Blair Atholl's Railways
The Atholl Country Life
Museum is looking for relevant artefacts, photographs, documents or
stories to be included in the exhibition for the period when the
museum is open from Easter through to September 2013.
The Atholl Country Life Museum in Blair Atholl will stage an
exhibition this year to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the
opening of the railway between Aviemore and Pitlochry.
In the days of steam locomotives, Blair Atholl was an important
staging post for trains which were topped up with coal and water in
preparation for the long haul through the formidable Drumochter
Anyone with memorabilia which they would be willing to loan for
this period should contact John Cameron (01796 481232) or Stewart
MacGlashan (01796 483339).
In addition, the Museum will host an illustrated talk "Blair
Atholl's Railways" by Howard Geddes at 7.30 PM on 20 March in the
Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl.
VisitScotland chairman, Mike Cantlay, has stated today that
Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event
and Scotland's premier sound and light show, is a must see event
for visitors to Scotland this Autumn, embodying the essence of the
country's national tourism message: Surprise Yourself. Visit
Visiting the event on its opening night with his family, Mike
Cantlay saw the multi-coloured event unfold in all its glory. He
commented: "The Enchanted Forest is a spectacular and
incredibly popular event, which attracts tens of thousands of
people to visit Perthshire each year, and I am confident it will be
a box office ticket smash again this year.
My family and I had a wonderful time at the Enchanted Forest and
it proves you don't have to travel very far to experience
Scotland's vibrant culture, which is so evident in every corner of
The Enchanted Forest now attracts visitors from all over the
UK and, indeed, the world and the positive impact on the
local area is estimated to be well in excess of £1.5 million
economic benefit every year.
With box office numbers soaring, the impact on the local economy
is expected to increase and closer working relationships with key
businesses this year are set to enhance the offering for visitors
to the area this Autumn.
A number of local tourism businesses
are working collaboratively to promote the event, with local
accommodation providers offering deals that include tickets to the
event, and other visitor attractions offering discount entry for
Enchanted Forest ticket holders.
Blair Castle on Atholl Estates is one of the businesses that is
promoting discounted entry during the show. Mike Dukes, Head of
Visitor Services at Atholl Estates explained why: "The
Enchanted Forest is a firm favourite amongst families and creates a
real buzz across the region as people flock from across the country
to come and see the spectacular light displays. The fact that the
exhibitions are refreshed each year also means that we see a flurry
of new visitors through our doors when the event is on. It also
provides a very welcome boost to businesses across the surrounding
area and we're delighted to extend a warm Highland Perthshire
welcome to The Enchanted Forest's customers."
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland added: "The success of
The Enchanted Forest has a knock-on positive effect on the local
economy and I would encourage businesses, accommodation providers
and the tourism sector to seize the opportunity this provides to
showcase to visitors all that this fabulous area has to
In this, The Year of Creative Scotland, we have the chance to
spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland's cultural and creative
strengths, so let's embrace this and show what a warm welcome
Scotland can offer each and every visitor!"
Organisers are encouraging members of the public to buy their
tickets in advance to avoid disappointment with recent box office
reports suggesting the event is on target to power past all
previous box office records.
Following a successful opening weekend demand for tickets has
surged indicating that the 2012 event is set to sell out.
Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest 2012,
commented: "Last year many people travelled significant
distances to attend the event, all we're asking is that they plan
ahead and book their tickets in advance. Tickets sell so quickly
and many shows are already sold out with hardly any tickets left
for the most popular Saturday nights - a little bit of advance
planning can avoid disappointment on the night."
The 2012 show "FLOW" has been designed by a creative team led by
Derek Allan which includes Scottish designers Simon Wilkinson
(lighting) and RJ McConnell (sound), as well as Dundee based visual
artists Dalziel + Scullion, whose work is supported thanks to the
generosity of a grant from Creative Scotland in celebration of Year
of Creative Scotland 2012.
The event runs from Friday 5th October - Saturday 27th October.
For further information about the Enchanted Forest and to book
tickets, visit the Enchanted Forest website at www.enchantedforest.org.uk
For the last 6 years sea eagle chicks, (collected from nest
where there are two or more chicks in Norway), have been flown to
Fife and released after seven weeks in captivity. This years chcks
were release in the last few weeks.
Each sea eagle chick in this project has a colour
tag, the colour refects the year it was released. Each has a radio
(VHF) transmitter with a battery life of five years. This allows
the RSPB staff to track the eagles in Scotland this summer.
Interestingly if you look at their report (see link below) ,
there have been significant sightings in Perthshire. I was
told verbally, here in Highland Perthshire that Loch Tay and
Pitlochry have been hot spots.
