The Reverend Robert Lyon

The Reverend Robert Lyon

The Reverend Robert Lyon

This month I am going to write about a new display in the Perth Museum and Art gallery that starts on the 22nd of June and ends on the 19th of October.  It is called Jacobite Clans, and I am going to promote it for two reasons, one, it is a period of history that I am very passionate about and two, I am involved in the event.  So please forgive a shameless plug, I am going to tie in this event at the museum with a story about one of the forgotten Perthshire Jacobites. The Reverend Robert Lyon, a Perth minister who served in Bonnie Prince Charlies Jacobite Army.

Robert was born in Forfarshire in 1709 or 1710, he was the son of a minister in the Episcopal Church, he and his two sisters were very heavily influenced by their father in all things spiritual, so when he became an adult, Robert himself joined the ministry.  In 1738 he was appointed to act as an assistant to the Rev Laurence Drummond in the Episcopal Church in Perth with a wage of £30.00 pounds a year. Drummond was an elderly man and as his health deteriorated, Robert took a more active role in running the church.  He seems to have overstepped the mark by carrying out tasks without the permission of the lay managers who usually had a say in the decision making. He also upset some of the congregation by having communion tokens stamped with R.L for Robert Lyon instead of L.D for the older minister.

Robert would have been brought up a Jacobite as the Episcopal Church was a hotbed of Jacobitism, he was to write that he considered the Revolution of 1688 when James VII of Scotland and II of England was forced from the throne by his daughter Mary and her husband William the Prince of Orange to be unlawful. He believed in the divine right of kings, that is a king had been placed on the throne by God and no man had the right to remove him.  He was engaged to a young woman from a staunchly Jacobite family called Miss Stewart Ross.

So it is hardly surprising that Robert would have been very excited when news filtered down from the North in mid-August 1745 that Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the son of the Jacobite King James VIII and III had landed in the western highlands and was raising the clans for his cause.  When the young Prince marched into Perth in early September and declared his father king at the Market Cross at the bottom of the High Street, Robert would have been one of the excited spectators, and when the Jacobites marched out of Perth to advance to Edinburgh, Robert Lyon was amongst their ranks.

Robert had joined Lord Ogilvy’s Cavalry regiment as the regimental Chaplain, this regiment was raised in Forfarshire so Robert would have been with his ain folk, as he left the town his sweetheart would have been waiving enthusiastically, probably loving her brave young fiancee more than ever. Robert took part in the Battle of Prestonpans.  It was noted in Perth by George Miller the Town Clark that the Lyon household had large letters spelling C.P.R (Charles, Prince, Regent) with lights shining through them to celebrate the Jacobite victory. Miller would later testify against Robert in court.

Robert Lyon was also involved in the invasion of England where he was spotted carrying arms as the Jacobite army marched South, he fought at the Battle of Culloden and after the Jacobite defeat became a fugitive hiding from the Government soldiers.  Robert was caught and held in the Tolbooth of Montrose. He was then put on a ship and taken South to York where he was imprisoned. From York, he was taken to Carlisle to stand trial for treason, while in Carlisle he was held in the town’s castle in horrendous conditions.  While imprisoned he was visited by his sister Cicely, he apologises to her for “the grievous troubles and afflictions both in mind and body that his situation has brought her”. He also states that “her firm love for me has made her follow me too far, and be witness of more of my troubles than I could have wished”.  While in captivity he did not forget his flock back in Perth stating that “May God almighty bless them, both in temporal and spiritual concerns and of his infinite goodness reward them for their love and kindness, their attachment and concern for me in the several difficulties I have undergone”.

Despite testifying that he had never carried arms while in the service of the Prince, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. On the 28th of October 1746, Robert Lyon stood on the scaffold at Penrith and administered the sacrament to the other condemned Jacobites who stood with him.  He was then hanged by the neck until dead and then disembowelled. Some of his friends from Perth had made the long journey south to witness the execution, seeing some friendly faces in the crowd would have given Robert some comfort.

