OTHER SCOTCLANS SITES
14 October 1788 - Today in 1788 the first steamboat experiment was held on Dalswinton Loch. Robert Burns was farming at Ellisland, just outside Dumfries, when he was invited by his landlord, Patrick Miller, to go out in a small experimental steamboat. The boat, which was fitted with an engine designed by William Symington, was the first paddle-propelled steamboat in the world, and Robert Burns was one of its first passengers »
Sep 07 Nessie spotted in Chelmsford!Before anyone starts ringing up the Fortean Times, the Natural History Museum or the bookmakers to collect on that daft bet you made in 1973 in a fit of national pride we should let you know that these 'Nessies' are a bit smaller than the one normally reported and also appear to be made from tartan!
So 'who has been perpetrating this terrible hoax' I hear you cry. Well none other than those naughty wee tykes the Scout association. Not content with tying knots, identifying animal footprints and emergency field surgery with a pen-knife and a biro they have also been helping us answer a question we've had for some time around the ScotClans office, just what can you do with 20 odd kilos of leftover bits of tartan?
The leftover tartan (left over from many a kilt we've made over the years) was taking up a fair bit of space in our office. Being typical Scots and reluctant to throw anything away we were getting into a 'tartan' pickle. A few months back though we had a call from the Scout association who were getting ready to plan some events during their 2007 jamboree. They were looking for off cuts of tartan for some craft activities they were organising during the event and no doubt stirred by memories of our own childhood; nights under the stars, songs around the campfire and the unprintable mischief carried out behind Armadale Scout hut on a Saturday evening we were more than happy to oblige.
With around 40,000 scouts and guides attending this year’s jamboree it takes superb organising to keep that many young minds occupied, as part of the schedule of events the 'World Villages' activity programme saw dozens of countries represented with each 'village' running different activities designed to give a better understanding of each nations culture. What better ambassador for Scotland than the big 'beastie' herself?
Scotland was well represented in the UK village; along with caber tossing and a Burns supper they also converted all of our tartan scraps into what has to be a world record 'gathering' of Nessies (if anyone knows or can suggest a collective noun for 'Nessies' be sure to let us know). We were fortunate to receive some photographs from the event and they show not only the hive of activity as they churned out enough Nessies to keep every Scottish loch adequately stocked but also some lovely images of the finished articles.>
Well done to the Scout Association for promoting our national fabric and best loved monster on one go!