Kilrenny Church Chronicle for Sunday 17th May.

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KILRENNY CHURCH CHRONICLE

ISSUE 9   Sunday 17th May 2020.

Contact: Corinne: email corinne@peddies.com                             

or telephone (01333) 311408

Kilrenny Church website

https://e-voice.org.uk/kilrenny/

 

EMERGENCY HELP:

East Neuk Covid19 Emergency help numbers:

0800 999 6543 - 07818 414178. 

 

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 For everything there is a season -

 

 Worship and personal reflection:

 

''our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''

 

Scripture Reading:

 John 14 verses 15- 22

 Praise: CH 4 587 Come gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove

    Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly dove,

   with light, and comfort from above;

   come, be our Guardian, be our Guide,

   o'er every thought and step preside.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id9yPwhW9JU

 

 - New arrivals for Helga and John

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Jesus promises the Holy spirit

In John 14 verses 15-22, Jesus continues his farewell discourse to his disciples. Jesus is at the table with his disciples

behind closed doors. Judas has left, and from His recorded words, we can assume that Jesus was expecting to die soon. So to prepare the eleven for his imminent death, he tells them about the role of the Holy Spirit.

 

This section begins and ends with a statement about loving Jesus and keeping

his commandments. In verse 15, “loving” Jesus and the word “keeping, (that is fulfilling his commandments), amount to the same thing. “Love” identifies the attitude; “keep” identifies the actions that flow from it. An invisible reality which becomes visible, takes form in actions. Those actions are called commandments here, since they are done out of obedience as opposed to “good feeling” love. In each instance there is a promise that a divine presence will come to those who meet this standard.

 

One could be forgiven for concluding that the promise of another counsellor was conditional to a life of obedience. That would be tantamount to a parent withdrawing love if the child did not do as it was told. While a parent may attempt to influence a child’s behaviour a caring parent will not withhold its love.

 

Jesus is not warning his disciples that the gift of the Spirit is conditional but rather describing the relationship of the disciples to their Master. Keeping the commandments of God is a natural expression of our love for him. We trust Christ because we love him, and, loving and trusting him, we follow him. Obedience is the natural response to a loving relationship. We want to please the people who love and care for us. God then returns that affection by giving the disciples another counsellor.

 

Different translations of the Bible use different words to describe the Holy Spirit, from counsellor, helper, companion, comforter, or advocate. We have all seen the child cling to their blanket or favourite stuffed animal as a comforter, for emotional security. They believe that their Teddy Bear will protect them from the dangers of darkness. However, there is a danger in creating a “teddy bear” image of God the Holy Spirit. By limiting God the Spirit to only God the Comforter, we hinder the true work of the Spirit in our life. God the Spirit not only comforts us during the terrors of the night but keeps pointing us back to the truth about the Son of God. He is our counsellor who stands with us during a crisis and He is also the one who guides us into truth. He brings the security of God’s love but also teaches us so that we may live as faithful disciples.

 

Repeatedly throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament we read and hear the message “Do not fear I am with you”. In verse 16 Jesus says to his disciples that he will not abandon them. He says what seem to be contradictory statements. That He (Jesus) would be absent after his death but present; that He would be hidden yet visible; that He will be dead but alive. How confusing that must have been to the disciples and can be to us today.

 

He further claims that they would not be left as orphans. This was a very important promise. In Jewish society, an orphan did not have a guarantee of a home or daily provisions. The disciples of a deceased Rabbi were referred to as orphans because they no longer had the guarantee that their basic needs would be met. The Rabbi offered people spiritual food and they in turn cared for his physical needs. The disciples benefited from this association with the teacher. However, after the death of the Rabbi, the disciples were often impoverished, unable to support themselves and were forced to wander the countryside destitute.

 

Our lives are marked by many unexpected events that create turmoil and distress. So sometimes we have to look hard for God and at times we have to trust that God is there when we are tempted to think otherwise. The promise that ‘God is with us’ is not an insurance policy against pain, nor is it a talisman against misfortune. Rather God is with us in our pain and present even when life goes against us.

