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Newsletter 22nd January 2021

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  • Newsletter 22nd January 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News
    Paid for the Community upgrade this week so hopefully that will mean we'll complete this work in the next couple of weeks.


    It seems on TV that the only news is about the new and old US Presidents and the virus. Although there have been discussions on the shutting down of President Trump by big tech and social media and the implications for free speech.


    I am finding I'm watching much more on YouTube which I'm doing just to get away from all the stories on the virus.


    Got a new water heater installed this week which is a rent to own scheme. I was using Reliance in Canada to rent it but they are now increasing the price each year so I thought it was time to do something about that. I've signed a new 12 year contract at the same monthly cost as I spent will Reliance but this way the price is fixed over the 12 year period after which I will own it. Mind you whether I'll still be around in 12 years time is another matter!!!


    Seems the vaccine roll out is hitting problems across the world. For example... How the EU Has Bungled Its Vaccine Rollout can be read at:
    But I note loss of vaccine due to transportation issues in the US and also around the world. Much discussion on whether to just give the first dose of vaccine to more people then delay the second dose for up to another 12 weeks or so. Many, many, stories on whether the vaccine is effective or not. Let's remember that only after the second dose is injected will we know for certain if it is working or not. Mind you enough people need to get the vaccine for it to be effective.

    Various Scottish news stories on the virus included in our ScotNews feed are:
    Sturgeon shamed over vaccine failures as SNP leader scrambles to recruit British Army help.
    Sturgeon and Freeman can’t hide their ducking of Covid care home inquiry.
    Massive coronavirus testing lab due to open in Scotland is hit by delay. As officials reveal they have yet to secure a building.

    It's this last one in particular that to me highlights the sheer incompetence of the SNP. Heaven help Scotland if they get an independent Scotland with the SNP running the show.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    UK Government borrowing
    A contributor asked for an update on government debt.

    Read more at:

    Gordon Brown's blunt warning to Nicola Sturgeon: Rest of UK will get our pensions
    GORDON BROWN warned the SNP that the UK would get the lion's share of the pension fund in the event of Scotland achieving independence.

    Read more at:

    Trump Receives Morocco’s Highest Award for Middle East Work
    President Donald Trump on Friday received Morocco’s highest award for his work in advancing a normalization deal between Israel and Morocco, a senior administration official told Reuters.

    Read more at:

    Big Burns Night In - Your unique chance to celebrate Burns
    Join the National Trust for Scotland for a Big Burns Night In which will also help the charity

    Read more at:

    Trump Administration Accomplishments
    Unprecedented Economic Boom. Before the China Virus invaded our shores, we built the world’s most prosperous economy.

    Read more at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - 17th January 2021
    By the Nola-Susan Crewe JD, MDiv, MA, GCTJ

    View this at:

    The New Stone Age:the immigrants from France who changed the face of Scotland 6,000 years ago
    Our new series looks at the dawn of the Neolithic period in Scotland around 4,000BC, when immigrants from the near Continent arrived and revolutionised the country. We look at the people, the way of life, the rituals and the violence that helped to shape this most fascinating era.

    Read more at:

    The Scottish postman behind Sea Shanty TikTok
    When Scottish postman Nathan Evans is not delivering parcels, he is posting viral videos on TikTok.

    Read more at:

    How tweed became a symbol of Scottish culture
    In Scotland’s hills and islands, textile traditions touch on sustainability and local pride while making a mark in high fashion.

    Read more at:

    Sir Walter Scott and the Grand Tour
    By Andrew Hook in the Scottish Review

    Read more at:

    Qatar’s victory over the Middle East blockade is a boon for Brexit Britain
    Qatar has emerged as a Singapore-style economic powerhouse, with enormous affection for Britain

    Read more at:

    New Stone Age: Discovery of massive island ritual site
    The spectacular feature in the landscape is likely to have drawn people from all over a Scottish island around 5,000 years ago for ritual and ceremony.

