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July 30, 2010

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  • July 30, 2010

    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Scotland Community
    The Flag in the Wind
    Holiday Cottages
    Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
    The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal
    Chronicals of a Country Cobbler
    Book of Scottish Story
    Auld Biggins of Stirling
    John MacKintosh (New Book)
    Scottish Notes and Queries
    The Kingdom of Fife
    Scottish Loch Scenery
    Oor Mither Tongue
    Poems of William Dixon Cocker
    Robert Burns Lives!
    Pipes of War (New Book)
    Clan Munro of Australia
    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Fisher Life
    Geikie's Etchings (New Book)
    Clan Leslie Society of New Zealand & Australia

    Electric Scotland News
    Pretty quiet week on the news front but lots of work still going on with our Community.

    I am intending to visit the Fergus Highland games in August so might see you there if you can make it. Mind you I'll be checking the weather before I go!!!


    I did get my supplies in from Caledonian Kitchen so I'll let you know what it all tastes like... mind you there is a lot of it so will take a few weeks to try it all out :-)

    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

    Electric Scotland Community
    We've made some good progress with our Community and nearly there as to getting everything working as it should.

    Steve managed to fix the Gallery problem and so you'll see "Gallery" in our menu. This means if you create a photo gallery and make it public it can now be seen in that menu with it's various options. That also probably does away with the need for the Pictures Group although it could still be used to highlight new albums.

    We're also happy with the Facebook interface and so if you have a Facebook account you get the option when publishing a message to also add it to your Facebook account.

    We've also added our wee customized greeting to the site which amongst other greetings can be as simple as "Good Morning" or if you are working late it might say "Shouldn't you be in bed now". And if you go to your settings page and edit your profile you'll find a new field where you can put your real name or nickname. This means rather than getting "Good Morning 123gmart" you'll get "Good Morning Graeme" if Graeme is what you put in that field. The field is optional so you can just leave it blank if you wish.

    We have also added some new widgets in our Widgets forum in the Main Group and so if you open the Widgets forum you'll find...

    King James Bible
    Country Flags
    Quick City Information
    Ethnic Mix of Country
    Birthday History
    Current Debt by Country
    How Long do you have to live?
    Kitchen Conversions
    PGA Tour Today
    UK Train Journey Planner
    Currency Exchange Rates
    Google Map Search
    Personalize the Selkirk Grace
    BBC News
    UK Radio and TV

    We can add more of these so if you happen to spot one you like give us the url and we'll see if we can add that to our Community.

    I might add that I played around with the King James Bible widget. On our site we have a page for Life's Problems, Events and Crises. It comes from the Gideon bible that you get in hotels. So I also copied that onto the page along with the Widget.

    We also added a "Media" button to our menu but I think we'll be taking that down as it hasn't proved to be as good as we'd hoped. We thought it would allow you to upload your own video and audio files but that is not the case. All it really does is allow you to put in a link to a YouTube video and we already have that option in our forums.

    And we do add the odd forum where we think it is needed. For example I added a "Nature" forum as I was given a great video of Humming Birds and wanted to share that with you and couldn't find an appropriate forum in which to place it so added that forum to our Lifestyle Group.

    This of course shows that not everything we add will remain and we'd certainly encourage all members to keep an eye on our "What's New" forum and report your thoughts on anything we tell you about in there. At the end of the day it is "your" community so I'd like to think we all want it to be the best it can be.

    I'd also like to remind you that we do have a "Calendar" and when you click on that option the default calendar will display. However across to the right you'll also see "Calendar Picker" and under that currently we do have a Highland Games calendar which can be used to add or view these events.

    Right now there are only two issues to be resolved and these are our "LInks" program which for some reason is not letting you add a link. Well to be more accurate you can add a link but for some reason it's not being saved. We hope to get this resolved in the coming week.

    The other issue is still our Postcard program which while it appears to work fine it doesn't send out a postcard although it looks like it does. We're working with the authors of the software to resolve this issue but they are very slow in coming up with a fix.

