Sections


Rob Roy MacGregor Campbell
The '45
Extracts of Statistics from the Annexed Estates for Western Strathearn (1755-56)
The Reports of the Annexed Estates (1755-69)
A Tour of Scotland - Thomas Pennant (1769)
Seismic Activity (1789)
Account of 1791-99 vol-11 - Comrie, County of Perth
Archibald MacNab (1734-1816)
Henry Dundas (1742-1811)
Sir David Baird of Seringapatam (1757-1829)
Companion and Useful Guide to the Beauties of Scotland – Sarah Murray (1799)
Roman Camp, Dalginross – October (1800)
Flash from the Caledonian Mercury – September (1814)
I've a Boat to Catch (1818)
A Picture of Strathearn - John Brown (1823)
St Fillan’s Highland Society (1827)
Letters from the Distant Past (1831 - 1859)
Comrie, St Fillans and Monivard (1837)
Statistical Account: Parish of Comrie (1838)
The Glen Lednock Census (1841)
The Queen’s Visit (1842)
The Road to Comrie (1857)
For the Sake of Nelly Fergus (1860)
From an Unknown Guidebook-circa (1892)
Comrie (1895)
Tales of Derring Do
Soldier, Soldier, won’t you marry me wi’…
The Adventures of Paddy or Highland Peter
Ghoulie Tales
A Serious Business
Mail Order Bride
The Man with the Powerful Voice
Double Entry bookkeeping
Hey, Gie’s ma Haun…or Murder Most Foul
Kate Mackenzie's Terrible Deeds
Watty and Meg Drummond
The Fencibles
Deacon Reid
Amazing Grace
The Day of the Penny Wedding
The MacArthur's were there before the Hills
The Beggar's Badge
A Pane by any other name can be a Pain!
The Powder Keg
The Coo didnae hae ony Teeth!
The Green Lady of Glen Lednock
The Queen of Tynasithe
The Great Wall of Comrie
Whisky, You're the Devil
A Wee Rumble
A Whale of a Time
An Encounter of the Third Kind
Another Debate
Bosom Pals
Getting Stoned in Comrie
Hanging about Comrie
It's Whisky in the Jar
Picking Other Folks' Brains
Porridge for Breakfast
Tarred and Buttered
Temperance
The Convert
The Debate
The Schism
The Levitation
The Twa' Brithers
There’s a Hare in my Soup
Yer bum's oot the Window

18th & 19th Century

Getting Stoned in Comrie

Meg Riddich, who lived at the Laggan, was unmarried and settling in to middle life and prospects of a change seemed dim. One day she called on all the heads of all the families who lived there and asked them to assemble at her home that evening as she had some business to discuss. All, with the exception of Peter Morrison, sometimes called Paddy, arrived at the appointed time and decided to wait for him to show up. After a while they were becoming fidgety but, as there was no sign of him they asked Meg to tell them what was on her mind. She explained that until recently she had thought she would remain a spinster but that two gentlemen, John McGregor and John Huke (Hock) had called expressing their desire to know her better, and both offered to marry her. The reason for the meeting was to seek advice or guidance of the best way to approach this dilemma.

Stunned, the men looked at her and the silence could be felt. After a time one of them kind of mumbled that he did not think that she should marry John Huke saying that he was almost blind, being only able to see a little of the sky, and that he could not see in front or to the side of him. In fact the village boys when they saw him coming would lie down in front of him and he would fall over them. On the other hand he was pretty handy at wielding a stick and if any of them got caught they got a real hiding with it. Some of the others ventured their opinions with the majority opting for the other candidate, John McGregor, feeling that he would be much more suitable. They thought that he had all his faculties even though getting on a wee bit but that was better than a half-blind man!

