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

There’s a Hare in my Soup

During the cold and damp winter evenings, most of the farm workers would gather in each other’s cottages and tell the tallest of tales. Many of these stories were about Bruce and Wallace, Rob Roy McGregor, Bonnie Prince Charlie and others involved in historical and sometimes, mythical, derring-do. On other occasions they would foregather to play draughts or cards.

At one soiree held in the farmhouse in Auchingarrich a group of young weavers gathered round the fire for a night of the popular game card game called “Catch the Ten.” It had been decided that the game would be played only by the light of the fire. In the event of a dispute rather than using a candle which was expensive a splintered root of a fir tree would be used for light as a substitute and used only to allow time to clear up any contentious matter. It was also common practice that earlier in the day potatoes had been peeled ready for boiling during the evening. A large pot had been placed on the kitchen table.

At that time there was a quarry nearby where a lot of men worked as stone masons. Periodically they would ask for and be given a glass of milk by the farmer’s wife. During the afternoon of the soiree which everyone knew about, one of the masons poached a hare which he hid under his coat. On passing the farmhouse when he had finished his work for the day he looked through the window and saw that there was no-one in the kitchen and the pot full of the peeled potatoes resting on the kitchen table. Without hesitation he went in, lifted off the lid of the pot and lifted out the potatoes and placed the hare at the bottom of the pot. This he covered up with the potatoes.

The weavers and their farming friends gathered together in the poorly-lit kitchen and started their game. At an appropriate time the pot was put on the fire and when it was judged that the potatoes were ready it was taken off the fire and the hot water poured away. Each person in the room took a turn to mash the mixture, and, as no-one could see what was at the bottom of the pot, it was at last declared ready for consumption. All found a spoon and gathered round the mashed spuds and ate as much as they wanted.

However after a very short while it became evident that many of them were gagging, or spitting out what they had eaten. Others with a handkerchief, and more refined, were covering their mouths and disgorging its contents. Others were picking hair from the mouths and teeth, and all in quite upset and in some discomfort. Eventually John McRorie, a young tenant farmer from Duntarvie, near Strowan, threw down his spoon and spluttered, “As long as it was a hair I said nothing, but I am not going to swallow bones and other forms of traplish!” They all rounded on the farmer’s wife – after all she had been responsible for making the supper. She then had the “hair-raising” experience of telling them that she had prepared the supper as she normally did and everything was fine and as usual with the peeled potatoes placed in the pot with water waiting for cooking.

They lit one of the fir root splinters and examined the pot and there found the remains of the hare buried at the bottom. They immediately suspected that it had been the work of the masons and challenged them the next day and although they looked guilty enough no-one confessed. The upshot of it all was that the masons never got any more milk at that farm house! Auchingarrich Farm today is a beautifully kept nature reserve.

Just down the road from Auchingarrich is the Glascorrie Road. At the corner here a long, long time ago stood the Puddock Hoose – a well known drinking den or as they call it in Ireland, a shebeen. It was said that the witches of Macbeth brewed up here…and I could well believe that! The original road from Comrie to the Langside road met at this spot. Originally this road started at Dalginross in Comrie and then took a left turn at the Cowden, and then up over the shoulder of the Bogton Braes. It connects to a little road leading Eastwards through Glen Tarf to the South Crieff Road and Strowan. It’s a beautiful wee road bordered in the spring with snowdrops and later with daffodils and bluebells. It’s a place where fairies live, and that’s the truth!