Galloway Gossip



January winner was Sheena Clegg £100. Anyone interested in joining, please call 821211 or see any committee member



On Monday, January 9, President Lucy Owen gave a warm welcome to an excellent turnout of Challoch Rural members to the first meeting of the new year. A short business meeting was then held when members were informed of the various upcoming events.

Lucy introduced the guest for the evening, Mr Tom Murray, who is a well-known and highly respected member of the community. Over the years Tom has supported various worthwhile causes and is presently chairman of the board at the Riverside Day Centre in Newton Stewart. As well as his good works, Tom is a great enthusiast of the accordion and plays for ceilidh dances, which are held fortnightly within the centre, and where new members are always welcome. Accompanied by his wife Kathy and their friend Helen, both very accomplished country dancers, the ladies of Challoch were given instruction on how to do the dances while Tom played and treated the members to an evening of Scottish country dance music. The night was rounded off by an excellent buffet supplied by members. Everyone agreed that it had been a first class night and a great start to the new year.

Mrs Phyllis Tudhope gave the vote of thanks. The hostesses for the evening were Mrs Tudhope and Mrs Marie Cook.

Competitions: Scottish post- card – 1, Mrs Owen; 2, Mrs Gordon; 3, Mrs Butcher. Two pieces of shortbread – 1, Mrs Dickson; 2, Mrs Thomson; 3, Mrs Gordon.

The next meeting will be on Monday, February 6, when the topic will be “The Life of Miss Elsie McKay” and the speaker will be Ms Jayne Baldwin.



Mrs Proudlock welcomed 21 members to our Christmas party held in the Bank of Fleet. After singing a Christmas carol and Mrs McConnell saying grace, we enjoyed a lovely meal. After the meal we had a beetle drive, Martha being the winner. We also had pass the parcel and May was the winner for this. Mrs Proudlock wished everyone A Merry Christmas and a safe journey home.



At the meeting on Tuesday, January 10, Mrs Christine McKinnel welcomed members and wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Recently one of our members, Mrs Alice Ambler, died. She enjoyed her evenings and days out and taking part in our competitions. Our thoughts are with her family.

Our speaker for the evening was Mrs Jennifer Brodie who is junior vice-chairman for Wigtownshire and her assistant Mrs Sheila Topping. Tonight’s topic was how to recycle. She showed us how to make a pouffe from a cardboard box, cushion from old woollen jumpers, knitted bags from plastic and toys from socks. The list was long and varied with what she could do. Mrs Linda Galloway gave a vote of thanks.

Before tea was served Christine presented Mrs Minnie Galloway, who is our honorary president, with a card and flowers on the occasion of her 90th birthday, which is at the end of the month. A birthday cake was cut and all members enjoyed a piece when supper was served by Kirsty, Jeanette and Juliet.

Competition results: flower of the month – 1, Mrs J Duncanson; 2, Mrs J Orr Ewing; 3, Mrs. M Galloway. Christmas card – 1, Mrs J Duncanson; 2 Mrs L Galloway; 3, Mrs W Vance. Craft article – 1, Mrs E Steele; 2, Mrs M McNeillie; 3, Mrs B Murray.

Glen of Luce


Around 80 members and guests gathered in Glen of Luce Community Hall on Monday, January 9, for the SWRI annual Scottish night. Everyone was warmly welcomed by president Mrs Lindsay Galloway, who also introduced the entertainers for the evening, Harry Monteith, John Caskie and William McRoberts. The haggis was carried aloft by Mrs Sarah Clark and ably addressed by Harry Monteith. Lindsay then said the Selkirk Grace and the company joined in singing A Guid New Year. Everyone then enjoyed a traditional meal of haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by trifle or clootie dumpling, tea, coffee, shortbread and mints. The meal was prepared and quickly served by Rural members.

An evening of superb musical entertainment followed, John Caskie rendering a selection of Scottish songs, including many favourites by Andy Stewart and Robert Wilson. William McRoberts accompanied him on the accordion and also gave a selection of music from Harry Lauder to Dads’ Army tunes. All too soon the evening came to a close, a good raffle having been drawn. Mrs Mary Ramsay, vice-president, accorded the vote of thanks to all who had made the enening such a success. The company then joined in singing Auld Lang Syne.

Isle of Whithorn


The January meeting was opened by the president, Dorothy McIlwraith, who welcomed those present and wished everyone a Happy New Year.

The speaker, Mrs Mioara Brown from the Isle of Whithorn, was welcomed, wearing traditional Romanian costume, and she proceeded to give a fascinating illustrated story of her life in her homeland Romania.

Having been brought up in a communist regime, it was evident from photographs that uniforms were worn from an early age and the communists had control over the human mind. Throughout schooling there was strict discipline. A picture of a bookshop in Ceausescu’s times showed only his work in the window. Writers, poets and actors were not respected and all reading matter had to be passed. Typewriters had to be declared to the police. People found they were not trusting of others and letters and parcels were censored. Romanian Patriotic Guard training was mandatory. There was little in the food markets with long queues, often from 4am, for milk. All lives were suppressed with fear but people had to put a face on it and go out to work. Religion was forbidden and any gatherings were carefully monitored.

