is still so much data to be entered.

A most successful annual coffee morning was held on the theme of Old Kitchen Memorabilia and just for the record Mary Clark and I cooked over 70 dozen pancakes...so much for diets!

We continue to receive contributions from members and others. A very large detailed old map originating from Garvock, news scrapbooks compiled by the Proff family, some very old newspapers lifted by Jim Crow during a house renovation, and the Rev. Alan Roy kindly gave us all the tributes he had compiled during his time at Dunning Parish Church: all very gratefully received for our growing archives.

Once again Ian Philip did us proud providing the venue for another successful Barn Dance at Leadketty. This was followed by our 60th Evacuees' Reunion with a class of children from Haghill School joining us, complete with vintage bus courtesy of Jim Docherty, and our Big Band Dance at night: all a splendid success with the icing on the cake being the publication of "Here Come the Glasgow Keelies!" This book was the culmination of all the meetings, recording of recollections, discussions etc. with all those involved. So very much work and effort has gone into this part of the Society's interests by Lorne Wallace and a host of other people. As I watch the orders for books come in from Benbecula to the Borders, from Ayr to Aberdeen, from Canada to Australia, I marvel that the idea planted and germinated all those years ago has come to its final fruition. Schools, libraries and homes across Scotland and abroad now have a permanent record of how the war affected both the residents of Dunning and the evacuees who came here. We can be proud of what has been achieved, most especially Lorne and all those who contributed. What a tribute to those whose words are contained within its pages but who themselves are no longer with us.

The decision to make the financial commitment to the book was not taken lightly by the committee and a lot of very hard thinking went into it but it did seem to me at least almost a responsibility for the Society to commit itself in this way. With sales presently approaching the 800 mark, the decision appears justified and I hope you're as proud of it as I am.

The calendar was our millenium project and although again not done with any profit motive I am happy to report it too has cleared itself financially. But more important, nationally and internationally views of Dunning adorn so many walls---again I say not bad for a wee village!

Of course none of this could be achieved without two things--the untiring work of an excellent committee and the unfailing help and support from you the members. You have supported us overwhelmingly in all that we have done and I do thank you so very much.

Each member of the committee has worked at their various tasks extremely hard and always in harmony and with good humour. They have carried me through my difficult time healthwise and I am indebted to them for their unfailing help throughout the year. To me it has indeed been a privilege and a pleasure to be in the chair and I thank you all.

--Elizabeth Fletcher's report to the May 11, 2000 AGM


Photo 80.9kb

--Henry Hoey in the Garvock "Tomato Houses", 1958
In an article in our July1999 newsletter, illustrated by Henry Hoey, Margaret Dewar recounted her experiences working at the South Nether Garvock Nurseries (known to Dunningites as 'The Tomato Houses'). Now Henry Hoey gives us his recollections of working there.

This is where I started work after I left school at the age of fifteen. My employer at the Nurseries was Miss Frances Young. Dave Law was the foreman and the rest of the main staff were Mrs. Law (Gertie to some, Trudie to others), Frances Cummins (Fan), Willie Garisemenko (everybody, including locals in the village just called him Wullie--he later changed his name to "Garson"), and then there was myself. Mrs. Blue, who cleaned Miss Young's house several days a week, helped out during busier spells. Peter Dewar (Cath Dewar's father) helped out in the winter when we were sterilizing the soil.

Local women were employed to pick and pack the daffodils, tulips and chrysanths. I can't recall all their names but some local women I remember were Mabel Stockley, Betty Taylor, Margaret Dewar, Annie Findlay, Mrs. Wells, Jessie Thomas, Agnes Morris and Mrs. Sutherland.

Line drawing tomato houses

--Sketch of the Garvock Nurseries by Henry Hoey, 1998.

