Calendar

Apr
26
Sat
A Dick and Dot Day in the Land of the Gaels @ TARS Library & Stall
Apr 26 @ 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

‘”She might have seen a bird while she was waiting,” said Dick, “and got out of the car to have a better view, and sat down to watch it and fallen asleep.”’ PM

Caerlaverock Swans

Swans feeding at the Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

TARS LibraryThe library and stall will be open from 10.30am, when coffee/tea will be available in the café downstairs. After a talk by Margaret Ratcliffe, we’ll drive the 8 miles to Caerlaverock Wetland Centre, Eastpark Farm, Caerlaverock DG1 4RS, for a group lunch, a talk by Brian Morrell, the Manager, and a guided walk, taking in the newly built state-of-the-art, disabled-friendly Observatory, overlooking the Swan Pond, and finishing around 3.30pm, although the Centre is open until 5.00pm for those who want to stay longer.

When booking please indicate if you will need a lift to and from Dumfries station, giving arrival/departure times, and to and from Caerlaverock, or if you are able to offer a lift, and if so how many spare seats you will have.

Lunch (soup and sandwiches plus tea/coffee) is included in the cost. There is a café, with other food available to buy if you need it!

Cost – Adults 12.50 (incl. lunch), Concessions £11.00 (incl. lunch), members of WWT £6 (cost of lunch). Advance booking essential.

Jul
25
Fri
The Newtonmore Wildcat Experience @ Newtonmore
Jul 25 @ 3:00 pm – Jul 27 @ 10:00 am

Join us for the weekend and enjoy a Wild Cat Experience!

The Wildcat Trail

We have the exclusive use of Newtonmore Hostel from midday on Friday July 25th to Sunday July 27th. The hostel is right in the middle of the little town of Newtonmore in the heart of the Wildcat country!

The hostel at NewtonmoreNewtonmore is on the railway line from Inverness in the north to Edinburgh and Glasgow in the south. For Rattletraps the A9 is only a few minutes away and there is parking at the hostel. Likewise dromedaries can be stabled. For those who do not want to stay in the hostel there are B and Bs nearby, one of them only a couple of minutes from the hostel.

If you are very lucky you may see a wildcat in the wild. If you are not so lucky you can make your own luck by joining us at the nearby Highland Wildlife Park run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Discover Scottish wildlife and endangered animals of the world’s mountains and tundra in a spectacular setting in the Cairngorm National Park.

The Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore covers a mile long site with over twenty-five buildings. Discover how Highland people lived, worked and dressed. Visit the reconstructed eighteenth century Highland village. Look out for charcoal burners. The museum is inspired by the open air ones in Scandinavia and moreover it is free!

The open air museum

Surely not the Amazons’ tent! Spot the handcart (which book does that feature in?).

In the hills just above Newtonmore is the remains of a Pictish dwelling place. (Picts lived here, but were there any Martyrs?) Follow the Wildcat Trail into the hills to find it. Bring Dromedaries for further exploration!

A blue wildcat

A blue wildcat.

There are numerous models of wildcats prowling the town. Find 25 and you receive a certificate. Find 50 and you win a prize. Each wildcat is decorated in a different way.

A very strange wildcat.

A very strange wildcat.

A purple wildcat

A purple wildcat. Only another 47 to go!

The weekend is especially good for juniors and their families, and there is a welcome for TARS members from other regions too. Sleeping places are limited, so early booking is recommended, if you would rather stay elsewhere then just join us during the day and in the evening.

The cost is £14 per night (this includes tea, breakfast and refreshments throughout the day).
Juniors go FREE (but must be accompanied by a paying adult).
There is also a £5 Registration Fee for all attending any part of the weekend.

Oct
18
Sat
Scottish Literary Day @ Linlithgow Union Canal Centre (LUCS)
Oct 18 @ 10:15 am – 4:30 pm

We’re delighted to welcome Sophie Neville (‘Titty’ in the 1974 Swallows and Amazons film) to our Literary Day!

