Galloway Gossip


memorial hall

The winner of the July sweep was David Blackstock, who receives £100. Anyone wishing to join, please contact Euan Allan on 01465 821266.

fun day

Fun Day is on Saturday, July 28, starting with fancy dress parade at 1.30pm from Wallace Terrace. Limited number of tables available at £10 each. Usual stalls and games, as well as a raffle, barbecue, bouncy castle and Colmonell fire engine will also be in attendance. Family dance at night. Contact Helen Allan if you want a stall 01465 821266



On Tuesday, July 17, club president Anne Halliday presented club member Jean Best with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award. The award is a recognition of outstanding work and is Rotary’s way of saying thank you.

Jean is running a project called Peace Jam. This involves training young people to deal with peace and conflict situations in every day life and mirrors the international Peace Jam ideals.

Jean has been working with Kirkcudbright Academy on a pilot of the project and has now started to roll out the initiative to other schools nationwide.

Peace Jam is centred at Bradford University where Rotary has one of its International Peace Chairs.



Results – North South: 1. 5220 
Lillian McMiken, Jimmy Walker; 2. 4660 Betty, Jim Watson; 3. 4060 
Mary Sharp, Margaret Baird. East 
West: 1. -440 Betty Marshall, Ian Young; 2. -680 Maureen Morton, Elsie McKillop; 3. -910 Margaret Hornell, Evie McKenzie.

Newton Stewart

Food train

The Newton Stewart and the Machars branch of Food Train were delighted to receive a donation of £500 from the Port William Community Shop recently.

Food Train delivers groceries every week, whatever the weather, to older people who struggle to reach the shops by themselves. The service is provided by a fantastic team of dedicated volunteers who collect shopping lists, do the shopping and deliver it to the customers. Volunteers in Food Train’s Extra service also help out with jobs around the house.

Although Food Train is backed with funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council and the region’s NHS, this does not cover all costs, and this donation will help make up the shortfall.

Any older person in the Newton Stewart an the Machars area who needs this assistance just has to phone the local office on 01671 401346 to set up the service – the answerphone is checked regularly. And if anyone wants to find out about volunteering they can phone the same number.

Port William Community Shop donates thousands of pounds annually to both local and worldwide good causes.



WIGTOWN and District Bridge Club results for Wednesday, July 11 – N/S: 1. Veronica Kingston and May Cowan +30; 2. Lesley McNaught and Betty Marshall -170; 3. Mary Maxwell and Ann Mactier -1050. E/W: 1. Pat McGettigan and Ian Young +2780; 2. Marie Horsell and Donald Strong +1970; 3. Margaret Campbell and Hugh Paterson +1900.


spinners, weavers and dyers

The guild met at Glenluce on Monday, July 2. A rainy day in the middle of the Galloway monsoon season saw a good turn-out for this month’s meeting. Our workshop was on making buttons – a useful skill for so many dedicated knitters and dressmakers – using a variety of techniques and exploiting the expertise of members within the guild. All in all, we had a most enjoyable and productive day.

Making Dorset buttons originated as a cottage industry in Dorset in the late-17th century. Originally based on a sheep’s horn disc or a wire ring, Dorset buttons are now conveniently worked on a curtain ring.

Using a sewing needle, the foundation ring is covered with yarn, and spokes created across the ring. The centre is woven in a range of patterns using coloured or metallic threads, and can incorporate tiny beads to form highly decorative results. Marion Owen, our tutor for this skill, brought along many beautiful examples ranging in diameter from less than a centimetre up to 30cm for a wall hanging.

A modern version using a plastic button form was demonstrated by Dorothy Walling. This could be worked more rapidly and gave a very satisfactory button. These buttons would be especially useful when worked in the same wool as the garment. Dorothy also showed members how to cover buttons in fabric, once again useful for getting an exact match to the garment.

Crochet buttons are worked in wool, and can be stuffed with wadding, or have a ring or a conventional button inserted to give greater rigidity.

These buttons have the merit of being very quick to work, at least in the experienced hands of tutor Brenda Telfer.

Felt buttons were taught by Cath Birkett. Coloured wool fleece is felted in layers into Swiss rolls or gob-stopper style balls. Once dry, the resulting balls and sticks are sliced through to reveal the coloured layers. A ball generally yields only two buttons of the same size, while a stick can be sliced to produce a number of matching buttons. There was a great deal of hilarity and risqué banter among those trying this technique, none of it fit to print.

