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Showing posts from September, 2012

Churches of the Strath - a Way of Life

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Fowlis Wester Kirk Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,

Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence .
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Religion is an intensely personal thing and indeedtraditionally it is passeddownthrough the generations . I comefrom a long line of non conformist Presbyterians . My four times great grandfather John McPhorich Lamont w…
Religion is an intensely personal thing and indeedtraditionally it is passeddownthrough the generations . I comefrom a long line of non conformist Presbyterians . My four times great grandfather John McPhorich Lamont was born about the time of the JacobiteRising that was to end so tragically at Culloden . John was a Seceder - followers of the ministerswho broke away from theEstablished Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1732 . He livedin that beautiful part of Argyllcalled Cowal boundedby thewaters of the Firth of Clydeto thesouthandthe rolling hillsand mountains of Argyll to the north . He and his brother Neilwere herring curers and lived a nd workedon the shores of the aptly named Holy Loch to the east of Dunoon . Thebrothers andtheirfamiliestravelled on foot each Sunday to Toward Nuilt a round trip of some 14 miles . The driving forcebehindthis small congregationwas an eminent Scotsman called Dr John Jamieson . Jamieson wasto gain fame in later years as a lexicographerwho wrote Jam…

Lewis Miller - farm boy - religious rebel - entrepreneur - lad o' pairts !

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Balloch Loch


Lewis Miller was a local lad who of all the outstanding peoplefrom the Strath in the 19th century most stand out clearly from the crowd . Farm worker, forester, entrepreneur, philanthropist are but a few words to describe a man who in a comparatively short life achieved so much.
The Parish of Muthill lies immediately to the south of Crieff and is extensive – extending to Braco and Greenloaning in the south, Blackford in the east and Comrie in the west.Registration of births, marriages and deaths was brought into force in Scotland on the 1st of January 1855. Prior to that we had to rely on the parish registers which were not compulsory and covered baptisms (christenings), births and marriage but seldom deaths. The records of Muthill commenced in 1676 but were lost and recommenced in 1704. These records were destroyed in an accident when there was a fire in the Parish Clerk’s house. They were partially re written but sadly are seriously incomplete. Using census returns I have…

Bonnie Strathearn

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Well,well, well – yet more wells ! Once Crieff’s only source of fresh water .

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I recently wrote a blogon the wells of Strathearn which created considerable interest. My good friend Jess Smith – raconteur – singer andauthorofconsiderable repute , commented , and I quote ,“ as a lassie I knew all these wells because Travelling folk needed precious water en route – when I was caretaker at Knox Housein Coldwells Road (Morrison’s Music Dept.) I was excited to see the “ cold well ” sunk in my laundry outhouse and coveredwith a thin metal plate . The well in King Street sunk into the wall of the Market Park was the only source of waterfor the residents prior to piped water ---I alwaysspit through a ring for good luck when passing wells --- the mystical St Bridget ( St Bride ) was seen to visit wells across Irelandsitting on a pure white horse . One day an Irishman saw her watering her horse at Strowan Well ( 2 miles west of Crieff ) . Disturbedby the vision he went home. When therehe overheard soldiers talking of burning all the villages on their path . His home was o…

Celebrate Crieff- A Festival of History

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A Great Show ! The Provost unveiling artist June McEwan's Civil War picture