In the sketch above you'll see there were sixteen glasshouses, each at least 10 feet wide and 150 feet long. There were three water taps in each house. The first tap was a quarter way up, the second one half way up and the third tap was three-quarters way up. For some reason, Dave Law insisted that we used only the middle tap in each house. The water for the glasshouses came from a large tank situated about 100 yards up the field behind the Nissen hut on the right of my sketch. The water for Miss Young's house came from another tank. The gutter between each glasshouse was just wide enough to walk down should any maintenance be required, like fixing slipped panes of glass or broken panes. Or when the glasshouses got a lick of paint. Four glasshouses were painted each year and the painting was done on overtime during the summer.

The glasshouses were numbered 1 to 16 and as the first glasshouse on the left of my sketch is No. 1, it doesn't need much working out to guess which is No. 16.

The building in front of No. 1 housed the boiler which was used only during the winter for sterilizing soil by means of steam under high pressure.

The next building with the tall brick chimney had two furnaces. One furnace heated No. 1 to No. 4, and the other furnace heated No. 5 to No. 8. Both these furnaces burnt very small lumps of coal or churls. The next building also had a tall brick chimney and housed two furnaces. One furnace heated No. 9 to No. 12, the other No. 14 to No. 16. Both these furnaces burned large lumps of anthracite.

The building on the right of my sketch is where Miss Young stayed. She stayed in the top half of the building. The lower half was where the flowers and tomatoes were packed and was called the packing shed.

No.'s 5 to 8 were the only glasshouses to be heated in the winter after the soil had been sterlized. No.'s 5 and 6 were used for growing the daffodils and tulips and No.'s 7 and 8 were where the tomatoes were propagated and potted up.

When the daffodils and tulips had finished flowering they were taken from the greenhouses and laid in rows in the small field between the main road and the Nurseries (this field is not shown in my sketch).

The small paddock behind the glasshouses was where the chrysanths were grown. In my last year, the chrysanths were being grown in No. 1, and whether they carried on growing them there in the winter after the soil was sterilized, I don't know. You would need to ask someone who worked there after I left.

Sterilizing the soil: this job was carried out in the winter months and there were usually two of us, Peter Dewar and myself, but sometimes Frances (Fan) Cummins gave us a helping hand to dig in the pipes. Wullie was the boilerman. While one set of pipes was being dug into the soil, the other set of pipes was sterilizing the soil. Each area of soil was sterilized by steam for around 20 minutes.

I enjoyed working with Peter and Fan and we had a few laughs along the way. Then Fan left to get married and Peter then decided to call it a day. Peter was replaced by Sandy Illingworth and what a droll character he turned out to be. If you are the kind of person who finds watching paint drying exciting, you would've got on fine with Sandy.

I remember one day Peter, Fan and I were sitting on our perch (that's what we called the bench we sat on) waiting for one area to be sterilized, when we heard what we thought at first was a low flying jet going overhead. Then Fan said "Where's all that smoke coming from?" Well, our noses got the better of us and we went to investigate. It turned out to be the safety valve of the boiler going off. Wullie had got distracted and hadn't noticed the needle approaching the danger level. Anyway, as the three of us came out of the glasshouse, this black-looking figure came out of the boiler house. Wullie was covered with rust, dirt, cobwebs and dried bird droppings. He didn't notice us and boy was he swearing. Now Wullie could speak good English but listening to him cursing and swearing in his native Russian was even better.

Once all the soil in a glasshouse had been sterilized and allowed to cool down, the soil was then given a really good soaking. Each area was given a really good soak for about 1 hour. Occasionally I forgot to change the area and sometime it was nearer two hours. Dave Law called it flooding whereas I would call it a good soaking. The soil was then given a good rake and made ready for tomato plants, except 5 and 6 which first had the daffodils and tulips.

Other jobs I had to do were: checking the water level in the tank in the field above the Nurseries; sowing the tomato seeds; potting the tomato plants; watering them and checking them to see if there were any rogues amongst them; tying strings for supporting the tomato plants on to the wires that ran along the roof of the glasshouse; laying out the rubber tubes for watering the tomato plants after the soil had been raked level; fumigating the glasshouses and removing the dead plants after the houses had been fumigated'; weeding Miss Young's flower borders and vegetable patch; occasionally mowing her lawn; pruning her roses; laying boxes in rows to be filled with bulbs in No.'s 5 and 6; helping to remove them once they had passed flowering. And then in the spring I helped to spring clean the packing shed, which one day could have been my last day there.