The final technique used coloured modelling putty. Josie Hitchcock brought along a wide variety of examples using a range of techniques. The putty could be rolled out and stamped out with shaped cutters, or rolled into a stick and sliced up. Different colours could be blended to give a marbled effect or shapes could be impressed into the surface to add interest. More intricate designs, such as flowers, could be made by making the design on a larger scale and then rolling it to the desired diameter and slicing through like a stick of rock to give a set of matching buttons. The finished buttons were then baked until hard to give a durable and practical button.

The Guild will be demonstrating at the Wigtown Show on August 1, when they will be showing all the skills required to produce finished fabric starting with a complete fleece and carding, spinning, and weaving it into a shawl during the course of the day. Members will be happy to answer questions, so please do visit us if you are there.

The next meeting is on Monday, August 6 (10.30-3pm) at Glenluce Church Hall and will include a workshop on Nuno felt run by Liz Heartfelt. Booking is essential for the workshop, but visitors are welcome to bring along their own projects.


Eighteen walkers met up near South Cairn for the coastal walk from Dally Bay to Corsewall point and the lighthouse.

The weather forecast was favourable with broken sunshine and a cool wind.

Accessing the coastal path via a farm track, the first visual delight came in the form of flocks of eider ducks swimming around Dally Bay.

This was only a prelude to the vast number of sea and land birds seen throughout the walk north.

Gannets, plovers, shags, curlews, oystercatchers, peewits, fulmars and various divers were among the species identified.

To begin with, the path was occasionally boggy. Small burns were carefully crossed. A misjudged step resulted in the occasional wet boot.

A short distance out in the bay stood the concrete plinth of the now redundant Ebbstone, once a shipping beacon.

After following the rocky shoreline beyond Portlong and Portnaughan Bays, the ruins of the North Cairn radar station was reached. Here the walk leader explained a little of the history of the site. Chain Home was the codename for the ring of coastal early warning radar stations built by the British before and during the Second World War, and North Cairn was part of that ring. It’s easy to imagine, considering the substantial remnants that remain, the hive of activity of up to 300 personnel scanning the skies for danger.

Reaching Port Gavillan, a short stop was taken to look over at the activity on the Genoch Rocks. Seals were in abundance. While a number basked on the rocks others in the water kept popping their heads up. One small peaked outcrop was white topped with guano from the colony of shags in residence.

The walk continued with constant views of Ailsa Craig and ferries from Loch Ryan across the North Channel. Wild flowers flourished and delighted the amateur botanists in the group. Various campion, ragged robin, forget-me-not and wild orchids were abundant.

Approaching Corsewall Point, a mention was made of the wreck of the Firth of Cromarty in 1898 and her cargo of whisky. Needless to say, a short forage by a few ramblers proved fruitless. After passing Oust, Bloody and Horseback rocks, Corsewall Lighthouse was reached. Looking resplendent with a fresh coat of whitewash, this magnificent structure designed by Robert Stevenson and built in 1815 is now a hotel.

A lunch break was taken overlooking a sheltered rocky inlet just beyond the lighthouse.

After lunch the group now headed inland for the return journey by road and farm track.

Heading east, they passed the ruins of Corsewall Castle. At the next junction they turned south-west where a gradual incline took them beyond the farms of West Kirkbryde and Knockneen. Views of the Ayrshire coast, Arran and the Mull of Kintyre were extensive. Even the Paps of Jura made an appearance.

The delightful cottages of Kellies and Arran View with their many strange and wonderful garden ornaments came next. Reaching North Cairn, a recently constructed track took them now to Knocktim from where the road to South Cairn took them back to the cars. A wonderful day walking was concluded with a visit to the Conservatory at the Soleburn Garden centre for tea, coffee and cakes.

The next walk tomorrow (Saturday) is a seven-mile hill and glen walk from Loch Doon, taking in Glenmount, Craigengillan Estate and Ness Glen. Meet at the Breastworks, Stranraer, 8.30am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9am or the walk start at the Roundhouse on Loch Doon (NS 476 012) at 10am. For details or if going to the start call walk leader on 01671 403351. New members are welcome.