The Derby Mercury newspaper on the 7th of November 1746 offers the best description I have been able to find.  This extremely biased report states that before his execution, Robert read an “infamous libel” where he affirmed his support for the Stuart cause, this newspaper noted that this declaration lasted 20 minutes.  The paper also states that amongst Robert Lyon’s last words were “That if his life had been given him, he would still have continued in the same principles”. The Derby Mercury also states that there was a lot of spectators who “behaved with great decency,” and talking about the condemned men the paper wrote that the crowd’s attitude towards them was one off “pitying them as men, but rejoicing at their fate as Rebels”.

My friend and talented musician John Davidson and I will be performing Jacobites in Story and Song on the 4th of July in the horse cross plaza from 3.00 pm until 4.30 pm.  I will be telling the story from the death of Charles II and the forced removal of the Jacobite king James to the death of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1788 with John singing some of the best known and loved Jacobite songs including tow numbers John had written especially for this performance.   Tickets can be obtained on Eventbrite.

A ‘Foraging’ Walk to Willowgate Activity Centre

A ‘Foraging’ Walk to Willowgate Activity Centre

Foraging in Perthshire

When the good folks at Perth City Centre asked me to do a “foraging” walk along the edge of the River Tay, from Rodney Gardens to the new Willowgate Activity Centre, I was intrigued. One – I’d get the chance to find out more about our native edible plants in their natural setting, and two – I’d get a tour of the exciting new Activity Centre. I couldn’t miss the chance!

My Guides

My guides for the foraging walk are Margaret and Andrew Lear, founders of Plants with Purpose & Appletreeman, a family business that has been supplying edible and wildlife-friendly plants for over 16 years. As well as guided foraging walks they also offer workshops, talks and courses on sustainable horticulture, orchard management, forest gardening and beekeeping.

They can even supply many wild edibles for garden cultivation, including rare and special pear trees, all home-grown without chemicals or artificial fertilisers, so you wouldn’t have to forage too far to find something tasty for dinner!

Start – Rodney Gardens

We start at Rodney Gardens, part of the lovely Riverside Park. Margaret and Andrew have brought their foraging basket, along with some useful books: Food for Free by Richard Mabey, Wild Food by Roger Phillips and A Handbook of Scotland’s Wild Harvests, an invaluable guide that Margaret helped to write.

(That brings me to a really important point, which is – please don’t forage unless you’re in the hands of an expert, or you’ve gained plenty of knowledge in the subject. We came across a few plants that would be poisonous if eaten.)

Our first foraging find

We’ve barely left the car park when Andrew spots a walnut tree. I must’ve passed this tree dozens of times without giving it much thought, but to my surprise he points out little edible green fruits on the leaves.

Our next finds

About 30 seconds into our walk, Margaret stops with delight. She’s spotted at least five edible species within one patch of ordinary-looking greenery. She points out:

  • campanula – purple flower whose roots and leaves are edible
  • ground elder – also edible
  • comfrey – leaves are delicious in spring (especially deep-fried), but avoid the roots. It’s also called “knit-bone” for its alleged bone-healing qualities!
  • nettle – great for soups and stews
  • plantain – also edible

Not much further on, we stop at a cherry tree and pick a couple of juicy-looking little cherries. Margaret offers me one – it’s a little sour, but I would definitely eat some if I’d forgotten my picnic!

Mushrooms and comedy props

Then, to my disbelief, Margaret picks up what looks like a giant piece of polystyrene from the undergrowth and declares it to be a giant puffball mushroom. For some reason I’ve always assumed they’re poisonous but Margaret says: “You can slice it up, fry it, and it’s delicious – like steak for vegetarians.” It goes into their foraging basket to take home.

A little further on, she picks up something I’m familiar with. Sticky willow, sticky willie, or “cleavers” – call it what you like, I’ve only ever used it for sticking to the back of an unsuspecting family member’s back as a comedy prank. Margaret says that it can be used for making tea, for putting in stir-fries (get it young before it goes sticky), and for putting in a jug of water overnight to make a fresh drink.

A plethora of plants

It’s only about five minutes into our walk and I’ve learned so much already. Margaret’s knowledge of plants is like nothing I’ve heard before: the kind of knowledge that’s built through years of study and a passion for her subject.

