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Electric Scotland News

Well this week has been rather interesting on the Brexit front. The meaningful vote was postponed and then we had the vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister which she won 200 to 117. And then we saw her chasing around the EU but seemingly getting nowhere in her attempts to get a change to the Northern Ireland backstop. She did say that she would step down before the next election.

There was some discussion on the votes as it seems Margaret Thatcher won her vote of no confidence by 202 votes but she decided to resign. It has been pointed out that many of her votes came from the paid position of many of her MP's so some 2/3rd of her non pain MP's voted no confidence. We have a news item which explains this in our news section of this newsletter.
Most newspapers seem to think she has been weakened and that more of less nothing has changed. And that leads to a possible no deal.


I'm not sure what other countries do about unwanted phone calls but here in Canada we have a "do not call" facility where you can register not to receive sales calls. And if someone does call you can tell them to remove your phone number from their list. If in fact they do phone back you can report them and the agency should ensure the company is investigated.

However I was getting more than one call a day from Duct cleaning companies and my reporting them did nothing at all to lessen the number of calls I was receiving. So... what to do?

Well I investigated and found a new phone system that allowed me to block calls. So when someone like the duct cleaning company phoned I could then just hit the "Call Block" button and confirm YES I do want to block this caller and I would never receive a call from them again. In fact now I often get phone calls but the display now says... blocking caller.

Now I must say that it takes a while for this to work as people like the Duct Cleaning people use many numbers to call you but now after some 6 months of using the system I only get around 2 calls a month. Then we have recently had a spate of credit card companies phoning to tell me they can reduce my interest. Problem is that I never pay interest as I always pay of the whole bill each month and in fact have a direct debit arrangement that always pays of any amounts in full. And so I now also block these calls and it is also working.

So just a heads up on how I manage to do away with unwanted callers here in Canada.


According to Diabetes Canada (formerly the Canadian Diabetes Association), 57% of Canadians living with diabetes say they are unable to follow the treatment they were prescribed because they can’t afford the medication, the devices and the associated supplies.

In Canada, one factor affecting the annual cost to patients is the province they live in. On average, a person with diabetes might pay over 3% of their annual salary, or more than $1,500. The situation also changes completely based on whether you have a private health insurance plan.

It’s never a good idea to jeopardize your health to spare your wallet. All in all, there are plenty of other expenditures you should consider cutting before thinking of reusing your lancets or skipping an insulin injection.


Here is the video introduction to this newsletter...

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 as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. 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.

Brexiteers should hold their nerve and set a course for No Deal
Whichever way you slice it, all paths now lead to a No Deal Brexit

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The UK’s unnoticed export boom underlines why a no-deal Brexit is nothing to fear
A true economic miracle is happening. An extraordinary leap in the UK’s global export trade has occurred

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Holy grail hydropower plan unveiled for Scottish lochs
The company behind a major green energy scheme that will use water from Loch Ness to create a giant rechargeable battery is planning to develop two new similar projects at Loch Awe and Loch Tay.

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World’s restaurants take Scottish wild salmon off the menu as our rivers empty of fish
WILD salmon caught in Scotland is now off the menu at restaurants after the closure of the country’s main commercial fishery.

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Statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Sculptor Andy Scott was today joined by Nicola Sturgeon to dedicate a bronze likeness of Mackintosh, which stands 2.8m tall and weighs three tons.

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Carruthers unveils plans for launch of Scottish stock exchange
Plans to launch a Scottish stock exchange next year have been unveiled after its backers struck a partnership deal with the operator of markets across Europe.

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Jackie Anderson's Christmas recipes
Making your own Advocaat

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The Sputtering German-French Motor
Once considered the motor of the European Union, the German-French partnership no longer has the clout it once did. That has recently become apparent in struggling efforts to reform the common currency zone.

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Scottish budget: At a glance
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has set out his plans for tax and spending for the year ahead at Holyrood. What are the big ideas and spending commitments?

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PM May wins party confidence vote by 200 to 117
Prime Minister Theresa May won a confidence vote from her Conservative party on Wednesday, but 117 of her lawmakers said she was no longer the right leader to implement Britain’s exit from the European Union.

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Parliamentary Private Secretaries and the irresistible rise in the payroll vote
45% of Conservative MPs must now vote with the government or resign their post.

