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Thread: July 2nd, 2010

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Chatham, Ontario, Canada
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    July 2nd, 2010

    Electric Scotland News - We launch our new Electric Scotland Community!
    The Flag in the Wind
    The Complete Scotland
    The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
    Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
    The Starling, A Scotch Story
    The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal
    Dr Margaret MacKellar (New Book)

    Electric Scotland News
    The really big news this week is the launch of our Electric Scotland Community and just in time to launch it on Canada Day :-)

    This is now our permanent community and here for the long term so no more messing around with trying this and that. We will of course still add new facilities to the community and some of these are in development.

    We'd of course encourage you to register for a membership which is completely free. Also when you do register you can subscribe to our newsletter forum and get an email alert any time a new issue is added. When you look at our list of forums you'll see a wee green circle with a white tick inside it against each forum. Simply click the one against the forum you wish to subscribe to, in this case Electric Scotland's Weekly Newsletter, and you'll be given a choice of three ways to be notified of a new message. Pick the Daily email alert and then click on "Add Subscription" and that's it done.

    We've had a lot of help from our testers and they and us have populated most forums with some messages to get you started and there is a greatly extended range of forums for you to enjoy.

    I asked our two testers to let me know what they thought and here is what they had to say...


    Well overall I've found it quite easy to use, the paler background colour took a short time to become familiar with (but I believe that can be varied)......photographs and videos (youtube etc.) were easy to upload, I even managed to insert my profile correctly (I did tie myself in knots with the country flag for a while..).

    The expanded variety of forums/topics has added extra interest and there should now be something available for all users to enjoy and add their own input on a particular topic.

    To sum it all up.......the current Forum was very good....but this new addition is superior in all aspects......when all the current and new members transfer over they should be pleasantly surprised.


    Comparing this new Electric Scotland with the old, is like comparing apples with oranges. I think Yourself and Steve have done a marvelous job of trying to satisfy everyone.

    Firstly the Home page has so much more, a smorgasbord of news and links to all sorts of stuff. Due to time restrictions I haven't been able to dig too deep into what's available, but from what I have seen so far Electric Scotland could soon become my home page.

    I particularly like the Widgets on the left of the main page, as time goes by and more content is added, I can see this being a popular spot for people, the links on the right of the main page to Recent Blog Posts, and Forum posts is a great idea. Everything is within a few mouse clicks.

    The Electric Scotland community Forums, which for most of our members will no doubt be a new home, far exceeds what was available on the "old" site, and as membership grows, I can see more people joining in and posting.

    I think, over time, when membership increases and we can encourage a large interactive group to post and utilize the chatroom Electric Scotland could become a more enjoyable place than it was in it's heyday.

    Alastair, yourself and Steve have certainly showed with the work you have done on Electric Scotland that you are serious about providing a home for Scots spread out over the world, and for anyone who has an interest in everything Scottish.

    In fact, as of now, Electric Scotland has now become my "Home" page. Well done!


    And so what we have for you are a greatly extended number of forums and especially in the new "Lifestyle" and "Sports" Groups. Euan and Gordon have helped us populate most of the forums with interesting messages, many utilizing YouTube videos.

    The Arcade has some of the old favourites but also lots of new games for you to play.

    For soccer fans we also provide the Scottish and English Football leagues and currently the World Cup with scores going up live.

    In the Main Forum Group we have a few widgets for you to use and enjoy including a UK Radio and TV widget. We rather enjoy the BBC Scotland radio as it has a mix of news, plays, interviews, music etc.

    There will be additional facilities added over the weeks and months ahead but the system is now here to stay and we hope it will become the home for many in Scotland and the Scots Diaspora.

    We were delighted to have the Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph taking out 7 forums with us and also the Scottish Studies Dept. of Simon Fraser University taking out 5 forums. We hope to have the University of Otago coming on board and we have emailed most Scottish Universities and other Scottish organizations in Scotland and around the world inviting them to take part.

    We have a completely new "Links" system which will take the place of our ScotSearch site. We hope this will be used to help promote Scottish companies but we also have Members and Resources sections for you to contribute to.

    Lots more for you to explore.

    And so here is how the registration system works... You click on "Register" at the top right of the screen. It will ask you for your date of birth. As we aim to be a child friendly site we need to identify anyone under 14 years of age so we can then ask for the child's parents email address so we can contact them to get permission to allow their child to join the community.

    And then it's just down to asking you for your username and password and a couple of other questions. When you submit your form the system will check your details against a known spammers list and as long as you clear that wee hurdle you will be sent an email which will include a link to confirm who you are. This is just to check your email address is working and is another check to ensure you are who you say you are. All of this is just us trying to ensure that the community is a safe and pleasant place to be. Once you click on the link to confirm yourself that's you done. This email will be sent out to you in seconds but depending on your email provider could take up to 5 minutes to arrive and so if you don't see it within this time do check your spam folder. There is just one step left and that is for Steve to eyeball your registration information and confirm all looks as it should. You will then get a final email from us confirming your account is active. As this part is manual it can take up to 12 hours for you to receive the email but you can of course look around the community as a guest.

