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Newsletter 9th December 2011

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  • Newsletter 9th December 2011

    Electric Scotland News
    What's new on
    The Flag in the Wind
    Christina McKelve MSP
    Through the Long Day
    Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
    Scottish Poets in America
    Elsie Inglis
    George Millward McDougall
    Robert Burns Lives!
    History of the Burgh and Parish Schools of Scotland
    Memories Grave and Gay
    Chronicles of Gretna Green (New Book)
    A Scots Boy's World Sixty Years Ago (New Book)
    FamilyTree DNA

    Electric Scotland News
    I got in a note to say that the Annual Burns Supper in Toronto is on Saturday, January 21st at the Granite Club. Always a popular event that usually sells out. You can order tickets on the Scottish Studies web site at and I might add you can also arrnge for some free Scottish Dancing Lessons on Jan 7th & 14th.


    This time next week I'll be having eye surgery so not sure what condition my eyes will be in to do this newsletter. I'll likely do it a day early as hopefully I'll at least be able to send it out.


    As I got in Christina McKelview MSP's diary this week I discovered a couple of history books on towns in her constituency and these can be found at

    These are mainly the towns of Hamilton and Stonehouse.


    As it is that time of year when we are looking to book our holidays for 2012 I thought I'd give a plug to our longest running advertiser, Scottish Accommodation Index. In our menu you'll see the first link is for "Accommodation" and that link takes you their web site at

    They have now been with us for some 8 years and we very much appreciate their business. While the link they provide is to their Scottish Accomodation they also have a UK operation which you csn get to at and there you can also book accommodation in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

    And so if you are looking for accommodation in the UK please consider using there services.

    Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section in our site menu and at and also

    This week I focussed on the Armed Forces of Canada. Essentially I spent considerable time using the Internet Archives to locate pdf books about the various regiments. This means we now have some great information available about the army and navy and I have a book coming giving some information on the Air Force. You can get to all this at

    Also added Baldwin, LaFontaine, Hincks By Stephen Leacock (1909). Makers of Canada. You can get to this at

    This weeks Flag was compiled by Gary Knox, a new member of the team, and here is a bit about him...

    Garry is 42 and has been a party activist since the age of 3 when he was involved in his first winning SNP campaign in West Lothian. (SI Editor Jim Lynch remembers the 3 year old!)

    Garry has been a successful and innovative campaign manager, delivering several winning campaigns in elections to Edinburgh District Council, Lothian Regional Council and West Lothian Council in the early to mid 90’s. In 1997, Garry organised the by-election campaign which elected Angela Constance (now his wife and Minister for Youth Employment) to West Lothian Council on the same day as Tony Blair’s New Labour landslide and in the heart of Robin Cook’s constituency.

    Since then, Garry’s major contribution to the party has been to support Angela’s continued success as an elected representative, culminating in organising the campaign which delivered the Livingston seat to the SNP in 2007 with a swing of 8% and the 2011 campaign which saw Angela’s notional majority of 4 increased to 5,442 with 55% of the vote on a swing of 9%.

    Garry also served on the party’s National Organisation Committee for several years.

    Garry recently set up a company specialising in innovative Point of Sale products with his business partner. Preceding that, Garry worked for 12 years with Ingenico, at the time the world’s largest provider of Chip & PIN devices, and was head of Product Marketing for its Northern European division before moving into a Strategic Business Development role where he secured multi-million pound contracts for the company in new markets.

    Angela gave birth to their son, Cyrus, in October 2007. Despite his many professional and political achievements , Garry is most proud of his wife and wee boy.

    We also note the death of Ian Goldie a long time contributor to the Flag and we send out condolances to his family, friends and colleagues.

    You can get to the Flag at

    Christina McKelve MSP
    Christina has sent us in an update on things she has been working on in the past couple of months. You can read her diary at

    Through the Long Day
    Or Memorials of a Literary Life during half a century by Charles MacKay LL.D. (1887)

    This week have added...

    Chapter VII - The "London" Review
    Chapter VIII - New York During the Civil War

    You can get to this at

    Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
    We've added more to this disctionary...

    Scottish Language Letter E

    You can read this at

    Scottish Poets in America
    With Biographical and Critical Notices by John D, Ross (1889)

    Now added...

    Henderson, Daniel Mclntyre

    You can read this at

    Elsie Inglis
    By Eva Shaw McLaren A new book we're starting.

    Now got quite a few chapters up...


