Galloway Gossip


By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th March 2012, 2:32 pm


ON Monday, March 5, President Lucy Owen introduced the guest for the evening, Mrs Jennifer Brodie, a member of Port William Rural. Jennifer was born and brought up in Glasgow but settled in Monreith in 2001. Always interested in recycling, Jennifer has put her talent and expertise to good use, producing an unbelievable amount of items, which she had made from something else, to show to the members. This was a constructive lesson in turning unwanted items into something useful from a very talented lady.

Competitions: brooch – 1, Mrs Haswell; 2, Mrs Erskine; 3, Mrs Butcher. Slice of chocolate cake – 1, Mrs Tudhope; 2, Mrs Pickford; 3, Mrs Thomson. The next meeting is on Monday, April 2, with Sandy Campbell giving a talk on African Safari.

Isle of Whithorn


AT the March meeting, President Dorothy McIlwraith introduced the speaker for the evening, Ethel Vance, a practice nurse working between Whithorn and Port William.

She spoke of the ways nursing has changed over the years and the importance of health prevention and monitoring disease management, along with a lot of screening. She handed out a health quiz on the various daily aspects of her job and her talk was based on this.

She answered many questions and spoke of the importance of compassion rather than academic skills in nursing. Margaret Rankin thanked Ethel for such an informative talk.

Competition results – stem from your garden: 1. Elsie McShane, 2. Elma Carle, 3= Vivien Campbell, Margaret Rankin.

Next meeting is Monday April 2, with Jo Chambers speaking on One of Life’s Experiences.



KIRKCUDBRIGHT gardeners had to rack their brains at their February meeting when they were confronted by a quiz ingeniously devised by past president, Ian Park, and his wife Mary. Divided into teams, they progressed round a series of questions including plant identification, anagrams, gardening knowledge and pictograms. After good-natured rivalry, the answers were revealed and the winning team collected their prizes.

The March meeting will return to the normal format of a speaker, when Ian will speak about flowers of New Zealand, illustrated with colourful slides from his recent visit. The meeting is in Kirkcudbright Lesser Town Hall on Sunday at 2.30. Visitors welcome. This will be preceded by the agm at 2pm.



PRESIDENT Mrs Margaret Hewitson welcomed an excellent turnout for the February meeting. Nancy’s craft classes will resume at Wigtown Golf Clubhouse every Thursday from 1.30pm and at Glenluce Church Hall on the first Saturday of the month.

Margaret then discussed our visit to Bowhill in June and the Federation outing to New Lanark in May.

Guest speaker was vet David Campion, who entertained with hilarious tales of his adventures through life, from infant school in Birmingham to A levels and vet school at Edinburgh University and on to practise in Aspatria and then to wonderful Wigtownshire where he asserts that farmers have the best animal husbandry in Britain.

Competition results: favourite animal photo – 1, Margaret Hewitson; 2, Nancy McCreath; 3, Emma McCornick. Flower of the month – 1, Berta Galloway; 2, Brenda McDowall; 3, Pauline Plunkett. Jar of marmalade – 1, Emma McCornick; 2, Sheila McColm; 3, Eileen Cowan.

Newton Stewart


Results – North-South: 1, +3690, Barrie Stewart & Alan Williams 2, +2970, Barbara Gaw & Lynn Drummond, 3, +2360, Vivian Delf & Donald Strong. East-West: 1, +870, Betty & Jim Watson, 2, -590, Anne McClymont & Fiona Buchanan, 3, -840, Joyce Maitland & Helen Laraway.

Port William


RESULTS – North South: 1, 1820 Maureen Morton, Margaret Campbell; 2, 930 Lillian McMiken, Jimmy Walker; 3, -580 Barbara Gaw, Lynn Drummond. East West: 1, 2210 Pat McGettigan, Ian Young; 2, 930 Betty, Jim Watson; 3, 720 Ann Gerrish, Fay Halliday.



LAST week, it was time for the Next Step Project to hand over the money it has raised. The group raised £1047.50 through Colin Breckenridge having his chest waxed, then a very successful prize bingo evening.

The group has been working towards its Scottish Vocational Qualification in Working with Others. Members have managed all planning and preparations for the events, as well as running them, guided by instructors and assessors from Lowland Training and D&G Council’s Community Learning & Development Service.

Anne Clark, director of Lowland Training, was on hand to present the SVQ certificates and portfolios to the group – Jean Blackwood, Katherine Scott, Brian Muir, Andrew McRobert, Daniel Robson and Brian Hoy.



President Sheila Taylor gave a warm welcome to a good turnout at the February meeting in the Supper Room of the New Town Hall, Whithorn. Sincere thanks were extended to the wealth of entertainers at the recent Scots night. Janet Modrate and the Drummore Minstrels, Jeanette Montgomery who piped in the haggis carried by Pat Todman, and piper Siobhan Williams, who played her first public solo.