During the recent corona virus pandemic, we have all had to withdraw into our own small environments. Through common sense, we do not want to contract what could be a deadly disease, neither do we want others to be made ill by our actions, nor do we want to overburden those who are in the caring professions. But this can engender an outlook of fear and we start to look inward. This outlook of fear starts to cause our sight to be myopic. We are not able to see beyond our own needs. We start worrying about protecting ourselves. It can cause us to fail to see and love the neighbour right next to us. The Holy Spirit within us reverses that outlook of fear and helps us to look outward instead of inward. Then we can do what Jesus asks of us “love one another as I have loved you”, and the gift of the Spirit means we are not forgotten, we are not alone, God is right there in the pain, frustration and suffering.

 

The Church at its best is a community of love and that love gives the Church greater power. By becoming a community of love the Church is able to persuade the world of God’s love for there is no logic that has the persuasive power of an act of kindness.

 

Praise: Hymn CH4 596 Breathe on me Breath of God

 

   Breathe on me, Breath of god;

   fill me with life anew,

   that I may love the way you love,

   and do what you would do.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmkzSjs9eAw

 

 

A Prayer based on John 14

 

You are the source of our life.

You have given us a wonderful world

and permeated it through and through

with your grace and your love.

You have promised that you will give us your Spirit,

to be with us as we journey through this life.

Yet, we confess the many times when

our eyes can’t see you,

can’t take you in,

can’t comprehend how you can be at work in pain and disappointment and sorrow.

We need your Spirit to lift our sights to your wide horizons.

Teach us to pray with such openness to your Spirit that you make yourself plain to us.

Bring us to that place where we are willing

to place our lives in your keeping,

to submit to your life-changing love,

and to move with you into your large open spaces of salvation.

We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

The Apostles Creed

 

I believe in God the Father almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,

Was crucified, died and was buried;

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

He ascended into heaven,

He is seated on the right hand of the Father,

And he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The holy Catholic Church,

The communion of saints,

The forgiveness of sins,

The resurrection of the body,

And the life everlasting.  Amen

 

(With thanks to Ann for leading our worship this week).

 

Let us pray. (Allan)

 

My prayer this week I found on the Church of Scotland website. It’s such a lovely, simple prayer we can all take something from.

 

Let us take our weariness and tiredness to God

who picks up those who have fallen

and raises up those who are brought low

Bless those good Lord, 

who are bowed down under the burdens they must carry.

We pray for those who are crushed by their responsibilities at work

and those who feel the pain of our world,

who marvel that others can seem so indifferent to it.

Help them to keep on going.

Bring supportive friends alongside them.

Give them tokens of Your grace, 

fresh vision and courage 

and signs of encouragement in their struggle.

 

Let us take our loneliness to God,

who delights to put the solitary into families.

God, our Father,

bless those who are lonely 

those who have grown old

and whom the passing years have taken

all their friends and contemporaries.

Bless those who are shy,

who find it hard to initiate conversation

and have never known real friendships.

We pray for strangers in a foreign land,

asylum seekers and refugees,

separated by language and culture

from familiar ways and much loved customs. 

We remember all those 

who even in the midst of crowds feel alone.

 

 

Help the Church we pray, 

to be a place of acceptance and belonging,

a place of welcome and inclusion, 

where all can find a home,

a listening ear, a friendly smile and a helping hand.

Let us take our sorrows to God,

who binds up the broken hearted

and comforts those who mourn.

Bless those whose hearts are sore today. 

Be very close to those 

whose family circle has been invaded

and those whose joy has been darkened by death.

 

We remember those who have lost loved ones 

for whom they cared,

whose needs they met,

whose lives have been so intertwined

that they still listen for a voice they will not hear again.

 

We remember wives who have lost husbands 

and husbands who have lost wives;

parents who have lost children,

who find their homes strangely empty and silent now

and children who have lost parents,

who are confused by a world that seems

less secure and more frightening than before

and all for whom familiar places, sounds and smells awaken memories that bring tears in their wake.