    Chapter I - Elsie Inglis
    Tributes from various sources—A woman of solved problems

    Chapter II - The Rock from which She was Hewin
    Elsie Inglis the central figure on the stage—Men and women of the past, the people of her race, crowd round her—Their influence on her—Their spirit seen in hers

    Chapter III - 1864-1894
    Childhood in India—Friendship with her father—Schooldays in Edinburgh—Death of her mother—Study of Medicine—Death of her father—Practice started in Edinburgh in 1894—Twenty years of professional life: interests, friendships—Varied Descriptions of Dr. Inglis by Miss S. E. S. Mair and Dr. Beatrice Russell

    Chapter IV - Her Medical Career
    Fellow-students' and doctors' reminiscences—The New School of Medicine for Women in Edinburgh—The growth of her practice—Her sympathy with her poor patients—The founding of The Hospice—Some characteristics

    Chapter V - The Solved Problems
    The problems of the unmarried woman—Dr. Inglis's unpublished novel, The Story of a Modern Woman—Quotations from the novel—Many parts of novel evidently autobiographical—Heroine in novel solves the problem of "the lonely woman"

    Chapter VI - "Her Children"
    Dr. Inglis a child-lover—Her writings full of the descriptions of children—Quotations from the novel

    Chapter VII - The Hospice
    Founded 1901—Description of premises in the High Street amongst the poor of Edinburgh—Dr. Inglis's love for The Hospice

    In Chapter VI we learn...

    "Wonderful courage," "intrepidity of action," "strength of purpose," "no weakening pity"—these are terms that are often used in describing Elsie Inglis. But there is another side to her character, not so well known, from its very nature bound to be less known, which it is the purpose of this chapter to discover.

    Elsie Inglis was a very loving woman, and she was a child-lover. From every source that touched her life, and, touching it, brought her into contact with child-life, she, by her interest in children, drew to herself this healing link with the future. The children of her poorer patients knew well the place they held in her heart. "They would watch from the windows, on her dispensary days, for her, and she would wave to them across the street. She would often stop them in the street, and ask after their mother, and even after she had been to Serbia and had returned to Edinburgh she remembered them and their home affairs."

    The daily letters to her father, written from Glasgow and London and Dublin, are full of stories about the children of her patients. Who but a genuine child-lover could have found time to write to a little niece, under twelve, letters from Serbia and Russia—one in August, 1915, during "The Long, Peaceful Summer," and the other in an ambulance train near Odessa?

    Her book, The Story of a Modern Woman, contains many descriptions which reveal a mind to whom the ways of children are of deep interest. We draw once more from the pages of the novel, as in no other way can we show so well the mother-heart that was hers.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    You can read the other chapters at

    George Millward McDougall
    The Pioneer, Patriot and Missionary by John McDougall (1888)

    We have now completed this book which you can read at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    By Frank Shaw

    Added Chapter 128 - In Search of Highland Mary By Dr. Gerard Carruthers, Glasgow University.

    Once again we welcome our friend Gerard Carruthers to the pages of Robert Burns Lives!. There are six books by Gerry in my Scottish library: Robert Burns (Writers and Their Work series); Burns (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets); The Fornicators Court (Facsimile version of a book owned by Sir Walter Scott); The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Burns; Scottish Literature (Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature); and Walter Scott’s Reliquiae Trotcosienses. Whenever Gerry publishes additional works, they will join those already on my bookshelves.

    A talented author with a keen intellect, Gerry possesses a comprehensive and analytical mind. He is tireless in his writings, teaching, and assistance to his students and lay people like me. I’ll always be indebted to Gerry for his invaluable assistance regarding Burns. He has been a guest in our home on two occasions, and there will always be a knife, fork and bed reserved in his honor.

    Gerry spoke at our November meeting of the Burns Club of Atlanta. He has done so before and will do so again. Our membership is quite taken with this man whose passion for Burns and all things Scottish must be shared with those around him. His presentation on Highland Mary was especially intriguing, and Gerry graciously consented for the remarks to be placed in the club’s newsletter as well as here in the pages of Robert Burns Lives! (FRS: 12.7.11)

    You can read this at

    You can read the other chapters in this series at

    History of the Burgh and Parish Schools of Scotland
    By James Grant M.A. (1876).

    We now have up...