Speaker for the evening was Jill Montgomery from the Merrick Centre, Newton Stewart, who gave a talk on Modern Aspects and New Approaches to First Aid and CPR, assisted by her “patient”, Paul Wright. A lovely supper followed, hostess Margaret Elkin and her assistants Jennifer and Meg. Lynne Leigh and Judith Hadfield ran the raffle and the competition results were: handmade valentine, 1, Margaret Elkin, 2, Margaret Turner. Health and safety tip, 1, and 2, Margaret Elkin, 3,Sheila Taylor.

The next meeting is on Monday, March 19. The speaker is Mioara Brown on Romania.



N/S 1st Marion Halstead and Jo Chambers +2790; 2nd Ann gerrish and Joyce Kinnear +1950; 3rd Lesley McNaught and Betty Marshall +1860. E/W 1st Pat McGerrigan and Ian Young +190; 2nd Sheila Limbrey and Evie McKenzie -270; 3rd Fay Halliday and Margaret Parker - 420.


IAN Dewhirst’s talk about life on the home front in WW1 was his usual mix of history and humour. For generations wars had been fought by professional soldiers, but in 1914 civilians became involved on a massive scale. Air raids became a fact of life as the Zeppelin menace threatened. The authorities produced many precautionary measures, some Draconian, others laughable. Conscription was a serious business with regular trawls of places where people gathered to catch men between 18 and 41 who had not registered. The role of women changed tremendously, as they were needed to work in munitions factories and on the land.



AT the meeting in Glenluce on Monday, March 5, we had double the pleasure and fun this month with two workshops running at the monthly meeting in Glenluce.

Trisha Gow, from Edinburgh, who had come to run a tapestry weaving course over two days for 10 members, gave a talk for the whole guild. This was inspiring. She has been weaving tapestries for many years, and is a member of the British Tapestry Group, exhibiting at venues all over Britain.

In the weaving class, designs were assessed and drawn out on to tracing paper, emphasising the most important elements. Yarns were then mixed and woven on a trial warp which ran alongside the main warp.

The following day, members were delighted by more of Trisha’s work. Then it was noses down as projects were continued with help and advice from a very able tutor.

Meanwhile, eight other members were introduced to the skill of needle felting by regular member Aileen Clarke. Instead of the usual wet felting process, this method involves stabbing dry wool fleece with a sharp barbed needle to felt the fibres and allows the production of 3-D shapes, in our case a teddy bear. Members got the hang of it, but not without a few pricked fingers!

The next meeting is on Monday, April 2, from 10.30am-3pm at Glenluce Church Hall.



A GROUP of volunteers from Wigtownshire and Ayrshire enjoyed a fact-finding tour of Scottish railway stations to hear about the work of other volunteers. The group was led by Louis Wall, who won third place in the national ACORP Awards in September last year under the category of Best Railway Volunteer.

They are responsible for the planting work done at stations in Stranraer, Barrhill, Girvan, Maybole, Ayr and Troon, and have recently added Newton on Ayr to the list where they have completed the construction of three new flower beds.

The group visited Kilmarnock, Wemyss Bay and Glenfinnan, where they stayed the night in a converted railway carriage.

Returning to Glasgow, the team was able to enjoy the stunning views which have been enhanced by the Friends of the West Highland Line. The Friends have raised money and organised contractors to clear trees and shrubbery from the railway so that passengers can see more of the countryside.

For more information, email [email protected]


LAST Saturday was dry, with 21 walkers gather at the parking area by Corsewall lighthouse for the walk to Kirkcolm.

From the start to the entrance to Loch Ryan at Milleur Point, the going was varied and testing. Though designated as a coastal walk there is no apparent path. Muddy tracks, rocky clambers and scrambles, steep grassy inclines, burns and bogs were the order of the day.

At Port Mullin stood the now derelict cottage once occupied by Bernard (Barney) McGhee and family. Barney was a well known character, assistant lighthouse keeper and fisherman who lived between 1811 or 1816 and 1905.

At Port Leen, the track used for transporting sea kelp was easily identified. Celandine, primroses and coastal lichens were among the flora and fauna that added colour to the walk. Gannets, shags, herring gulls, oyster catchers and curlews were seen.

Rounding Milleur Point, lunch was taken on a rocky outcrop on the shoreline of Loch Ryan, where pleasant views over to Finnarts Bay were enjoyed.

After lunch, the clifftop path south was taken. Crossing the geological features of the Beef Barrel and McMeckans Rocks, Lady Bay was reached. A sandy beach, a track and a winding rocky path were now followed past the bothies at Portmore to reach Jamieson’s Point and Portbeg. The walk was completed by road, into Kirkcolm and drivers were ferried back to Corsewall to collect the cars.

Tomorrow is a strenuous 7.5-mile circular walk of steep hills, burns and forests via the White and Black Laggan Burns. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer, 9am, Riverside, Newton Stewart, 9.30am, or at Craigencallie (NX504 781) at 10am. If going to the start call walk leader 01776 840636.