Cleaning the packing shed was a boring job but on my second year at the Nurseries, cleaning the shed out became one of those days you don't forget in a hurry.There was a large rusty old tin which sat on a shelf. The previous spring clean it had been taken off the shelf, given a quick dust, and when the shelf was dusted the tin was stuck back up on the shelf.

However, this time when Dave Law picked up the tin there was a tacky substance seeping out of a hole in the tin where the rust had eaten through it. Dave tried to get the lid off but with no success. So he asked me to give it to Wullie to open. With a hammer and screwdriver, Wullie soon had the tin open and boy, the contents of that tin didn't half cause a panic. I was ordered out of the shed and was given a garden hoe and told to weed Miss Young's vegetable patch. I remember Wullie telling me that on no account was I to go near the packing shed. At this point I still had no idea what was in the tin.

Dave Law went up the stairs to Miss Young's house and a few minutes later Miss Young left the house. Now Miss Young hadn't been keeping well but that morning she came down the stairs like a jack rabbit. She must've taken those steps three at a time and then disappeared round the corner of the packing shed. I never saw her that day again. Things livened up a bit with the arrival of Constable Miller on his old faithful motorbike and sidecar.

He was in the shed for a wee while, then it became like a pantomime. First Wullie came out the shed, followed by the local bobby who had the tin balanced on a shovel, and he was followed by Dave Law. The tin was taken across Miss Young's flower border and placed in the burn. Bob Miller went away and Wullie came over and told me again not to go anywhere near that tin and of course left me none the wiser as to what was in the tin. I must've weeded that same vegetable patch four times. Each time I finished, I got told to go over it again. During my fourth stint I noticed we had a change of uniform. From the boy in blue we now had the boys in khaki arriving in an armoured truck. Soon the tin was being brought back the way and placed in the back of the truck. These soldiers were from the Bomb Disposal Unit, but I still had no idea what was in that damn tin and my nose was getting like Pinocchio's by then.

It was only after the armoured truck drove off that I was told what was in Pandora's Box. It had contained detonators and gelignite, and the gelignite was weeping i.e. it was in a dangerous condition. The tin was taken to a quarry and blown up.

We used to take turns at checking the water level in the big open tank above the glasshouses. One day Wullie went up to check the tank and found a cattlebeast in it. It was still alive but only just. Wullie turned the release valve to empty the tank and blocked the pipe where the water came in. I don't know how they got it out of the tank but thanks to Wullie's quick thinking the animal survived its early morning dook.

Wullie may have been an ex-Russian solider, but what a character he was. He was always playing practical jokes on somebody and usually it was Fan or me who were on the end of them. Even the little robin who usually took up residence in No.'s 7 and 8 glasshouses during the winter ended up the brunt of Wullie's practical jokes. Wullie could mimic bird calls and as everyone knows a robin doesn't like another robin on its territory, especially in winter. Wullie used to have the poor little beggar searching frantically for its rival.

Even Miss Young's sister Kate got caught up in one of Wullie's jokes and she didn't even realize it.

Wullie and I were sitting having our piece one day and Miss Young and her sister were out for a walk. Wullie turned to me and said "Hasn't Bahoochie Kate got beautiful legs?" I remember saying to Wullie "Who is Bahoochie Kate?". It was Miss Young's sister Kate he was talking about. I remember asking Wullie if he had x-ray eyes considering her summer frock was almost reaching her ankles. Anyway, Kate saw Wullie and me sitting there and came over to talk to us.

