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Thread: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

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    Newsletter for 7th June 2019

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

    Electric Scotland News

    Got in an email from Beth Gay saying...

    Hi Alastair. Learned this afternoon that the Blairsville, GA Scottish Highland Games, set for June 8, 2019, have been cancelled because the weather forecast is for heavy rain all the coming weekend and throughout the next week. (Thank them for doing this...such a shame to try to hold games in the pouring rain.)

    They have notified folks who were scheduled to have tents, vendors, etc., but that leaves a bazillion people who were planning to "just come."

    Could you put this somewhere where it will be seen by lots of people?

    And so hopefully you'll be able to spread the word?


    My picks for the new Prime Minister are so far Boris Johnson and Esther McVey but voting doesn't start until next Monday.

    And in the next few hours we should hear the results of the Peterborough by-election and see if the Brexit party won.


    You can view a video introduction to this newsletter at:

    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.

    Nigel Farage is the one figure in British politics who has learnt from his mistakes
    The Brexit Party's core message resonates, mainly because it is true

    Read more at:

    Why I'm backing Esther McVey
    Esther McVey is a straight-talker who understands working class people

    Read more at:

    Tax rises forecast as Scotland faces 1bn spending black hole
    Scotland is facing a 1 billion spending black hole in the coming years - with a stark warning that it could lead to fresh austerity or tax hikes.

    Read more at:

    Scotland’s best buildings revealed at nation’s architectural Oscars
    Dundee’s V&A museum, the transformation of a 200-year-old observatory in Edinburgh into an art gallery, the rebirth of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh-design tearoom in Glasgow and a futuristic new whisky attraction in Speyside have been named among Scotland’s ten best buildings.

    Read more at:

    How Ocado is beating Amazon and plans to take over the world
    The UK company is building a moonshot factory that will take it beyond groceries.

    Read more at:

    The economic opportunities of Brexit
    Sir John Redwood tells Brexit Facts4EU.Org readers how Brexit can make us better off

    Read more at:

    Thirty reasons why we welcome you, Mr President
    From Conservative Women. A must read for every American!!!

    Read more at:

    Johnson’s launch video
    Time to deliver Brexit and unite our fantastic country. I hope you will support me

    View this at:

    Huge Edinburgh Airport site goes up for sale
    A mixed-use development next to Edinburgh International Airport which could provide office space for more than 20,000 workers or housing for 6,000 people has been brought to market.

    Read more at:

    SNP Government under fire over Westminster attacks in flagship economy paper
    The Fraser of Allander Institute also hits out at the lack of analysis and forward planning in Derek Mackay's medium term financial strategy (MTFS) which was set out set out last week.

    Read more at:

    The Mummy Diaries
    Two babies - Week 50 - by Emma Hargan

    Read more at:

    No deal most popular Brexit choice with farmers, says report
    More than a quarter of farmers are backing the UK to leave the EU without a transitional arrangement, making it the most popular Brexit conclusion, according to a new survey of 200 farm businesses.

    Read more at:

    President Trump’s State visit was a personal success
    Overall, this was a successful visit for President Trump. Back home he would have looked Presidential ahead of the elections next year. In the United Kingdom, President Trump highlighted the importance of the special relationship.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    The Canadian Horticulturist
    Volume 29 (1906) can be read at:

    Wentworth Historical Society.
    Added volume 4 which you can download at:

    Travels in the Interior Inhabited Parts of North America
    In the years 1791 and 1792 In which is given an account of the manners and customs of the Indians, and the present war between them and the Foederal States, the mode of life and system of farming among the new settlers of both Canadas, New York, New England, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia; interspersed with anecdotes of people, observations on the soil, natural productions, and political situation of these countries. by Patrick Campbell (1793) (pdf)

    You can Read this at:

    The Historical Overview of Canadian Agriculture
    One of the publications in the 1996 Census of Agriculture series of products (pdf) which you can read at:

    By Every Means Possible
    Despite receiving less recognition than the army, Canada's navy and air force were crucial to the success of the D-Day invasion.

    You can read this at:

    Souvenir of Hamilton
    A wee booklet about Hamilton in Ontario which you can read at:

    Electric Scotland

    One Human(e) Society
    By Martin MaIntyre

    An interesting concept to consider and you can read this at:

    The Collected Writings of Lord Selkirk
    Volume 1

    This can be read at:

    History of the West Indies
    Comprising British Guiana, Barbadoes, St. Vincent's, St. Lucia, Dominica, Montserrat, Antigua, St. Christopher's, Jamaica, Honduras, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, The Bahamas and The Virgin Isles, &c. &c. by R. Montgomery Martin, F.S.S. (1837) (pdf) in two volumes.