Have you seen any of these young sea eagles in your travels in
This photo on the right is of a young sea eagle being harrased
by a crow - Thanks to Karen
Hartnell for sending us the image.
To read the excellent
East of Scotland Sea Eagle Summer 2012 newsletter,
with maps and information on sightings and other interesting
"What to do if you spot a Sea Eagle" is well worth a
Also worth looking at is
"How to tell the difference between a Buzzard, Golden Eagle
and White-tailes Eagle or Sea Eagle" This
information sheet provides pictures of the different birds, their
open wing spans, so you know what to look out for when they are
Finally an interview of You Tube with Meriem
Kayoucheche of the RSPB advising how to spot White tailed
eagels or Fish eagles. (4mins 28
Sea Eagles are big for Tourism on the Isle of Mull, will
the same happen in Highland Perthshire? I understand it takes five
or six years before a yound eagle matures enough to breed. It would
be great to have a nest here in Highland Perthshire.
If any spots a Sea Eagle in Highland Perthshire please let us
know, better still get a photo and totally wishful thinking a sea
eagle nest, we cxan all observe a long way off as on the Isle of
The Street Party Committee were delighted (not to say enormously
relieved!) that the 2012 Pitlochry
New Year's Day Street Ceilidh was such a resounding
success. We are grateful to those who have written to say how much
they enjoyed the event and appreciated the benefit to the
The Committee's thanks all those who were central to the show
itself - Eddie Rose, Jack Delaney's band, The Vale of Atholl Pipe
Band and Silly McBee (Martin Bingham the Clown!). In the production
of the event, we are indebted to Martin and Janet Hobson who every
year set up and monitor the sound system, and to Stephen Carruthers
of AW Bell who always supervises setting up all the electrics.
Enormous thanks are also due to the volunteers of Pitlochry in
Bloom who served the mulled wine and popcorn and to Rory MacDonald
of MacDonald Bros Butchers of Pitlochry
and his team who again provided soup and pies. Our grateful
thanks also go to Stevensons of Avonbridge and their helpful driver
Gordon Cruickshank who every year make available a huge
curtain-sided trailer which is ideal for our stage.
Every year local businesses generously chip
in with prizes for the Raffle that effectively funds the event, and
this year we thank Bells Blair Atholl Distillery, Pitlochry Co-op,
Green Park Hotel, Scotland's Hotel, Pitlochry Hydro Hotel,
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, The Old Mill Inn (who also allowed us
to take a power lead from the Inn for the toilet unit) and
Drinkmonger, Atholl Road. Also each year we receive
tremendous assistance (and forbearance!) from the management and
staff at Fishers Hotel for which we are eternally grateful.
Particular thanks go to the volunteers who turned up to
help set up, steward, count cash, clear up afterwards etc. It's a
long day for those involved and this help was very much
There are only six on the wee committee that arranges this
event, and some of us have been doing it for years (one from the
start in 2000!). We could do with more help and if anyone
(particularly, perhaps, from the hospitality sector that benefits
most from the event) is interested in helping to organise the
Street Party, please contact Graham Holmes on 473153
(firstname.lastname@example.org). We also need volunteers on the
day to steward, sell tickets, count cash etc., and the same contact
would welcome a call.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012 - SCOTCH PIE CLUB
Butchers, Bakers and Piemakers gathered at Carnegie College on
Thursday 5th January to find out who were the prize winners when
the lid was lifted on the best pastry products in the country.
Rising to the top in two
categories were MacDonald
Brothers, Butchers in Pitlochry. Not only did
they receive the Diamond Award for the Best Hot Savoury Product for
their tasty Venison, Port and Pickled Walnut Pie, but for the
second year running they were judged to bake the Best Sausage Roll
86 businesses from as far afield as Bolton and Invergordon
entered products for evaluation at the judging held at Carnegie
College in November. A panel of 20 industry experts and
interested foodies tackle the massive task of munching their way
through over 400 savoury products.
World Scottish Sausage Roll Champions and Venison Pie
Right to Left - David McReady
(Chef) holding the Sausage Roll Diamond Award, Stewart
Rutherford (makes the pastry and pie shells) holding the
Venison, Port & Pickled Walnut Pie Diamond Award and
Rory MacDonald (4th generation of the family in
the business) holding the two Gold Awards.
MacDonald Butchers of Pitlochry took part and
walked away with two of the top Diamond Awards.
WORLD CHAMPION John G Renicks,
01848-330243 Iain Renicks
GOLD MEDALS MacDonald Bros, Pitlochry.
DIAMOND AWARD MacDonald Bros Ltd,
HOT SAVOURY PRODUCTS
DIAMOND WINNER MacDonald Bros,
Port & Pickled Walnut Pie.
