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Newsletter for 19th August 2022

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  • Newsletter for 19th August 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    More than usual this week so hope you enjoy the articles and books. I particularly enjoyed reading about the History of the Clydesdale Horse.


    I note that Canadians are watching less sport these days and in particular ice hockey is seeing a major decline. How much hockey is too much? Viewership for Canada's sport on the decline, poll finds. Read more at:


    I also note that exams results in both Canada and the UK have declined this year with actual results now being used instead of teacher assessments as in the previous couple of years. Looks like teachers were too generous in their grading.


    I note the UK Inflation rate is at 10.1% for July whereas Canada's is 7.6%. I do have a link in the news section which will allow you to see how inflation is in other countries in the world.

    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.

    Swarms of Mini Robots Could Dig the Tunnels of the Future
    The underground excavation industry is exploring mini robots, plasma torches, and superheated gas to replace the massive boring machines now in use.

    Read more at:

    The resurgence of rural Canada
    The pandemic proved rural Canada is not in decline and remains the foundation of what it means to be Canadian

    Read more at:

    Climber, 82, completes 282 mountain challenge
    An 82-year-old man has completed his attempt to climb Scotland's 282 Munros - mountains higher than 3,000ft. Nick Gardner, from Gairloch in the Scottish Highlands, set himself the challenge after his wife Janet went into full-time care.

    Read more at:

    How the king's visit saw kilts become Scotland's national dress
    Historian Eric Melvin told BBC Scotland that Scott proclaimed no gentleman was allowed to appear at the King's Highland ball in anything but the ancient Highland costume and it took 300 unemployed tailors to kit them out.

    Read more at:

    Right to free period products becomes law in Scotland
    It is the first country in the world to protect the right to free sanitary products with new legislation that has come into force on Monday.

    Read more at:

    In pictures: Peebles agricultural show
    Like many events, agricultural shows have been returning to normal following a lengthy break due to Covid.

    Read more at:

    Covid: UK first country to approve dual-strain vaccine
    The UK has become the first country to approve a dual vaccine which tackles both the original Covid virus and the newer Omicron variant. The upgraded vaccine should be available as an autumn booster and give better protection against variants. Moderna said it could supply doses in the next few weeks, but exactly who will get them has yet to be announced.

    Read more at:

    Inflation hits 10.1% reaching 40-year high amid cost of living crisis
    The increase was largely down to food prices and staples including toilet rolls and toothbrushes, the Office for National Statistics said.

    Read more at:

    Canada Inflation Rate
    Canada’s annual inflation rate was at 7.6% in July of 2022

    Read more at:

    Why there's no Dijon in Dijon mustard
    Their mustard seed needs were chiefly met by Canada, which produces about 80% of the world's supply.

    Read more at:

    Proportion of French speakers declines everywhere, including Quebec
    The proportion of Canadians who predominantly speak French at home declined in all provinces and territories except Yukon between 2016 and 2021, according to the latest census release.

    Read more at:

    Canada's new 700km island path
    A Canadian's quest to design a pilgrimage-inspired path around Prince Edward Island is now the Island Walk, a 700km walking and cycling route.

    Read more at:

    The Canadians bringing back Gaelic culture
    Revivals of Gaelic traditions have come and gone on Cape Breton Island over the decades, but the ceilidh, a kitchen party with food, music and dance, is alive and well today.

    Read more at:

    A-Levelling up
    The tone of today's A-level results coverage is of panic - generational FOMO, places being ‘scrambled’ for and record falls in top grades. Back in the real world, today’s results are a welcome return to judging pupils by exam performance after the Covid-era nightmare of teacher assessments.

    Read more at:

    2022 - The Year the Hydrogen Economy Launched?
    The promise of the hydrogen industry has always been tantalising. It could power trucks, cars, planes, and ships, heat homes and generate electricity - in short, anything fossil fuels can do, but with a much lower climate impact. Now, after decades of false starts and over-optimism, we might finally be turning the corner.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    The Progress of the Settlement at Dryden
    By the Ontario Department of Agriculture, (1898) (pdf)

    Interesting article which you can read at:

    Lucy Margaret Baker
    A Biographical Sketch of the first Missionary of our Canadian Presbyterian Church to the North-West Indians by Elizabeth A. Byers (1920)

    You can read more about her at:

    Canadian Rangers
    2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Rangers.

    Learn more about them at:

    Anthropometry, of the Cree and Saulteaux Indians in Northeastern Manitoba
    By J. C. Boileau Grant (1929) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 14th day of August 2022 - Warriors' Parade
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this homilie at:

    Narrative of a second voyage in search of a north-west passage and a residence in the Arctic regions during the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833 By Ross, John, Sir, Ross, James Clark, Sir along with the full Appendix to our page about them.

