Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Outing to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - Thursday 21st September 2017

The fifth and final outing of 2017 takes place on Thursday 21 September, when we have a full day trip to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. Detaile of this outing have been sent out to members. If you wish to come on this trip, please complete and return the booking form, along with your cheque. The coach will leave from Waterloo Place, Edinburgh at 9.30am. Meet at bus stop ZE across from the Apex Hotel.
Coffee stop will be at Mackinnon Mills, Coatbridge, after which we will head to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.  If the weather is good, we may visit the Botanic Gardens, if not so good, then retail therapy may be the answer.  High tea will be at the Leapark
Hotel in Grangemouth, at approximately 5pm. Please indicate your choice from the Menu on the booking form. We should be back in Edinburgh at approximately 8.30pm.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pensioners Theatre Group - Christmas Pantomime, 5th December 2017

This year's visit to a Christmas pantomime will be to the King's Theatre, Edinburgh on Tuesday 5th December for a 2:00pm matinee performance of Cinderella. Additionally (or alternatively) there is the chance to see the ballet The Nutcracker at the Festival Theatre on Thursday 21st December at 2:30pm. Lastly, we now need to receive firm bookings for Miss Saigon for 25th January 2018, also at Festival Theatre at 2:30pm.

A letter has been sent to Theatre Group member giving full details and prices for all three shows and also includes a booking form to complete and return to Moira , along with your payment.
Please note that bookings must be received no later than Friday 22nd September, thanks.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Strollers Walk No. 220 - Thursday 17th August 2017, Earlston Circular Walk

Walk No. 220:    Earlston Circular
Date:                 Thursday 17th August 2017
Start time:         11:00
Distance:          4.5 miles
Duration:           2.5 hours
Meet at:            The War Memorial, Earlston
Summary:   This is a cricular walk from Earlston through Carlston Woods, on to Carlston House and Clackmae before returning to Earlston.
Details of this walk have been sent out to Strollers by email or post as appropriate.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Email addresses are being returned "Undelivered"

If you previously had an email address from Orange, Wanadoo, Freeserve, FSNet, etc., you will hopefully be aware that EE have shut down all these email systems as of 31st May 2017. You will have been forced to register with an alternative email provider and create a new email address. You will need to advise the Association of your new email address in order to continue to receive our emails. 
Unfortunately we are now getting a significant number of emails being returned as "Undelivered", because we have not been advised of your new email address.
 If you are affected, please get in touch with us at sl.pensioners.association@gmail.com and let us know your new email address, thanks.

Outing to Inchcolm Abbey on the Maid of the Forth - Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Our fourth outing of the summer will be a cruise on the Maid of the Forth from South Quensferry on the Maid of the Forth, with time ashore to visit Inchcolm Abbey. Details of this outing were sent out on 10th July to members via email (or by post if specially requested). Please return any booking forms with payment by Tuesday 8th August.
The coach will leave from Waterloo Place, Edinburgh at 09:30 from bus stop ZE across from the Apex Hotel. There will be no high tea on this trip and we plan to return to Edinburgh by 5.30pm.

Please note: Many emails to members are now being returned "Undelivered", due to the closure by EE of several email systems. Please contact our mailbox at sl.pensioners.association@gmail.com if you have changed your email address.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Strollers Walk No. 219 - Tuesday 18th July 2017, Ratho Canal Walk

Walk No. 219:   Union Canal walk from Ratho
Distance:           5 miles approximately

Start at:             Ratho Bridge Inn
Finish at:           Ratho Brisge Inn
On a hot sunny day nineteen Strollers met up at Ratho Bridge for a walk along the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal led by Ronnie. The canal runs for 32 miles from Edinburgh to Falkirk where it joins the Forth and Clyde Canal as part of the original trading link between the two cities but we weren’t going to walk all that way, well not today! The bushes and brambles had grown a lot since Ronnie had first checked the walk, so many places were done in single file. We passed the base for the Seagull Trust which provides boat trips for the disabled and then the Ratho Adventure Centre. The Adventure Centre was built inside a disused quarry and has the largest indoor climbing walls in the UK. Walking parallel to the M8 for a little bit, which made that part of the walk quite noisy, we passed the island in the middle of the canal with its ‘toy’ fort all set to repel boarders. We made our way to the valley of the River Almond and the magnificent 1821 Lin’s Mill Aqueduct. William Lin was the last man in Scotland to die from the plague in 1645. The Aqueduct is the highest structure of its type in Scotland and the 3rd highest in Britain. We headed down the stairs, under the canal and back up the other side to sit in the sun and have some lunch. It was a bit remiss of Ronnie not to arrange for a barge or two to moor so we could step over rather than go down and up, as happened the last time we were here. The views from the aqueduct were amazing. We sat and ate lunch while barges passed and a canoe paddled by. All too soon it was time to start back via Clifton Road and then back down to the canal and return to Ratho.
Well done to Ian for lasting the walk, although a bit hot and wet from the heat, and our thanks to Ronnie for organising such a flat walk on a very hot sunny day.
Let’s hope for similar weather in August, though slightly cooler would be good.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Pensioners Theatre Outings in second half of 2017