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Document sheds light on Medieval voyage from Aberdeen
A rare document about an Aberdeen ship sailing to North America in 16th Century has been found.

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The political touch of death has delivered a caretaker Prime Minister
LAST NIGHT a majority of Tory backbench MPs came forth and whispered a truth: they do not believe in the Prime Minister. It took the payroll vote to keep her in post.

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Scottish and UK governments clash over Brexit court ruling
The Scottish and UK governments have clashed after Supreme Court judges said parts of Holyrood's Brexit legislation would not be allowed to stand.

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Electric Canadian

The Canadian Horticulturist
Added volume 6, published by the Fruit Growers Association of Ontario.

You can read this at:

Canadian Archive Reports
Added the 1886 report.

You can read this at:

Voyages from Montreal through the Continent of North America
To the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793 with an Account of the Rise and State of the Fur Trade by Alexander MacKenzie in two volumes (1903)

The exact date of Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s birth is not accurately known, although it is supposed he was born at Inverness, Scotland, about 1755. He came to North America at an early age and obtained employment in the counting-house of Messrs. Gregory and Co., a connexion of the North-West Fur Company. It was while he was with this company that he obtained the experience and knowledge necessary to his profession of a fur-trader, long before he undertook his arduous and dangerous expeditions to the far North. He was soon to distinguish himself.

You can read these at:

Canadian Living
The March 2016 edition of this monthly Magazine which you can read at:

Canadian Bookman
A quarterly publication of which this is the first issue (1915) which you can read at:

The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs for 1902 and 1903. The Publishers of the latter work having acquired all the remaining copies of Morang’s Annual Register, have decided to re-bind and re-issue these volumes as the first of the Series. The Work as a whole will, therefore, commence with a new century of Canadian history and development, and the 1901 volume includes a record of such important events as Queen Victoria’s death and the King’s accession, together with Canada’s participation in the South African War and its reception of the Prince and Princess of Wales. It is felt that this arrangement will be appreciated by subscribers to the Series, and by that portion of the public which is interested in an adequate record of contemporaneous events or Canadian progress.

I will be bringing you several issues of this publication and have started it by bringing you the 1901 and 1902 issues which you can read at:

Canadian Fisherman
A monthly publication where I am going to bring you several issues over the next few weeks.

The opening days of what promises to be the greatest year in the history of Canada’s fisheries, is a fitting time for the launching of a journal devoted to the interests of the fishermen and the fish trade of the Dominion.

Up to the present, the men engaged in the fisheries of Canada have had no paper or magazine specially written for them or representing the fishing business in any way, and considering that the Canadian Fisheries last year amounted to thirty-four million dollars in value, the industry has grown to proportions which fully justify the publication of a journal to cover all that is going on in the trade from coast to coast and at the same time assist in the development of one of Canada’s greatest natural resources—the Fisheries.

A good live trade journal can do a great deal towards helping the progress of an industry. It is the means of bringing those who are engaged in the business together. The special articles and news items published in its columns arc bound to be of value to both fishermen and shore dealers, while the suggestions of men who know what they arc writing about, whether fishermen or dealers, will do much to help the trade and give a better understanding of affairs between them.

The fishing trade is divided among three classes. First, comes the fishermen themselves—the men who catch the fish. Second, are the wholesalers who purchase the fares and look after the distribution of the fish among the retailors. Third, consists of the retailers who sell the fish to the general public. Among the three classes there is a great deal of misunderstanding mostly caused by ignorance of each others particular part of the business. The fishermen know very little about the troubles and difficulties which beset the wholesalers in making and supplying markets, and the wholesalers, in turn, know very little about the hardships the fishermen have to undergo in order to bring in the fares. The retailer, as a rule, knows the least about cither of the other two. The consequence is that all three are divided in ideas and pulling against each other. Not in every case, but in a great many.

The great success of any business consists in all hands pulling together. All three sections are engaged in supplying the goods to the consumer and trying to create a larger market in them, but a lack of knowledge of the conditions which rule in each section has a tendency to hinder the progress of the business. Here is where the influence of an able trade journal like the Canadian Fisherman will do a great deal to help the industry. Our organization with its practical writers and correspondents scattered throughout all the fishing sections of Canada; our acquaintance with the fishermen themselves, the wholesalers and the state of the markets throughout the Dominion, puts us in a position to help all sections without favoring one more than the other. In the pages of the Canadian Fisherman the fishermen will get a great deal if information about other parts of their business which they could never get anywhere else, and the same applies to the wholesalers and retailers.