    You can read this at:

    By B. K. Sandwell, B.A., Formerly Assistant Professor of Economics, McGill University and Managing Editor, Saturday Night, Toronto (1941) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Canada and India
    By Sir Firoz Khan Noon, K.C.I.E., High-Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom (1939) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Building with India
    By Daniel Johnson Fleming (1922) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Robert Atkinson Fox
    Commercial Artist

    You can read about him at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    August 17th, 2022 - Where was King Henry VIII buried and Widows Dower

    You can view this talk at:

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Hi Everyone. It's been a more exciting day than I thought it would be. I scanned in the BNFT September Section B bright and early this morning. Everything worked just fine - so I thought. When I finished my computer told me, "We cannot open this file." What?

    I called AOL Assist and their tech, Jennifer, was wonderful. She figured out that my free time on the PDF program was up and that program was gone. Gone? Holy cow, gone.

    We decided that purchasing the same program I had before for free was the best thing to do since I know how to use it. So, that's what we did.

    I do have a suggestion for the company. Could they please notify folks that their program was at the end of its free time BEFORE you scanned in something that could not be used?

    Everything is fine now. I have re-scanned the publication and saved it and am sending it along to everybody. I hope you will enjoy it.

    This time, the Clan Henderson Society had something unheard of and wonderful happen to them. This is the front page of the Section B September issue. However, there wasn't room in BNFT for the complete article that High Commissioner of Clan Henderson, Dave Henderson, wrote. So, if you'd like to read all about the surprising thing that happened, you may go to
    and see the entire An Canach, the publication of Clan Henderson. On page 9 you will find Dave's article. It is the last newsletter on the list - also the September issue.

    Don't forget to keep me up to date with your own email address. Don't forget, please, to send me your Flowers of the Forest and anything you'd like published about your Scottish Clan. Amazingly, <> has been my email for almost 20 years...and it still works.

    Please be careful and be safe. A friend of mine's daughter went to a wedding last weekend and caught Covid. She took it home and shared it with her husband. Scary times are not over.



    You can read this issue at:

    History of the Clydesdale Horse
    The following pages will be found the articles, reports, and correspondence which have appeared from time to time in the public press, during the last decade, on the important question of the improvement of the breed of horses of the Clydesdale type.

    You can read this at:

    Memorials of St. Paul s Cathedral
    By William MacDonald Sinclair, D.D. (1909) (pdf)

    Many Scots have been buried in this Cathedral so thought I'd make this publication available to you at:

    Major-General Andrew Hay
    A wee bio of him which you can read at:

    Charles Sanford Terry, M.A.
    A mini biography along with "A Short History of Europe" which he wrote and you can get to this at:

    The Sheepfold and the Common:
    Or, Within and Without in 2 volumes by Timothy East (1858)

    This Work was originally published, above thirty years ago, under the title of the Evangelical Rambler. It has long been out of print; and its republication at the present time has been recommended, as calculated to assist in arresting the progress of some popular errors and dangerous institutions, and in aiding the advancement of truth and social happiness. This opinion was strengthened by a knowledge of the fact, that, according - to the most accurate calculations, from sixty thousand to a hundred thousand copies of the Work, under its original title, were issued from the English press, whilst in America it obtained an equally extended circulation; and from the still more important fact of the Author having received, from a large number of persons, assurances, both by letter and personal interviews, of their having derived their first religious impressions and convictions from perusing its pages. A new and thoroughly-revised Edition is, therefore, now issued, under the title of “The Sheepfold and the Common,” as being more descriptive of the aim and intention of the Work than its former name.

    You can read these volumes at:

    Scottish Society of Louisville
    Got in their August 2022 newsletter which you can read at:

    The Scottish Parliament
    Its Constitution and Procedure 1603-1707 with an Appendix of Documents by Charles Sanford Terry, M.A., Burnett-Fletcher Professor of History in the University of Aberdeen. (1905) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Labour Relations in Scottish Agriculture before 1870
    By George Houston (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Clan Henderson
    Got in their September 2022 newsletter where you'll read about their great win at the Grandfather Mountain Games and you can get to this at:

    The Family and its Duties
    With other Essays and Discourses for Sunday Reading by Robert Lee, D.D., Minister of Greyfriars; Professor of Biblical Criticism in the University of Edinburgh, One of her Majesty's Chaplains in Ordinary in Scotland; and senior Dean of the Chapel-Royal, (1863) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    ABC4D Babyscan Clinic Ayr
    Scotland’s largest and most popular Baby Scan company.

