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Issue 93 - We've got mail

Scotland Magazine Issue 93
June 2017


This article is 18 months old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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We've got mail

A selection of messages from our readers across the globe

SIR — Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your magazine, which I pick up regularly at Indigo since making my first trip to Scotland about seven years ago! Last year we spent some time in Perthshire, so I have enjoyed revisiting the area in the May edition.

I’ve made three trips to Scotland in the past few years, and my wife and I will return again this September, mainly in the south, to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway. All new to me, but where some of my heritage lies, or so I’m told? While my mother was English and my wife was born in London, each time I visit Scotland it feels like home to me! We travel with a small tour group based in Chilliwack, BC, Canada called Fraser Travel and while I lived most of my adult life in BC, Scotland is as beautiful as any place I’ve ever visited on this planet!

We will have covered most of the country after this year’s trip, other than the Western and Northern Isles, those are for another trip, hopefully? Our guides, Andy and Bev, have been doing these tours for over 30 years and Andy, a Scot by birth, is very informative about all the areas we’ve seen to date. I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke about ABC tours… Well, I personally will never tire of visiting another castle or cathedral or revisiting them in your magazine! As a youth, I had absolutely no interest in the history of the UK, but after several visits to England and Scotland in the past 10 years, as an adult, I just soak up any information I can find! Keep up the great work and thanks.

N G Johnston, Charlottetown, PE, Canada

Thanks for your letter! Keep your eyes peeled if you need some inspiration for future trips to the Western Isles, Orkney, and Shetland, as there are issues focusing on those areas in the works. — Christopher

SIR — I married a USA airman who was a Campbell on his mother’s side and a Lockaby on his father’s side, who we believe was a Douglas clan member. My eldest daughter and I have been many times to Scotland and toured around. I was wondering if you could write in your magazine about Lockerbie and the Douglas clan. We have been to Lockerbie but would like to know more about the area.

Mrs E Lockaby, USA

James Irvine Robertson wrote about the Clan Douglas in Scotland Magazine issue #80 (April 2015), back issues of which are still available on — the article is also available to read online. As for Lockerbie, here’s a little information that will hopefully give you some more insight:

Agriculture was the focus of the settlement at Lockerbie for much of its existence. In fact, it was once home to Scotland’s largest lamb market. You’ll notice that most of the historic buildings in the town are made from red sandstone, including the town hall, which is a sign of its historic prosperity. Indeed, it was historically a staging post for travellers heading north or south, but really shot to fame when it became a stop on the Caledonian Railway. There are various options given for the source of the name Lockerbie, but most indicate an Old Norse root translating as Lockard’s Town, Lockard’s Farm, or in some instances Loki’s Town. Whether the incoming Vikings named the area themselves, or renamed an earlier settlement is unclear. The nearby Lochmaben Castle was originally built in 1298 by King Edward I of England, but the castle we see today was built in 1364. It was attacked many times over the years and fell to the Scots in 1385. It was restored and used frequently by King James IV, after becoming a royal possession in 1445. It was taken by the English again in 1544 (during the period known as the ‘Rough Wooing’), but recaptured by the Scots a year later. After being damaged in a battle in 1588, during a planned Catholic rebellion, it was left to gradually decay into the ruin we see today. Many of its stones were used to build in Lochmaben town.

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