Now Wullie must have been a right ladies man when he was younger because as soon as she stopped to speak to us she was like putty in his hands. Wullie's patter overwhelmed her. "Oh, Kate, you're as beautiful as ever." "Oh, thank you, Willie". Then I got roped in. "I was just telling Henry you were the most beautiful dancer in the village hall at the dances there after the war." "Oh, Willie, you don't mean that." "Show Henry how you used to whirl and twirl around the dance floor." Soon he had her whirling and twirling around. After she went away, Wullie turned to me and said "Do you believe me now that Kate has beautiful legs?" Well, you couldn't miss not seeing them, considering every time she twirled the hem of her frock went from just above her ankles to nearly over her head. Just as well she remembered to put her knickers on that morning.

Like anyone else who has been offered more money, I left the Nurseries for pastures new. Sadly the Nurseries are no longer there. Just Miss Young's house which has been converted into flats. And the Nissen hut. Still I have some happy memories of my time spent there.

--Henry Hoey, Croft Place, Dunning


The new committee elected at the May 11 A.G.M. were chair Liz Fletcher, vice-c. Raymond Young, secty. David Halliday, treasurer Mike Barwick, past c. Ian Philip, Simon Warren, Ted Dorsett, Brian Boag, Lorne Wallace. Peter Duncan and Jim Smith retired and were re-elected. Marilyn Jamieson, Jean Young, George McLean and Alf Marshall were newly elected, and thanks were made to retirees Dorothy Wilson, Patricia Wallace and Beryl Meadows.


Can you ever imagine my surprise and delight to read in my Dec/99 issue of Scots Magazine the advertisement for "Here Come the Glasgow Keelies!". I was one of them! Our family of Giffens lived off the Dragon in a cottage beside Jock and Maggie MacGlashan.

Although we were keelies my mother was well acquainted with Dunning from the time she was a little girl. Is there anyone in your Historical Society who would remember my grandparents the Thomsons, John and Sarah? My mother is "Isa", her sisters were Maggie, Sarah, Mary and Jean and brothers Robert and John. I have pictures of them taken in Dunning when they were all young---the only other person I recognise in them is Jock Golder.

I visited Dunning in 1985. From Glasgow we went to live in Dunning after the war started. I remember starting school there. I think the teacher's name was Miss Haggart or something like that. I remember getting the school dinners--and semolina pudding! I remember we had an army camp in the village and the soldiers would be out at night on patrol. They would knock on our cottage door and ask my mother to make their tea. My mother used to make these cream doughnuts and she would give them some. I remember the soldiers had black faces!

At the top of the Dragon was a high stone wall. On the other side was a P.O.W. camp. The inmates used to make trinkets and sell them to us: one of my sisters had a bracelet they made.

I remember families and kids we played with: the McLeishes, Ian, David, Ronnie. My sister Chrissie was pals with Ena and with Moira MacGlashan. I remember playing with Doreen McLeish. And recall the Golders, Davidsons, and Milligans who had the wee shop. There were the Philip and Reid farms where we picked fruit and tatties. My younger brother was born in our cottage in 1942 and christened in St. Serf's.

I am most interested in the history of Dunning and if anyone in your Society remembers the Thomsons and MacGlashans--I was told they were related---it would help my family tree.

I would be glad to send a membership fee to join your Society. I enclose a postal order to buy a copy of the Keelies book and will count the days till it arrives in the mail! And I would gladly correspond with any member of your society who remembers my family.

---Jane T.L. Giffen, 204-2049 Victoria Street East, R.R. 1, Stroud, Ontario L0L 2M0, Canada

Linocut of village 15.2kb

Linocut of Dunning village by Mary Thomson, 1999


In 1993 the then community council approached Historic Scotland with a proposal that a band of local volunteers (largely from the Historical Society) could show visitors round St Serf's Church. Historic Scotland agreed. A partnership was made with the Dunning Parish Historical Society, which had made a detailed record of the gravestone inscriptions in the kirkyard, and the visitor centre was opened on 23rd July 1993. After a successful trial period it was agreed to open Friday to Monday afternoons, with a note in the Session House window to inform visitors on other days whom to contact to gain entry.