Thank you for our faith,

may they rest in peace and glory.

 

Let us turn to God in trust 

and recommit ourselves to Him.

Send us forth this day 

with the joy that no-one can take from us,

with the life which is Your life

and the hope that gives strength to our actions.

Help us to sing of our faith 

and in that singing find our strength to go on,

trusting in Jesus who lived among us,

died for us and rose again

and who prays for us today,

even as we pray for Him,

in His name we pray

Amen

 

And our Lord's prayer

 

Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, 

and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

 For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever,

Amen

 

Praise: Mission Praise 50 Be Still:

 

Be still for the presence of the Lord,

the Holy One is here;

come bow before Him now

with reverence and fear;

in Him no sin is found

we stand on holy ground,

Be still, for the presence of the Lord

the Holy One is here.

 

Be still for the glory of the Lord

is shining all around;

He burns with holy fire,

with splendour He is crowned;

how awesome is the sight

our radiant King of light

Be still for the glory of the Lord

is shining all around

 

Be still for the power of the Lord

is moving in this place;

He comes to cleanse and heal,

to minister His grace

no work too hard for Him

In faith receive from Him

Be still for the power of the Lord

is moving in this place.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZugvUQ4m90U

 

 

Personal Prayers

 

Let us take time for a personal prayer, particularly for those we know in our congregation and community, who are bereaved, ill and suffering from isolation.

&

Make a phone call to someone today.

 

 

Kirk Services online

 

Orwell & Portmoak Church

Weekly Worship service available on-line at:  

https://youtu.be/T-vHpwXo3vc

(recommended by Archie)

 

Church of Scotland: www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship - for a list of churches providing online services

Newport Church - Rev Dr Amos Chewachong:

Live online service of worship 10:45 for 11 am

If you wish to join please visit the Newport Church website for details.

http://www.notchurch.co.uk

 

A REFLECTION

Rev. Ian Hamilton

 

"VENTURE AGAIN"

 

I always enjoy a visit to the quaint harbour at Pittenweem in the East Neuk.   I spent several childhood holidays there.   My late aunt used to rent a harbourside holiday house just across from the fishmarket and many an hour I spent as a wee boy down at Pittemweem harbour jumping on and off the fishing boats!

 

In fact I used to be able to rattle off their names and registration numbers no bother at all! I even recall being taken on an East Neuk cruise, a short sail along the coast from Anstruther harbour to Pittenweem harbour, just a couple of nautical miles, but I thought I was casting off on a maritime expedition!   So as you can imagine, a stroll around Pittenweem harbour today certainly brings back so many delightful childhood memories.

On a recent visit to Pittenweem harbour, I was intrigued by a fishing boat moored there which had been named "Venture Again II".   What an appropriate name to give a fishing boat I thought, because that's exactly what its crew of fishermen must do time after time!   Some catches will be better than others I imagine, and you know what they say, "If at first you don't succeed.......venture again!"

 

Again and again the crew of this vessel, and of all the others moored there in the Fife harbour, will venture out into the North Sea hoping to do better than they did on their last fishing trip.

 

Venturing again - or TRYING again - is part and parcel of life of course. I'm reminded of the classic story told long ago by Jesus, you will remember it well, about the father who had two sons, one of whom ventured out from home with his share of the family estate tucked safely into his money belt.   He lived it up to say the least, he had a ball!

 

But of course sooner or later the money ran out and in a situation of sheer poverty and desperation, realising his folly, he decided to venture home again!

 

What would the reception be like?   He just couldn't be sure, but at least his father might take him on as a hired servant.   However he needn't have worried, what a welcome he was extended! The best robe.....the ring......the shoes......the fatted calf and a family party thrown in for good measure!

 

"Try again, you'll do better next time" was in effect what his forgiving father was saying to the boy.   And Jesus' purpose in telling this story is to show us just how much God our heavenly Father gives all of us the opportunity to try and to venture again and again and again, that we each might do better next time.

