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


Romance and the Berries - July 2001

For several summers past, a lively addition to Dunning's population has been a group of students from the continent, hired to pick berries at the two big commercial operations in the parish, Broadslap and Leadketty Farms. If you were at any of the Society's barn dances at Ian Philip's, you'll have seen the students there.

The young men and women have come from many countries. Since most are of graduate or postgraduate years, it's no surprise that romance has often flourished amidst the berries. Indeed two recent treasured Dunning arrivals have been a young Spanish and young Polish woman who married local lads.

It was John Kirk of Broadslap who first told us a poignant story of a romance which sprang up last year between two students at Leadketty, a Spanish lad and an Estonian lass. There were seven Spaniards working at Leadketty. They had all come for just a month. When it came time to leave, the Spanish lad was in despair. He desperately wanted to stay, but like the others he had bought an unexchangeable return ticket.

His countrymen saw his plight. One day all of them handed their work chits in, every one marked in the lover's name. With this help, he was able to buy a later return ticket and stay with his Estonian.

As Moira Corrigall of Leadketty remarked, "What price love?" She doesn't know what became of that couple, but she recently heard from another student whom she tells us about on page 13. Yes, in a different way, his story involves berries and romance too.

Yes, A Bit Embarrassing

It was tempting fate, we knew, to lead off the last issue with an editorial boast about our titivating up the newsletter image. Alas, what worked in theory didn't translate onto our Society printer in practice. The printer, a laser warhorse several years old, took the hump and refused to print the newfangled version. The resulting newsletter which you saw was thus a paste and patch up mix of old and new pages, containing many typographical and other errors. Now a new printer driver has been acquired and, fingers crossed, this is printed on our renewed DPHS printer.

Another Story about the old Thorntree

Here's an excerpt from an interesting letter addressed to our DPHS office. The writer, John James McKay, 8 Hawaii Ave., Palm Beach, Queensland 4221, Australia, mentions his family lived on Muckhart Road from 1927 to 1929, in the three chimneypot house pictured in Crossroads and Characters. At the age of five, in 1927, he started at the Infants School.

He writes about Dunning's 'mythical dragon', and then goes on to remark: "Personally I found that there were other things to be afraid of than a dragon. You see I remember the old thorn tree which contained within its trunk a very active wasps' bike. It seemed to me at the time that they were invaders to be challenged and I acted accordingly by throwing handfuls of mud at the trunk of the tree. Needless to say I was soon the bearer of numerous wasp stings. The lesson was never forgotten, and generally I have happy memories of the village and its people."

Visiting Muthill Museum

Here's your chance to visit the old house in Muthill which houses an attractive local museum. The museum was founded about 1980, but has been closed in recent years. Now a new group supporting the Muthill Village Museum will be opening it several days a week this summer. As a newly re-established group interested in local history and whose members include our September speaker, Mrs. Lindsay Lennie, they have invited us to come individually and visit. For details of location and opening times, please call Mrs. Lennie at 681 318.

Memories of a Dunning Childhood in the 1980s

The Polly Linocut 3.8KB

linocuts by Albie Sinclair

When we in local history think of reminiscences, we usually have in mind the recollections of white-haired old-timers. James Dixon, now a lawyer in Leeds, confounds that way of thinking by presenting us with memories of the village of Dunning just 15 to 20 years ago as seen through the eyes of a pupil.
This is part one of a two part article.


I had the great privilege to have spent the formative years of my life (6 to 13) in Dunning where my maternal grandparents had settled, and where my parents lived for a while. I enjoyed many a happy summer holiday (and most of the rest of the year) playing golf and making tree huts in places like the Den and the Dunnock, often being out from morning until tea-time. It must have been wonderful for my parents who did not have to worry at all.

I moved to Dunning in May 1980 with my father Mike and my mother Patricia and sister Justine. My father had fallen in love with Scotland when he went on a school trip from Yorkshire to Loch Fyne. My gran, Isabella Mottram (nee Malcolm) at the time lived at 7 Dunnock Place.