    When you login to the community do check the box "Remember me" and that will put a cookie on your computer meaning next time you visit you won't need to login as we'll remember you.

    When you do login for the first time there will be a message with your username in the Title field of the "New Members" forum. This is to announce your arrival and will allow community members to greet you. In that forum there is a sticky message at the top which provides general guidance and advice for using the community. It is well worth a read and we certainly recommend you do so before you get started.

    Known issues with the system are...

    One option will be available shortly which is the Facebook interface but we need some members to join before we can enable that.

    While we have made extensive use of YouTube videos you should note that at time of adding these they all worked but of course there can be problems on YouTube which might not allow them to be viewed at the time you are using the system. We do note that when YouTube reports an error the video will sometimes work if you click on the video window to take you direct to YouTube.

    The Postcard service under the ES Tab is not working in that right now it can't send out postcards. We will notify you when we fix this problem as all else is working as it should.

    When you login to the community the Home button sends you to our Front Page. This is part of a Content Management System. We are still working on this area to develop it more fully.

    And so there you have it... hopefully you will enjoy the service and want to recommend it to friends, family and colleagues. You can join up at

    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

    This weeks issue is compiled by Jamie Hepburn

    You can read his compilation at

    The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP diary entry for this week can be viewed at

    I might add that we found a YouTube video of Christina being interviewed which you can see in our Electric Scotland Community at

    The Complete Scotland
    A comprehensive survey, based on the principle motor, walking, railway and steamer routes. Historical section by J.D. Mackie, M.C., M.A. Professor of Scottish History and Literature and the University of Glasgow and geology and scenery by T.M. Finlay, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S.E., University of Edinburgh.

    Added this week...

    Excursions from Oban
    Loch Awe
    Staffa and lona
    Oban to Ballaehulish and Fort William

    You can read this at

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

    Blairgowrie - The Berry Capital of Scotland

    This can be read at

    The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
    Added Page 388, Dresser, Dressing, Page 389, Dressing, Dressing in Surgery, Dressing Case, Dressing Room, Dressing Table, Page 390, Dressing Table, Page 391, Dressing Table, Dressmaking, Dress Stand, Dress Suit, Dried Fruit. These 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.

    We're onto Part II and added this week...

    Chapter VII.—Ways and Means

    Sources of livelihood—Industry of women—Dwellings—Byres adjoining—No chimneys—Gradual improvement—Gardens rare«r-Fevers and consumption—Food —Absence of pigs—Whisky—Illicit distillation—Fuel—Torasgian—-Cabar lar— Peat creel—Carts—Sledges before roads were made.

    Chapter VIII.—Agriculture and Stock

    Little agriculture in ancient days—Black cattle—Blood taken from living cattle m —The bowmen—Hill shielings miserable places—Introduction of sheep farming— Sheep farms forested—Sheep deteriorate pasture—Ancient breed of sheep—Present farms—Run-rig—Crofts established in Gairloch—Crofters' crops—The cas-chrom —Sir G. S. Mackenzie on imperfect agriculture—On indolence—The Highland husbandman—His negligence—Sir Francis Mackenzie on imperfect cultivation— On manures—On the cas-chrom—On lack of industry—On absence of gardens— Introduction of the potato.

    Chapter IX.—Fisheries

    Gairloch fishermen and fish—Herring fisheries—Lobsters and crabs—Oysters —Gairloch cod fishery—Under Sir Alexander Mackenzie, 1721 to 1766—In 1792 —Sir G. S. Mackenzie's account of it under Sir Hector—Lines and hooks formerly home-made—First foreign hooks in 1823—Cod fishery in 1884 and 1885—Salmon fishery—Bag-nets—Diminution in stock of salmon.

    Chapter X.—Posts and Road-making

    Post-runners to Gairloch—Dr Mackenzie's account—Donald Charles—Roderick M'Lennan—William Cross—M*Leay—Iain Mor am Post—General Wade's road —Bridges in Gairloch—Road from Gairloch to Poolewe—The Dowager Lady Mackenzie's account of road-making—Destitution Committee contribute to road-making—Road to Fionn loch.

    Chapter XI.—Superstitions of Isle Maree

    Isle Maree conspicuous—The wishing-tree—Her Majesty's offering—St Mael-rubha permitted sacrifices of bulls—Continued to 1678—Latterly associated with cure of insanity—Treatment of lunatics—Still continued—Dr Mitchell's description —Circular enclosure supposed to be Druidical—Graves of the prince and princess —The well—Description of the wishing-tree—Trees of Isle Maree—Probability of the legend of Isle Maree—Name of island derived from St Maelrubha—St Mael-rubha worshipped.

    Chapter XII.—Superstitions of Isle Maree—continued

    Druidical sacrifices engrafted on Christianity—Resort to Isle Maree for cure of lunacy probably ancient—Parallel superstitions—Bull sacrifice at Kirkcudbright— Sacrifices of bulls not confined to the saint's day—Descriptions of proceedings for cure of lunatics—Mac Culloch's description—No form of words—Recent cases—St Maelrubha and St Ruffus identical—Mad dog dipped in the well—Sad consequences—Quotations as to Pagan practices engrafted on Christianity.