 

Let each one of us then, in our venturing, in our trying, in our giving and in our service do better than we did in the past......and let us be truly thankful that God our forgiving and loving Father gives us each the OPPORTUNITY to venture again in the cause of Christ and of his kingdom.

 

(Ian)

 

Postcard from Kingskettle

Rev Michael Allardice

 

Greetings once more from Kingskettle to Kilrenny!

 

What is it about being told what to do? For the past few weeks we’ve all tried to be very good and stay at home, but the reports on television and the evidence of our own eyes tells us that people are finding it harder and harder to stick to the rules! Now that’s not a comment on the naughty choirboy whose tales have been keeping us all entertained over the past few weeks: rather an observation on human nature. Let’s be clear about things, I’m someone who loves to break a rule when I feel it’s not going to cause any harm to others: the first time I was in Ikea, I felt obliged to walk the wrong way around and ignore the carefully planned directions…I’m not allowed back!

 

However, even my contrary instincts are being held in check as we have to negotiate a new way of living and realise that our actions really do make a difference to those around us. It seems counter-intuitive to stay home in order to save lives, but all the evidence suggests that it really is working. Likewise, who’d have thought we’d hear of children saying they want to go back to school or adults complaining that they are missing work! Now, for many people, loss of work means a loss of earnings and that mustn’t be ignored nor minimised. Children are also becoming aware that school is about more than just the learning that takes place in the classroom, important as that is, but they are missing friends and even their teachers.

 

In universities we have been moving towards online teaching for a number of years, but the past few weeks have accelerated the process massively. Now we are getting complaints that students want to be taught in lectures. The world really is being turned on its head!

 

Patience, they say, is a virtue and we are all having to learn to be even more patience than we’ve had to use before. The things we are used to doing are out of reach. The things we thought were a nuisance, school, work, etc. are things we are learning to value. Most of all, we’ve become far more aware of the vital role nurses and carers, cleaners and delivery workers, shop workers and postal staff all play in our daily lives. Many of them can’t choose to stay at home and many have made great sacrifices to continue working. We applaud them on a Thursday evening, but will we continue to recognise the valuable role they play once the crisis is over? Those we need most are often the ones who receive the least in terms of pay and working conditions.  

 

So I continue to work from home, feeling guilty that I’m not doing very much to help those in need. My virtual working doesn’t feel like real work, although I hope my future students will appreciate not having to listen to me face-to-face in a lecture theatre, at least for the moment. My rule-breaking instincts are being kept in check because I know I can’t really offer much that makes a direct difference.

 

It’s tempting to lose patience and break the rules: heading out not just for exercise but to meet family or friends that we’ve not seen for a while. Yet, what would that gain us if we then become ill or worse still pass that illness on to others not as strong as ourselves? I’d love to drive along the coast to see you all again, to enjoy the views and drink coffee in my favourite café in Pittenweem, but that will have to wait until we are given the green light once again. Worship will take place in Kilrenny Kirk, we will drink tea afterwards and share stories. Our faith community will come together in person, just as it is continuing through this newsletter and by many other means. So patience is our watch word, rule-breaking will be confined to the memory of the naughty choirboy, and I will avoid temptation and drink coffee at home!

 

Every blessing to you all

Michael & Liz Allardice

 

 

News of those wearing a Dog collar!

 

The Irvine household - Jess teaching Boko

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Doddie's diary and the trials of Ann

 

Despite arthritic knees and hips I think I could now join a chorus line doing high kicks. How so? All puppies seem to have a love of shoe laces; to chew, undo or to prevent you from tying them. Well up until now I have had to put my foot high onto the kitchen work surface to accomplish the seemingly simple task of tying my laces. However, no longer, as Doddie has developed the hind legs of a kangaroo and can now leap with great timing, grab a lace and undo it or topple me onto the floor if I happened to get the length of a double knot!

Well we have been working on simple commands like sit, stay and leave. All of these tasks are rewarded with a treat when accomplished. The best treat for him is cheese. So, I thought, come on clever pup, try this. I now put a piece of cheese between him and me plus boot with the command to stay and leave. Hey presto, a light bulb moment of understanding and doing what was asked. I can now put my coat on and tie my boots unmolested. I just wish the lights would stay on for longer than for 2 minutes at a time.

