Monday, 23 February 2015

It's Been Three Years of Crieff & Strathearn Local History Blogs !



It's Been Three Years of Crieff & Strathearn Local History Blogs !


23 February 2015

Incredible that in three years  well over  100 " Blogs " have been posted on this web site . I would  like to share with you some facts and figures , both  about  my wee " blog" and about me myself ! 

How many Blogs  have you actually posted ?

Including this one some 133 have  been posted  starting on the 26 February 2012 .

How many " hits  " have you had in that time ?

To date some 54 000 have been recorded averaging  approximately 1500 per month although in the last year it has  climbed  to an average of over 2 000 . 

Do you know where these viewers  come from?

Thanks  to the Google technology I  can analyse viewing statistics quite easily , by day, week , month or overall . In the three years we have  been on the Net the " top ten " countries have been : 

1. United Kingdom 23 366
2. USA                     11 557
3. Germany               6 349
4. France                   1 583
5. Canada                    985
6. Ukraine                    915
7. Russia                      832
8. Australia                  686
9. China                       635
10. Poland                  307

What have been your  most popular " Blogs " of the one hundred and thirty three you have posted  ? 

By far the most popular  one has  been the one on transport in the Strath. I wrote this initially for a local history class I was tutoring here in Crieff some ten years or so ago .  

http://perthshirecrieffstrathearnlocalhistor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/story-of-transport-in-strath.html

Perhaps  one  reason for its success has been it covers a many aspects  of communication  that have  been neglected by perhaps  the more conventional historians . It looks  at the Roman influence , the packmen ( merchants ) and the old pack bridges  which are dotted  over the Strath as well as the rise and fall of our railway system . 

Others  which have  proven very popular  are about two of the great guys who lived  here in Strathearn . Lewis Miller ( number two ) born at Balloch near Crieff who was a plough boy before achieving wealth and fame as a timber merchant . The other is not a native of this " heath " but was spent his latter days at Ferntower in Crieff - he was General Sir David Baird  ( number three ) whose  monument dominates  the  road  between Crieff and Comrie .

At fourth spot is the Blog about Witchcraft and in fifth spot  the litttle piece about Ewan MacGregor and his uncle , Denis Lawson . 

How can you check out the index of Blogs ? 

There is an index  published  originally in October 2014 which is  updated  regularly . Check it out on : 

http://perthshirecrieffstrathearnlocalhistor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/perthshire-crieffstrathearn-local.html

In addition  there is a easy source  of navigation  on the  right  hand  side of every Blog giving the year and  the number  published Click on this for the monthly details .

Why did you start this Blog ?

I had written  four books  covering the local history of Strathearn and  had taught further  
education classes locally in history and genealogy through Perth College ( University of the Highlands and Islands ) . In the process I had accumulated  substantial source information . The Blog  was an ideal method  of  putting things on a  wider stage ! 

Are you from Crieff or Strathearn ? 

No I was born in Renfrewshire in the west of Scotland and went to school in Glasgow before studying surveying at the Royal College of Science and Technology ( Strathclyde 
University ) . As a  child I  holidayed in Crieff on many occasions . My wife's family can be traced  back to the  17th century in Muthill and my own family  have all been  educated  and brought up in Strathearn .I have lived her  for over forty years so perhaps I just qualify as a native ! 

Why did  you choose to settle in Strathearn ?

I've worked  and lived in numerous  countries over many years . Crieff and Strathearn is my chosen home . The scenic  grandeur of our mountains and lochs , MacRosty Park , our hidden history and of  course , the  most important aspect  - the people who live here . I have  met and befriended so many genuine people - some  who sadlly are no longer  with us  but whose  memories  live on . Native sons - wee Alan Clark - lolly pop man and true charachter - Johnny Robertson- joiner and football player , coach and manager - Fraser Neil - auctioneer and charachter despite the Mr Grumpy facade !  Incomers  who found  a home amongst - Alan Rose - the big Highlander from Inverness - sadly  taken  from us  so young - a person  who got things  done like  buying a  full set of floodlights  from an English non League football club on ebay to illuminate the Braidhaugh training of Crieff Rugby ! Robin McNeill , engineer and organiser who partnered  me  for  some thirty years  organising our annual Rugby Sevens . There  were / are  so many more . This is home .

What do you consider the most important aspect of your Blogs ?

I have tried  to highlight  many aspects  of our Perthshire heritage  that  have been  either  neglected or forgotten . There are  many people and organisations working assiduously to promote the Strath amongst locals , visitors and , indeed, strangers .There is  clearly however a serious short fall in the projection and publicity of our many attributes . The  analysis  above  showing the  geographic distribution of those  who follow  this " Blog " is quite illuminating . I trust  Visit Scotland have tuned in and act accordingly - more  Tourist Offices  should  be opening and NOT closing - nuff said ! 

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