This is now our eighth season and the visitors continue to increase. It is difficult to establish the numbers as all visitors do not sign the visitors' book. There were 22 lines per page on the first visitors' book, and 77 pages. Multiplying would give 1694 visitors. However, some entries are single people and others are couples or families. There is one entry in 1995 which ends: plus 50 students. There have also been visits from Kinross, Auchterarder, Dollar and Dunkeld Historical Societies, Shinafoot Art Group, Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust, National Museums of Scotland, Perth College School of Environment and Glasgow University Department of Medieval History, to name some of the bulk entries in the book. From this you can see that the entries bear little relation to the number of people who have been shown round St Serf's Church by our band of volunteers.

What always surprises me is the number of overseas visitors - many seeking ancestors. There are over 200 entries from 33 countries, and from such far away and exotic places as Cayman Islands, Norfolk Islands, Mauritius, Phillipines, Tonga, Argentina. The U.S.A. leads the way in numbers, closely followed by Australia and Canada.

The entries in the remarks column are often interesting. Besides the usual "interesting", "beautiful", there is "great", "cool", "pure dead brilliant", "Fascinating experience", and "fair braw" entered by an American visitor. To thank the volunteers are numerous entries "an excellent friendly guide", "really good and guides new loads about it" written by a youngster shown round with his parents. And a final one: "most interesting, and a great pub across the street".

Visitors with the name Dunning have appeared over 25 times, from the U.S.A., Canada, Alaska, Australia and Spain as well as the British Isles.

The new visitors' book has 12 lines on each page and we are now on page 51. This adds a further 600 plus entries giving a total of 2300 since we opened. This is an amazing total for a church which is not advertised as open to visitors and makes all the volunteers proud to be part of the band meeting visitors from so many different places and showing them around our ancient and historic St. Serf's Church.

The graveyard record which was compiled by the DPHS in 1993 has been referred to on countless of occasions to assist visitors chasing their roots. This record is now in print and can be obtained from the DPHS at a cost of £3.50 (plus postage required).

--Peter Duncan, Dunning


I've just finished reading the April magazine. I recognise all the places Peter Duncan mentioned. I have become very curious about the young man named Brian Boag. I believe he must be a great grandson of a Mr. Boag who lived in the last house on the Auchterarder Road. Mr. Boag used to buy John Bull and the Georgraphical magazine. He passed them to my father and then in turn he passed them on to someone else before going back to their owner.

The calendar I bought has been greatly enjoyed and appreciated. I would like to obtain a copy of "Here Come the Glasgow Keelies!". I remember them arriving in Dunning on buses and I felt very sad for them having to leave their loved ones and come to complete strangers. I do remember a few of them but not many as we left the village in 1941.

--Mrs. Marjorie Addison (nee Walker), 35 The Beeches, Warminster
(Mrs. Addison, known as 'Midge' Walker, is referred to in the Australia letter: next page.)


I don't think the name Dunning is old English (Family Circle excerpt in our April newsletter) but is much more likely to be from the Gaelic dunan: a small fort. The Dunknock would seem to fit there. I liked Peter's "Do You Know...", but how did Circus Street get its name?

--Ian Lambie, Blaeberry, Dunning

QUIZ NIGHT On July 24, Auchterarder is holding an "Interclub Quiz Night" hosted by Magnus Magnusson.as part of its millennium celebrations. The DPHS has been asked to send a team. In our next newsletter, we'll let you know just what happened..

Sketch 101kb

The Old Kirklands
--Sketch by Kenny Laing of a Dunning building now disappeared:
it used to stand at the entrance to the old quarry.


Nan (Williamson) Callachan lives at 39 Alexandra Circuit, St. Clair, New South Wales 2759, Australia. she wrote this remembrance of wartime Dunning on a recent trip back to Glasgow, and passed it to us through another evacuee, George Boardman. Nan (born 31-7-28) and Matthew (7-12-25) were grandchildren of a Dunning couple.

My brother Matt is sadly no longer with us. If he was he would have been able to supply you with many more tales of Dunning being that bit older. He loved the place and continued to holiday there with his family up until a few years before his death.