GOLD AWARDS MacDonald Bros,
Stout & Leek Pie.
For further details contact:- Alan Stuart of the Scotch Pie Club : 01333
Name : MacDonald Brothers
Contact : Mr Rory MacDonald
Address : 8 Bonnethill Road
Town : PITLOCHRY
County : PERTH AND KINROSS
Postcode : PH16 5BS
Tel : 01796 472047
Web : www.macdonald-bros.co.uk
The Enchanted Forest, the multi-award winning Perthshire
Big Tree Country event, which this year attracted over 26,000
visitors to the Highland Perthshire area, is calling on the local
business community to get behind it with a bold and unprecedented
move to raise £40,000 of private funding from the businesses that
the event directly benefits.
In recent years The Enchanted Forest, which is set to
return to nearby Faskally Wood for its 10th anniversary show in
2012, has successfully transitioned from being run by public sector
agencies, to being run by a not for profit Community Interest
However with public funding hard to come by, and ever
increasing costs of running the event, the Community Interest
Company Directors are asking the hundreds of local businesses who
directly benefit from the event to help provide the financial
backing needed to ensure The Enchanted Forest's ongoing economic
input to the area.
Eddie Thomson, chair of the Highland Perthshire Area
Community Interest Company commented
"This has been a tremendous year for the event, winning four
major awards and attracting over 26,000 visitors to the area and
we're really very keen for that success to continue into 2012. Over
half of The Enchanted Forest customers stay overnight in the area
and with increased numbers attending, the overall economic impact
of the event is now estimated to be in the region of £1.5million
benefit to the local economy."
"In our most recent feedback survey we asked our customers
to tell us which businesses they spent money with while in the area
and well over 250 businesses were mentioned by name, ranging from
restaurants to take aways, from hotels to retail shops. If each of
those businesses were to pledge just £160 then we would have the
necessary capital we need to continue to run the event. It's not
much to ask when you consider the sheer extent of the economic
impact of the event is almost 10,000 times that much per business -
that's an exceptional return on investment."
Businesses are being invited to attend an open meeting at
Fishers Hotel, Pitlochry at 7pm on Tuesday 20th December, 2011
where there will be an open and public discussion around the future
of The Enchanted Forest and how they can play an active role in
ensuring its success continues.
To register attendance at this meeting, contact Eddie
Thomson, Chairman of the Highland Perthshire Area Community
Interest Company by email on email@example.com
The Enchanted Forest was founded in 2003 and this year has
acquired a string of accolades including the Event Management Grand
Prix at the Scottish Event Awards, Best Cultural Event, Event of
the Year at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards
and the Community Award at the Perthshire Big Tree Country
The Enchanted Forest, a Perthshire Big Tree Country event, has
smashed all previous box office records, welcoming over 26,350
visitors during its 23 night run, picking up the Big Tree Country
Community Award in the process.
The event, which was founded in 2002 with the primary
objective of extending the traditional tourism period, held in Pitlochry came to a close on
Saturday after attracting a record breaking 26,350 visitors, up 31%
from 20,000 visitors in 2010.
Attending the Big Tree Country Awards on Sunday
afternoon, the Highland Perthshire Area Community Interest Company,
who is behind the management of the event, was delighted to hear it
had also become the lucky recipient of the Big Tree Country
Community Award for its work in spreading the impact of the event
amongst local businesses and community projects.
"Winning the Big Tree Country Community Award is the icing
on the cake for us, after such an amazing year. We're truly
delighted that our efforts as a community interest company have
been recognised by Perthshire Big Tree Country."
"Such an unprecedented increase in ticket sales is
also very good news for the local businesses in the area. 50% of
Enchanted Forest customers stay overnight in the area, and a 31%
increase in attendance translates into a very strong increase in
the overall economic impact of the event, which is now estimated to
be in the region of £1.5million benefit to the local economy"
The Enchanted Forest has
also been shortlisted for Event of the Year at this year's
Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards.
The new business for the old Perth College premises in
Pitlochry, has been unveiled amidst great pomp and ceremony. Over
fifty businesses from across Highland Perthshire attended the
opening of 'Amor' the Cashmere, Tweed and Home Furnishing Store.
Both the business name and concept have had been kept a closely
guarded secret until the opening.
The opening ceremony began with two pipers from the Vale
of Atholl Pipe Band playing outside the doors of the new business.
The business name and all the windows remained covered to prevent
people knowing the details of the new business.