In the second part of Mioara’s presentation she showed a map with the river Danube crossing all five Romanian national parks. The country has 41 counties and 23 million people. Some film showed the mix of architecture throughout the country and took us round her home city, Lasi, After the revolution, the Romanians got their land back and traditional farming methods are still used. Mioara showed pictures of her own family and how traditional costumes vary in each region. Now education is very important in children’s lives but it has taken a long time for formalities to change.

Margaret Cronie thanked Mioara for such an interesting presentation, letting us see what conditions were like in Romania, and for putting several traditional items on display.

Competition results: stem from your garden – 1, Margaret Cronie; 2, Vivien Campbell; 3, Elma Carle.

Next meeting is on Monday, February 6, when John Wilson will be showing glass slides of Whithorn and the Isle c1910. Guests are very welcome.



Gardeners had a foretaste of summer at their January meeting, when local professional gardener Michael Jack spoke about mixed borders, illustrating his talk with colourful examples from such famous gardens as Wisley, Great Dexter, Harlow Carr and Hidcote Manor.

Michael explained that herbaceous borders began as a place for 18th and 19th century plant hunters to display their finds. By the turn of the 20th century, Gertrude Jekyll was the first to use colour to design her borders at Hidcote, and large herbaceous borders remain a feature of many country houses. However, herbaceous borders are high maintenance and most domestic gardeners now prefer mixed borders with their fusion of annuals, hardy herbaceous, woody shrubs, ground cover and bulbs. This mixture ensures that there remains interest even in the winter months when annuals and perennials have died back.

Planning a border should take account of the site, especially seeking shelter from north winds, the space available, and the soil type. Michael suggested a minimum depth for a border of 1.5 metres, ranging up to four metres, using a wall, fence of hedge as a backdrop. Woody perennials and climbers on decorative supports can provide a framework, and planting should be in four layers: ground cover, short, medium and tall plants. Plants can be chosen for colour, foliage, fragrance and flowering time – either early or late – or covering as long a flowering period as possible. Movement can be added by planting grasses and thalictrum.

In spring, new plants can be added or old ones divided, fertiliser and mulch applied and plants cut back to control size and flowering time. Now is also the time to check for aphids and slugs and to insert supports.Jobs in summer are hoeing, staking and dead-heading, con- trolling pests and watering when necessary. In autumn you can again lift and divide plants, plant bulbs, collect seed and lift any tender plants. In winter, clear leaves and perennial weeds, though dead foliage can be left for wildlife and winter interest. Now is the time also to plan and prepare for the next summer’s show. Inspired by Michael’s photographs, many went home to do just that.

The next meeting, on Sunday, February 19, at 2.30pm in the Lesser Town Hall, will take the form of a gardening quiz, entitled Bits and Pieces, devised by Ian and Mary Park



Loudon SWRI members met for their first meeting of the New Year in the Bowling Clubhouse, Wigtown, on Mon- day, January 9. We were welcomed by our president, Mrs Margaret Hewitson, before she also welcomed Mr Ronnie McIntyre, who really needed no introduction as we always enjoy Ronnie’s wonderful accordion music. He played all our favourite Scottish tunes and soon had the hands clapping and a sing-a-long under way.

Competition results: a tartan item – 1, Irene Cowan; 2, Myra Robertson; 3, Margaret Hewitson. Home-made calendar – 1, Jessie Thomson; 2, Sheila McColm; 3, Margaret Galloway. Flower of the month – 1, Irene Cowan; 2, Berta Galloway; 3, Margaret Hewitson.

A lovely supper was provided by hostesses Noreen Johnston, Charlotte Sawden and Myra Robertson. The raffle was drawn and Nancy thanked Ronnie for entertaining. She also thanked the hostesses for providing the lovely supper.

A short business meeting followed. Members who ordered magazines should bring money for same to next month’s meeting. Suggestions were requested for the combined annual outing with Challoch Rural but this will be finalised at a later date. Loudon’s suggestions will be passed on.

The raffle was drawn and members were wished a safe journey home.



The last meeting of 2011 took the form of a Christmas lunch at the Creebridge House Hotel. All those present enjoyed the meal and the socialising afterwards. The first meeting of 2012 was a demonstration by Maybel Coltart from Castle Douglas who demonstrated ‘‘foundation piecing”, a method that allows the creation of accurate patchwork blocks quickly and easily by sewing on to a paper foundation. The project was to make a small wall hanging showing two sail boats. We were then shown how to apply the backing with perfectly executed mitred corners. Many present finished the projects and those who did not took them home to complete. This meeting was attended by nearly a full complement of the membership plus a welcome prospective new member. The vote of thanks was given by Val Spernagel.



Twenty-one members attended the meeting on Tuesday, January 10, in the Maxwell Hall, and were welcomed by the president, Mrs Jean Willis, with best wishes for 2012 and some inspirational thoughts for the year ahead. The meeting opened with the singing of the hymn, Will You Come and Follow Me. Mrs Willis read from John Ch 14 v 1-6 and continued with prayer asking God for a happy year. Minutes of the November meeting were read and members reminded of forthcoming events, including the Guild annual meeting to be held on August 25 which will also celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Guild, and further arrangements for a tea to be held on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care were discussed. A number of thank you messages had been received in response to fireside gifts delivered and these were made available for members to see.