I recall that the day after we arrived we went to look at the house we were to move into, Bridge Cottage, Burnside (between Quarry and Well Roads) which had been occupied by a Mr. Tony Brunton. Almost immediately I was met by a group of children from the village, which was my first taste of news travelling quickly. Some of their names fail me now but I remember that Grant Robertson, Stephen Nairn and Lee Walker were amongst them. They took me up the path by the burn to 'Polly', a place which was to feature in my life especially in summer. When it was warm (and also when it was not too cold) many kids used to come past our house on their way there, and we could see them from the sunroof we had on the top of our garage. Among them were the McLeishes (Leslie, Donald and Fraser), the Robertsons (Craig, Stuart and Grant), the Pattendens (Kareen, Peter and Kerr), the Strongs (Wendy and June), Sandy Harris, Graham Joyce and Morgan Sinclair.

There was a group from the area around Kirk Wynd who never used to venture up to 'Polly': the Murrays (Lee and Bryan), the Bruces (Stuart and Gary) and the McDowells (Kevin and Barry). They missed out on the fun we had in 'Polly'.


On one of the first occasions I ever went, some of the older ones were trying to push younger ones into 'Wee Polly' which seemed dangerously deep to me at the time. A couple of years later I would jump into 'wee Polly' from the path and shout to my friends to 'keep the kettle boiling' which was our word of encouragement to each other to keep up the momentum and run up the path to jump in again. Another feature was the old black inner tubes which acted as makeshift rubber dinghies. I always wanted one but never got one. Sometimes we used to dam up 'Wee Polly', which made it quite deep.


On my recent visit to the village, which prompted me to write, I had a look at the Primary School on Station Road. It was hard to believe some of the practices that used to take place. In the boys' shelter, the one on the right as you look into the playground, you can still see a square mark in the ground where a wooden support used to be. In the early days when I first arrived some of the older children used to talk about 'the pole'. I later discovered that this was a form of punishment involving two boys holding apart the legs of another and making him straddle the wooden support to bring him into contact with the corner. It was supposed to be painful. Strangely enough I don't remember anyone ever being injured. Maybe the torturers instinctively knew what the limit was.

I remember the school as a deeply traditional place. The playground was divided into two halves, one half for girls and one for boys and hardly anybody dared to trangress the invisible line. The winter seemed to give us more courage when we'd carry our snowball raids deep into the other half.

The playground was the scene of many different activities. I was among those who used to play football. There was a special selection of balls, all of them flat. I often wondered why we were not provided with a ball with air in it but now I see the sense. It was to stop us causing damage. Sometimes, though I'm not sure how, someone managed to kick one of these flat balls onto the roof of the boys' shelter. This was a moment of seriousness. It meant that someone had to go and ask Mr. Murray (the headmaster) who was affectionately and clandestinely known at 'Beeky', to fetch the ball down. Mr. Murray would stride into the playground wearing his usual deerstalker and armed with wooden stepladders and brush. If the ball was not reachable he would authorise someone to climb up. At these times everyone was very well behaved.

Other people spent their time pretending to be tractors of various kinds or combine harvesters and put a lot of gusto into providing the matching sound effects. The combine harvester was the most amusing as it involved perpetually swinging the right arm while giving out a consistent moaning noise. In conker season many of us used to bring our prize conkers to school and try to bash our way to victory. I recall persuading my mother to let me put one in the oven to make it extra hard. Another competition was marbles which offered another opportunity to cross that invisible line.


My abiding memory of primary 4 and 5 (1982-84) are the songs that Mr. Wilson taught us as he strummed on his acoustic guitar. He dictated a number of songs which we had to write down in a notebook. The majority of them were traditional Scottish songs but there were one or two Irish and English ones as well. We learnt and sang songs such as 'Killiecrankie', 'Westerin' Home', 'Marie's Wedding', 'Speed Bonnie Boat' (Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing, over the sea to Skye. Carry the lad that's been born to be king, over the sea to Skye), and 'Flower of Scotland'. Maybe someone has a copy of the song notebook.

When I moved up to primary 6 and 7 things became a little more serious as Mr. Murray sought to teach us lasting lessons. The standard was very high especially in maths which was his own subject. When I left and went to Auchterarder I remember my ability in maths was far better than most of my new classmates. Something else which Mr. Murray insisted on was making us familiar with the rudimentary elements of English grammar which I can now say is the only time in the educational life when I have actually been taught any grammar at all. It may sometimes seem boring to know what adjectives and adverbs are but I was really grateful for it when it came to grappling with foreign languages later on. I also have fond memories of geography lessons in which we were given a tour around the commonwealth, learning the economic profiles of places such as each of the states in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I remember too the Lomond English textbooks we had in our wooden desks and reading passages such as one about Mr. Rochester and his cigar from Bronte's 'Emma'.