Ann

 

spot the cheese!

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Sheena and Hamish

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When I was tidying the front garden this week my delivery of puppy food arrived.  I put the 1kg bag in the vestibule and as it was a first time purchase, I opened it to see what it looked like.  I then closed it and secured it with 2 large clothes pegs. I then returned to the garden.  5 minutes later my daughter Louise phoned, we were chatting away when I heard a loud scraping noise coming from the vestibule.  I expect you have guessed what it was. Hamish had removed the clothes pegs and tipped the bag over and was hovering up the spillage as fast as he could.  I have no idea how much he ate but he is still here to tell the tale.  Hamish would like to say ‘Hi’ to all the potential dog friends that he has yet to meet and hopes that once life gets back to normal we can all meet up and go for a lovely walk in the common.  Wouldn’t that be lovely!  Hoping you are all safe and well.

Sheena xxxx

  

Susan and Alfie

Hello Everyone. It's Alfie again.  I enjoyed the lovely weather last week and went in for a few swims. Love swimming!! This week I was able to have two walks a day and Mum took me up Water Wynd this time!! There was a lot of puffing and panting by the time we got to the top from both of us.                                                       Take care and stay safe everyone.          Lots of love Alfie and Susan xx 

 

 

 

Christian Aid Week

 

Thank you to all who have been donating in various ways.  Jim has been enjoying having the occasional chat with some people through his study window after they put a donation through our letterbox.  I will announce the total of the donations in next week's newsletter.

 

Lesley (McKane)

Christian Aid Coordinator

 

 

Allan's quiz answers

 

Answers to the Christian Aid Quiz in issue 8 - will be available at the end of May.

 

 

Allan & Sybil's Quiz

 

After Lesley’s brilliant Christian Aid Quiz last week we have returned to a food theme this week. We’re missing Kilrenny teas of course but also our tea and biscuits in the hall after Sunday worship. So why not have a quiz which is all anagrams of biscuits? Some are home made and some are bought, all are delicious, enjoy.

SCRAM RUDE CAT     (7,5)

URGENT GIN     (6,3)

MAJORED MIDGES     (6,7)

ROBS HATRED     (10)

GIVE DIETS     (9)

KEN CUTS A FROWN     (8,5)

FETCHING LOOSE CAR     (9,7)

ICE HART     (4,3)

NOSH BOB     (7)

AIRBAG LID     (9)

MID ELM TALK     (6,4)

SANE SERVICEMEN     (8,6)

RUBBED NAIL     (4,6)

STOCKIER FUR HAT     (5,9)

ILL FROG     (3,4)

FEW IN PARKS     (4,6)

ROB OBSCURE MAN     (7,6)

SEE A TACK     (3,5)

SCARCER MUNCH     (6,6)

PINE GUN     (7)

 

answers next week.

 

The Naughty Choirboy

 

During our travels over the years, the Session Clerk and I have made several visits to the Italian Lakes, and one of those we visited was Lake Como in Lombardy (Lago di Como, if you want to get into the mood!)

 

As usual, when touring, other people were met and befriended, including Kirk folk.

 

One 'tour' we elected to join involved, among other things that were of interest to us, a visit to a house and gardens that were of no interest whatsoever!

 

Our new friends from up in Angus somewhere asked "Why are you not visiting this house?"

"Because", I answered, "I read that the Italian nobleman who owns it, loves it so much that he spends two days and nights here every year! I love my house so much that I can hardly bear to be away from it for two days and nights!"

 

"But" said my new found friend, "it has four levels of terraced gardens behind the house".

 

"So what" I inquired, "we have four levels of terraced gardens behind our house, but we don't open it to paying tourists".

