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Newsletter for 22nd July 2022

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  • Newsletter for 22nd July 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    Breaking records in Scotland for heat going over 40 degrees. Unlike here in Canada most homes in Scotland do not have air conditioning so I provide the following to help out...

    How to stay cool without air conditioning
    Staying cool can be done by using some basic supplies and knowing how to manipulate your home to control its temperatures. Here are 14 methods for doing so provided by CNN

    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.

    How can the next PM take on Nicola Sturgeon?
    One sorely neglected question in the Tory leadership race is how the next Prime Minister will deal with the Scottish Nationalists. That's not just a question of policy worthy though that debate is but of manners. As it happens, that's something the candidates could learn a great deal about from the Royal Family.

    Read more at:

    Looming Natural Gas Shortages Has the EU Scrambling for Solutions
    With the threat of recession and further inflation, Vladimir Putin could deal a devastating blow to the European Union if he cuts gas supplies this winter. Should that happen, it would be a major test of solidarity for the block.

    Read more at:

    The state of the Catholic Church in Canada, amid scandals and declining attendance
    What used to be a pillar in the social and political life of communities has become, for some, a reminder of this country's controversial history

    Read more at:

    Letter to Canadians from the Governor General
    It has now been a year since I became Canada’s 30th governor general, the first Indigenous person to serve in this role.

    Read more at:

    Scottish Government blasted over transparency and delays in answering questions
    Ministers have failed to respond to freedom of information requests on time on multiple occasions

    Read more at:

    Scots will endure 40C heatwaves as climate crisis grips
    Scots will endure extreme temperatures approaching 40C in the years ahead because of global warming, leading experts have told MPs attending a climate summit.

    Read more at:

    Scots team’s research finds Atlantic plankton all but wiped out in catastrophic loss of life
    An Edinburgh-based research team fears plankton, the tiny organisms that sustain life in our seas, has all but been wiped out after spending two years collecting water samples from the Atlantic.

    Read more at:

    Then there were two
    I am delighted Liz Truss will be in the final with Rishi Sunak. I want a change of economic policy as readers of this site will know. Liz Truss will give us that change. Rishi has accepted Treasury and Bank advice which has given us a high inflation and if unaltered will give us a recession next year. We can do better.

    Read more at:

    UK strikes new US deal with major state TODAY in 200bn turbo boost
    BREXIT Britain is a step closer to a free trade deal with the US today after boosting a 200billion agreement with North Carolina.

    Read more at:

    Growing a sweet and sustainable success with Lidl strawberries
    A SCOTTISH independent book shop has been named the UK's favourite family business of the year. The Book Nook in Stewarton took the top prize after being nominated by numerous locals of the east-Ayrshire town.

    Read more at:

    Stewarton's The Book Nook named UK's favourite family business of the year
    A SCOTTISH independent book shop has been named the UK's favourite family business of the year. The Book Nook in Stewarton took the top prize after being nominated by numerous locals of the east-Ayrshire town.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    William Watt
    (1830-1916) One of five brothers from Stromness in the Orkney Islands who joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in the mid-nineteenth century.

    You can read about him at:

    Memoirs of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton Bart.
    Edited by his son Charles Buxton, Esq. B.A. (1849) (second edition) (pdf)

    You can read about him at:

    Vankleek Hill, Ontario
    This self-declared Gingerbread Capital of Ontario has maintained an enviable stability throughout nearly 200 years of rapid industrial and social change. Now Vankleek Hill is at a crossroads, balancing the need to protect historic buildings and honour its past, with the need to manage development pressures and growth.

    You can learn more and watch a video at:

    The Farmer
    The Scot and his Draft Horse. Dean Rutherford claims for Scottish breeders the discovery of the relationship between form and function in draft horse — In all breeding undertakings Scottish breeders have combined beauty and utility in rare degree (pdf)

    You can read about this in The Farmer magazine at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 17th day of July 2022 - Playing Games
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    The city of Stratford is best known for its Shakespeare theatre festival. When the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season, throwing thousands of people out of work, the city's prescient policy of pursuing high tech opportunities helped keep the lights on.

    You can learn more and watch a video at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    July 20th 2022 - How to make your Scottish Organization Great

    You can view this talk at:

    The Pentland Rising & Rullion Green
    By Charles Sanford Terry, M.A. (1905) (pdf)

    You can read this account at:

    William Watt
    Representative Miner, a Scots American. A Tribute to his memory by Edward Curtis (1880) (pdf)

    You can read this tribute at:

    Fifty Years' Progress in Aberdeen 1851-1900
    By William Watt (1910) (pdf) Contributed by his great grandson, Graham Watt, Emeritus Professor, University of Glasgow. William Watt was joint proprietor and editor of the Aberdeen Free Press from 1872-1906, and his son, Edward Watt, Lord Provost (i.e. Mayor) of Aberdeen from 1935-38.