    And so that's about it and once we get these things fixed we'll be 100% there.

    While we will add other features to the community the next major issue for us is to develop our Front Page which is a CMS system. This is not something we know much about so it will be a wee bit of a learning curve for us.

    Our current stats are: Threads 446 Posts 1,104 Members 152 Active Members 152

    Visiting Countries are...

    United States 43.16%
    United Kingdom 19.12%
    Canada 18.91%
    Australia 13.71%

    I note that the USA and UK are about the same as our web site but Canada and Australia are almost double.

    10.13 Pages are viewed per Visit
    00:10:49 Avg. Time on Site per visit.
    51.38% of our traffic is coming in direct
    26.14% of our traffic is coming from
    Only 4% of our traffic is coming through search engines.

    And so while our membership is small it is growing and a number of our members are very active. One topic getting a lot of interest is Television where folk are remembering old televsion series from the UK. There is also good discussions in our Armed Forces forum.

    And it seems that the video put up of an Australian doing a potato bed has got some folk to try it themselves :-)

    Tip of the week. If you want to view "new posts" since you were last on simply click "New Posts" in the menu. When the list comes up look at the last post column and you'll see a wee icon with >> on it. That will take you direct to the last post that was made on that thread. Were you to click on the thread you'd have to scroll down to find the last post. Also having read the last post you can also scroll up to see if there were any other posts you hadn't read.

    So that about rounds off things for this week and hopefully more of you will decide to register as a member amnd get involved and we look forward to greeting you :-)

    Our community can be viewed at

    This weeks issue is compiled by Richard Thomson who is covering some of the major topics such as BP, Lybia, and other local Scottish matters.

    You can read his compilation at

    Holiday Cottages
    These are wee tourism articles. Got in this week...

    St Andrews – More than a golfer's paradise!

    This can be read at

    Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
    It's Records, Traditions, Inhabitants and Natural History with a Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree and a Map and Illustrations" by John H. Dixon FSA Scot. published in 1886.

    Added this week...

    Part III.—Natural History of Gairloch

    Chapter IX.—The Geology of Loch Maree and Neighbourhood, by William Jolly, F.G.S., F.R.S.E.
    Chapter X.—Minerals of Gairloch, by Professor W. Ivison Macadam, F.C.S., F.I.C., M.M.S., &c, Edinburgh.

    Part IV.—Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree.

    Chapter I.—Gairloch of the Present Day
    Chapter II.—Approaches and Roads
    Chapter III.—Achnasheen to Kenlochewe
    Chapter IV.—Kenlochewe to Talladale
    Chapter V.—Talladale to the Gairloch Hotel

    In chapter I it starts...

    THERE is no town, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, in the parish of Gairloch, and there is no village that, properly speaking, bears the name of Gairloch. Of villages or townships there are about thirty-four. They contain the greater part of the population of the parish, which according to the census of 1881 numbered 4594. Many of these villages are so small that in the lowlands they would only be termed hamlets. They have no separate legal existence as villages or townships; but in those which are townships there is a bond of union, in so far as the crofter inhabitants have their hill pasture in common, and club together for the purpose of herding their cattle and sheep thereon.

    You can read the rest of this account at

    You can read all these chapters at

    The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal
    This is the very first volume of this journal which I thought would make interesting reading. We've added more chapters this week and have now completed this publication.

    The Killan Hills
    Tables giving all the Scottish Mountains exceeding over 3,000 feet in Height
    Notes and Queries
    Other issues of the Journal

    You will note "Other issues of the Journal" and here we have made available some other volumes. This page shows you the contents page for each volume and a link to download it in pdf format.

    You can read these at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Chronicals of a Country Cobbler
    By A Willock (1887)

    Adding more chapters to this book...