Our grandfather was Thomas Gillies, and our grandmother was Anne Gillies (nee Bruce). They had one son and three daughters namely Andrew, Christine (my mother), Nan and Jean.

We visited Dunning yearly before the war, spending most of the summer there. Our parents thought we would have more scope there away from Glasgow.

When we evacuated, our mother came with us, also our younger brother Tommy. His date of birth is 25-6-36. We stayed at our grandparents' house, as they were living in Glasgow then. (The house remained in the family until the modernisation of the Smiddy Close----now St. Serf's Terrace). We did not attend Haghill School but lived in the Dennistoun area and attended a neighbouring school. It was decided by the evacuee committee that we join with Haghill when we arrived in Dunning as evacuees.

We stayed approximately two years. After the war we visited Dunning for holidays and weekends until we all married. We gave up the house shortly after that. My husband and I still visit Dunning every time we go back to Scotland. Hopefully we will be doing so this year. We were extremely disappointed to miss the evacuees' reunion. It was our intention to be there but a health problem arose and I wasn't allowed to travel. However, God willing, I will bounce back and be able to get there in 2000. I was very pleased to hear that Midge Walker was a member of the Society. I wonder if she remembers me? So many memories come flooding back as I write this.

The Dunning that comes to my mind was that of a quiet village and the majority of houses had no water, gas or electricity. We drew our water from a pump on the street and at night our house was lit with paraffin lamps.

The same applies to most of the shops. The one that jumps out of my memory was the little sweet shop which was a room in a house run by Mrs. Bain on the Upper Granco. It was also the place to buy our chips at night. No fish, just chips. I can remember standing for a long time waiting to purchase my poke of chips while Mrs. Bain made them in a small chip pan on an equally small oil burning stove. Believe me, one had to be desperate for chips to stand so long while the small chip pan worked overtime.

There was another sweet shop in the village, situated beyond the post office on the street up to the Thorntree Hotel. The shop was owned by "Aunt Belle" Flockhart. We loved to visit Aunt Belle. We never left empty-handed. The square was much the same as it is today, but had more shops in the olden days. There was a butcher, greengrocer, and papers cum grocers on one side, and on the other side, Hunter the bakers, a shoe repairer, the post office and drapers and Robertson the baker.

Of course St. Serfs Church was the prominent feature there. The minister then was Mr. McKinnon, a highly respected gentleman. He married the local nurse who had her house opposite the church next to Hunter the baker's.

One of the highlights every year was the visit from the company of a Glasgow Boys Brigade, who came for their annual camp. On their arrival they would entertain the locals with their band in the square. It was always an occasion for a large turn-out. It ended with the war, as did the annual Highland Games, another very enjoyable family day that usually wound up with dancing in the square in the evening, after being entertained by the pipe bands.

Our grandparents had a small but and ben type of house where we stayed on our visits to Dunning. It was situated at the "Smiddy Close" (the Blacksmith's). Our grandparents were called Gillies. The two blacksmiths were Mr. Walker and his son Andrew. The highlight of our days were when one of the farmers would bring their big horse in for shoeing. Being "townies" we were mesmerised. It was a privilege to be allowed to be around at such a time.

The Walkers were very good to us. My special friend was "Midge", the youngest daughter. She was actually called Madge but it came out as Midge. She always worked hard, and had her duties to attend to, one of which was to help her Uncle Joe when it was milking time. We would help to bring the cows from the field along the Perth Road to Joe Walker's milking sheds, situated opposite the War Memorial, on the left hand side of the Perth Road going towards Perth. Then Midge would deliver milk to the locals. Midge later became a very good nurse at Auchterarder hospital. The Walkers also had a daughter called Nan: I seem to recall she worked at the post office.

The Walkers also had a son, Cameron, who like all the younger men went off to the army at the beginning of the Second World War . He unfortunately went missing, presumed dead, after Dunkirk. Nothing at all was heard of him so it was expected he was another soldier who had lost his life on the beach at Dunkirk.