Sophie Neville

Sophie Neville

  • 10:15am to 10:30am – Registration and Coffee in the LUCS Team Room
  • Talk: – ‘The Making of the Swallows and Amazons film’ – Sophie Neville
  • Boat Trip on the canal
  • Lunch
  • Talk: – ‘Gaelic Language and Community in Great Northern?‘ – Prof. K MacKinnon
  • Talk: – Sophie Neville

Cost: £22 including the Boat Trip, all food, coffee and tea.

Booking (by 4 October please), and further information from Jim Lonie – jimlonie@gmail.com

St Magdalene

Jan
17
Sat
Birthday Lunch & AGM @ Hawes Inn
Jan 17 @ 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Celebrate Arthur Ransome’s birthday at the Hawes Inn in South Queensferry – AGM afterwards in the Meeting Room.

The Firth of Forth narrows at this point … Right in the midst of the narrows lies an islet with some ruins; on the south shore they have built a pier, for the service of the ferry; and at the end of the pier, on the other side of the road and backed against a pretty garden of holly-trees and hawthorns, I could see the building they call the Hawes Inn. *

We look forward to celebrating Ransome’s Birthday with a great lunch!

MENU

Soup of the day
Potted oak smoked chicken liver pate
Prawn cocktail

—–*—–

Salt beef hash
Fish pie
Savoury Eccles cake

—–*—–

Raspberry creme brûlée
Rhubarb, plum & cherry oaty crumble
Cheese board

—–*—–

Tea or Coffee

3 courses £25, 2 Courses £20 (including service charge). Time: – 12.30pm for 1 o’clock

Booking is essential for this occasion! We must let the Hawes Inn know the number of people coming. Lunch bookings must be made by 3rd January 2015.

… presently [David Balfour and Ransome] were set down at a table in the front room of the inn, and both eating and drinking with a good appetite. *

* Both quotations from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Jul
25
Sat
Visit TARS Library and Stall in Dumfries @ Georgetown Community Centre
Jul 25 @ 10:30 am

Visit TARS Library and Stall in Dumfries

Follow the town trail and help plan part of the 2016 IAGM

Discover the beauties of the tidal Nith, the story of the last years of Robert Burns, and many other Dumfries characters from the past. Bring your own knapsack full of bunloaf and marmalade, grog and chocolate, or sample the delights of Hullabaloo or one of the many other delightful eating-places in the town.

Meet at Georgetown Community Centre from 10:30am and we’ll take it from there.

Booking is not essential, but it would be useful to know if you are coming, so please email Winifred Wilson at winwilson2003@yahoo.co.uk.

Oct
24
Sat
Scottish Literary Day – Flights of Fancy: Natural History in “the Twelve” @ The Tryst, Pitlochry
Oct 24 @ 10:30 am – 4:30 pm

The annual Scottish Literary Day:

The venue, by popular demand, is once again the Tryst in Pitlochry. It is five minutes walk from the station, with trains from both the north and the south arriving in good time at 10.19 (trains cross here, it is single track).

Robert White, member of TARS Scotland, will talk about nature in Arthur Ransome’s twelve children’s books. In the afternoon there will be a ‘bring-and-tell’ session when you can read a passage on nature from your own favourite books be they fiction, plays or poetry.

Further details from mary.pritchard49@googlemail.com

10.30 Registration and coffee

13:00 Buffet lunch

15:00 Tea

COST £12 for TARS members (£13 for guests) includes coffee, lunch and tea.

Jan
23
Sat
Scottish AGM & Birthday Celebration @ Hawes Inn, South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Jan 23 @ 11:30 am – 5:00 pm

tbc

Sep
10
Sat
Visit to Abbotsford House, home of Sir Walter Scott @ Abbotsford House
Sep 10 @ 9:20 am – 4:30 pm

Join us for a trip down the Borders Railway to visit Abbotsford House the home of Sir Walter Scott; one of Scotland’s most fascinating places. Created almost 200 years ago on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford was the culmination of Scott’s creative ambitions as a writer and the fount of his inspiration.

Explore the historic house and discover a treasure trove of intriguing objects and unusual artefacts which inspired Scott’s greatest poems and novels. Learn about Scott’s life and achievements, browse the gift shop, have lunch in the restaurant or simply relax and unwind as you wander through the beautiful formal gardens and tranquil woodlands – a day out at Abbotsford has something for everyone.