Schoolhouse linocut 1.06KB


The educational experience with Mr. Murray extended beyond the academic subjects. He used to punctuate his lessons with words of wisdom and emphasize for example that life is "full of ups and downs". He also created a healthy sense of discipline and respect for authority in the classroom which was all part of the good moral standards that he imbued us with. Discipline featured in the PE lessons as well. I will never forget his exhortations not to breathe lifting the shoulders but instead to breathe from the diaphragm. He also tried to instill in us a sense of social decorum. In addition to learning 'strip the willow', we also had to master the 'St. Bernard's Waltz' and for both of these dances the boys were obliged to make their way across the room and invite one of the girls sitting down if they would like the pleasure of the next dance. Such etiquette is most probably long gone in most schools and would likely be derided in the name of promoting equality between the sexes.

The music lessons with Mr. Murray were memorable occasions. It consisted in singing a number of songs and playing the recorder. Mr. Murray's favourite was 'Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon' and he always used to encourage us to sing it at the end. Sometimes we would complain that we didn't sing modern songs from the hit parade. Mr. Murray would then ask someone to lead the class with a recent hit but nobody ever dared. On one such occasion a brave girl called June Strong started to sing the first line of the theme song of the film 'Ghostbusters', "Who ye gonna call...", but nobody followed. Mr. Murray saw all this as confirmation that traditional songs were still better.


There was always a note of excitement when we were to go swimming. At a certain time of year a bus would come and pick us up every two weeks and we would spend the morning at Perth Baths. There was an air of expectation while we were waiting for the bus to arrive. I particularly remember that in primary 4 and 5 Mr. Murray used to always remind us to dry our backs with the towel as it was a part of the body that was all too easy to forget. I recall the time when I obtained my 5th swimming certificate which was the highest that it was possible to get at the school. I had to perform various dives, complete a lifesaving exercise, scull and swim a couple of lengths in pyjamas. I was really proud because I was the first in the class to achieve it and my partner in pyjamas was Peter Pattenden who was two years older than me and in primary 7. We really enjoyed our trips to the swimming pool and the journey in the coach along the old Perth Road before the dual carriageway was built. We used to sing various songs on the coach including 'Glory, Glory What a Hell o' a Way to Die' and "Stop the bus I need a wee wee, stop the bus I need a wee wee, stop the bus I need a wee wee, a wee wee drink o' juice, stop the bus'.


Another event in the calendar of the school was the prize-giving ceremony in the village hall, which fell on the last day of term and was followed by a service in the village church. This was a great occasion for the entire village as they enjoyed a performance put on by the school children. It was also a moment of academic achievement as there was the Dux medal to be presented to the best pupil in primary 7. I was bitterly disappointed in 1986. Lee Murray won it that year but I had had great hopes as I had come first the year before. I had to settle for being runner-up, officially called Proxime Accessit.


This newsletter is published quarterly, January, April, July and September by the Dunning Parish Historical Society.
Editor: Lorne Wallace Contact us At The Old Schoolhouse, Newton of Pitcairns, Dunning, PH2 0SL (Telephone answer machine) 01764 684 448 or personal e-mail lornepat@hotmail.com

Announcing our

2002 Dunning Historical Wildlife Calendar

Stonechat sketch (4.43KB)

Pen and ink sketches on sepia by Henry Hoey, Wildlife notes by David Doig
This original and beautiful A4 souvenir calendar will shortly be available. The price is £3.00 (add 50p for postage in Britain, £1.50 for overseas
It can be purchased at Dunning Post Office, by writing: DPHS, Old Schoolhouse, Newton of Pitcairns, Dunning PH2 0SL or order forms from www.dunning.uk.net



Olivia Phillips, Shelley Dewar, Sophie Little, Roslyn Andrews, Abigail Ross, Hamish McGuire, Rosie Aitken and Steven Bissett all received book tokens.



Photo of Liz 1.86kb


Elizabeth Fletcher, Dunning's postmistress, retired in May as DPHS chair after two inspiring and creative years. Here were some of her final remarks at the May agm.

