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Blidworth Walk

A grey morning on Wednesday 10th November with the promise of heavy rain didn’t allow us to set out with any great optimism. In the event, the rain never appeared and the weather brightened steadily through the morning.

Rosie and Sylvia had planned a fine circular walk through the countryside around Blidworth with good views from on of the higher areas of Nottinghamshire. All went well until the dreaded ‘footpath closed’ sign appeared. Fortunately – after some careful perusals of the map – we were able to take a detour to complete a slightly longer circuit.

At different stages we were joined on our walk by some inquisitive horses and a flock of geese – rather flustered perhaps by talk of Christmas? Blidworth and its surroundings are steeped in the legends of Robin Hood and we passed close to Friar Tuck’s Well and the location where he first met Robin Hood.

After close to 7 miles of walking we reached our final stopping point, the Bird in Hand, who provided us with a well-earned lunch (complete, of course, with puddings for some!).

Thanks to Rosie and Sylvia for planning an organising the walk.

Coming Up! St Andrew’s day

After last year’s disruption, this is your chance to celebrate our patron saint with a fine 3 course dinner and a lively cèilidh! members and friends are cordially invited: 7.00pm on Saturday 27th November at Nottingham Masonic Hall. Details and an application form here. Book now!

The festivities will be led by well-known caller Schuggie MacInnes. To whet your appetite, remind yourself of the 2019 event in the video below!

Baslow and Chatsworth Walk

On a dampish Tuesday 12th October, eleven brave walkers assembled in Baslow for a walk through the magnificent parkland surrounding Chatsworth. The walk started by visiting Queen Mary’s Bower – traditionally supposed to have been built in 1570 for the benefit of Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned at Chatsworth. The way then progressed past the House and wound its way up to 16th Century Hunting Tower – bizarrely it is now available for rental via Airbnb! By this time, the rain had stopped and a fine view over the estate opened up for us while we enjoyed a short break. We then followed a high level path along Dobb Edge before dropping down into the valley. The morning finished with an enjoyable and convivial lunch. Thanks to Andrew and Sue for organising and leading the walk.

Back at Last!

After 14 months, the Nottingham Scottish finally managed to meet in person! 25 members joined Dave Potter for a walk at Attenborough followed by lunch at the Corn Mill. What a pleasure to be re-united!

Burns Night 2021

The Nottingham Scottish are an intrepid bunch. Covid-19 was not going to stop us from celebrating our national poet, so on January 23rd we cooked our haggis, poured out a dram or two and gathered by Zoom!

We have to thank Christine Oldfield for the programme she had planned for us and, appropriately, this evening was dedicated to her memory.

The first half was all about Burns, with poems, songs and readings. Dave Potter considered the origin of the Haggis and wondered was it really Scottish? A question to which there can surely be only one answer! Bob Logan addressed the haggis in great style and Sylia Hale gave us the immortal memory.The second half had more of a ceilidh feel with a mixture of Scottish folk songs, dance and humour. An undoubted highlight was Les Wilkinson’s performance of ‘The Kelty Clippie’, ‘Pittenweem Jo’ and, with Higgs Bo’sun, ‘Lochboisdale’. A real tour de force. Humour was provided by the inimitable Stanley Baxter with his sketch ‘The Scottish Country Dancer’ and by ‘The Dancer’s Lament’ from Teresa Allen. The evening finished with ‘My Heart is in the Highlands’ by Margaret Barnes.

Thanks to all those who made this such a memorable evening in these strange times.

Quiz Night!

As Nottingham joined the rest of the country in lockdown again, Don and Sue Pringle gave our spirits a lift with a testing quiz on the topic of Scotland and things Scottish. 32 members attended via Zoom and answered questions as varied as ‘Where would you find the Gable Endies’ and ‘Where would you find the World’s Highest Hedge’? *

In a break between questions, there was a chance to refresh glasses, get out the traditional pies and chat with friends. After that it was back to the questions – and a continuing struggle to dredge recalcitrant facts from deep in the memory – or not, as the case might be! Eventually the scores were totted up and revealed Sue and Andrew as winners. However, the best prize went to Isobel who won the draw for a litre bottle of her choice – we’re thinking probably orange juice?

Many thanks to Don and Sue for their hard work in setting this up and making it such a success.

(*The answers? Montrose and Meikleour)

A Celebration of Scotland in Words and Music

It seems a long time since our last activity – The Murder Mystery back in March (reported on in the Chanter). Since then we have been in lockdown, out of lockdown (up to a point) and now back into lockdown. Perhaps naively, we had hoped that by now we might be back to some kind of normal. As it turns out we are not and it doesn’t look as if these restrictions will end any time soon, so, like many others, we turned to Zoom.

It was suggested that a a Zoom evening of celebrating things Scottish would lift the spirits. Christine and Andrew took on the task of putting together a programme. We chose a mix of well known songs (illustrated with glorious images of Scotland), less well known songs and contributions from our members. Bill, Jeanne, Bob and Margaret all offered contributions. Over 30 members joined in via Zoom and all spirits were lifted and the meeting continued for some time after the end of the formal programme as members continues to chat.

There are some screenshots below and there will be a fuller report in the next Chanter.