    Added this to our Commonwealth page at:

    The British Empire in America
    Containing the History of the Discovery, Settlement, Progress and Present State of all the British Colonies on the Continent and Islands of America in two volumes being an account of the country, Soil, Climate, Product and Trade of them by J. Oldmixon (1741) added this under the previous link at:

    Heroes and Heroic Deeds of the Great War
    By Donald A. MacKenzie (1918) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Story of a Doctor's Telephone and The Physician's Wife
    by Ellen M. Firebaugh (pdf)

    Came across these two book and enjoyed the read so tho0ght I'd share them with you and they can be read at: and

    State Visit of Trump to the UK
    Posted up some Royal Family videos of this visit for our American friends which can be viewed at:

    Stanley Brodie QC invites attention to something which is often overlooked
    The actual wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which regulates the departure of Member States from the EU.

    You can read this at:

    Scottish Rivers
    By Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. Added a link to this book at the foot of his page at:

    Memoir of Lord Haddo
    In his latter years, Fifth Earl of Aberdeen edited by the Rev. E. B. Elliott, M.A. (sixth edition) (1866) (pdf)

    Given it's a sixth edition must have been popular and you can read this at:

    Irving of Bonshaw
    Added a link to our Irving of Bonshaw community forum to our Irvine page where new information has been posted

    You can get to this at:

    Maitland of Lethington
    Added this 2 volume publication to our Maitland page at:

    Lizzie Maitland
    An old novel published in 1857 which I thought I'd share with you as I found it while looking for Maitland in our site search engine and it can be read at:

    Lieutenant John Gordon of the Dundurcus Family
    Massacred at Patna 1763 By J. M. Bulloch and C. O. Skelton (1907) (pdf). You can read this account at:

    Historical Memoirs of the House and Clan of MacKintosh and of the Clan Chattan
    By Alexander MacKintosh Shaw (1880) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Memorials of John MaKintosh
    By the Late Norman MacLeod, D.D. from the Twentieth edition (1878) (pdf) which you can read at:

    The Story

    This is a story I will be adding to the site next week and thought I'd give the first few pages for you to read to whett the appetite as they say.

    Memorials of Peter Smith

    I was born in the city of Brechin, Forfarshire, Scotland, in the month of September, 1802. My father was a carpenter by trade. His name was Peter Smith. My mother’s maiden name was Janet Middleton. They had five children, James, John, David, Peter, and Mary. David died when about eight years old.

    The first incident noticeable in regard to myself, and which has often recurred to my mind, was the saving of the life of my sister when she was about three years old, which occurred on a Sabbath afternoon.

    My father and mother both went to the kirk to hear some celebrated preacher, and left me at home to take care of my sister. A little girl, one of the neighbors’ children, younger than myself, came in, and we wandered out into the vegetable garden, where was a spring of water, built up like a well, two feet in diameter. My sister went too near the edge and fell in. When the little girl who was with us saw this, she ran to tell what had happened. I was frightened and ran some distance, but turned back; as the buoyancy of my sister’s clothing kept her from sinking, when she floated to the side where I could reach.her, I took hold of her clothes ahd pulled her out. If I had not turned back she would have been drowned, as it was some distance from any help. I was then in my sixth year. I have often looked back to the event as one of those wonderful providences of God that has marked my eventful life, and to Him be all the praise.

    My father died in the month of August, 1810. I was in my eighth year, attending school. In the following spring I had the small-pox very severely; was blind about ten days. It was the end of summer before I entirely recovered.

    The death of my father and then my sickness brought my mother into rather straitened circumstances. My brother James was the only help she had, except her own hands, which she plied with great diligence at the spinning-wheel.

    About this time, my brother John was bound as an apprentice to the trade of millwright. This cost a good deal in those days, as cloth-,ing and a certain portion of tools had to be provided.

    During the harvest season of this year, as things were going pretty hard with my mother, she went with me to a farmer where my brother John had lived, to see if he could give me employment for my board. He heard her story, looked at me, and said I was a very small boy for what he had to do, but if I was as good a boy as my brother John he would try me a while.

    I was employed, during the harvest, watching the horses in the pasture, when they were not at work, and doing such things as I was able to do. As the season advanced and white frosts made their appearance on the grass in the mornings, I took cold in my feet and legs; sores broke out upon them, so that I had to be carried home to my mother, and was lame all winter from what was supposed to be the effects of small-pox.