We have always prided ourselves on having "themed" coffee mornings and much thought and imagination has been put into them resulting in some considerable success. If one had to put a theme on our meetings this last year it must be "Talent from within", for so much of our activities, meetings and newsletter articles have been contributed from within the village and our own members, from Alf's magical carpet show through to the children's wonderful art work at our coffee morning and the memorable talent displayed at our Burns Night. I make no apologies for repeating myself in stating that the "Talent from within" the Society and the village at large is both varied and considerable.

This is the main reason why my time as your chair has been so pleasant and so easy for me. The quality of the meetings has been of such a standard that few could fail to enjoy them. The expertise of the committee and Lorne, our newsletter editor, has been so great that everything has run smoothly, making things easy for me, and your support and enthusiasm for all that we have done has made it a pleasure for us in the doing.

Under Simon's charge our computer website has continued to flourish and bring pleasure to so many visitors to its pages. Our bus run arranged by Peter is now an established favourite. Last year Glasgow's Pollok House had an episode worthy of the x-files when in the tea-room a chance remark by a visiting lady that she had been an evacuee in Dunning resulted in her discovery that the man sitting next to her, namely our own Ian Philip, was the very "baby" whose imminent birth had been the reason for her leaving Leadketty to live elsewhere.

Talking of the evacuees we all remember the passing of George Boardman, a leading light in our evacuees' reunion. I am reminded of the words of his niece. "Now I know why Uncle George loved Dunning so much. It's not just the natural beauty or location of your village: it is the people of the village, who are its heart and soul, that makes Dunning special".

But even yet we do not rest on our laurels. Exciting plans are even now being discussed: a new colour laser printer, colour pages in our newsletter, more involvement with the school children, a new calendar for 2002. I think the Society is in good heart, good finances and with the committee and Raymond in the chair is in good hands. I wish him every success in the coming year.

Finally a most sincere thank you to you all for making the time I have spent as your chairperson so pleasant for me.

-Liz Fletcher, at the agm 10th May, 2001

Guess Where?

Painting of Park 9.61kb

Sun glows warmth in the bright sky.
Cats pounce on each other in a playful mood.
Big bushes and big plants to hide behind.
Big so you can play and do what you want.
A quiet place to lie down and relax.
Chatter of the birds makes you very happy.
Grass shines reflecting from the bright golden sun.
This place makes you smile with delight.

-Emma Winstanley, P7


Here are a few more of the favourite places in Dunning as chosen by primary pupils for our year 2000 themed coffee morning

My favourite place is Dad's workshop because I like making things.
It makes me feel happy when I am there.
-Cameron Crow, P4

This place is surrounded by trees but not much light.
It has a dirt track a death slide and a swamp.
It is great for building huts.
There are big stones looking like curled up elephants and the autumn
leaves are like a lion's main growing out from their rocky heads.
A thousand feet have walked its winding path,
Drinking in the atmosphere, soaking up the view.
Echoes of children's voices whisper in the brambles.
Secrets of childhood gone by.
-Jason Hill, P7

My favourite place is the kitchen because my cleaning is good.
It makes me feel helpful when I am there.
-Greg McArthur, P4

Up in the Dunnock,
I see a dirt track when I am on my bike.
I taste the dirt and water as I fly through the puddles.
I jump off the ramps and play in the gang huts.
I hear the birds singing and the wind howling.
You smell the scent of the flowers and trees.
I am very happy when I am there.
-Jamie Summerton, P5

Guess where!
The light always shines on this place.
There are children laughing and
Shouting as they slide down the mossy wet stones.
The sound of the water is phenomenal
As it rushes over the creek and flows into two ponds
Trees hang round looking at the noisy water
Their branches dipping fingers into the crystal clear water.
-James Hepburn, P7

My favourite place in Dunning is my house. Every day when I come home from school, before I get in my door, my dog knows I'm coming. She stands at the door and waits for me to come in. I push the door open and she comes to me. After that I give her a biscuit. Then S Club 7 is on. I love them, it's my favourite programme. Afterwards I play with my dog in the back garden for about half an hour.
-Linzi Macdonald, P5

Trees waving in the wind, their crisp brown leaves falling silently to the ground.
A thin muddy path, steep hills and deep pools on either side.
Golden sunlight bursting through the trees above.
Birds singing, animals chattering, never silent.
Wooden bridges high above the crystal clear water below.
Silver fish darting below the crystal clear water.
Wooden steps leading up steep hills, autumn flowers blooming all around.
The golden brown leaves and soft rays of sunlight give a tranquil atmosphere.
-Ross Henderson, P7

Tumult in Dunning, August 1837

On a trip to Scotland, New Zealand member Trevor Fulton was combing the dusty Perth news archives. He spotted this story in THE CONSTITUTIONAL of Wednesday, August 23, 1837 and drew it to our attention.