Members of our Theatre Group will recently have been emailed information on three shows planned for this Autumn. Unfortunately, The Festival Theatre have had to cancel the show called "Love Letters" due to the illness of one of the cast. Please do not return a booking for that show. The others shows are:
  • "Son of a Preacher Man" at the Kings Theatre on Saturday 21st October at 2.30pm
  • "The Steamie" at the Kings Theatre on Wednesday 8th November at 2:30pm
Booking forms should be returned, with payment, by Monday 24th July.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Outing to Drunlanrig Castle and Gardens - Monday 10th July 2017

Our third coach outing of 2017 will be on Monday 10th July, when we have a full day trip to Drumlanrig Castle and Gardens, near Thornhill in Dunfriesshire. Details of this outing have now been sent to members, either by email or post. Bookings and payment reuqire to be returned by Friday 23rd June (full booking details are on the form sent with details).

Please note: High tea will be at the Buccleuch Hotel in Moffat (not Kelso as was in the original details).

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Strollers Walk No. 218 - Wednesday 21st June 2017, Peebles to Eddlestone

Walk No. 218:    Peebles to Eddlestone
Date:                Wednesday 21st June 2017
Distance:          6 miles approximately
Start at:           Edinburgh Road Car Park, Peebles
Finish at:         Horseshoe Inn, Eddlestone

Sixteen Strollers, and one hanger-on, met on a day that was forecast for rain, thunder and lightning to walk from Peebles to Eddlestone via the old Drovers Road. As it turned out everyone was a bit wet when the walk finished but this was due to the heat and the energy used on the hill that was supposed to only be a quarter of a mile long. Someone needs to get a better measuring stick. Thankfully we had no thunder or rain at all, despite the forecast.
As we walked from the car park to Standalone Farm to start our walk we passed houses decorated for the Beltane week and our hanger-on pointed out whose house they belonged to and also where she played as a child. It’s amazing how good her memory is and how cheeky she is, as she then borrowed a phone from someone cutting their grass just to check where we were on the walk! She left us at the start of the hill which many later described as an astute move. Eventually at the crest of the hill we had lovely views back down to Peebles and the hills beyond.
Stopping for lunch break allowed everyone to get their breath back and cool down a little before crossing a field to walk down the farm track to join up with the Eddlestone to Lyne Road, where we were followed and stared at by a herd of cows who were obviously bemused by a group walking in such heat. Joining up again with the Drovers Road we made our way along to Eddlestone passing through fields of sheep and then down past Bunny Corner and the house with guard geese and ducks on the way to Barony Castle Hotel, where the Polish troops were stationed during the war. Some people stopped there to go for lunch while others went to look at the Great Polish Map of Scotland, while the rest of
us made our way down the hill passing the llama’s on our way to catch a bus back to Peebles.
With immaculate timing, we got to the bus stop just in time for the bus, which took 5 minutes to get us back to where we started the walk 3 hours earlier! At least it didn’t rain.
Thanks to Drew for another great route, but everyone is looking forward to a flat canal walk in July!