About this time, and after an earnest discussion had taken place, in walked Paddy Morrison who was immediately advised of the matter to hand. Paddy could dig in his heels and sometimes out of cussedness would play the Devil’s advocate and this was one such occasion. “No, no John Huke was by far the better man,” stating that whilst McGregor had a steady job with the Lawers estate, which Huke did not have, Huke could even with his bad eyesight thatch his house and help his neighbours do the same thing on occasion. He could also cut his own corn and barley, but his main source of income was from playing fiddle music. “Aye, aye, he was a grand fiddler.” During the harvest and winter months, Paddy continued, John Huke was kept very busy and went far afield staying in a kirn (a home for harvest workers) playing his fiddle and making good money. Warming to the task he extolled Huke’s worth conceding that McGregor was a good man but a wee bit on the old and frail side. He finished his speech with a grand flourish stating that John Huke was the man for Meg. She, after listening to the argumentation agreed that Huke was her choice and thereby resolved to bring him to the altar. This event occurred shortly thereafter.

It was a typical Comrie affair with everyone bringing something and the food was something to behold. Mutton and beef, curds and cream, and crewdie made from cream and oatmeal, they drank whisky and ale...a feast fit for a King and certainly good enough for John Huke. Johnny assisted in the proceedings by playing his fiddle and all danced with great gusto. Meg dancing the eightsome and the foursome and the Duke of Perth, not forgetting the Gay Gordon and the Schottisch and they was even Highland dancing complete with crossed swords. Whilst going through the dancing Meg would wave a bunch of keys and laughing saying “that these were the keys which were worth £20 this night.” Johnny was having a rare old time and much pleased with his catch.

When they had settled into married life Johnny had to be away from home for his work for a considerable time and met up with folk who were involved in similar work and he played his fiddle in the evening and brought home the money. One evening when he was at home and in another room a woman knocked at the door and asked for shelter for the night. She had a basket which was full of articles which she said she wished to sell at the market in the village the next day and Johnnie hearing her voice, and recognising her as one of the people he had met when away working at the harvest, told Meg to let her in.

The following morning, before breakfast, he told Meg that the woman had been very kind to him when working at the harvest and wished that Meg would provide her with ample hospitality and that she could stay for as long as she pleased. He then suggested that Meg go to the village to see if the booths or stands were ready for the coming day which she did and then returned. Johnny then asked her to go back and check out the price of ladles which she did and on her return Johnny gave her some money to buy one. So again she set off returning with an appropriate ladle. Johnny then suggested that she return and meet some of the local farmers about getting their crofts ploughed and seeded. By this time it was almost noon and the visitor, who seemed very fond of Johnny, didn’t seem to be in any hurry to follow suit and go to the market, but was getting very comfortable in the house.

On this occasion Meg went round to see several of the wives in the Laggan to seek their advice. The women listened to the tale and then said that they would fix the matter. Some of them went down to the river and filled their aprons with chuckie stones and two approached Johnny’s door and knocked on it. The stranger answered the door and promptly was asked what she was doing there and her reply of “Mind your own business” was greeted by a hail of Lednock tongue and chuckies. She was then chased out of the house and ran at top speed along the Crieff road, and didn’t stop until she was beyond the Milton Burn! The women then rounded on Johnny telling him that if he ever took up with a woman like that again he had better not show his face in the Laggan again!

As mentioned earlier Johnny was nearly blind and one beautiful harvest day he was out cutting his corn in a wee patch of ground where the slaughter house used to be, and was latterly the site of the railway station. A burn ran along the side of the “field” and on its banks was a spread of broom. One of the village lads, Duncan Bain, who lived at Knowe’s Head at the west end of the Lawers estate, saw him slowly working with his scythe. He cut a branch of the broom and dipped it in the burn and hid in the bushes. When Johnny passed him he flicked the branch showering Johnny with droplets of water. Johnny looked up and about him but because he was so shortsighted he could not see what had occurred. He continued on with his work and again when passing within range of Duncan he felt a shower of rain. Deciding that it must be coming on rain he picked up his scythe and went home. On arriving there Meg asked him what was wrong and Johnny told her it was coming on rain. “Rain, she exclaimed, “Rain! There’s no rain and there’s not a cloud in the sky.” Johnny said, “It’s fair here, but if I had continued where I was for a few minutes longer I would have been soaked to the skin.” Meg tried to persuade him to go back to the job but he wouldn’t hear of it and he spent the rest of the day playing his fiddle.