    Chapter X.—The curlin' match
    Chapter XI.—Galvanism is life
    Chapter XII.—The dangers o' philosophical experiments
    Chapter XIII.—The loves o' Geordie Simpson an' Mary Wheatsheaf
    Chapter XIV.—The village wastre
    Chapter XV.—Frae ill to waur
    Chapter XVI.—Dauvit Wabster's vote

    You can read these at

    Book of Scottish Story
    We've started "The Penny Wedding" and now have up Part 2 of a 4 part story which you can read at

    The other stories can be read at

    Auld Biggins of Stirling
    By William Drysdale (1904)

    Added River Allan, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane Cathedral and Doune Castle and this now completes this book.

    You can read these at

    John MacKintosh
    A Biography by Geo. W. Crutchley (1921).

    We now have up...

    Chapter I - Early Days


    Chapter II - The Romance of Business
    Chapter III - Adventures in Advertising
    Chapter IV - Scientific Advertising
    Chapter V - Continental Ventures
    Chapter VI - Notes of Travel in America
    Chapter VII - War Days
    Chapter VIII - 'Goodwill toward Men'


    Chapter IX - 'Queen's Road'
    Chapter X - The Business Man in the Church
    Chapter XI - Wider Church Activities

    In Notes of Travel in America it starts...

    Mr. Mackintosh considered that the attitude of the missionary to foreign lands afforded a parallel for the business man's attitude to foreign trade. "One cannot wait," said he, "until the home Church has brought everyone into its fold before sending out missionaries into other lands, or the missionary cause would never have begun; and so also in business, you must reach out abroad while extending at home, if you are to be first in the foreign field as well as in your native Land."

    Naturally, his thoughts turned to the mighty United States Republic, with its eighty millions, or more, of potential customers. When the American is not smoking he is chewing gum or candy, and his wife and children willingly assist him in the consumption of sweetmeats. What an opportunity was thus presented to a toffee manufacturer blessed with faith and vision!

    In the autumn of 1903, in company with his brother-in-law, he undertook a lightning tour through America and Canada, exploring these countries for the purpose of ascertaining their business possibilities. Men of adventurous spirit have gone to America prospecting for gold or other precious metals, but surely this was the first occasion on which a man ventured to the other side of the world prospecting for business in such a simple homely thing as toffee. All the principal cities were visited from New York to San Francisco, from Montreal to Vancouver. For a month nearly every night was spent in the train, but during the day the travellers would alight and make careful observations. Gradually the conviction was formed in Mr. Mackintosh's mind that he could establish his business in America, and he determined to make a bold bid for trade in the West. The heavy duty on confectionery imported into the United States made it impossible to compete with Americans by goods manufactured in England. It was necessary to erect factories and produce the toffee on the spot. These difficulties did not appeal him, as they certainly would have appalled a less determined man.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Scottish Notes and Queries
    This is a periodical started in 1887.

    We decided to make some of these issues available for you to read and added another issue this week. These issues can be found at the foot of the page at

    The Kingdom of Fife
    Its Ballads and Legends by Robert Boucher, Jun (1899)

    This week we added another chapter called "Adventures of the Jameses" which can be read at

    Some Pictures of Crail
    Crail is a wee town in the East Neuk of Fife and you can see lots of pictures of it at

    Here are a few to view here...

    By the British Medical Association (1922)

    We've added another chapter to this book, "Traditions of the Trades House of Glasgow". By Harry Lumsden

    You can read this at

    Scottish Loch Scenery
    From drawings by A F Lydon with descriptive notes by Thomas A Croal (1882)

    This week we added "Loch Leven" which you can read at

    The other entries can be read at

    Oor Mither Tongue
    An Anthology of Scots Vernacular Verse by Ninian Macwhannell (1938)

    We have another poet up for you, SYMON, MARY with The Aucht-Day Clock and Come Hame!, which you can read at

    Poems of William Dixon Cocker
    We've been adding a few pages from this book each week and have another 4 pages which you can read at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    By Frank Shaw