Outing to Ford and Etal Estates on Friday 9th June 2017

The second of our summer outings was to Ford and Etal Estates in Northumberland on Friday 8th June. 39 of us left Waterloo Place, Edinburgh by coach and made our way through the borders to the village of Etal. There we all boarded the little train from Etal along the banks of the River Till to Heatherslaw. On arrival, we were met by an estate guide who directed some of us to the tea-room and the rest for a guided tour of the working Cornmill. The two groups then swapped over, so that everyone had a chance to visit both venues at Heatherslaw. We then rejoined our coach for the short journey to Ford Village, where we had a chance to visit The Lady Waterford Hall and also stroll around the pretty village in a warm and pleasant afternoon. High tea was at 4:30pm at The Cross Keys Hotel in Kelso, before we retuned to Edinburgh by mid-evening. Many thanks to Liz for arranging this outing.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Strollers Walk No. 217 - Monday 22nd May 2017, Mouse Water Lanark

Walk No. 217:  Mouse Water, Lanark
Date:               Monday 22nd May 2017
Distance:         5.5 miles approximately, if omitting New Lanark
Duration:          2 to 3 hours
Start at:           Lanark town centre, in middle of High Street
Summary: On a wet Monday morning, 14 Strollers met outside Costa Coffee in Lanark for this walk. After some discussion and borrowing of umbrellas, we set off down the High Street. In less than 10 minutes the rain stopped and never returned for the rest of the walk. We arrived at Mouse Water and followed the path via Cartland Craigs to then cross the A73 and descend to Mousemill Old Bridge. We crossed the Clyde on the "new" (1959) bridge at Clydesholm then back over the "old" (1694-1699) bridge to join the Clyde Valley Walkway. Arriving at Castlebank House and Park, we stopped a snack in the sunshine. A couple of walkers then headed uphill back to town while the rest of us rejoined the walkway and continued to New Lanark. There, the toilets and cafe were popular, but not as popular as the local bus that several of us used to return up the hill to Lanark Centre. Many thanks to John and Janice for arranging this walk.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Outing to Jute Museum (Verdant Works) on Tuesday 16th May

The first of our Summer Outings was held on Tuesday 16th May , when almost 50 members travelled by coach from Edinburgh to Dundee to visit the Jute Museum. We stopped for coffee at Dobbie's near Halbeath before continuing to Dundee via Glenrothes and the Tay Road Bridge. We had ample to time to explore the interesting museum, learning about the wealth that the jute trade brought to Dundee, but also about the working and housing conditions of the workers, mostly women and some children as young as 12 or even 9.
There was some time for us to enjoy a coffee there or venture briefly to the shops in the city centre before our coach picked us up and took us to Kinross for high tea. We returned to Edinburgh, with people being dropped off around 8pm. 
Thanks to those who organised the outing and made it an enjoyable day.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Dates and Venues for Summer Outings 2017

Here are the dates and proposed venues for our 2017 Summer Outings.
 Tuesday 16th May               Scottish Jute Museum (Verdant Works) in Dundee
 Friday 9th June                    Ford and Etal Estates, in Northumberland
 Monday 10th July                 Drumlanrig Castle and Gardens, Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway
 Wednesday 23rd August      Maid of the Forth Cruise to Inchcolm Abbey
 Thursday 21st September     Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow

Details of the first outing are already in the post or will be emailed to members shortly.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Strollers Walk No. 216 - Thursday 20th April 2017, Cramond Brig to South Queensferry

Walk No. 216: John Muir Way - Cramond Brig Toll to High Street, South Queensferry
Date:              Thursday 20th April 2017
Distance:        5.3 miles approximately
This  linear walk followed part of the John Muir Way through the grounds of Dalmeny Estate. On a windy, dry, sometimes bright April day thirty Strollers met up to walk to South Queensferry. One even then walked back, while the rest of us caught the bus or had left a car near the end. Walking through the Rosebery Estate and parallel with the River Almond and on down to the sea shore the wind dropped away and it became a nice calm day for a lovely walk. Passing Eagle Rock, which has a carving of an eagle reputedly done by a Roman Soldier from the garrison at the River Almond, we made our way along the edge of the 9 hole golf course towards Dalmeny House.
Dalmeny House & Estate has been home to the Earls of Rosebery since 1662 and the house itself was completed in 1817. It marked a great departure in Scottish architecture with its Tudor Gothic style and its highly-decorated chimneys and crenellations, looked back toward fanciful 16th-century English mansions, such as Hampton Court. The house hosts a collection of Napoleon memorabilia, as well as paintings by artists such as Raeburn and Gainsborough. Prior to this the family stayed in Barnbougle Castle which is on the site of a medieval tower house built by the Mowbray family which was destroyed and then rebuilt in the 19th century. At Barnbougle the fifth Earl of Rosebery (Prime Minister) practised his speeches in a gallery hall built for the purpose.
We then continued through the woodland past Fishery Cottage which gains it name from the salmon netting undertaken until the 1950s when declining stocks of salmon made the operation uneconomic. You can see the remains of the wooden piles along the seashore. Continuing on past the Hound Point Terminal where oil tankers from all over the world stop to load up with oil from the North Sea which has been refined at Grangemouth Refinery further up the river. The oil is then stored at Dalmeny Tank Farm, near Dalmeny Village, before onward transmission to the oil terminal at Hound Point. Then on towards South Queensferry realising it was still windy, before finishing our walk under the Forth Rail bridge.
Our thanks to Ian for organising a very nice walk and for arranging such good weather.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

