Summer Outings

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2015 Additional Outing, Friday 17th July

library party

Happy librarians after afternoon tea at the Innerpeffray School House.

The 2015 Additional Summer Outing landed lucky with the weather, finding dry conditions between heavy rain showers which caused flooding elsewhere in Perthshire. The venue was Innerpeffray, where Keeper of the Books Lara Haggerty welcomed our party of 17 to Scotland's oldest Lending Library.

Lara's introductory talk covered the history of the Drummond family who, around 1680, began the free lending of books to local people who entered their details in the famous Borrowers' Register, still on display. Lara covered the history of the buildings and the bequests and acquisitions of books, notably the recent gift from the American bibliophile Janet Burns St. Germain (including a handwritten version of Burns' Wilt Thou Be My Dearie?).

The party were then shown round the magnificent upper floor of the building which houses the main collection. Lara and her volunteer staff provided hands-on access to the books and were on hand to answer the numerous questions arising. We were free to walk round the grounds and visit the adjacent chapel where the lending started. A lovely afternoon concluded with tea in the Victorian schoolroom, and a heartfelt vote of thanks from Club president Lawrence Read.

2015 Outing, Sunday 7th June

bus party

Happy travellers after high tea at the King Robert Hotel, Bannockburn (and some free advertising for the bus company!).

falkirk wheel

Falkirk Wheel.

kelpies

The Kelpies.

The 2015 Summer Outing was blessed with bright weather, and all 42 travellers returned in high spirits after a hugely enjoyable day.

First up was the Falkirk Wheel, a Millenium Project which links the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, 35 metres apart in height. It is the world's only rotating boat lift and was opened by The Queen in May 2002. Our approach let us see parts of the Roman Antonine Wall, which many of the party then passed through by taking the conducted boat trip between the two levels. Engineering enthusiasts were well impressed by the design!

The outing then travelled to the nearby Kelpies, mythological water spirits which were modelled on Clydesdale horses to symbolise Scotland's industrial heritage. Artist Andy Scott saw his sculptures inaugurated in April 2014. The marriage of art and engineering was simply breathtaking. Nature lovers were also treated to swans and cygnets, two male ducks on steroids and a mother duck on the nest, all in the canal boat area alongside the sculptures.

swans and cygnets

The final stage of the outing was high tea at The King Robert Hotel, where the party could either relax in the bar or venture over to the Bannockburn centre and memorial. After tea, Club president Lawrence Read proposed a vote of thanks to the bus driver, the hotel staff, and the work done by Arthur and Jean Bruce in organising an immensely entertaining day. The homeward journey featured a DVD of founder member Hamish McLaren reciting Scots poems.

All photographs except the Falkirk Wheel are courtesy of Arthur Bruce - email Arthur if you'd like a copy.