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Newsletter for 20th January 2023

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  • Newsletter for 20th January 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    I am working on ocr'ing in a book entitled "The Piper In Peace And War" By C. A. Malcolm, M.A., Ph.D. which was published in 1927. I hope to complete it over the weekend but you can read part I and part of part II as I'm publishing it chapter by chapter until it's complete.


    I'm somewhat spoiled for choice for my online shopping when it comes to local shops in Chatham these days. I am using Instacart which now offers online shopping through...

    Walmart (Groceries, Prepared meals, Butcher, etc., etc.)
    Canadian Superstore (Groceries, Prepared meals, Butcher, etc.)
    Food Basics (Grocery)
    Giant Tiger (Home goods, Women's, Kids & Men's Fashion, Groceries)
    LCBO (Liquor and Wine Shop)
    Shoppers Drug Mart (Drugstore, Personal care, Groceries)
    M & M Food Market (Frozen Food and Meals)
    Dollarama (Pantry, Household Essentials, Kitchen)
    Staples (Stationery, Electronics)
    Rexall (
    A leading pharmacy retailer)
    Michaels Canada (Craft Supplies, Stationary, Decor)

    The only two big grocery stores which still don't do online shopping are No Frills and Sobeys.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    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.

    Scotland's life expectancy is shortest in UK
    A new study has revealed the areas across the UK with the lowest life expectancy at age 40 for both men and women, and one city in Scotland has the lowest for both.

    Read more at:

    Cromarty Firth and Forth to host first green freeports
    Sites at Cromarty Firth and the Forth have been selected to host Scotland's first green freeports.

    Read more at:

    How far can vertical farming go?
    Vertical farming promises a future in which our food is grown in pockets of spaces in our cities and beneath our feet. But how far can it really go?

    Read more at:

    Help stop the destruction of art by reintroducing art education
    There is art and there is modern art, they are not the same. There is also drawing and modern art drawing, they are not the same either.

    Read more at:

    That distant dream of democratic decency
    Democracy is not a thing that once established remains established.

    Read more at:

    Charity fears elderly Scots are being scapegoated in NHS crisis
    Mark O’Donnell, the new chief executive of Age Scotland, fears older and vulnerable patients are being made to feel responsible for taking up hospital beds and resource as frontline services are overwhelmed.

    Read more at:

    Experts urge boldness to save Scots NHS as poll reveals 34% unhappy with care
    The survey found 34% of Scots are dissatisfied with the health service, with 88% citing waiting times for treatments and appointments as their biggest concern while half raised the quality of treatment and the level of investment.

    Read more at:

    What's behind Canada's drastic new alcohol guidance
    In Canada, it should be Dry January all year round, according to new national recommendations that say zero alcohol is the only risk-free approach. If you must drink at all, two drinks maximum each week is deemed low-risk by the government-backed guidance.

    Read more at:

    Canada profile - Media
    Canada has a long history of public broadcasting. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was set up in the 1930s in response to the growing influence of American radio.

    Read more at:

    How to make fruit and vegetables last longer
    From hi-tech coatings to improving the state of the roads, there is a plethora of ways we can reduce the amount of fruit and veg that goes bad before it reaches our plates.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Farming in Vancouver Island
    A Land and Climate unequalled for Mixed Farming, Dairying, Fruit Growing, Poultry Raising and Outdoor Life by the Vancouver Island Fruit Lands, Limited (1911) (pdf)

    You can read this publication at:

    The Free Grant Lands of Canada
    From Practical Experience of Bush Farming in the Free Grant Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound by Thom. McMurray, J.P. one of the first settlers in Draper and Ex-Reeve of the United Townships of Draper, Macaulay, Stephensonm Etc. Etc. (1871) (pdf)

    You can read this publication at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 15th of January 2023
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can view this at:

    Re-settlement and Cultivation of Land in British Columbia
    An Address delivered before St. John's Literary Society, Vancouver, British Columbia on January 12th, 1915 by William Sinclair (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    How The Canadians Fought The Germans Out Of Italy In WWII
    In 1943, tanks of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps make their combat debut on the European mainland. This is the story of the Canadian tankers who fight their way up the Italian peninsula in the push to liberate Rome from Nazi occupation.