National Trust for Scotland - Members' Car Park Sticker

It's that time of the year again when National Trust members receive the NTS spring magazine.
Although I'm never quick to read my copy, I always remember to search through it straight away to find this year's Car Park Sticker. However, this year, rather than hiding it in the magazine, the NTS have put it inside the Members' Guide book (look between pages 24 and 25).
This is an improvement on previous years, as members are more likely to hang on to the Guide book. Previously some of us have previously thrown out our Car Park sticker with the magazine.
Be warned.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Strollers Walk No. 215 - Wednesday 22nd march 2017, Ocean Terminal to Silverknowes

Walk No. 215:   Ocean Terminal to Silverknowes
Date:                 Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Distance:          5.5 miles approximately

Thirty-three strollers met at Ocean Terminal to walk along to Silverknowes on a dull, windy but dry day. Passing the Chancelot flour mill, part of the operations of American food giant Archer Daniels Midland, producing organic and non-organic flours, bakery pre-mixes, concentrates and sundries for the baking industry in Scotland and the North. On past Newhaven Harbour, site of the building of the largest Scottish ship the Great Michael launched in 1512 then sold to the French in 1514 after the battle of Flodden. Passing the Old Chain Pier, where steamers used to operate from between 1820 and 1850 when Granton Harbour surpassed it. The pier was destroyed in a storm in 1898. Granton Harbour was built to ferry steam trains from Edinburgh to Burntisland in Fife in the days before the Forth Railway Bridge.
At Granton Square we were supposed to be met by Bill M who obviously hadn’t checked bus routes in a long time and got lost but managed to get on a 47 and catch the group as we made our way through the site of the old gas works, now a mix of housing, supermarket and a college as well as a newly formed park. It also opened up access to view the early 19th century house of Caroline House, which was in the middle of the gas works. We passed the old railway station, which is now a listed building, before making our way down to the windy promenade, then along and up to our finish at Silverknowes Golf Club.
It was here that an injury from a golf club sustained many years ago resurfaced and caused an embarrassing situation when one of the group failed to recognise the differing signs for the ladies and gents toilets. I’m sure she’ll take more care in the future.
Thanks yet again to Drew for organising this interesting walk. Looking forward to seeing you all on the next walk on 20th April.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Strollers Walk No. 214 - Tuesday 21st February 2017, Historic Walk - Leith

Walk No. 214:    Historic Walk - Leith
Date:                 Tuesday 21st February 2017
Forty five Strollers met up in Leith, under the shadow of the statue of Queen Victoria, for a wander round South Leith. Starting off by learning about the story of the Kirkgate and the Gaiety Theatre where some Strollers admitted to going to shows, which given it closed in 1956 shows that the memory is still working! At the Trafalgar Masonic Hall built on the site of the Preceptory and Hospital of the Blessed Confessor St Anthony founded by Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig in 1430, we stopped to look at the many mason’s marks on the walls. On to Trinity House to hear about starting classes at 6.a.m. and finishing at 6.p.m., then learning about the local hostelry which stood next door before entering the grounds of South Leith Parish Church which was badly damaged in 1544 and 1547 as part or the ‘rough wooing’ by Henry VIII’s armies and then in 1560 by the Lords of the Congregation besieging Leith. Moving from there to the Links to hear more about the 1560 conflict, the plague pits and the birth of the game of golf. Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox among others are reputed to have played golf here. Passing the Leith Police station which used to be the Leith Town Hall and Council Chamber, we heard about the vote in 1920 not to join Edinburgh, a result which was ignored by the councils. Nothing new then.
Then it was time for a look at the sites of the old wine, brandy and whisky warehouses, mostly now converted to housing, and then on to Lamb’s House where its alleged Mary Queen of Scots stayed when she first arrived back in Scotland, although her mother Mary of Guise had a house in nearby Rotten Row so it may have been there she stayed. Part of Lamb’s House is now the Icelandic Consul. We finished off at the Kings Wark beside the Water of Leith, where Mary and many other important figures in history landed on their way to Edinburgh.
Our thanks again to our guides Karen and Helen for all the work done for the walks and we’ll see them again next year!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Pensioners Theatre Outings in 2017