    Read more at:

    Take Biden seriously
    Why the new president’s call for unity is more than a platitude

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Fox Farming in Canada
    By Agriculture Canada (1979) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Indian Life in the Great North-West
    By Egerton R. Young, Missionary to the North American Tribes North of Lake Winnipeg (1840) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Farming Opportunities in Ontario
    Printed by Order of The Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario (1911) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Farming in the North-West of Canada
    Actual Results. The following extracts are taken at random in books and newspapers as they came at hand. They embrace a period of nearly thirty years and apply to various localities in the prairie country. which extends from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains, a distance of more than a thousand miles. They show in the most conclusive manner that farming in the North West of Canada offers advantages which can be found in no other parts of the world. When the immigrant arrives in that "paradise of fertility," all that he has to do is to plough, sow and reap. Ditching, draining and similar operations, so laborious and expensive in other farming countries, are unknown and useless in the prairies of the North-West.

    You can read this at:

    Farming, Ranching and Social Conditions in Western Canada
    A series of articles written by practical men on subjects of interest to those looking to better their present condition. Fifth Edition, April, 1911 (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - 17th January 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe.

    You can view this at:

    Better Farming, Better Air
    A scientific analysis of farming practice and greenhouse gases in Canada March 2008 (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Covid video advert in Scotland (mp4)
    You can view this at:

    The Best of 25 Years of the Scottish Review
    Under the editorship of Kenneth Roy

    Tons of reading here where we provide a video of the memorial for Kenneth Roy and also a review of his last book along with 3 ebooks of stories from the Scottish Review. You can read all this at:

    Musings of a Tank Commander
    Got in Part 24 - Patriot games in Kuwait

    You can read this and previous chapters at:

    Soldiers of the King: Their Battles, Sieges and Campaigns
    By Col. G. J. Harcourt (1902) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    An Account of the Life and Writings of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton
    Including biographical sketches of the most eminent legal characters, since the institution of the Court of Session by James V. till the period of the Union of the Crowns by Patrick Fraser Tytler (1897) (pdf)

    You can read this at:


    The Aged Piper and his Bagpipe
    From the Celtic Magazine November 1879

    There are many incidents of deep interest connected with the attempt to reinstate the Stuarts on the British throne. Since the period of the Rebellion, many things have occurred, and not a few changes have happily tended to strengthen the reigning dynasty, and to extinguish the Stuarts' last ray of hope. The Stuart family, as is well known, had many friendly and faithful adherents in the Highlands of Scotland, by whom every attempt was made at the time to obtain the services and to secure the allegiance of the powerful and brave. The subject of this brief notice was a man far-famed in his day, for his proficiency in the martial music of the Highlands, and not less so for his personal agility and warlike spirit John Macgregor, one of the celebrated “Clann Sgdulaich,” a native of Fortingall, a parish in the Highlands of Perthshire, was, like too many of his countrymen, warmly attached to the Prince’s cause. He embraced, in consequence, the earliest opportunity of joining his standard. Soon after Charles had set his foot on the soil of Scotland, Macgregor resorted without delay to the general rendezvous of the clans at Glenfinnan, and shortly became a great favourite with the Prince. Macgregor was a powerful man, handsome, active, well-built, and about six feet in height. He was a close attendant upon his Royal Highness—accompanied him in all his movements, and was ever ready and willing to serve him in every emergency. Charles placed great confidence in his valiant piper, and was in the habit of addressing him in kind and familiar terms. Unfortunately, however, the gallant piper had but a very scanty knowledge of the English language, and could not communicate to his Royal Highness various tidings that might be of service to be known. The Prince, however, acquired as much of the Celtic tongue, in a comparatively short time, as enabled him to say, "Seid suaa do phiob, Iain ” (Blow up your pipe, John). This was a frequent and favourite command of the Prince. When he entered into the city of Edinburgh, and likewise after the luckless Cope and his dragoons took flight at Prestonpans, the Prince loudly called, “Seid soas do phiob, Iain.” John could well do so, and the shrill notes of his powerful instrument were heard from afar. He stood by the Prince in all his movements, and went wherever he went. He joined in the march to Derby; was present at the battle of Falkirk; played at the siege of Stirling Castle; and appeared with sword and pipe at the irretrievable defeat at Culloden, where, alas! on the evening of the fatal day, he beheld the last sight of his beloved Prince.