    You can read this at:

    A Catalogue of the Publications of Scottish Historical and Kindred Clubs and Societies
    And of the volumes relative to Scottish History issued by His Majesties Stationery Office 1780–1908 Ву Charles Sanford Terry, M.A., Burnett-Fletcher Professor of History in the University of Aberdeen (1909) (pdf)

    An excellent research resource and you can read this at:

    One of King William's Men
    Being Leaves from the Diary of Col. William Maxwell of Cardoness 1685 to 1697 Edited, with Memoir and Notes, by the Rev. H. M. B. Reid, B.D. With 10 Illustrations (1898) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    North British Cultivator
    A Treatise on Gardening, Agriculture, and Botany by Robert M'Nab, Member of the Perthshire Royal Horticultural Society (1842)

    You can read this at:

    Agriculture and the Community
    By Joseph F. Duncan, The Scottish Farm Servants Union (1921) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    University of Aberdeen
    Roll of Service in the Great War 1914-1919 edited by Mabel Desborough Allardyce (1921) (pdf)

    You can read this which includes many mini bios at:


    That School and Schoolmaster.
    (By a very old Boy.)

    Part I.
    THE noise that constantly issued from the ancient schoolhouse—a narrow, oblong building with thatched roof—made the ordinary hind start, and stare, and contemplate, as he wended his way to his work in the dinner hour. Perhaps his own children were among the crowd, and that is why he smiled in jocund self-satisfied fashion.

    Inside, the rustic youngsters, boys and girls, in corduroy trousers and velvet jackets, wincey frocks and white pinafores, throng in the centre of the establishment, and at the folding desks that stretch along the walls. Awav at the upper end of the school is a class of children—Class No. 1—standing in concentrated semi-circular form. Between the horns of the crescent sits our dominie on his chair—a little god. Our Dominie is not one of the type usually found in literature, lean and wizened faced, with spectacles on nose, and scarecrow limbs in knee-breeches, and arrayed in threadbare black-brown coat—a meagre, feckless individual, at whom pupils point the finger of scorn. No! he is not one of the old-world race! He is comparatively modern. A man of middle height, of middle age, well fed and well clad. His sleek hair is done up to perfection. Want of competition has beguiled him into the habit of taking life leisurely. He might be termed lazy.

    Leaning back in his chair there, with eyes half closed, and legs crossed, he is “hearkening” Class No. 1. One by one, the small boys and girls—this is before the days of separate classes—march up to the Dominie’s side. In his left hand he holds the ABC, and in his right hand a pencil. Mechanically, without looking on the lesson, he traces his pencil across the page, and mumbles the letters of the alphabet, the child drowsily repeating each letter and word after him. The man is in a kind of reverie, or dreamland, and beneficent as his absolute good nature. No fear of any “palmies” at this particular moment!

    While he is thus teaching the young idea how to shoot, the great din is sustained in the body of the school. Groups of robust boys clamour together, or fight with each other in the centre of the room. On a stray form, two or three con their lessons in sing-song tones. At the desk by the wall, an earnest pupil is to be seen pouring over his “Grey” and slate, and doing his “counts”—working his fingers to help his intellectual summations, as if he were thumping the keys of a piano. The girls arrange themselves in small coteries, and stealthily display some fragment of a rag which, some day, is to be turned into a doll’s dress.

    The Maister is, for the moment, in the very essence of his enjoyment, “hearkening” the little ones, and revelling in dreamland. He is not always in so fine a temper. His moods contrast like day and night ; or, as the shepherd’s son graphically phrases it, “he’s either a’ honey or a’ glaur.” Just before he sat down to his task there, he had thrashed the school into quietude. But it is a quietude that does not last. One boy whispers to another, a third to a fourth, and so on—cautiously as rata emerging from their hiding after a serious fright—until the speech becomes general, and a buzzing of tongues fills the room.

    High above the universal confusion, is confusedly heard the voice of Bob Trummil, a thick-set, thick-pated rustic? with greedy, but innocent blue eyes, and the cuffs of his moleskin jacket glazed to the elbows through constant application of that part of his raiment to his mouth and nose—which always seems to “run,” as if he were afflicted with a perpetual cold in the head. There he stands, in the middle of the floor, and bellows according to his own particular programme. Bob, you see, has his duty. It is the fashion of our school. Just after the Dominie has thrashed us into silence, and settled himself down to the easy “hearkening” of No. 1, he had shouted out “Hands up”—which meant that all arms must be folded across the breast—and “ Mouths shut.” When that was accomplished, he appointed Bob to “call out” the names of the scholars who might be observed talking. By the way, the boy chosen for this kind of business was usually regarded as a “tale-pyot.”