VIOLENT OUTRAGE - Last Friday evening, some of the Dunning Radicals assaulted a Conservative elector of that village for having voted in the late election, agreeably to the dictates of principle. The individual, thus assailed having chosen to assert his rights boldly and determinately, the result of the Radicals turned out in numbers, and a tumult was the consequence. The man Marshall (that was his name), suffered severely, but the miscreants were not satisfied with merely wreaking their vengeance on him. Lord Rollo's carriage was expected to pass through the town, and this was too good an opportunity to be lost for manifesting their love of liberty, peace and good order. The carriage was attacked, its panels driven in, and those it contained exposed to imminent peril, and put in great personal terror and alarm. Eight of the rioters were apprehended in Dunning---part on Saturday and the others on Monday morning---and two others in Perth who had come here for refuge.

Another Berry Story

"Some of the students who come to Dunning each year from the continent," says Moira Corrigall of Leadketty berry farm, "are often quite big for their boots. They come expecting to earn masses of money quickly by picking berries. But of course how much you earn depends on your attitude, on how hard you work, and on Scotland's unpredictable weather."

But being big for their boots isn't a characteristic of all the student visitors by any means. Recently a letter arrived from a Pole whom the Corrigalls remember as a very quiet young man:

"Mr. Corrigall, I am very much obliged to you. My life completely changed after coming back to Poland. Thanks to the money I earned I made a driving licence (apparently not an easy accomplishment in Poland), I completed an English course and passed a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English exam. These were the things I had planned to settle while being at Leadketty Farm. But there was one more thing I want to mention about. On October 8th, 2000, I met a wonderful girl, and fell in love. On the day of my 21st birthday I told her 'I love you'. Now we are very happy. In about two years we are going to get married.

"You may ask what's your role in all this? It was very big indeed. While staying in Scotland I learned how to believe in myself, how to work hard, how to look at the world in a mature way. That was a great experience for me. I became more respected in my family, and among my friends I became a different man. Thank you, thank you." signed Pawet Trybus

Our thanks to Moira Corrigall for this story.


Bees clipart 1.67kb

A New Beekeeper's Tale

Keeping a few hives of bees has for years been a tradition
with certain residents of Dunning Parish.
Myrtle Potter of Muckhart Road
maintains that tradition.
When we recently asked members for true personal stories,
Myrtle provided this seasonably appropriate account.

A few years ago, after attending a short beekeeping course, I acquired two colonies of bees.

In the following weeks, I regularly inspected the brood frames to check whether queen cells were being constructed by the workers. If a virgin queen is allowed to develop, she may lead a swarm away. As swarms are made up largely of foraging bees, the result is that the yield of honey from the colony is much reduced. I was very careful, and thought I had got rid of all of the unwanted queen cells.

One fine summer's day, I became aware of a distant roar. Looking across the garden, I saw it-a swarm! A great cloud of bees was milling above the hives.

Lunch forgotten and into action! Overalls, wellies, bee veil, gloves. Then up to the loft for a cardboard box. Out came the Beekeepers' Manual. I whipped through the pages to "Taking a Swarm".

Stepping outside, I watched the bees stream across the garden to settle on a branch of the small hawthorn beside the front fence. Oh joy! I would be able to reach the branch without having to climb. Soon, a huge pear-shaped cluster formed, wings glistening in the sun. I quickly assembled a third hive to be their new home.

The big moment came. With a cardboard box and a piece of plywood to make a lid, I approached. Following the instructions in the Manual, I grasped the branch and with box balanced on my arm, gave the branch a sharp downwards tug, and some thousands of surprised bees fell into the box. Quickly covering it with the plywood, I carried the box triumphantly and tipped its contents into the new hive. Big mistake!