    It is always a joy to welcome to the pages of Robert Burns Lives! past contributors such as Dr. Corey E. Andrews, Associate Professor, Youngstown State University in Ohio. His interests are varied and range from 18th-century Scottish Literature, poetry, mythology to working-class studies. This is not his first paper on Burns and slavery. He published “Ev’ry Heart can Feel: Scottish Poetic Responses to Slavery in the West Indies, from Blair to Burns,” in the International Journal of Scottish Literature, Issue 4, Spring/Summer 2008. While his primary research is Scottish Literature, the poetry of Robert Burns is a particular interest of his.

    Dr. Andrews teaches in the English Department at Youngstown. Among his courses are Introduction to Literature, Introduction to Fiction Writing, British and American Surveys, Major Figures in British Literature, and Technical Communication.

    This article is entitled "Lament for Slavery? The Case of Robert Burns" By Corey E. Andrews, Youngstown State University

    You can read this article at

    The rest of Franks articles can be read at

    Pipes of War
    A Record of Achievements of Pipers of Scottish and Overseas Regiments during the War of 1914 - 1918. by Brevet-Col. Sir Bruce Seton, Bart. of Abercorn, C.B. and Pipe Major John Grant. (1920)

    A new book we're embarking on and here is a little about it...

    WHEREVER Scottish troops have fought the sound of the pipes has been heard, speaking to us of our beloved native land, bringing back to our memories the proud traditions of our race, and stimulating our spirits to fresh efforts in the cause of freedom. The cry of "The Lament" over our fallen heroes has reminded us of the undying spirit of the Scottish race, and of the sacredness of our cause.

    The Pipers of Scotland may well he proud of the part they have played in this war, in the heat of battle, by the lonely grave, and during the long hours of waiting, they have called to us to show ourselves worthy of the land to which we belong. Many have fallen in the fight for liberty, but their memories remain. Their fame will inspire others to learn the pipes, and keep alive their music in the Land of the Gael.


    This record of the achievements of pipers during the war of 1914-18 is not intended to be an appeal to emotionalism. It aims at showing that, in spite of the efforts of a very efficient enemy to prevent individual gallantry, in spite of the physical conditions of the modern battlefield, the pipes of war, the oldest instrument in the world, have played an even greater part in the orchestra of battle in this than they have in past campaigns.

    The piper, be he Highlander, or Lowlander, or Scot from Overseas, has accomplished the impossible—not rarely and under favourable conditions, but almost as a matter of routine; and to him not Scotland only but the British Empire owes more than they have yet appreciated.

    In doing so he has sacrificed himself; and Scotland—and the world— must face the fact that a large proportion of the men who played the instrument and kept alive the old traditions have completed their self-imposed task. With 300 pipers killed and 600 wounded something must be done to raise a new generation of players; it is a matter of national importance that this should be taken in hand at once, and that the sons of those who have gone should follow in the footsteps of their fathers.

    This is the best tribute that can be offered to them.

    The Piobaireachd Society intend to institute a Memorial School of piping for this purpose, and all profits from the sale of this book will be handed over to their fund.

    The compilation of the statistical portions of the work has involved correspondence with commanding officers, pipe presidents and pipe majors of many units in the Imperial armies; to them, for their enthusiastic assistance in obtaining information, is due the credit for the mass of detail that has been made available.

    To the other contributors—authors, artists and poets—is due in large measure such success as may follow the publication of this work. They have helped a cause worthy of their efforts.

    It is earnestly to be hoped that Scotland will rise to the occasion. To the compilers it has been a privilege to record the achievements of men—many of them personal friends—who contributed so largely to the success of their gallant regiments.

    B. S. & J. G.

    You can read this book at

    Clan Munro of Australia
    We got in a copy of the August 2010 newsletter which you can read at

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Editor Beth Gay

    This pdf publication was born out of the demise of the Odoam Library Family Tree Newspaper who's editor, Beth Gay, ran it for some 15 years. She spent time try to resurect the newspaper but to no avail and so she decided to publish it in pdf format and we've been hosting it now for several years.