    Bob stands in the centre of the school and calls out, or rather bawls out, one or two names, the owner of which receive their “skults,” for speaking. A couple of boys are .-similarly treated for showing an inclination to -commence a fight. Then the Dominie fades completely into dreamland, and Bob is left severely alone to call out the names of delinquents—but all unheeded. Half an hour gpes by, and the Dominie begins gradually to come back from dreamland. Bob, who knows every expression of the Maister’s countenance, is aware that the return journey has begun, and his yelling of names, consequently, becomes more laborious. With gaze fixed on three incorrigible companions, he roars their names through his stuffed nose—Dodd Dudd, Tab Swadd, Wull Freebuird—which, being interpreted, means George Dunn, Thomas Swan, William Freebairn. The eyes of the Dominie open; he is irritated by the tones; and, looking up with a face of anger, instead of complimenting Bob for his diligence, he commanded him to “go to the door, and blow your nose, you filthy fellow.” Some of the youngsters laugh at the words; there is a buzzing all round. The Dominie is now thoroughly wide awake, and the mood of wrath is upon him. He fixes his eyes upon the three incorrigibles, Dunn, Swan, and Freebairn, and, pulling his long tawse from his coat pocket, he coils them into a ball, and hurls the said ball fiercely at the heads of the trio. It strikes Tom Swan. “Bring the tawse here, sir.” Off marches the boy, dolefully, to the desk, and is rewarded with a whacking that sends him back to his form in tears. That but whets the Maister’s desire to assert his authority. Round the school he careers like a whirlwind, smiting right and left whoever may come in his way. Happily, the tempest does not last long. He quickly gets the round of the school, and is back to his desk —albeit with red face and flashing eyes—while the scholars cower in silent terror, until they are quite sure that he has cooled down. Truly, he is “either a’ honey or a’ glaur.”

    Our Dominie had his own way of teaching. No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3, he “heard” in a somnolent way, sliding cannily into dreamland. The two higher classes he “hearkened” standing, with his eyes very wide open. If their reading and spelling were passable, he was pleased.

    Grammar! Well, we had, properly speaking, no grammar—at all events, no grammar books. When the reading and spelling were finished, in the classes above No. 3, he would take the book and go to some extent over the lesson, sentence by sentence, scholar after scholar. The first sentence, say, begins—“And he said unto them.” “Now, James,” he would demand, “what part of speech is ‘and’.” “A conjunction, sir.” “Quite right. Next. Jessie, what part of speech is ‘he’?” “A pronoun, sir.” “Right again. John, what part of speech is ‘said’?” “A verb, sir.” “Quite correct, John.” And in such manner the catechising went round the entire class.

    Nor had we any manuals of geography. We were called up into classes, in crescent shape once more, and a map was hung up on a large perpendicular frame, in front of us. Each boy and girl was armed with a “pointer”—a dried, taper, willow wand. The Dominie began at the top of the class. The “dux” was commanded to walk forward and point out the place on the map named by the Maister—England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, Asia-, Africa., America, or any country—according to the map displayed. If the first pupil succeeded in the ordeal, good and well ; if he, or she, failed, then the next was tried, and thus in the old “trapping”—does anybody mind that word now?—style, one would get above the other in the class. It was a funny, and occasionally an exciting performance. Very often the “pointer” of some “dunce” struggled mysteriously over the map, and the Dominie would then give vent to a superior sneer. At times, the pointer ran clean through the canvas altogether, and the delinquent naturally looked for an amiable but a firm chastisement.

    It was, too, a primitive style, in which we learned or practised our arithmetic. The “counting,” indeed, was nearly as much of a physical as a mental exercise. Twice a week the chief class was gathered round a form. The Dominie called out the “count”: we worked it out at lightning speed, and dashed forward to lay our slates on the chair placed in the centre of the class for the purpose. The accumulated divit of slates was turned over, and the bottom one was winner if the answer happened to be correct. If it were not correct, then the next, and the next, and so on, came under inspection. The idea of swiftness generally dominated the ambitious, and it was very often found that the undermost slate bore the wrong answer.

    Our Dominie’s strong point, I should say, tended towards the ecclesiastical. Every morning he rang a Psalm—we joining in the chorus —end said the Lord’s Prayer. Every morning he indulged in a. Bible Lesson, each verse being read by a pupil in rotation. On afternoons, too, every now and then, when the mood was upon him, he made us take our Bibles, and. standing in front of his desk, he would open his own Bible at a chance place, and shout out to us a random chapter and verse—“Job, seventh and tenth,” or anything else. You heard a whirlwindish rustling of pages, and in the next moment, a dozen shrill tongues yelling out the three first words of the verse mentioned by the Dominie—or some other thing, by mistake.

    In ecclesiastical teaching the Maister, indeed, was great. He saturated us with the Catechisms—Shorter and Longer—and especially grounded us in the “proofs.” As an auxiliary, he introduced the “New Testament Biography.” I never knew what it was all about. I was well aware it was a book of questions on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, but I never understood it. Those rueful interrogations ! They seemed to my young imagination as so many small hump-backed men standing on sentinal duty, and ready to report me for condign punishment, if I could not answer them.

    Alas, I never could answer them—few of us could—and the consequence was a steady and sturdy administration of the tawse—for the Dominie really was anxious to lick the heathenish ignorance out of us. Yet, I must confess, that for many a year afterwards Paul, and Peter, and James, and John, were never very great favourites of mine. Even to this day that intricate and indigestible biography has for me ungracious memories.


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.