A very sweaty beekeeper slipped into the house for a much needed cup of tea. When I returned to the scene of triumph-horror! The little dears were emerging by the hundreds and settling on a nearby rowan. Back to the book! The moral of this tale is, always read to the end of the chapter. "Leave the box at the point of collection until the bees have ceased flying for the day, when box with bees can be taken to the new home."

Painstakingly, I had to collect the swarm a second time, using the same box. There were eight pounds of live bees-I had a chance later to weigh them.

Eventually, with the box in the shade and kept open, the bees settled down and before dusk I was able to tip the swarm into the third hive which they then happily accepted as their new home.

I hope they slept as soundly that night as I did.

-Myrtle Potter, Muckhart Road, Dunning

Ode to a Bee

Mild and moist the summer's day
She ventures out-oh, happy bee
Hums her way through the blossom
That decorates the old fruit tree.

I sit beneath, content to listen,
Think of honey, warm, for tea
Dream of liquid gold that glistens
Pure and perfect--and for free!

Consider the bee that's so admired
Whose praises are so often sung
Awake with a start-whatever's that
Dammit--I've just been stung!

-Myrtle Potter


-sketch by Robt. J. Chapman

Stanley Mills sketch 12kb

Despite April showers, our field trip to Stanley Mills was an undampened success. Around 60 people attended, and Chris McGregor of Historic Scotland and Leslie Fraser and John McGuire of the host West Stormont local history group led a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the impressive mill restoration project. Work will be ongoing for several years.

At tour's end, Chris McGregor, an Historic Scotland architect also responsible for St. Serf's in Dunning, reported the Dupplin Cross is due to be uplifted from the National Museum in Edinburgh on St. Andrew's Day, Nov. 30, this year. The Cross will go to Historic Scotland's workshop for 3-D computer imaging (which may form part of a future display). Then about Easter of 2002, it will be installed in St. Serf's Church in Dunning. More details to be announced later.

Another St. Serf's development: The Dunning Cross, the Pictish stone unearthed in the late 1800's from beneath the floor of St. Serf's and which sat until recently inside at the bottom of the steeple, has been taken to Historic Scotland's workshops to ready it for a new display position in St. Serf's. It will still be on view in the steeple area, said Chris McGregor.

In recent months several areas of Dunning Parish have been declared Scheduled Monuments, in the care of Historic Scotland. The best-known of these is the Dun Knock (or Dunnock) Hill Fort area which stands behind the Dragon and which extends onto what is known as the Park area overlooking Dunning.

Other proposed changes taking place in the Park are plans by Servite Homes, sold the land by Perth and Kinross Council, to build another row of houses there, next to those now existing. The Dunning 2000Millenium Committee is hoping to eradicate the gorse at the top of the Park. And the committee also plans to build a memorial cairn in the Park at the foot of the beacon which was erected to bring in the new millennium.

Member Don Hepburn of Ontario has kindly brought us a gift of old Dunning postcards from the estate of his brother James Hepburn of Dunoon, who died recently. The stories of both brothers are featured in Chapter 13 of "Here Come the Glasgow Keelies!"

By the way, sales of the Keelies book have gone extremely well, thanks in large part to purchases by many Scottish schools, and we have just a few dozen copies left of about 1100 printed. The project quickly paid for itself.

Our re-printing of the photo book "Dunning, A Village of Crossroads and Characters" has stirred considerable interest. This out-of-print book by Lorne Wallace is available for £5 (plus £1 for mailing in Britain, £2 for overseas) from the DPHS, Old Schoolhouse, Newton of Pitcairns, Dunning, Perthshire PH2 0SL. (The Keelies book can be ordered from the same address, cost £9.95 plus £2 or £3 mailing charges).

In our last issue Ian Philip talked about the many uses of Leadketty including the fish pond abandoned several years ago when the Clearys departed. Apparently there must still be fish there. In March Ian saw an osprey take off from the Leadketty pond with a fish in its talons, and Simon Warren reported osprey there last summer, probably nesting not too far away.

-Ken Laing

Straw house sketch 2.33kb

The "Old Straw House" on Kirkwynd, famous as the only Dunning house saved from the Jacobite troops in 1716 by its owner ingeniously burning straw in its windows to fool the soldiers, is undergoing a renovation. Its façade will remain mostly unaltered, but inside it's being turned into a modern rental home by its present owner, builder Jim Crow.