    This is a YouTube video I've added towards the foot of our Armed Forces page at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    January 18th, 2023 - A Child's War living on Orkney 4 of 5

    You can view this at:

    Album of the Scottish Artists Club
    Published by David Douglas (1892) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    The Piper In Peace And War
    By C. A. Malcolm, M.A., Ph.D. Published Part 1 of 3. Also added the first 6 regiments to Part 2.

    As I said above I hope to complete this by the weekend but as I'm adding by chapter you can read what I already have up at:

    Letters from High Latitudes
    By Lord Dufferin (1903) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Aberdeenshire Epitaphs and Inscriptions
    With Historical, Biographical , Genealogical and Antiquarian Notes by John A. Henderson (1907) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    The Lost Portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie
    Added a video about this to the foot of our Prince Charlie page at:


    The Piper In Peace And War
    By C. A. Malcolm, M.A., Ph.D.

    By The Duke of Atholl, K.T., G.C.V.O., C.B.

    Mr Charles A. Malcolm has asked me to write an introduction to his book The Piper in Peace and War. Every one who reads the book will admit that Mr Malcolm has taken an extraordinary amount of pains to collect his data, and that he has written a book which will be read with much interest by those who are fond of the pipes.

    Tradition, unless set down on paper, is apt to become lost or inaccurate. It is well, therefore, that these traditions should be handed down in writing by those who are capable of doing so, and I think no one will deny Mr Malcolm’s capability and zeal.

    Probably there were never more pipers in existence than there were during the Great War, and never at any time were their services more appreciated. No good pipe band ever belonged to a bad regiment, and to those who understand the pipes it is a simple thing to judge of those who follow them. In times of peace the pipers keep the men together. Every individual man in the regiment takes a pride in the band because it is distinctive and of his own nation, proud and full of courage, but not aggressive, sometimes sad but always appealing.

    The wide extension of pipe music in these days, when every mining village in the south of Scotland and every tourist resort in the north has its local pipe band, may have increased the number of pipers, but I doubt if it has improved their quality. But few of the modern airs have the special character or the distinction of the old music, and the old tunes, when played, have little difficulty in holding their own. While it is everything to have good band pipers in military units, the local bands are doing much to eliminate the old individual player, who was a musician first and a bandsman second. Some of the best pipers that I used to know in the old days—men with beautiful fingering and who put their whole soul into a piobaireachd— were indifferent players of marches. While the old airs are not being lost, for they are written down, very few of the modern pipers have a good repertory.

    Many of the best of them seem to have a sort of musical circle, like that on a roulette table. You can pick any number you like so long as it is shown on the wheel. These are their competition tunes, but outside that you must not and cannot go. Publishers, presumably for financial reasons, appear to be more interested in publishing the new tunes than the old ones, and in pushing their sale. The result is that many young pipers do not know the grand old tunes, but are experts at inferior modern ones, and if, by chance, one strikes their fancy, we hear that tune and no other till we are sick to death of it The old tunes, in their names and characters, remind us of our hills and glens, of our history, of brave men, of national sorrow and of times of national joy. Can that be said of most of the new ones?

    While we have splendid pipe bands in the Army, they are bound, for purposes of playing together, to be stereotyped. One always feels when they are playing that the pipers have one eye on the Drum-Major in front and the other on the Regimental Sergeant-Major behind. I remember one young regimental piper, when checked for indifferent playing, saying “My thochts were on the counter march.” Under such conditions, it is difficult to have one’s mind up in the heavenly sphere of music.

    We find the same thing in Highland dancing, where large numbers are taught by the same instructor at the same time. The boys at Scottish Institute Schools dance beautifully. They all skip at the same time in the same way and to the same height. As a gymnastic or ballet display it is fine. As Highland dancing the soul and joy is gone out of it. When watching such displays or competitions, I sometimes feel more joy in the one that has strayed that in the ninety-nine that have not.

    In other words, the general extension of piping, while it may have done much to popularise the instrument, has not improved things from a musical point of view, and the efforts of those who love pipe music should be used towards maintaining standard and character rather than in increasing numbers. That Mr Malcolm should remind us, therefore, of the days that are gone is all to our advantage.

    September 1927.


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