23 September 2007

Scotophile Monday

Welcome back to Scotophile Monday! All sources credited. Enjoy!!

Final Farewell to QE2
The luxury Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (known more usually these days as "QE2") was launched on the Clyde on September 20, 1967 at John Brown's shipyard at Clydebank. As of September, 2007, the QE2 has travelled 5.6 million nautical miles, including 25 circumnavigations of the globe, 801 transatlantic crossings, 705 calls at New York, and 697 at Southampton. 2.5 million passengers have sailed on the ship. So it was fitting that exactly 40 years after its launch, the venerable lady of the seas should call in at the Clyde - for the last time. Read more

Scots Call to Save Delta Queen from Scrap HeapThe Dumbarton-built Delta Queen, above, has for the past 60 years plied her trade on the Mississippi, although strict safety laws have forced similar boats made largely of wood off the river. Read more

Fire and Flood Threat to Scotland's Literary Heritage
It contains Scotland's greatest literary treasures, including the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, a historic Gutenberg Bible and Charles Darwin's letter proposing the origin of species. So when the National Library of Scotland (NLS) was hit by a flood in the dead of night on Thursday, there was consternation among archivists and academics. Read more

Scots Teachers Among the Best Paid in the World
A report by the UN's OECD has revealed that Scottish teachers are the 5th best paid in the world, ranked five places higher than England and ahead of the United States in 12th position. Read more

Aberdeen Wins 40th Beautiful Scotland Title
Aberdeen lifted the top prize in the "City" category in the UK-wide Britain in Bloom competition, the results for which were announced this week in Dundee's Caird Hall. That was the 40th consecutive win for the Granite City in that category. The judges were impressed by Union Street and Union Terrace, with their bedding plants and use of hanging baskets and planters. There were also many fine examples of residential gardens, which add to the overall impact for a visitor. The judges also highlighted Aberdeen’s unstinting efforts to keep the streets clean. Read more

Meeting the Demand for Scotch Whisky
The rising demand for Scotch malt whisky around the world, particularly in the Far East and an expected increase in sales to India now that tariffs there have been reduced, means that producers are having to look at ways of increasing production. (Carolan’s note: I hope they’re hiring tasters…) Read more

“Oat” Cuisine
Edinburgh Farmers' Market was the unlikely setting for a world record attempt - which smashed the previous one set earlier this year. Cooks from Stoats Porridge Bars brought to the boil a massive 178 pounds of oats to make the largest ever bowl of porridge. Stirred with a six-foot stick (properly called a spurtle), it was sufficient for 2,000 people to have their breakfast porridge. Read more

This Week in Scottish History
September 23 704 - Death of St Adamnan, biographer of St Columba.
September 23 1678 - The Earl of Mar was commissioned to raise a regiment nicknamed "Earl of Mar's Gray Breeks" which later became the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
September 23 1779 - Battle of Flamborough Head in which Scots-born John Paul Jones fought an engagement against the British navy. His ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard sank but he boarded and captured HMS Serapis.
September 24 1332 - Edward Balliol, son of John Balliol, crowned at Scone. He was deposed by supporters of David II in December 1332, restored in 1333, deposed again in 1334, restored in 1335 and finally deposed in 1341.
September 25 1956 - The first telephone cable connecting the UK and North America "went live". 2,240 miles long, the cable ran from Gallanach Bay, near Oban in Argyll and Bute, to Clarenville, Canada.
September 26 1290 - Queen Margaret, Maid of Norway ("Eiriksdotter") died, en route from Norway to Scotland.
September 26 1860 - First Open Golf Championship held at Prestwick. There were eight entrants and the championship was won by Willie Park of Musselburgh.
September 26 1934 - Liner Queen Mary launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank. She went on to break the Atlantic record (the "Blue Riband") four times.
September 27 1831 - Scotland's first passenger railway opened (between Glasgow and Garnkirk).
September 27 1938 - The 80,000-ton liner Queen Elizabeth, then the largest passenger ship ever built, launched at John Brown's shipyard, Clydebank.
September 28 1581 - George Buchan, humanist, poet, historian and tutor of King James VI, died.
September 29 1621 - Charter granted to Sir William Alexander of Menstrie to colonise the "Baronetcy of Nova Scotia".
September 29 1952 - John Cobb made an attempt at the world water-speed record on Loch Ness which ended in tragedy as the boat crashed and Cobb was killed.

Painting Red Square Tartan
Kremlin Zoria, modelled on the Tattoo in Edinburgh, has been entertaining Muscovites this week with pipes and drums from around the globe. The Russians maintained their secretive reputation, however, with members of the Blackwatch and other Scottish battalions surrounded by armed soldiers. Read more

Ghost Tours at Traquair House
Traquair House, south of Peebles, is considered to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. The earliest part of the current building dates from 1107. So it has a long 900 year history - and maybe a few ghosts lurking around too. So what better place to enjoy Halloween? Read more (Carolan’s note: I’ve been in this house – it’s magnificent!)

Scottish Castle of the Week
Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire

Scottish Web Site of the Week
Radio Scotland Podcasts

The Scotsman Recommends...
The Scotsman readers recommend the Best of Scotland

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