Success to the Fisheries is the watchword of this magazine. We are starting out with the intention of boosting the fish business of Canada and we hope that all who are in the trade, whether fishermen or merchants, will assist us to do so. We are not influenced in any way by politics, nor in the pay of trusts, syndicates or Unions. We do not intend to do any knocking unless it is for the good of the trade.

The first number which we present to you this month is by no means perfect, but we want to make it so before long. In this we ask the advice of the men in the business. The Canadian Fisherman is your magazine and it makes no difference to us whether the men who advise us handle the twine or trawl or work at the desk. Assist us by subscribing to the magazine regularly and making helpful criticisms, and we will do our best to make good on the task we have set ourselves.

You can read the first issue at:

Electric Scotland

Army Life
Found a handbook from the US Army which explains life in the army to new recruits. The first one came out in 1944 with a second edition in 1946. Also found a 2008 edition.

Here is the introduction from the 1944 edition...

As a newly inducted soldier, you will find it necessary to make a complete readjustment of your previous habits of life. You have become a part of a huge organization in which you will live in intimate daily association with other soldiers conforming to the exacting requirements of the military team. The necessary disciplinary control and the military surroundings will present an entirely new order of life for you, all essential to our great purpose in this war.

To help you make the necessary readjustments, this booklet, Army Life, has been prepared. It is based on experience of millions of men who have entered the Army before you and it should provide the answers for most of the questions every new soldier asks himself or his associates. Study carefully its contents, for it should assist you greatly in making the necessary readjustments in establishing yourself as an efficient soldier.

Good luck to you. May you find friends and experience that will be of great help to you in the years to come.

You can read these at:

The Best Way
The fourth edition of "The Best Way", published in the UK circa 1920. Aimed at new housewives, it contains mostly recipes together with laundry tips and even a method for preventing kettles rusting using lard! Printed on inexpensive paper that has turned a lovely brown colour over the last century. Pages one to five are missing, containing some of the soup recipes alas.

You can read this at:

Army List
The Army List is a list (or more accurately seven series of lists) of serving regular, militia or territorial British Army officers, kept in one form or another, since 1702.

In addition to the regular series there are special lists of the forces in North America (1782), of British American half-pay officers (1783) and of foreign corps (1794 to 1802).

I have provided links to a long list of their publications but thought I'd include one for you to download from the page as an example...

The Quarterly Army List for January 1946 - Corrected generally to 7th December, 1945 by the Ministry of Defence, Great Britain (pdf)

You can read this at:

The First World War
Today we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with this brand new edition which you can read at:

Greatest Battles
From before the Persian invasion at Marathon in 490 BCE, to the Falklands War in 1982 and beyond. You can read this at:

The American Civil War Story
With the Declaration of Independence in 1776, 13 former British colonies became the United States of America, but by the 1830s it was clear the new nation was divided. Adam P Smith explains how the issue of slavery, above all, created discord between north and south, and forced political tension to rise.

You can read this at:

Log Cabin Song Book of 1840
Revised for the Campaign of 1888, with numerous New Songs to Patriotic Airs edited by O. C. Hooper (1888) (pdf) which you can read at:

Herbal Remedies
By Andrew Chevallier. The last decade has seen a rapid increase in the publication of books on herbal medicine. However, it is rare to find one, such as this, that incorporates details of over-the-counter remedies, written for the general public by a practicing herbal practitioner. Andrew Chevallier brings to this book years of experience in clinical practice and book authorship (he is the author of the Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants, also published by Dorling Kindersley). Andrew is a well-known and respected member of the herbal fraternity in the UK, having been in the past President of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (2007) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Indoctrination of USA Army Personnel Arriving in the UK in 1943
A most interesting collection of material from the USA on matters to do with American personnel in the UK during WW2.

You can read this at:

Israel: A History of the Jewish People
By Rufus Learsi (1949) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Tam O’ Shanter and the Merry Masons
By William Harvey (sixth Editioh) (1960)

You can read this at:

Robert Burns as a Freemason
By William Harvey, J. P. (1921) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency
By John Seymour (1976) (pdf) His magnum opus covers every conceivable topic from animal husbandry and butchering, seed sowing and cropping, dairy production and food storage, rubbish and recycling.