    Part I - Schools before the Reformation

    Chapter I

    Part II - Schools after the Reformation

    Chapter I - The Church in relation to Schools
    Chapter II - Patronage and Constitution of Schools

    You can read this book at

    Memories Grave and Gay
    Forty Years of School Inspection by John Kerr LL.D.

    we now have up the first 15 chapters which can be viewed at

    Chronicles of Gretna Green
    By Peter Orlando Hutchinson (1844)


    The following Work must not be mistaken for a fiction: it is not a fiction, it is a history. If we have not everywhere preserved the sedate and plodding doggedness of the grave historian, this will nothing invalidate our veracity ; for we believe we may confidently say, that we have not brought forward any fact, professedly as such, without having had good authority for so doing. Our materials and our anecdotes were collected ^ in the parish of Gretna Green itself, and that, too, 2 from such sources as may be held worthy of credit. That portion of the Work most pleasurable to the general taste, will, perhaps, be the Second Volume, or the portion which comes down nearer to the present day; but if there are any persons living who have visited the Hymeneal shrine of Gretna, (which no doubt there are,) we hope they will not feel offended at anything these pages contain. Our purpose has not been to annoy any one, but only to write a history.

    A word for the illustrations. The survey for the Map was made before our own eyes; and though not trigonometrically done, we believe it to be tolerably accurate. The views are engraved from sketches made by us on the spot, and their fidelity may be relied on.

    London, December 1843.

    This is a 2 volume publication and the first volume is more a history of Scotland with references to Gretna Green. The second volume is about Gretna Green itself.

    For those that don't know about Gretna Green this is the place where many young English couples went to get married as the legal age for getting married was younger in Scotland than in England.

    Here Chapter First begins the work,
    With matters worth your heeding,
    With legends, old traditions, tales,
    As ye may see by reading.

    A dread commeth over us as we take our grey goose-quill in hand, and set our joints to the writing of this most notable history. There is something magical about the words "Gretna Green;" and we never hear them but we instantly "prick up our ears," as some tender poet saith, and are straightway filled with curiosity, interest, yearning, and desire. Wherefore, borne up and borne along by this conviction, and especially for the explication of certain erroneous ideas which the distant world has assumed touching traditions of this place, do we submit the pages here following to the consideration of the reader.

    The parish of Gretna, or Graitney, as it is sometimes written, lies in the county of Dumfries, and is situate, as most run-aways well know, close on the borders of Scotland and England: and that border is here defined by the small river, Sark. The western sea, or, under correction, the Sol way Firth, lies here so contiguous that the tide flows up to the very bridge that runs over the said river, over which bridge runs the Queen's highway, 'twixt Carlisle and Annan, and over which highway run lovers not a few.

    About two miles on the English side of the Sark, we have the river Esk, in some sort parallel thereunto, and also falling into the Solway Firth : it is traversed by a fair stone and iron bridge, and is a larger stream than the former by fourfold.

    Betwixt these two, lies the "Debateable Land," a region especially noted in the pages of historiographers, and the scene of many a bloody strife when the borderers could not agree. This Debateable Land was, however, scarcely worth debating about, seeing that it is a bog, a march, a quagmire, a swamp, across which a man cannot pass at hazard, lest he sink, being made up of peat, which the inhabitants in the vicinage procure for fuel. Now, a peat Log- in this country, they call a "moss," or a "peat-moss," and this identical one goes by the name of "Solway Moss." There are many such, not only liere about, but in divers parts of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

    You can read this book at

    A Scots Boy's World Sixty Years Ago
    By George Ernest Philip (1922)


    In the pages which follow, an attempt is made to record a few of the early impressions and fancies of childhood, together with some scattered memories of a boy's life in the home, at school and on holiday, nearly sixty years ago. In so far as these are purely personal they can have little interest for any but the narrowest circle of intimates, yet, as authentic recollections, it is possible that they may cast an occasional side light on the working of the child mind, or at least help to preserve some picture of its environment in a past generation.

    While ruminating over bygone days it has been an agreeable surprise to find with what crisp sharpness apparently trifling incidents have traced themselves on the sensitive film of memory and how readily they fall into something like symmetrical sequence. That these homely snapshots may not at once evaporate they are here developed, fixed and printed. With Bunyan, in his famous Apology, I might truly say that there were—

    More than twenty things that I set down.
    This done I twenty more had in my crown,
    And they again began to multiply
    Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.
    * * * * *
    When at the first I took my pen in hand,
    Thus for to write; I did not understand
    That I at all should make a little hook
    In such a mode; I only thought to make
    I knew not what: nor did I undertake
    Thereby to please my neighbour; no, not I;
    I did it my own self to gratify.