Kirpal Singh Sually the owner, welcomed everyone and
proceeded to unveil 'Amor' by removing the sheet covering the
business name board amongst great applause. Everyone then entered
the building, with its windows covered, to be served with Champagne
Mr Sually explained to the invited guests that he
had been working on the concept for the last 9 months, saying,
"I approached Perth College to see whether I could acquire the
premises, and six months later here we are with Amor." He
continued, "I have worked closely with Cashmere and Harris
Tweed suppliers, Lyle and Scott, Brooktaverner and Magee developing
a range of products for Amor, further supplies are in the pipe
Mr Sually went on to announce the 'Guess the Business
Competition' winner, as Kirsty McWilliam who correct guessed the
business name 'Amor', Mr Sually presented her with a £50 voucher to
spend in Amor.
Mr Sually had one final request of his guests and that was
to help him unwrap the new shop from the inside by removing all the
paper covering Amor's shop windows, thanking everyone for coming
and helping him to launch 'Amor'.
Messages of good luck were sent by Peter Guthrie
the Development Officer for Highland Perthshire Destination
Management Organisation, who apologised for not being able to
attend as he was on holiday but said, "It is really great to
see a quality business moving in to Pitlochry's high
Mary Bover secretary of Pitlochry in Bloom said,
"Pitlochry does need an upmarket business like this, it looks
absolutely wonderful, it has class, style and is so subtle. A great
new asset for the Pitlochry shops. I wish Mr Sually every
success and look forward to shopping in Amor".
Mr Sually also thanked everyone who had worked so hard to
get 'Amor' open, his own family, Jean and Willie who works with him
in the Scotish Shop next door, Ian Lewis Designs the architect,
Grant Structural Services, Beveridge Builders, Kraftwork Joinery
and Macolm Hewitt Joinery, Gordon Eason Electricians, James Lang
Decorators, Allan Moncrieff Alarms and Richard Drummond from
Strathgarry Restaurant for the canopies and drinks.
There has been much speculation as to the new business
going in to the
old Perth College premises in Atholl Road,
Pitlochry. The premises have been
purchased by Kirpal Singh Sually the owner of the Scottish Shop,
next door. Mr Singh has been very tight lipped as to what his new
business venture will be, even running a 'Guess the business
competition' for those who think they know. He has now announced
that all will be revealed this Saturday 9th July.
Mr Singh says, "We have had quite a few people submitting
their ideas to 'Guess the business competition' for the old Perth
College premises. Ideas have ranged from a pole and lap dancing
club, Ann Summers Shop, a variety of food outlets, outdoor
activities and a range of retail ideas. No one to date has guessed
the business correctly." He continued, "The business ideas
have been very interesting, if anyone else is interested in
starting a business in Pitlochry they are welcome to come and look
at the ideas collected, after the competition has ended, they may
well give them an idea of what people think the town
Work is progressing well in getting the new business
ready for its launch. Malcolm Hewitt the Pitlochry based
joiner who is working on the project and has been sworn to secrecy
says, "I have had all kinds of people speculating to me what
the business will be. I understand on Facebook there has been quite
a bit of activity, with some really novel ideas, causing great
hilarity." He added, "I am sure everyone will be very
impressed when all is revealed this weekend."
Mr Singh is offering special launch weekend deals for the
Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th July, doors open at 9am on
Saturday. Also organised are a special pre-launch invitation only
afternoon on Friday 8th July, for businesses across Highland
Perthshire. There is a £50 voucher to spend in the new business for
the 'Guess the business competition' winner.
One of Pitlochry's longest unoccupied business premises has
changes hands. Perth College premises in Atholl Road, Pitlochry has remained
unoccupied since September 2009. It has been purchased by the owner
of the Scottish Shop, Kirpal Singh Sually and is hoping to have the
doors open in early July. Workmen have started gutting the building
to transform it for his new business venture. This will be a great
new asset to range of the Pitlochry shops.
Kirpal Singh says, "I moved to Pitlochry in 2000, opening the
Scottish Shop, which has become well established amongst locals and
visitors to the town. The old Perth College premises are directly
next door to the Scottish Shop, so I was intrigued as to what would
happen with it. After protracted negotiations, I have been able to
acquire the premises to operate a very different business to the
Mr Singh was not prepared to divulge what his new business
venture will be, only saying that he had given it a great deal of
thought and was bringing a new concept to Pitlochry. Mr Singh
anticipates the new business opening its doors in early July. He
said so many people have asked him what he is doing, that he has
decided, for a bit of fun, to run a 'Guess the business
competition', with free entry slips from his Scottish Shop next
door. There will be a prize draw and the winner will be announced
on opening day in July.
Peter Guthrie the Development Officer for Highland Perthshire
Destination Management Organisation, said "It is really great to
see an unoccupied premises in Pitlochry being taken over by a local
successful business. I am intrigued like everyone else as to what
Kirpal Singh will put in there, as he is being very tight lipped
about his new project."