 

"The house" he said "has a lawn running down to the shore of the Lake, with beautiful views".   "Snap" I replied. "we have a lawn running down to the rocky foreshore of the Firth of Forth, with beautiful seascape views stretching 40 miles from Fife Ness to St. Abbs Head, with the Isle of My on the line. I'm not going to fork out cash to view a substandard situation which even the owner can only be bothered to visit two days a year!"

Meanwhile, during conversations with my new found friend's wife, the Session Clerk discovered that she knew all about the Kilrenny Teas!

 

It was soon arranged that they would visit the East Neuk after we were home, then they could experience both the May Teas and our terraced gardens. I was in no doubt that my garden would take the biscuit! and I wouldn't charge money like yon Italian Count.

 

As the gentleman strolled up and down our terraces, it was clear that he certainly knew more about the names of plants than I did, and at one point he asked me "Why do you have a dead Christmas tree stuck in your garden?"

 

I replied that it was not a "dead Christmas Tree" as my cousin had assured me that it was "an everbrown".

 

My visitor confirmed this opinion and went further, opining that there was not such a living plant called an "everbrown" that he had ever heard of.

 

"Well" I said, " I don't know what you do for a living but you certainly seem to know and love plants and gardens"

 

"True" he replied, "I'm an author, and I write gardening books!"

 

Ooops! I thought, my cousin wouldn't wind me up like that, would he?

 

Would he???

 

Members Stories.

 

Glenshee ski rescue service

In the mid to late 1960’s

(Malcolm MacDonald)

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In the mid to late 1960’s when skiing was becoming more popular in Scotland some scout and guide troops in Scotland were asked to supply Ventures Scouts and Girl Guides to provide initial First Aid to injured skiers at the newly opened Glenshee Ski Rescue Centre during weekends and major holidays in the skiing season.

The 12th Fife East Neuk Scouts (of which I was a member) based in the fishing village of Pittenweem, comprising ( Anstruther, Cellardyke, Crail, Pittenweem, St Monans and Elie troops offered their services. We were given initial training in skiing over several weekends and a rota system of scout and guide troops that offered their services was drawn up and on several weekends during the winter two teams of our Ventures and Senior scouts from our troop would travel up to Glenshee to do our stint over these weekends. We would travel up on friday night and be housed for the weekend in the old school at Glenshee and travel up to the ski slopes on Saturday and Sunday by our scout mini bus.

 

Some weekends when there was too much snow and the road treacherous the army used to take us up to the ski centre when the road was opened by snow ploughs as the Army trucks had four wheel drive. The old school where we were stationed was a single long classroom with metal bunk beds round the walls, a small kitchen and one toilet (which was usually frozen all winter) and an old coal stove heater in one corner of the classroom. After a cold breakfast at the school a hot meal was top priority when we reached the cafe at the ski centre to thaw ourselves out.

 

The rescue service at the ski centre would be staffed by a couple of doctors and some nurses. Two scout teams on duty (team consisting of a scout leader and 5 venture scouts) and a guide team (a leader and 3 ranger guides). One team of scouts would be stationed at the top of the ski slope, they would be equipped with a ski stretcher and various aides to enable a splint to be strapped to any legs or arms that were deemed to be broken. One of the aids would be a long plastic bag that would be placed round the leg, arm or ankle that was deemed to be broken and then inflated by blowing into it until the broken bone was immobilised so it would not cause any more damage on the way down the slope to the First Aid Centre.

 

We would also be in touch with the rescue centre by short wave radio to warn them a patient was on way to them and they would send another rescue party out to cover in case another skier was injured. Most injures were broken legs, arms, or muscle sprains. Once we had spotted a casualty on the ski slope we would attend to him / her place then on to the stretcher and then warily ski them down the ski slope to the rescue centre.

 

After we had deposited the patient it was up to the doctor whether the patient was patched up or sent to the nearest hospital usually Dundee Royal (if the leg or arm was broken) for further treatment. It was usually by military ambulance or if very serious a helicopter was summoned.