    After recovering from my lameness, I was sent to school for a short time. It was the last of my schooling, except what I got at a later period of my life by attending evening schools.

    About this time provisions were very high, which made it hard for my mother to get the necessaries of life. By rising early and sitting up late, plying her spinning-wheel, she endeavored, as she used to say, “to make the two ends meet;” for she had great dread of running into debt, and gave us many a lecture on that subject.

    About this time I was sent to work in a flaxspinning mill, but did not like it, and tried to get my mother to go out to some farmer in the neighborhood, and see if he would not take me as a herd-boy.

    One day we started off together, but were unsuccessful, farmers preferring to employ country boys than to take one from town. At last, through the influence of a friend, I got a place, where I lived for one year. The family consisted of an aged couple and a grown-up son and daughter. They were very kind to me and I had a good home, but got nothing for my ' services except my food. As I was only about two miles from my mother’s house, she often came out to see me, in the summer months, on Sabbath afternoons, and hear me say my catechism, psalms, and hymns, and gave me much good advice to be sure and not be an eye-servant.

    My next place of service was with Captain A----, who had purchased a farm in the neighborhood, and was building a mansion-house on the grounds. I went myself and made applica-iton for the place. He asked me my name, said he knew my mother, told me to call again, — that he would talk with the man who had charge of his cows, and let me know. I went home and told my mother, who was surprised to think that I should have the courage to go myself, so small a boy, and speak to such a gentleman as Captain A----. I had then formed the idea that if anything was to be accomplished it must be attended to at once, and this has been my experience in all my subsequent life. My mother called upon Captain A----, to find out how matters stood, and was told her boy would get the place, and what his duties would be; that I would have to live on meal and milk. That meant that I was to do my own cooking. I had a certain allowance of meal; what I did not use went with my wages, which was a great help to my mother in those times of scarcity. I remained with Captain A---- through the summer months, and was pleased with my place. I went daily into Brechin with milk to Captain A----’s family and Provost M----’s, his father-in-law. As the winter approached, my services were not required; this was in 1812, a hard year for poor people; but I got a place in a baker’s shop, which I did not like.

    In the spring, I got a chance on a farm near Catterthun, — a good place. The people were kind to me; they kept a number of servants, male and female.

    In the fall of this year, 1813, the linen trade was quite brisk. My brother James, being a weaver, was anxious that I should come home and learn the trade. I felt very reluctant to go to the loom, as I thought, if I did, I should have to be a weaver all my days. I had then a great desire for some mechanical trade; but the glowing colors in which my brother placed the thing before me —that I could make so much money for a while, and then I could go to a trade afterwards — induced me to leave my place, and commence to learn the art of weaving brown linen. Everything went on well for a short time : but the year 1815 came, and the end of the French war; with it the fall of the linen trade,— nothing but destitution on every side. There was a complete breaking up of the business for a number of years, a period of great suffering, many families being reduced to want.

    At this time my brother James went to Glasgow, and engaged in cotton weaving, leaving my sister and me at home with my mother. I occasionally obtained work from an Aberdeen agency that was established in the place, but mother thought I did not try hard enough. As she knew I did not like the weaving business, she thought there might be blame on my part for not getting work, which caused me to say some unpleasant words to her; the only time I ever did so, and afterwards it caused me much grief, for I had a dearly beloved mother. The feeling that I had done wrong grew upon me, so that I had no happiness in my mind, and resolved to leave my home.

    As the agency of the linen-weaving was at Aberdeen, and some of the people of the town had gone there after work, I thought I would go also. I told my sister I was going away to Aberdeen, but she advised me not to do so. Feeling so unhappy, and having nothing to do, I was determined upon it. All the available funds I had for the journey of forty miles was just one penny, that my sister gave me, when she followed me a short distance from the house to bid me good-by.

    I was then in my fourteenth year, my sister four years younger. I have often thought of this circumstance, it being our first parting ; so tender were my feelings that I almost broke down. The maple-tree at the foot of which we parted, and my little sister Mary, as she gave me the penny, are as fresh in my remembrance as if it were only yesterday.

    Arriving at Aberdeen, I found a Brechin man at the head of one of the large manufacturing companies of the place, and told him that I could not get work. He looked at me with some distrust in regard to my statement, but, being an old schoolmate of my elder brother, James, and having some knowledge of the family, he gave me work. From this place I wrote my first letter to my mother, which rather astonished her, as she thought I had gone to visit my uncles, about ten miles distant.