The Pensioners Theatre Group sub-committee has chosen the following shows from the Kings and Festival Theatre brochure for 2017.
  • Thursday 2nd March - Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
  • Wednesday 8th March - Cuttin' A Rug by John Byrne
  • Saturday 25th March - Casanova with the Northern Ballet
  • Wednesday 19th April - Nell Gwynn by the English Touring Theatre
A letter has been sent by post or email to all those who have expressed interest in the Theatre Group activities. It details the shows, dates and prices and also includes a booking form to complete and return should you wish to attend any of these shows. Please note that the booking forms need to be returned by Friday 27th January.
If you did not receive these details and wish to be included in the Theatre Group mailings or need to update your email address, please contact our mailbox at sl.pensioners.association@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Strollers Walk No.213 - Thursday 26th January 2017, Historic Walk from Lawnmarket to Parliament Square

In typical Strollers fashion we chose a cold but sunny day to have a tour of the High Street for our January walk. Preceding days had been quite mild but a difference of at least 10 degrees between Wednesday and Thursday meant it was a day to wrap up. 57 Strollers gathered at The Hub, which is a category A listed building. The Hub’s spire is the highest point in central Edinburgh, constructed between 1842 and 1845 as the Victoria Hall, to house the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland but never consecrated as a Church. In 1929 the Church of Scotland ceased to use the building and it became a temporary home for a variety of congregations. It was named the Highland Tolbooth St John’s Church in 1956, before falling into disuse in the 1980s. In 1999, the building was transformed into The Hub, the offices and a performance space for the Edinburgh International Festival. The spire on the Hub was also used by Playfair when he designed the Assembly Hall on the Mound to create an illusion from below that the spire was actually part of the assembly hall. This saved him a lot of money!
Moving over to
Milnes Court one of the first open squares in old Edinburgh, designed and Built by Robert Mylne in the late 17th Century who was also involved in the upgrades to Holyrood Palace. The old buildings which formed the West side of the court were demolished in 1883. The North and South blocks were restored and the east range rebuilt by The University of Edinburgh between 1966 and 1970.
Continuing on down the High Street to James Court built between 1723-7 by a developer called James Brownhill. His plan was for a courtyard building of exclusive apartments, following the style Milne’s Court. Straight away it became one of the most fashionable addresses in Edinburgh, with an air of exclusivity in the same way as a gated community today. The residents formed a committee which organised assemblies and other social events. James Court even employed its own scavenger or dung collector, rather than rely on those paid by the council. We also heard about Deacon Brodie and Jekyll and Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson’s version of the events.
Crossing the Royal Mile we stopped off at the Heart of Midlothian, the statue of the Duke of Buccleuch, heard about George Heriot and the site of the Tolbooth. In the square behind St Giles we discovered we were actually standing on a cemetery before heading into Parliament Hall and the law courts. This beautiful building was originally built by Charles I to house the Scottish Parliament, which it did but only up 1707. Our host there, Karen (different one), took us on a tour of the cells which were used to house prisoners pointing out that they were also used for executions, showing us the cell used to house Burke the body stealer, the piano room also with a coffin and providing us with some colourful stories about the rooms.
A very good finish to the walk and it was interesting to watch the QC’s pacing up and down the Parliament Hall as they have done since it was built.
Our thanks again to our Guides Karen and Helen for all the work done for the walks and we’ll see them again in February for our walk round Leith.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Annual General Meeting - Friday 3rd February 2017, Edinburgh

Our Annual General Meeting was held in The Royal Overseas League, Princes Street Edinburgh on the afternoon of Friday 3rd February 2017. Almost 90 members attended  the brief business meeting then enjoyed some social time over an afternoon tea of sandwiches and other nibbles. Full details, including a Chairman's Report were sent out to all members by email or post on 29th December 2016. If you did not receive this, please contact our mailbox at sl.pensioners.association@gmail.com with a note of your name and post code, as perhaps you have changed your email address or your postal address.