    Chapter XIII.—Superstitions generally

    Highlanders' surroundings suggest superstition—Gradual diminution of it— Older superstitions—Loch Maree water cure—The Fox Point—Coins found —The Cathair mor and Sitheanan Dubha—Gairloch fairy tale—The Shiant Isles' fairy—Eilean Suthainn—Fairies seen on Isle Ewe in 1883—Lights and music of fairies noticed at Mellon Charles—William M'Lean gets a bagpipe chanter from the fairies—The Gille Dubh of Loch a Druing—Superstitious fancies—The Loch of the Beast—Evidence of the appearance of the beast—Proceedings for its suppression—Rorie and the mermaid.

    You can read all these chapters at

    The Starling, A Scotch Story
    By Normal MacLeod D.D. (1877)

    We've posted other books by this author and also a biography about him. He was a well know personality during his lifetime and also chaplan to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

    This week we've added the following chapters...

    Chapter XIII
    Jock Hall, The Neer Do Weel
    Chapter XIV
    Jock Hall's Conspiracy
    Chapter XV
    Jock Hall's Journey
    Chapter XVI
    Fishers and Fishing
    Chapter XVII
    The Keeper's Home
    Chapter XVIII
    The Keeper's Letter
    Chapter XIX
    Extremes Meet

    These chapters can be read 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...

    Notes and Queries
    Bidean and The Buchailles
    Winter Ascents No. 2 - Braes of Angus
    The Cairngorms in Summer
    Adventure on Sgor-Na-H-Ullaidh
    The Braes of Balquhidder
    An Ascent of Ben Lomand (3,192 ft) by William and Mary Howitt in 1822

    The Braes of Balquhidder

    THERE is perhaps no centre, within easy reach both of Edinburgh and Glasgow, from which so much may be done in the way of interesting climbs and walks, as Ba!quhidder. It can be reached from either of these cities by the early morning trains, in sufficient time to allow of the accomplishment of a good day's work before returning to town in the evening. If notice be given to the guard at either Callander or Strathyre, the train will stop at Kingshouse Platform. Within a radius of ten miles there are no less than eleven first-class Bens of an altitude of 3,000 feet and upwards, not to speak of a multitude of lesser hills, every one of which is well worth climbing on account of the magnificent panorama of hill, loch, wood, and glen disclosed from it. And should mist unfortunately enfold the high ground, the fatigue of the railway journey need not have been undertaken in vain, for the surrounding glens and passes afford plenty of exercise for mind, lungs, and limbs, and amply repay exploration. Nor is it merely from a scenic point that the district claims attention. It is well dowered with song, tradition, and legend, the historic names of Robert the Bruce and Rob Roy being intimately associated with it. It is in the hope of making it better known to members of the Club that the writer ventures to submit a few notes of walks and climbs done during a recent sojourn amid Baiquhidder's Braes.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Dr Margaret MacKellar
    The story of her early years by B. Chone Oliver (1929)

    WHEN Dr. MacKellar was on furlough in 1913, at the Whitby Conference, she was led to lay aside her usual reserve and tell of her conversion and call to the mission field. Many were touched by the account and one who was present wrote a sketch of Dr. MacKellar for "Everyland," adapting it to children, but, as the account was written largely from memory, there were a number of inaccuracies.

    Dr. MacKellar had often been told that she owed the recital of her leading to others, and that some day it should and would be written. So when it happened that three of us went together to South India for our vacation, it seemed as if the time and opportunity had come for the preparation of the narrative. She told all the facts and they were written down, but with the liberty of a friend and admirer. Dr. MacKellar first became known to me in 1890, when I was aspiring to be what she had become—a medical missionary. Since coming to India, in January, 1902, I have been rather closely associated with her.

    It is not the aim of this little sketch, however, to take up the tale of her splendid work in India, but rather to tell and amplify the story that was heard with appreciation at Whitby. May the reading of it be a call to some young people of our church to offer for like service, and may it encourage any who are daunted by difficulties to see how God's help and a strong will can overcome them.

    You can read this book at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    By Frank Shaw

    We got in this week...

    Chapter 90 - Another Unsubstantiated Claim by Paddy Hogg

    Below you will find another brief commentary regarding the on-going exchange of Patrick Scott Hogg, Mark Wilson, Gerard Carruthers, etc. I have nothing further to add from an editorial perspective, but I do wonder how many copies of The Patriot Bard have been sold. If any of you know or can recommend how to find the answer, I’d appreciate it. Perhaps the publishers might care to reply to the question at the end of the article below. It would be interesting to hear from them.

    In the meantime, thanks to whoever wrote the following line, “I bid you adieu, but not goodbye”!

    You can read this at

    All Frank's Robert Burns Lives! articles can be viewed at

    And that's it for now and hope you all have a good Canada Day and a good July 4th and good Tartan Day in Australia and a good weekend :-)


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Chatham, Ontario, Canada
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    Re: July 2nd, 2010

    Beth Gay's Family Tree for July is now available. Sorry I missed this out of the newsletter. You can view it at


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