You can read this at:

The Story

I thought I'd bring you a few obituaries from Tait's Edinburgh Magazine of 1849...


At London, on the 6th March, the Right Hon. Sir Alexander Johnston, of Cornsalloch, Dumfries-shire. He was the representative of an ancient family in his native county, and was the eldest son of the late Mr. Alexander Johnston, of Cornsalloch, by his wife the Hon. Hester Maria Napier, the daughter of Francis, fifth Lord Napier, and aunt of Lieut.-General Sir Charles James Napier, the new commander-in-chief in India, and Lieut.-General Sir George Napier. He was born in 1775, and married Louisa, only surviving daughter of the late Lord William Campbell, youngest son of John, fifth Duke of Argyle. Sir Alexander Johnston had held some of the highest and most distinguished offices under the state in the east, and was a member of the Privy Council. During his official career he had, in the words of the late Marquis of Londonderry, “the great glory of having given freedom it conscience, of establishing trial by jury, and of abolishing the slave-trade throughout the island of Ceylon.” The late Earl Grey, in the House of Lords, also observed that “no person had ever before had the honour of introducing three such measures into any country, and that his conduct in the island of Ceylon alone had immortalised his name.” Latterly Sir Alexander had resided principally on his family estate in Dumfries-shire.


At Mountblow, on the 13th March, William Dunn, Esq., of Duntocher. He raised himself from an humble origin, and was the architect of his own fortune. He was born in the parish of Kilsyth, in 1770. From early life he evinced superior mechanical skill, inventive powers, and an acute mind. He went to Glasgow a journeyman blacksmith, and, in 1798, established machine-making works in High John Street there, which have long been on an extensive scale. About the year 1811, he entered into the business of cotton-spinning. He was also an enterprising agriculturist. and acquired very considerable landed property in th? county of Dumbarton. He is said to have left upwards of 500,000.


At his residence, Rutland Square, Edinburgh, on the 12th April, of debility, consequent on fever, Sir Andrew Agnew, Baronet, of Lochnaw, in Wigtownshire, in the 56th year of his age. He was the seventh baronet, and succeeded his grandfather in 1809. Born in 1793, he was the son of Andrew Agnew, Esq., by the eldest daughter of the 26th Lord Kingsale, in Ireland. He married, in 1816, the daughter of Sir David Carnegie, Baronet, of Southesk, by whom he had several children. He was vice-lieutenant of the county of Wigtown, which he represented in Parliament from 1880 io 1837. He voted for the Reform Bill, and, in general, his conduct, as a member of the Legislature, was marked by a liberal and independent course of politics. The introduction of his famous Sunday Trading Bill, however, rendered him a conspicuous butt for the shafts of ridicule and abuse; and he endured a storm of raillery and revilement which would have overwhelmed almost any other public man. The measure caused nearly as much excitement especially in London, as even the Reform Bill itself, and was thrown out in Parliament. He did not, however, abate one jot of his efforts in behalf of the “better observance of the Sabbath,” as his constant and indefatigable, and, it must be admitted, able and disinterested, advocacy of the Sabbath railway closing movement abundantly testified. Indeed, his last appearance in public was at a meeting of the Scottish Central Railway Company, a short time before his death, when he took part in the proceedings. Though too rigorous for England in his notions, Sir Andrew was sincere and well-meaning, and his name will long be remembered, as it was chiefly celebrated in his life, for his championship of the sacredness of the Sabbath. The family to which Sir Andrew belonged was a very ancient one, and up to 1747 held the hereditary shrievalty of Wigtownshire. On its abolition in that year, when the heritable jurisdictions of Scotland were universally abolished, he then presentative of the family received 4,000 as compensation. Soon after Sir Andrew had succeeded to the estate he introduced several important and judicious improvements of his property, for which there was abundant scope. Lochawe Castle, the patrimonial seat, a very ancient, and once strongly fortified, edifice, stands on an eminence, in the parish of Leswalt; and on the west side of it, in the olden time, lay the waters of the Loch from which it derived its name. This beautiful sheet of water, nearly half a mile long, bad been drained, and its bed turned into meadowland; but Sir Andrew, with excellent taste, restored it to its pristine condition, raised a noble plantation around it, and improved and decorated the adjacent grounds, till the ancient seat of his family soon became the grand attraction of the parish. After his retirement from Parliament, Sir Andrew continued to have great political influence in Wigtownshire and the importance of his position was increased by the disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. He is succeeded in his title and estates by his eldest son. Captain Andrew Agnew, R.N., who married, in 1846, Lady Mary Arabella Louisa, a daughter of tbe Earl of Gainsborough. A daughter of the decorated baronet married, after the disruption, the Rev. T. B. Bell, Free Church Minister of Leswalt, and one of his sons is a Minister of the Free Church. Sir Andrew Agnew was buried on the 19th April, in the Grange Cemetery, near Edinburgh, in a grave next to those of Dr. Chalmers and Mr. Graham Spiers, late Sheriff of Edinburgh. The ceremony was public, and six, out of seven, of his surviving sons, followed his remains to the grave, one being prevented by indisposition from attending.


