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Issue 101 - We've got mail

Scotland Magazine Issue 101
November 2018

 

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We've got mail

A selection of messages from our readers across the globe

SIR I was tickled to see the Red Box at Carsaig in your recent issue (‘Red Frame, White Light’ Scotland Magazine #98). In 2011, my daughter and I went to Scotland, mainly to the Highlands and the Isle of Mull, where our MacKinnon ancestors came from. My daughter had arranged for a guided tour on Mull, which took us past that red post-box to where we had lunch beside the water. Our guide’s wife had just repainted many of the boxes, including that one, and it was noted that it was hard to hear over the phone there because of the waterfall beside it! We had a wonderful tour and were shown land that our ancestors had owned. That trip was the culmination of my desire to see castles ever since I was a child, plus the strong pull I had to see the land of our ancestors. I also happily discovered Cullen Skink! We both felt very much at home in Scotland. It was the trip of a lifetime for me.

Barbara Walter, Milton-Freewater, Oregon

Mull is one of my favourite Scottish islands and I do my best to visit at least once per year. It sounds like you had a truly wonderful time there. Hopefully you’ll be able to visit the land of your ancestors again very soon!

Christopher

 

SIR Every time I think I should cancel a few magazines in order to save a little money - after all, I am 82 years old - I get Scotland. By the time I get to Roddy Martine’s article I have changed my mind. The latest issue is one of those reasons. The photography is always spectacular, Roddy Martine always has a good read, and I always learn something new. The articles are generally short and interesting. This time, the article on Septs (‘We’ve got to talk about Septs’, Scotland Magazine #98) was of special interest to me because I had heard that the McCulloch’s were a sept of a couple of McDonald clans and even the Stuart, which is why, I am told, it is hard to find a McCulloch tartan.

My grandfather was Archibald Stuart McDonald McCulloch. He and my grandmother, Emily Matilda Muirhead McCulloch, emigrated to the United States in 1916 and settled in Rhode Island. So, I think that makes me pretty Scottish! Grandpa, who had been a barrister in Scotland, was quite proud of being descended from the Covenanters. Later in my life I did a fair bit of study about Covenanters. I also make Scottish shortbread every New Year’s Eve - well, other times too - from Grandma’s recipe. And, of course, proper scones and oatcakes.

I have had the privilege of visiting Scotland twice, on my own, following some speaking and committee engagements in England. Truthfully, I think it is best visited by oneself since one gets to visit where one wants and stay as long, at places like St Giles, as one wants. Well, not as long or as far as one wants! Thank you for educating and for Scotland Magazine.

Audray Johnson, Riverside, CA, USA

Thank you for your kind words about the magazine. I completely agree that Scotland is a country that shouldn’t be explored in a rush, if it can be helped. Not long after picking up my camera for the first time, I too lost many hours inside St Giles Cathedral. It is a truly magnificent testament to Scotland’s religious history that never fails to impress, regardless of how many times one has visited!

Christopher

 

SIR As a Historian (retired) for the Parks Canada Historic Canals, I thoroughly enjoyed the article on the achievements of Thomas Telford (‘Thomas Telford's Britain’, Scotland Magazine #98). Having had the pleasure of visiting some of his projects, such as the Caledonian Canal and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct over the River Dee, he has left an impressive engineering legacy. Perhaps less well known, is his influence on Canadian engineering. One of his young assistants on the Caledonian Canal was Nicol Hugh Baird, who, armed with a letter of recommendation from Telford, came to Canada and worked on the Rideau Canal (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and did early survey work and lock construction on the Trent Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada. Your magazine continues to inform and inspire an international audience and I am looking forward to a return to Scotland to see more of Telford’s handiwork.

Dennis Carter-Edwards, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Thank you for sharing this insight about Telford’s assistant. It seems there are few places one can go without coming across the remarkable works of industrious Scots!

Christopher

 

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