    It is of course both a Scottish themed newspaper with lots about Scots activities but also offering some excellent genealogy advice.

    Here is an article from the current edition...

    Attracting the Youngsters to our heritage During the international Gathering in Edinburgh last summer, the term ‘generation erosion’ came up, giving voice to a worry that the Tartans Authority has had for quite some time and that is the gradual diluting of ancestral roots in successive generations.

    So instead of worrying about it, they decided to do something about it.

    Their first action is to introduce a junior section to their new website to engage youngsters from the earliest age in ‘fun things to do’ online that have a uniquely Scottish flavour.

    For the very young (and their parents!) they have the colouring book starting off with our old friend the Loch Ness monster. Another book offers a dozen or more blank tartans that are ingenious and fun to colour. Following those will be another couple of books of a more advanced nature for the older kids and that army of adults out there that can’t resist a bit of creative input.

    They then will look at Scottish-themed jigsaws and the ace in their pack of a brand new tartan design programme for the young. Once they have all those established, who knows what else may be possible!

    The theory of all this, is of course, that if we can gently engage the young at a tender age, then we can implant the seeds that will hopefully flourish into a lifelong interest in the heritage of their forebears.

    Also at the planning stage is a new membership category called the ‘Young Highlanders’ with button badges and other benefits. Anyone interested in helping with that or making suggestions – please do contact them at Charity Number: SC024310.

    You can read the August issue at

    Fisher Life
    Or, The Memorials of Cellardyke and the Fife Coast by George Gourlay (1879)

    We now have a page up with this book split into several pdf files for easy downloading. I have also provided a link to pictures I took of the town.

    You can see this at

    Geikie's Etchings
    This is a new book we're starting on.

    We already have an account of him in our Significant Scots section which begins...

    Walter Geikie, whose droll and homely sketches are to be found upon the table of every Edinburgh drawing-room, was the son of Mr. Archibald Geikie, perfumer, and was born in Charles Street, George Square, Edinburgh, on the 9th November, 1795. Before he had completed his second year, he was attacked by a dangerous ear disease; and although he recovered, it was at the expense of being deaf and dumb for life. It was too much the fashion at this time in Scotland to consider dumbies as incapable of education, so that they were generally allowed to go at large, and vegetate as they best might; but happily, Walter was the son of a pious and intelligent father, who had a better sense of his paternal responsibility: he taught his bereaved boy the alphabet, so that the latter not only learned to read, but to understand what he read. Writing and arithmetic followed, in which Walter showed himself an apt scholar. When he had thus acquired the rudiments of education, it happened, fortunately for him, that Mr. Braidwood, the successful teacher of the deaf and dumb, was invited to Edinburgh, to open an institution there, and Geikie became one of his earliest pupils. In this new school the boy’s proficiency was so rapid that he was soon employed as a monitor. He showed also that he was no mere common-place learner, for he was in the practice of writing down extracts of the passages that best pleased him in the authors whose works he perused. While he was thus storing his mind with knowledge, and qualifying himself, notwithstanding his defects, for a life of usefulness, his path was determined.

    A remarkable person for sure and this book provides a good Introduction to him and his work and we'll be adding various articles from the book along with his illustrations.

    You can read this book at

    Clan Leslie Society of New Zealand & Australia
    Got in a special edition of their newsletter which carries a large account of the Battle of Harlaw where so many Leslies died. It's also a plea to support a special dedication for the 600th anniversary of the battle where the clan wish to erect a celtic cross in rememberence of the Leslie's.

    You can read this at

    And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)


  • #2
    Re: July 30, 2010

    Alastair, using the 'Newsletter' link from the top of the ES front page, it does not work, as it takes you to the 'front page' (if that's what it is called) for the Community.