After the end of the war, I can remember sitting on the steps at the Smiddy Close watching my Gran and Mrs. Walker having a talk. A young soldier turned into the Close. It was Cameron, back from France where he had been hidden from German troops by a farmer and his wife. It was a great day for the Walkers.

Not long after, the Walkers moved away to the new housing at Forteviot. It was known then as the Model Village, with all mod cons. The blacksmiths shop closed down and never again re-opened. Sadly, only a short time later, Cameron, who had come through so much during the war, died of peritonitis.

The Walkers were only one of the families who suffered sadness by the war. Some lost fathers, brothers and other relatives, some came home maimed. One such young man comes to my mind: the grocer Mr. Laing's older son returned minus one of his legs.

Like all villages Dunning is immensely changed. One winter we spent some time there, and the highlight of our visit was the snow activities. Being from the city where the snow quickly turned to slush, it amazed us how long it lay in the country. I remember every boy and girl went into the field next to the Park at the beginning of the Forteviot road with their sledges. There was one Dunning boy who was a number of years older than my brother and myself. He was always looking out for us and would let us sit on his back on the sledge from the top of the field to the bottom. He was called "Pansy Potter", so called because his second name was Potter. He was a big boy but a very nice kind one. We had a wonderful time. There wasn't a bit of our bodies that wasn't black and blue, but we felt no pain, not at the time anyway, we were enjoying ourselves so much.

Dunning at one time had two influential families. One was the family of Lady Wilson, who resided up the Muckhart Road. The other was that of Lord and Lady Rollo, whose estate Duncrub lay out Auchterarder Road. Sadly they eventually were forced to tear down Duncrub.

There were various families in the village I remember. To name a few: the Golders who lived up the Dragon, the McDougalls who lived at the Burnside, and the family (Wilkies) who had the "spaniel kennels" and the drapers shop at the beginning of the Perth Road. At the Smiddy Close there was Mrs. Ritchie, and next door to our (grandparents') house was a dear old lady Meg Campbell with her granddaughter Peg.

Our evacuee days were happy ones, being too young at the time to realise just exactly what war meant we went about our lives in the village going to school every morning. Of course we were all living away from the people we knew but weren't too long in making new friends. I had one special friend, her name was Sheila Pursley. She had a younger brother. They were first of all staying at a farm up the golf course road (at that time the golf course was up past the Dragon) among the hills. The farm was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham. I used to go with them on a Saturday to visit, and invariably ended up going rabbit hunting with two of the farm workers and a couple of ferrets. Later Sheila and her brother were moved to a farm out the Perth Road, where they remained until they ended their evacuation.

There was also another friend named Bunty Laird, who had a brother John. Unfortunately I lost touch with all of them when we returned to Glasgow. We returned many times after the war, but as we were getting older, we didn't have the same interest.

---Nan Callachan, New South Wales, Australia

Linocut, The old school. 4.04kb

--Linocut by Albie Sinclair from "Here Come the Glasgow Keelies!"


Last February, his friends in Dunning surprised Ian Philip with a very large party to celebrate his 60th birthday. That was undoubtedly a highlight of the year for him,. But there was another surprise waiting for him which also had to do with his birthday.

As our busy past chairman, Ian is always deeply involved in Society activities. This spring for example he was principal mailer of pamphlets to all Scottish schools advertising our "Keelies" book about Dunning evacuees. When orders for over 400 books came in, Ian was in the thick of sending out the copies. Of course, though he is a Dunning native he had no personal recollection himself of evacuees, being born in 1940, and as he said, his family had never taken in evacuees.

At our AGM May 11, Ian was guest speaker, talking about Leadketty, the group of smallholdings north of Dunning set up in the 1930's by the government. Ian has lived at No.3 Leadketty all his life, and the audience of over 70 people warmly applauded his amusing and informative talk.

Then on Saturday, May 20, the Society took its annual coach trip, this year to Glasgow to visit the Burrell Museum and nearby Pollok House. As usual Peter Duncan's arrangements were excellent, and a full coach party of over 50 enjoyed the day.