    I remained in Aberdeen about six weeks, and got along very well with my work; but, being a young and forward boy, I made some acquaintances of a very doubtful character, and found myself in danger of being drawn into bad company; so I resolved to leave the place, and return to my mother’s house. I felt that I had done wrong in leaving my home.

    I have often looked back upon my leaving Aberdeen and returning to my mother as one of those deliverances which God, in His mercy, wrought out in my behalf; for it has seemed to me, that had I remained longer in the place, I should have been a ruined boy. How often have I thanked my God for turning the thoughts of my heart homeward, for thereby I escaped the snares of the tempter!

    Having rode part of the way, I arrived at Brechin after dark. I was unwilling to be seen by my boy acquaintances, as they would laugh at me for returning home so soon, and call me “ a runaway come back of his own accord.” I was even ashamed, after I reached my mother’s house, to go in, and lingered about the vicinity unobserved, thinking what I should do, and to make sure nobody was in the house but my mother and sister. I knew that they had no expectations of my being so near at hand, as I had received a bundle from home a few days before I left Aberdeen. I felt grieved that I should have said any unpleasant word to my mother; yet I knew, from her kind and forgiving disposition, that she would overlook what I had said and done, and receive me as a repenting and erring child. I accordingly mustered up courage to go in, just as mother and sister were preparing to retire for the night. Both of them were very much astonished at my appearance, thinking I was in Aberdeen.

    I very soon got work at weaving, beside a godly, praying man, who did all he could to guide me in the right way by his counsel and holy life. In after years he became the husband of one of my cousins, whose family and my own have been so intimately connected, as will hereafter appear.

    During this year my brother John sailed for, America, which was a great trial to my mother, as she thought that she would never see her boy again. It was many days before she could be comforted or reconciled to it.

    In the month of February, 1817, being short of work, I took it into my head to go to Glasgow to see my brother James, and perhaps get work there. I told my mother that I thought of going to brother James. She said, “it was a silly notion and only boy’s talk,” as Glasgow was over one hundred miles from Brechin, and that I never would attempt that journey on foot. But, boy as I was, 1 had made up my mind to try it.

    My sister accompanied me a short distance, bade me good-by, and went home and told mother, who was unwilling to believe I had undertaken such a journey; as my uncles’ residences lay in the same direction, she thought I had gone there. I passed by in sight of their houses, where I had spent many happy hours with my cousins; but I had started on a journey I knew they would oppose. Being on a road t at some distance, I passed unobserved, traveling that first day eighteen miles, and got lodging for the night in a small inn. When I awoke in the morning, there was a hard rain-storm. I paid for my lodging and breakfast, which took nearly all the funds I had, not knowing what would be the expenses of a tavern. However, I had determined not to turn back, so I faced the storm and traveled on, until about three in the afternoon, when my strength and courage began to fail. My limbs became much chafed and sore ; I was as wet as I could be had I been taken out of a river.

    I resolved to go to the first farm-house on the roadside and ask for lodging. I inquired for the master. A man with a kindly look came to the door; when I told him what I wanted, I fairly broke down, my words choking in my mouth. He probably saw that there was nothing very bad about me, spoke kindly, and inquired about my parents. I told him I had a mother, where I was from, and where I was going ; that I had a brother in Glasgow and other relations. He seemed to think it strange to see such a small boy on such a long journey, at that season of the year. He said I must have left, my home without the knowledge of my friends; that he had no place for me to sleep but his barn. I told him I would be glad of that, if he would let me stay all*night. He asked me to come in, dry myself, and get something to eat; I felt truly thankful, and accepted the invitation. There was a good fire in the kitchen; I got my clothes dry, with the exception of that portion around the middle of my body. In that condition I went out to the barn with the men when they went to feed their horses for the night; laid down on some bundles of straw with a covering of canvas bags, and asked the men to call me early in the morning, as I wanted to be on my way. It so happened that I did not need to be called, for it seemed to me the longest night I ever experienced; I longed for the break of day. Being near the highway and about two miles from Perth, I could hear teams passing during the night. As soon as day began to appear I looked out and found the ground covered with snow, and it was still snowing. The rain of the past day had changed into damp snow. I thought that I could not wait until the men came out to feed the horses, so I started on, and traveled all day in the slush and snow. In the afternoon it cleared away and began to freeze. I traveled that day to within a few miles of Dumblane. I stopped at a srhall house, had a very good night’s rest, and after paying for it I had just one penny left to carry me some thirty miles. I started on without breakfast. When about one mile from Stirling I began to feel the cravings of hunger, and made up my mind to go and beg for bread. I thought I would go to the first house anpl ask for a drink, and perhaps they would give me something to eat. I knocked at the door; while waiting my courage failed me, or, rather, my proud spirit rebelled against asking. If any one had come to the door, I could not have told what I wanted, and accordingly left.