    Really more of an advert but interesting none the less and you can view this at:


    Agricultural Improvements in Aberdeenshire

    The jubilee of the Turriff District Agricultural Association was celebrated by a public dinner held in the Town Hall, Turriff, on 17th December, over which Mr Garden A. Duff of Hatton, Convener of the County, presided, among the guests being Sir Robert. P. Wright. Chairman of the Scottish Board of Agriculture. Seven original members of the association are still connected with it, and six of them were present at the dinner — Messrs W. Paterson, The Elms (the present chairman of the association): James Runciman, Galstleton; John Runciman Anehmill; W. Wallace, Chanel of Saggat; T. Todingham. Ashville: and John Milne, Dyer. The seventh is Mr Clark, Tillybar. In proposing the toast of “Education,” Mr John Milne delivered an interesting speech, in the course of which he surveyed the improvements in agricultural machinery that had been effected in recent times.


    I am old enough to remember (he said) when most of the grain crops in Forfarshire at least were cut by the sickle, threshed by the flail, and the chaff separated by the wind of heaven. Up to 35 years ago most of the crops on the Continent were threshed bv flail, and in the East the grain is: still trodden out by cattle. Scotland has had the credit of some of the improvements made. Andrew Meikle constructed the first succesful threshing machine in 1798. A Forfarshire minister invented the first successful reaper machine in 1825. I have heard my father state that, so far as he knew, he was the first to make and use a winnowing fan in Aberdeenshire. The effect of using modern machinery has been to cheapen some of our farming operations to a marvellous extent. A few years ago I gave evidence to the Commissioners of Labour and took as an example the harvesting of a field of 41 acres of grain crop in the different periods of sickle, scythe, and sheaf-binding reaper. The period of the sickle is an estimate only, as I did not see it cut by sickle, but from what I have seen elsewhere, and heard, I know that the estimate is about correct. For the two latter periods, the statement is the actual time taken to reap this field. Reckoned in days of the labour of one man to reap the field by sickle would require 144 days. The actual time taken to reap it by scythe was 65 days. Tn 1887 the field was cut by a sheaf-binding reaper, and put into stock bv three men in three days, equal to nine days of one man. So now grain can be cut in one-sixteenth of the time required by the sickle, or in one-seventh of the time required by the scythe, and the work is better done.

    Threshing by Flails

    In threshing, the progress is nearly as great, This farm produced an average of over 600 qrs. of oats. I have seen this twice threshed by flails. A good day’s work for one man was to thresh by flail one quarter per day. At this rate 600 days of one man were required. Forty days of one man were required to bring it from stackyard to barn; 48 days were spent in fanning and riddling it; and 72 days were required to cart and deliver it 15 miles away; or 760 days in all. Threshing bv water power on this farm and delivering grain 15 miles required 190 days. Threshing by portable steam power in stackyard at 10 qrs. per hour will now require only 60 days and delivery at station four miles, 13 days, together 73 days; so that grain can be threshed and delivered in one-tenth of the time required 70 years ago. There has also been a large saving of labour by the use of grass mowing machines, horse rakes, double-boarded ploughs, improved grubbers and harrows, grain, grass, and turnip sowing machines, potato planters and lifters, and lifting machines, and dung spreaders. I have known big farms in which the turnip seed was, not so very long ago, put in by a woman running a rut on the top of the drills by a hoe, a man followed with a shaking box, and a woman followed dragging a bunch of brushwood to cover the seed. In contrast to this, 1 have myself worked a machine which opened the drills, planted the potatoes and covered them at one operation, the operator riding on the machine.


    Improved machines lessen the need for labour, so that in sixty years our agricultural labourer have decreased by more than one-half, partly, at least, due to improved machinery on the farm. As we wish a resident rural population, this must be regarded as a bad thing for our country, but as we have foreign competition to meet, we really cannot help it, nor can we afford to employ on the farm so many as we would wish to do. Cut up big farms and make crofts is the present, shibboleth, but multiplying these, unless near to large cities, is bound to end in economic failure. The crofter cannot buy or economically work modern implements. The inventions of Watt, Compton, and Arkwright have killed domestic manufacture, which was the mainstay of the old crofters. If those who come back to the land do not get outside labour, they will have to compete with small farmers on the Continent, who count, nothing on their time, and with the small farmers in India, who are content to live on twopence per day, and they will be in a worse position, relatively, than this class was in 150 years ago, when the wages of tailors, and even carpenters, were only twopence per day, and that of farm servants wore less than one-twentieth of what they now are.


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