    If, however, the pictures presented help to awaken slumbering memories of long ago in the hearts of others, some good purpose may, perhaps, have been served.

    The different chapters have, for the most part, appeared at intervals in the Glasgow Herald, Aberdeen Free Press and other papers whose Editors kindly consent to their reproduction in the present form.

    G. E. P

    I think you'll find this book to be one of these wee gems where we learn something about how the young folk lived around the mid 19th century.

    You can read this book at

    FamilyTree DNA
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    The FamilyTree DNA advert in our site header points to the clan istings at

    I might add that this company was the one chosen by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs as there recommended DNA research organisation and had a special tent at the last Gathering of the Clans in Edinburgh. They are also very good a responding to emails.

    And finally...

    This was an email I received today and thought I'd share it with you...

    How many of these 20 jokes do you get?

    Hint: this is difficult; even if you were born and brought up in Scotland you may not get them all! If you get more than eight you become an honorary Scotsman/woman)!

    1. A pregnant teenage girl phones her dad at midnight and says: 'Can you come and get me? I think ma water has broken.

    'Okay,' says her dad. 'Where are you ringing from?'

    ' From my knickers tae ma feet.'

    2. A Glasgow woman goes to the dentist and settles down in the chair.

    'Comfy?'asks the dentist.

    'Govan,' she replies.

    3. What did the Siamese twins from Glasgow call their autobiography...?

    Oor Wullie.

    4. A guy walks into an antiques shop and says: 'How much for the set of antlers?'

    ' Two hundred quid,' says the bloke behind the counter.

    'That's affa dear,' says the guy.

    5. Did you hear about the fella who liked eating bricks and cement?

    He's awa' noo.

    6. After announcing he's getting married, a boy tells his pal he'll be wearing the kilt.

    'And what's the tartan?' asks his mate.

    'Oh, she'll be wearing a white dress,'

    7. Ten cows in a field. Which one is closest to Iraq ?

    Coo eight.

    8. Three wee jobbies sitting on the pavement.

    Which one's a Musketeer?

    The dark tan yin.

    9. A Scotsman in London is having trouble phoning his sister from a telephone box. So he calls the operator who asks in a plummy voice:

    'Is there money in the box?'

    'Naw, it's just me,' he replies.

    10. While getting ready to go out, a wee wifie says to her husband:

    'Do you think I'm getting a wee bit pigeon chested?'

    And he says: 'Aye, but that's why I love you like a doo.'

    11. What was the name of the first Scottish/American Indian?

    Hawkeye The Noo.

    12. What do you call a pigeon that goes to Aviemore for its holidays?

    A skean dhu..

    13. How many Spanish guys does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Just Juan.

    14. A man takes a pair of shoes back to the shop and complains that there is a lace missing.

    ' No,' argues the assistant, 'Look at the label - it says Taiwan .'

    15. What's the difference between The Rolling Stones and an Aberdeen sheep farmer?

    The Rolling Stones say: 'Hey you, get off of my cloud.'

    And an Aberdeen sheep farmer says: 'Hey McLeod, get off of ma ewe.'

    16. What do you call an illegitimate Scottish insect?

    A wee fly b*****d.

    17. Did you hear about the BBC Scotland series that features the queue for the toilets at Waverley Station?

    It's called The Aw' Needin' Line.

    18. While being interviewed for a job as a bus driver, a guy is asked:

    'What would you do if you had a rowdy passenger?'

    ' I'd put him off at the next stop,' he says.

    'Good. And what would you do if you couldn't get the fare?'

    'I'd take the first two weeks in August,' he replies.

    19. Two negatives make a positive but only in Scotland do two positives make a negative -

    'Aye right.' C'moan, get aff'

    20. A Glasgow man - steaming and skint - is walking down Argyle Street When he spots a guy tinkering with the engine of his car!

    'What's up Jimmy?' he asks.

    'Piston broke,' he replies.

    'Aye, same as masel...

    And that's all for this week and hope you all have a good weekend.


  • #2
    Re: Newsletter 9th December 2011

    Christina McKelview MSP's diary

    Thanks to Christina :angelic: for the great coverage she gave on the Nuclear Veteran's issue from the Scottish perspective, great to see more pressure being brought to bear on the MOD and the UK government.