On the 16th April, the Rev. John Macdonald, D.D., minister of the Free Church at Urquhart, in the barony of Ferrintosh, Ross-shire, in the 70th year of his age. About two months before his decease, the pressure of a tight boot, caused a slight bruise in one of his feet, which was, unfortunately, neglected, and mortification ensued. The hurt, spreading, terminated in his death. He was a native of, Beay, in Caitbness-shire, where his father officiated as catechist, and was born on the 12th of November, 1779. He was1 educated in tho parish school of Reay, and in his eighteenth year went to King’s College, Old Aberdeen, where he completed the usual course of theological studies. In 1805 he was licensed to preach, and, for about two years, he seems to have acted as a missionary or occasional preacher in the Highlands. He was ordained in 1806, and in 1807 he was appointed successor to the Rev. Mr. Maclachlan, in the Gaelic Chapel, Edinburgh. Six years afterwards he received from Mr. Forbes of Culloden, the patron, a presentation to the parish of Urquhart, having been the free choice of the people. For the long period of thirty-six years he laboured in that remote district, with great zeal and success, and became one of the most popular and influential clergymen in the north of Scotland. His flock were strongly attached to him, and his frequent journeys throughout the kingdom made his name extensively known. His preaching was distinguished by fervour and energy, and crowd's of people everywhere flocked to hear him in the pulpit. Perhaps no man ever preached more sermons in the same number of years. He often preached twice, and even three a day, for weeks in succession. His manner was earnest and animated, and, to a Gaelic congregation, irresistible. At the disruption of the Church of Scotland, in 1843, Dr. Macdonald was one of those who, from conscientious motives, seceded from the Church. He was twice married— first, to Miss Georgina Ross of Gladfield, Ross-shire, who died in 1814; and, secondly, to Miss Janet Mackenzie, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, Esq., of Millbank. By both marriages he had issue. The late Rev. John Macdonald, of Calcutta, was his eldest son. He was prematurely cut off by a fever, in 1848, and his remains are interred in Calcutta, the scene of his missionary exertions.


At Aberdeen, on the 20th March, Major-General Forbes, C.B. He entered the army as Ensign, in 1703, and was for many years connected with the 78th Regiment, or Ross-shire Buffs. In 1794-95, he was engaged in active service in Holland. He afterwards accompanied the 78th to Quiberon Bay, and was at the taking of the Isle of Dieu in 1795. The following year he proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope, nod was present at the capture of the Dutch fleet in Saldanha Bay. In November, 1797, he accompanied his regiment to India, and served with it during the campaign in Oude in 1798 and 1799. He also served during part of the Mahratta campaign in 1803. In Java he particularly distinguished himself, having been present in every action in which his regiment was engaged there daring tbe yean 1811, 1812, and 1813, including the forcing of the enemy’s position at Welterveden, the storming of the lines of Cornelia, the heights of Serandah, and other strong places. In May, 1843, he quelled an insurrection which broke out in the east end of Java, when Lieutenant-Colonel Fraser and Captain M'Pherson, of the 78th, were murdered by the insurgents. For his services in Java he received a medal, and was five times thanked in general orders. In 1817, he retired on half-pay, and in 1838 was made a military companion of the Bath. On the occasion of the brevet in 1846 he became a Major-General.

And that's it for this week and hope you have a great weekend.