The hymn One More Step Along the World I Go was sung, before the arrival of our speaker for the evening, Mr Neil McNaught, chairman and founder member of the Machars Coronary Club, as well as a member of a number of committees concerned with health issues within the region. He aims to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, brought about by a proper exercise programme, healthy eating and relaxation. Mr McNaught spoke about his own experiences of chronic heart disease and how this can be avoided by following a healthy regime, avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol and acknowledging how poor exercise, unhealthy eating, and stress can all be attributed to bringing about heart disease, strokes and even cancers. He advised exercise, portion control, and the need to monitor weight on a regular basis.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Marie Brown following which a delicious tea was provided by our hostesses Mrs Jesson and Mrs A Wadsworth. The final hymn was Onward Christian Soldiers. Our next meeting is on February 14 when our speaker will be a representative from the Hunger Project incorporating the HIV programme. All welcome.

Newton Stewart


Riverside Centre results were: Friday, ladies – 1, Nena, consolation, Kathleen; Monday, ladies – 1, Wendy, consolation, Pauline; gents – 1, Susan, consolation, Myra R.


Results from January 17 were: North-South – 1, +2460, Chris Laraway & Russell McClymont, 2, +2450, Gillian Campbell & Elaine Routledge, 3, +1940, Peter Bedford & Vivian Delf. East-West – 1, +1260, Tommy Wright & Barry Stewart, 2, -370, Betty & Jim Watson, 3, -1510, Margaret Hornell & Evie McKenzie.

Port William


Results: North South – 1, -190 Barbara Gaw, Lynn Drummond, 2, -410 Margaret Parker, May Cowan, 3, -1150 Jimmy McKenzie, Douglas Ballantyne; East West – 1, 4190 Betty, Jim Watson, 2, 1990 Maureen Morton, Elsie McKillop, 3, 1770 Peter Bedford, Alan Williams.



As our president was poorly, Jo Love, our vice-president, welcomed 32 ladies to our Christmas dinner at the Old School Tearoom at Ringford. After the meal, the Christmas parcels, later donated to Merse House, were judged as follows: 1, Lilian Carson; 2, Karen Miller; 3, Violet Service; 4, Jo Love; 5, Moira Graham. Jo thanked the staff for the lovely meal and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe journey home.



A dry but dull morning saw 19 ramblers meet up at the anglers’ car park on Whitefield Loch, and the walk began easterly on the southern edge. The crannog known as Dorman’s Island was pointed out. Excavated in December 2008, a range of artefacts datable to the Roman Iron Age were recovered from the site.

Reaching the end of the wooded area, the route took the farm track towards Machermore and the Knock of Luce.

After passing Knock of Luce cottage and a water pumping station a road sign warned: “Beware of Lambs.” No small fierce woolly creatures were spotted! Another grassy field was accessed through a very muddy gate entrance. Here a group of six or seven Gypsy Vanner horses came over to investigate. These friendly creatures stayed a short while but soon lost interest.

Across a low drystone wall and a marshy area, the ruins of St John’s Chapel were explored. Covered with corrugated iron, St John’s Well was also identified.

After regaining access to the field of horses, the climb to the summit of Knock Fell began. As height was gained, a few of the surrounding lochs became visible. To the north were Barhapple and Denaglar, to the east Peat Loch and to the south were Castle and Mochrum. Reaching the trig point and cairn, the views were non-existent, only the rough outline of the South Rhins could be seen. The lack of views and a cold wind shortened the stay on top. A descent to a sheltered rocky outcrop was followed by a lunch break.

After lunch the outward route was again followed back to Whitefield loch. The forest road to the north of the loch led to Craigenveoch. Off the main track the ruins of the walled gardens of the former baronial mansion of Craigenveoch House were reached. The path now led to the loch shore and the sensory woodland garden provided by the National Schizophrenia Fellowship (Scotland), where a short break was taken. At the lochside, an information board details the life cycle of the glass eels and of their long trip to their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea.

An exploration of the ruins of Craigenveoch House followed. An information board showed how the house had looked on completion. It was demolished in 1952. Rhododendrons bushes, beech trees and cedars lined the road back to the car park.

The walk tomorrow (Saturday) is a C+ to Garlies Castle via Knockman Wood. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer, 9am, Riverside car park, Newton Stewart, 9.30am or the walk start at Knockman Wood car park (NX 409 674) at 10am. For details or if going to the start call 01671 401222. New members welcome.



Wigtown and District Bridge Club results: Wednesday January 11 – N/S 1, Fay Halliday and Margaret Parker +1630; 2, Joyce Kinnear and Ann Gerrish +1400; 3, Margaret Baird and Mary Sharp +420. E/W – 1, Sheila Limbrey and Evie McKenzie +790; 2, Pat McGettigan and Ian Young -20; 3, Veronica Kingston and May Cowan -310.