DPHS webmaster Simon Warren advises that the new address to reach our Society website is: www.dunning.uk.net
You can still reach us at the old address www.dunning.mcmail.com for a while yet, but please try and use the new address.

Limbless Bowlers

Bowling is an easy game
Not difficult to master;
We had a rink with three good legs
And it was no disaster.

One of us had two legs off,
The other three had one;
We played together in a rink
And nearly always won.

The skip, he had lost his two,
His name was Geordie Clark,
It was he who told us what to do
And we never did look back.

Jock Golder, he then played third
And he was known to blaw;
Often as not he would drive
When it was easier to draw.

Second place was where I played,
My name is Charlie Laing;
The skip would shout "Now draw in here,
That's how to play this game."

The lead for us, he was the best,
His name was Willie Murray,
He could draw right on the jack,
But was never in a hurry.

Geordie Clark died and left us short
Of having a full rink.
How could that be rectified?
We did not dare to think.

Then Sandy Arnott lost a leg.
It was answer to our prayer.
He took over my place in the rink
As he already was a player.

We played together as a rink,
But it did not last for long.
Age caught up the other three,
And now I'm on my own.

Charles Laing 27-1-99

Bowlers Photo 5.43kb

From left,
Geordie Clark,
Willie Murray,
Jock Golder,
Charlie Laing

A Howling Success

Perhaps it was a bit of a chance to take, but we can report that in the event all six guests invited to our agm May 10 behaved extremely well. David Halliday's five Siberian huskies did howl rather musically for a bit as they were introduced, but soon they settled into their cages and even fell asleep despite the large audience presence.

David presented us with an interesting history not just of huskies but also the latest theories on the close historical relationship between humans and dogs. In a later issue we'll report further on his remarks.

Afterwards there was an opportunity for everyone to get close to and touch the huskies, with the help of David, his wife Kirsty and friend Sandy Andrews.

Another Hit, and a Miss

This year's coach trip to New Lanark and to David Livingstone's Blantyre House was fully subscribed. As always Peter Duncan had planned well.After the tours of the two main destinations, we stopped at Balmaha near Loch Lomond for high tea. We can report that we all enjoyed a most entertaining and informative day and the company of friends and fellow members.

The planned June picnic on Craig Rossie was cancelled because of foot-and-mouth restrictions. Next year, perhaps?

New Sub Rates
Because of rising newsletter costs and hall rentals, chair Liz proposed to our agm a rise in next season's Society subscription rates of 25 per cent. The meeting approved the increase, to come in effect on October 1, 2001.

Hamish drawing 5.26kb

Next Issue...

How our children view the flaming Jacobites
A true (yes, really!) Dunning ghost story
The Bogle Brig of Dunning Den
One villager's memory of harvest time
Plus a colourful surprise and more!

The DPHS 2001 Summer-Autumn Programme

Sunday, July 1, A Trip to the Trains. Meet at 12:30 noon in Tron Square to share cars for Pitcairngreen, where Dunning's Drummond Mailer has arranged for us to visit and ride on miniature (but real) steam railways. Attendance is limited. Please confirm to Liz Fletcher 01764 684 061 a.s.a.p.

Thursday, August 2. "Know Your Village": an evening guided tour of Dunning as it used to be, led by sprightly village natives. This is an opportunity of great interest to anyone not born in Dunning and to younger Dunningites. The tour begins at 7:00 pm in Tron Square. There'll be refreshments afterwards. Contacts are Jim Smith, 684 216 and Elspeth Pentland 684 490.

Wednesday, September 5, 7.30 pm Village Hall. "A Tale of Three Towers" Lindsay Lennie is a chartered surveyor with an interest in old buildings. We first encountered her busily snapping photos of Dunning buildings last year for her study of how differently conservation has been carried out in Dunning, in Dunblane where she was raised, and in Muthill where she lives now with her young family. She kicks off our indoor season with a slide-illustrated comparison of how the three places have conserved their character, and why. Come and see how Dunning compares.

Thursday, October 11, 7:30 pm, Village Hall. "A Wildlife Evening" It's another video night, with several members participating.

Saturday, November 3, 10 am, Village Hall. Our themed coffee morning, with details to come. But look out a good photo of yourself!.

Further details in our October newsletter about various autumn/winter events. Make sure you don't miss any of the above events by marking them now in your diary or calendar.

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