    This was the nearest I ever came to asking for bread.

    In passing through Stirling, I spent my last penny, twenty-eight miles from Glasgow.

    To cross the Muir of “Take-me-down,” which is a little way from Stirling, would make my journey four miles less; as I was getting tired and sore, it seemed to me a long distance to save.

    I therefore left the highway and took the Muir road, which was used only for travelers on foot or horseback, principally by drovers in driving cattle to-and from market. After entering on the Muir road, I called at a house to make inquiries about the way, and was strongly advised against taking that road, as I should get lost. There were a few houses on the road. It grew cold and the snow began to drift, but I had made up my mind to try it and so started on. I had traveled two thirds the distance across the Muir, when I became very tired; my courage and strength began to fail me. Sitting down on the top of a snow-drift, I thought over my life; it seemed as if every wrong thing that I had done came up before me. I wondered how my poor mother would feel, if she knew my condition. I leaned my head on my hand, and thought here I was to die, with no one to care for me. How I did wish I had stayed at home ! After this, it came to my mind to try it once more. I came in sight of a house soon, and felt new courage come into my heart. When I reached the house, I asked the good woman if she would let me come in and warm myself. She seemed very kind, and had a fine fire of peat; told me to sit down; inquired about my parents and where I was going; asked me to take some dinner, — “it was after their dinner hour, but there was some left.” She encouraged me with the hope that after I got to Kilagath I would have company all the way to Glasgow; as there were always teams on the road; perhaps I might get a ride. I started off, being
    refreshed with food and kind words, arrived in Glasgow after work hours and found my brother James, who was astonished to see me. The first salutation I got was, "You have run away from home. Mother never would have let you come.” He inquired how in the world I ever got there, which has been a wonder to myself many a time since.

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


  2. Thanks Rick, 1938 Observer, FriedaKateM thanked for this post.
    Like redneckbobby, FriedaKateM liked this post.
  3. Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    HI, Alastair....& anyone who wants to hear my "own" opinion...hah! I like to watch TV shows called "Who do You Think You Are?", and a couple of years ago, I saw one that followed Boris Johnson. He came across as kind of full of himself (as prior Mayor of London), but do note here that either he improved during the show, or I began to see him in "another light". He does act rather like what we used to call a "blowhard", but once he calmed down he began to be somewhat human. He actually had relatives in India (as I remember!). And he obviously does know his politics. That's about all I can remember, as it's been a few years ago that I saw this particular show. Thanks, and I remain....FriedaKateM PS: his hair is quite wild, looks as though it needs cutting

  4. Like 1938 Observer liked this post.
  5. Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    HI, All, once again....I have been following oldish re-runs of the drama Dr. Finlay (in Scotland). Finding that I am hooked on this, as illustrates much Scottish manners & ways of thinking. Of course, it was based in the "old days". The cars are quite quaint, although some of them resemble ones I knew as a child in my hometown. I am coming soon to the end of these doc shows, but continue to also watch on the same "stream", which I pay a small amount each month to get. There's much about England, Wales, & Scotland on these. The feed is called AcornTV. The Dr. Finlay stream is based on a Scottish author, quite well known, just can't quite remember his name!!! Your pal, FriedaKateM

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  7. Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    The original writer of the above is A. J. Cronin.

    Just an addendum, ho. Joan
    Last edited by FriedaKateM; 6th June 2019 at 21:02.

  8. #5

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    Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    I believe he's recently got a new haircut Frieda. He is a high energy individual for sure. I'm just looking at his chances from the point of view of the Conservative members rather than their MP's or indeed the public at large.

    I did find the Esther McVey video which can be watched at:


  9. #6

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    Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    Got the results in for Peterborough...

    Labour beats Brexit Party to hold seat

    Looks like the Brexit Party didn't get enough voters out to the polls so something to learn from I guess given the difference in turnout for the European elections and this election.

    For further information see


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    Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    He comes across to me like a bully boy.

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    Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019


    I enjoyed the article on the Canadian Forces participation in the "D Day" campaign .


  12. Like Rick liked this post.
  13. #9

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    Re: Newsletter for 7th June 2019

    Glad you liked it Gordon... I have been amazed at how much Canada was crucial in both world wars.


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