    Poor John received rather a severe wound by a ball in the left thigh, causing a considerable loss of blood, and consequent weakness. By the aid of a surgeon which he fortunately met with, the wound was dressed, and he made the best of his way, after many hair breadth escapes and distressing deprivations, to his native glen, where he resided to the day of his death. He had numerous descendants—four sons and eight grandsons and all of them pipers. Of these, the last alive, but now dead, was a grandson, the aged piper referred to at the head of this article, who was also a John Macgregor.

    The identical bagpipe with which Macgregor cheered the spirits of his Jacobite countrymen in their battles and skirmishes was still in the possession of this grandson, the John Macgregor already alluded to, who departed this life only a few years ago, at a very advanced age, at Drumcharry, in the parish of Fortingall. The instrument was in excellent preservation, and was undoubtedly worthy of a place in some museum. It had but two drones, the third in such instruments being but a modern appendage. Its chanter was covered with silver plates, bearing inscriptions in English and Gaelic. The late Sir John Athole Macgregor, Bart., added one plate to it, on which are inscribed the following words in both languages:—“These pipes, belonging to John Macgregor, piper to his Grace the Duke of Athole, were played by his grandfather, John Macgregor, in the battles of Prince Charles Stuart’s army in 1745-6, and this inscription was placed on them by his Chief, Sir John Athole Macgregor, Bart, of Macgrogor, in 1846, to commemorate their honourable services.”

    The late owner, John Macgregor, was also a celebrated piper in his day, and was able to play the old pipe with wonderful efficiency, until he parted with it, as described below. He gained the prize pipe at the Edinburgh competition for Piobaireachd in July 1811. He was for several years in his youth piper to his Grace the Duke of Athole, and subsequently to Mr Farquhanson of Monaltrie, and Mr Farquharson of Finzean, In 1813 he played at the assembling of the Isle of Man proprietors at Tynwald Hill. He performed at the head of his clan in Edinburgh during the Royal visit in 1822. He played the Piobairoachd, “Than na Griogairich, Thain na Griogairich, tbainig, thkinig, than’ na Griogairich,” in the great procession, when his Chief, Sir Evan Macgregor, Bart, of Macgregor, was conveying the Regalia of Scotland from the Castle to the Palace of Holyrood. He was piper to the Athole Highlanders at the Eglington Tournament in 1839, and had the honour of performing before Her Majesty the Queen at Taymouth Castle. But John became latterly frail and aged, and was unfortunately in rather straitened circumstances. He was modest and unassuming, and would rather endure privations than let his wants be made known to others.

    Worthy old John about sixteen years ago communicated by letter with his namesake, the writer, and gave in detail the above particulars relative to his grandfather and his ancient bagpipe. It was recommended to John, for his own benefit, as well as for the preservation of the interesting relic of the olden times in his possession, to give his consent to a notice being inserted in the public prints, that he was willing to part with it to some benevolent antiquary. The consent was given and the notice duly made public. In a very short space of time John received letters from several parties of distinction, among whom was Mr Mackenzie of Seaforth, and other Highland proprietors, offering handsome sums for the valuable relic. At length the advertisement was observed by his Grace the Duke of Athole, who lost no time in acquainting the aged Macgregor that he had every desire to become the owner of the interesting instrument, and that he behoved to have it, as John was willing to part with it. His Grace at the same time intimated to the old man that he would allow him not only a sum equal to the highest offered to him by any other, but would in addition settle upon him a comfortable half-yearly pension as long as he lived. It is needless to say that the Culloden bagpipe became at once the property of his Grace, and that, no doubt, it now lies in silence in the ducal repositories of Athole, while old John Macgregor has been for some years in the silence of the grave.


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