As we relaxed over coffee in the Pollok House cafeteria at tour's end, Mrs. Joan Couper of our group approached the table where chair Liz Fletcher and Lorne and Patricia Wallace were sitting.

With Joan was a tiny smiling lady, who introduced herself as "a Glasgow keelie". Her husband had noticed the name Dunning in the visitors' book, and by chance she'd started talking to Mrs. Couper and learned we were from the Historical Society. She thought we might like to know that she along with her sister had been evacuees to Dunning from Haghill School.

Her name now was Mrs. Maureen Fraser, and she and her sister Jean had been the Paterson girls. They were eight and thirteen respectively when they came to Dunning on September 3, 1939. Her sister, then Mrs. Broadley, had been in touch with us before the 1994 Evacuees Reunion, but had died, and she herself had missed the 1999 Reunion. However, she had bought a copy of "Here Come the Glasgow Keelies!" and was delighted to meet us.

And where had she and her sister stayed when they came to Dunning. Why, at one of the smallholdings along Station Road. With a family called the Philips.

Mrs. Fraser said they had stayed there only a couple of months,but she had very pleasant memories of the family, including Grandfather Fairweather, Mrs. Philip's father, who was very kindly. She could remember Mr. Philip taking them out to watch the feeding of the calves, and how one calf had reached through the fence and chewed at the tail of her tweed coat.

Before long, the two girls had to move to the Manse in the village: Mrs. Philip was expecting and was not very well.

Ian Philip was seated close by in the cafeteria, and now was introduced to Mrs. Fraser. She started to explain about staying at a smallholding in Leadketty. "Oh, that probably was another Philips family", Ian said, "I've been told there apparently had been another family by that name at Leadketty earlier". Besides, he added, his parents had never told him and his younger sister anything about keeping evacuees.

Mrs. Fraser then spoke of Grandfather Fairweather. For Ian, the penny dropped. That had indeed been his grandfather's name. Ian's newly-married parents had moved to Leadketty in April 1939 from Forfar with Mr. Fairweather. The two evacuees had arrived at Leadketty in September, and yes, Ian was born in February 1940: he was the baby whose coming was the reason for Maureen and Jean Paterson moving from the smallholding to their next billet at the Dunning Manse.

A lovely coincidence. Another birthday surprise for Ian.


Thursday evg., July 13, 7 pm Tron Square. An Old-fashioned Bus Ride. For our 1999 Evacuees' Reunion, Jim Docherty of Midland Coaches, Auchterarder, graciously provided Haghill pupils with a ride on his 1939 vintage Leyland Tiger bus. The bus is not available for commercial charter, but in return for a charitable donation Mr. Docherty has offered a one-off ride on the old bus to some members of the Society. There's space for only 23 passengers, so anyone interested is asked to contact Liz Fletcher at 01764 684 061 or 213 and leave their names. We'll then have a draw in early July, choosing couples and singles until we have a busfull...and we'll notify the fortunate ones by phone about details.

Thursday, August 17, 7:30 pm. An Historic Bat Walk, led by Brian Boag. Meet in the village hall at 7:30 for a preparatory talk by our expert guide. Then we'll proceed by cars west towards Keltie Castle, where the owners, the Rollos, have given us permission to conduct our search.

Thursday, September 7, 7:00 pm, St. Serf's Church, Dunning. What Next at St. Serf's? It won't be too long before the Dupplin Cross will move from The Museum of Scotland to its permanent home back in Strathearn in St. Serf's. Dr. Doreen Grove of Historic Scotland will answer our questions about what's planned and how we can help.

Thursday, October 5, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. "The Magic of Carpets". Alf Marshall is an engaging new Dunningite with a lifetime of international experience in the carpet industry. His talk illustrates carpet design and weaving through the ages.

Saturday, November 4, 10 am to afternoon. Our annual coffee morning, this year on a theme which promises to involve Dunning School and village children.

Thursday, December 7, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. Whisky! that long- promised talk by DPHS member Iain Stothard.

And coming up in the new year, perhaps another Burns Night, a members' night and another video night.

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