 

When we were not on duty we were allowed free travel on the ski tows to the top of the slops. It was great to be towed up to the top and then flash down again hoping that we did not end up on a stretcher. In these days there was not very much customised ski clothes, we were clad in several layers of thick jumpers, waterproof over trousers and a great big ex army/navy over jacket, some of us even wore ladies tights to try and keep the extreme cold out. A woolly hat and gloves were also a must.

 

Saturday nights were usually spent in the Spittal Hotel at Glenshee where they always had a disco and being that far up the glen and away from the police at Blairgowrie some of the scouts tasted their first pint of lager.   It was nice to meet other guides from all over Scotland but no friendships happened as you only met them maybe once in the season.

 

On one of the weekends April 1967 when we were on duty it was the European Song Contest and Sandie Shaw won for Britain singing “Puppet on a String”, the hotel was bursting at the seams that night and it was some party. At the end of the weekend on Sunday when on our way home our first stop was the chip shop in Blairgowrie for a fish or pudding supper.

 

Malcolm MacDonald, Venture scout in the 1960’s, 12th Fife East Neuk Scouts  

 

Granny Smith

One Stair up - Dundee

(Jessie Lyon)

 

Malcolm's reminiscences from his career in the Royal Mail brought back happy memories of Christmases over 60 years ago when for 8 or 9 daysI was a student 'postie' in Dundee.

 

We had to leave home very early on cold, dark mornings and walk down into town to a large, grim, stone building in Peep-O'-Day Lane, which was our base. (As far back as 1750 this street, which led to the whaling ships area, had a famous soap works where whale oil was used to manufacture soap for the American market.)

 

Each student assisted a postman, and our working area was the topmost floor of the building. Sorters brought huge bundles of letters, etc., to dump them, mountain-high on our table and quietly and systematically they were sorted out and arranged into bundles.

 

I concentrated hard and tried to memorise names, streets, numbers etc. as I went along.

 

My route was around the top of Hilltown, near the famous clock - Hilltown, Mains Road, Canning Street and lots more. It was a jungle of shops, stores, tenements, back lands, single-ends; no closes were lit, stairs were uneven, back-lands led to nowhere, letter boxes were long since gone and few door bells worked.

 

On that first day I walked with a huge bag-ful of mail from Peep-O'-Day Lane, into town, up the Wellgate; then climbed Hilltown to my 'patch'. The weight was killing and when I tried to shift the bag toi my other shoulder, it almost swung me off my feet. I dashed round still memorising names, numbers etc. When I got back to base, Bob the postman, was amazed that I had returned so soon. He asked if I would like another delivery before going home. I would be paid more!

 

This new route was suburban - neat, tidy bungalows and semi-detached villas around Dalkeith road. I imagined that this would prove a walk-over. Far from it. I had to contend with gates, fancy garden paths, steps here and there, rockeries and overhanging shrubs and trees catching the postbag as I passed. The up-market letter-boxes were decorative rather than functional; I had to ring door bells instead of banging on doors and shouting "Post!" This area was time-consuming, orderly, bland and without the couthiness of the closes.

 

The lost where we arranged the mail was quiet. No whistling, singing, shouting. The postmen were very smart, their shoes shining and they were particular with every detail of their work. But it is the quiet that I remember most. One day I asked Bob, "have you always been a postman?" He stood still for a moment, stared round his colleagues and said, "We were all in the War. And after a while, they gave us jobs. I like it. It's been good for us."

 

Peep-O'-Day Lane, Hilltown, Dalkeith road, everyone I met was courteous and helpful I look back and I know how fortunate I was to have such a wonderful educational experience. So I pray each day for the Grannies and Papas, those struggling in cramped housing conditions and I appreciate the cheerfulness and support of our present-day Posties!

(Jessie)

 

 

The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.

 

Doxology CH4 806

           

            To Father, Son and Holy         Ghost,

            the God whom we adore,

            be glory, as it was, and is,

            and shall be evermore.

            Amen.

 

Editors Note:

I am extremely grateful to all regular contributors. It would be lovely to hear also from those of you who have not yet contacted me with an item of news, or a story, or a suggestion of anything else you would like to see in the chronicle.

Corinne.