We’ll meet up at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station to catch the 9.24 train to Tweedbank – make sure you leave time to buy your ticket first. The train should arrive in Tweedbank at 10.22 in time to catch the 10.30 bus for the 5-minute journey to Abbotsford House. (Alternatively, you can meet us at Tweedbank Station or at the house itself.)

At the end of our visit we’ll aim to catch the 14:53 bus from Abbotsford, returning us to Tweedbank Station in time for the 15:31 train back to Edinburgh (Arriving in Waverley at 16:29).

Indicative costs (pay your way on the day):

Offpeak day return rail ticket – £11.20 (railcard discounts available)
Entry to Abbotsford House & Gardens – £8.95 (£7.70 concession)


There’s no booking for this event, but it would be useful if we know you’re intending to join us.

Oct
22
Sat
Scottish Literary Day – The Tale Behind ‘Old Peter’s Russian Tales’ @ The Tryst
Oct 22 @ 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

In this the centenary year of Old Peter’s Russian Tales publication, Mary Pritchard will talk to us about the story behind Arthur Ransome’s writing of these stories. In the afternoon this will be followed by a ‘bring and share’ session when you are invited to share an extract from one of your own favourite books (not necessarily Ransome-related) that has a short story or Russian connection.

Day Schedule:

10.30am Registration and coffee

1.00pm Buffet lunch

3.00pm Tea

COST £12 for TARS members (£13 for guests) – including coffee, lunch, and tea. (Advance booking essential).

Jul
28
Fri
Loch Ken Camp. @ Galloway Activity Centre
Jul 28 @ 12:00 pm – Aug 6 @ 12:00 pm

Joint TARS Scotland and Northern Regions Camp
Friday July 28th to Sunday August 6th 2017
After two successful years at Hoathwaite it would be great to have another camp next year and
Diana Wright has passed the baton to us, Elizabeth Williams and Chris Rosindale. The Northern IAGM is at Coniston is in 2018 so we won’t be returning until after that. We’ve looked really hard, but we couldn’t find a suitable lakeside site that would take a group booking in high season, provide cheap or free boat launching, and glamping options, in the Lake District.
However we’ve found a lovely site at Loch Ken in south-west Scotland. There are a variety of more upmarket glamping options as well as cheap camping and boat launching. A pity that it isn’t on Derwentwater but you can’t have everything! See what the site offers on:

https://www.lochken.co.uk/

If we want further adventure we can go wild camping for one night on either a wooded spit jutting out into the Loch or (!) on a wooded island. The centre will ferry us there and back in their own boats or we could probably use our own if enough are brought. There are different activities offered, including archery, climbing, zip wire and kayaking, so Outlaws (and those of us who are inner Outlaws) could be kept entertained off the water as well as afloat.Loch Ken is 9 miles long. Bridged by a disused railway viaduct just North of the village of Parton, it is
essentially in 2 halves – though through navigation for small boats is unobstructed by the railway viaduct. The Northern half, from the viaduct up to edge of New Galloway village, has an almost Lake District feel, with hilly woodland and upland farmland reaching the water’s edge. The Southern half, from the viaduct down to Crossmichael village, lies between gentle pastureland and is full of little bays, islands, and coves, with many reed-beds, giving it an almost Coot Club/Norfolk Broads feel. As a result, the Loch offers a very attractive setting for Arthur Ransome-inspired activities. It is quieter, and easier to drive to than Coniston, Windermere, Derwentwater or Ullswater, which I hope would compensate for it being a bit further north.
Loch Ken is somewhere TARS has never explored before, so it would be a first for us.

If you are interested in joining us please e-mail elizabeth.williams10@aol.com as soon as possible so that we can send you information and have an idea about how many pitches for tents, caravans, campervans we need to book ( it’s a small site) and who may be joining us in more sophisticated accommodation. If you decide you do want to join us then please could you book your preferred accommodation option directly with the Galloway Activity Centre (GAC) (please use the Booking Reference ‘TARS2017’, so that the GAC can try and group us together on the site) – details for doing so can be found on their website. You can of course join us and leave us when you wish.

Elizabeth Williams and Chris Rosindale