I won’t go into detail on all of the plants, because we spotted over 40 on our hour-long walk, which took us on a lovely meandering path along the river, through forested and open areas, past ponds, under bridges and into the open river plain.

But just to give you a “flavour”, here are some highlights:

    • Burdock – the leaf stems, stripped down, are “delicious sautéed”
    • Coltsfoot – leaves can be made into tea
    • Brambles and raspberries – the kids’ favourite foraging food
    • Mugwort – an aromatic plant useful instead of hops for brewing porter
    • St John’s Wort – used as a herbal remedy for low mood and anxiety
    • Oregano – delicious herb, great for cooking
    • Valerian – for aiding restful sleep
    • Himalayan balsam – the pretty pink flowers are lovely in salads or tea
    • Meadowsweet – plunge a bunch into a jug of wine and leave overnight to add a delicious taste
    • Wild garlic – fantastic for soups, stir-fries, pesto and stews
    • Wild rose flowers – lovely to munch on as you walk, or in salads

 

Just as importantly, Margaret tells me which plants to stay away from, such as ragwort (keep dogs and horses away from this), giant hogweed – a well-known plant that can cause burns if you touch it. It’s so useful to know all the “don’t eats” as well as the “do eats”.

Apples and Pears

As we move along beside the widening river, the path also widens, and we come across some pear trees. This is Andrew’s area of expertise and he explains that there was once a huge orchard stretching from here up to Kinnoull Hill.

A one-of-a-kind pear

He points out a beautiful, healthy pear tree with dark green leaves and reveals that he was involved in getting the tree DNA-tested. And… wait for it… the tree’s DNA has been found nowhere else in the world. Where did it come from? Andrew says monks may have brought it from France, but no one knows for sure. So Andrew and Margaret have taken the chance to name it informally as the “Willowgate sausage pear”, due to its sausage-shaped fruits!

How to get your own apple or pear tree

Andrew tells me that he propagates rare varieties (as well as common ones) of apple and pear trees, and he and Margaret manage an orchard from which they sell the trees. If you’re interested in buying these or any of their “wild plants for your garden”, you can contact them through their website.

We’ve arrived at the Willowgate Ponds area, so it’s time for our fascinating walk to end. I say thanks and goodbye to the Lears and, walking (carefully!) past some anglers who are fishing in the ponds, I stroll under the Friarton Bridge and on to the Activity Centre.

Finish at – Willowgate Activity Centre

If you were at Perth’s Fun Day in 2017, you’d have been forgiven for thinking our city had drifted over to the coast. There were deck chairs, painted wooden huts, a Punch & Judy show, boat trips and a sandy beach. It was all thanks to the Willowgate Activity Centre who were having a fantastic Fun Day, both on Tay Street and at the centre itself, where over 1,200 visitors were able to try all the different activities throughout the day.

Funded by the Tay and Earn Trust, the Willowgate Activity Centre is opening up a large stretch of the Tay to the public for fun, recreation and sport.

At the centre I’ve arranged to meet Jim Findlay, Head of Development at the Tay & Earn Trust, who tells me all about this exciting new place:

“Our main aim is the physical regeneration of the Tay, improving access, putting in footpaths and the River Tay Pontoons, putting in the Activity Centre and the Riverside Café. It’s really designed to bring people down onto the river, make it more accessible. We call the river ‘the lost jewel in the crown for Perth’, as it has been underused until now, and we want to help to get more people using it.”

What can you do at Willowgate Activity Centre?

There’s so much to do here – you can try paddle-boarding, kayaking, canoeing, archery, bushcraft, aqua-zorbing, coracle-making and boat trips.

There are summer camps for kids that are booking up quickly (book yours here!) and any group can try out a new activity or skill. Schools, community groups and businesses can book the facilities or have whole activity days out.

As if that weren’t enough, there’s also an indoor classroom, outdoor classroom, training room, toilets, changing room with showers, and a seating area for picnics.

 

Find out more about the Willowgate Activity Centre

Check out the Willowgate Activity Centre website and the Tay and Earn Trust website for more information on the centre and all the other exciting projects funded by the Trust, or visit the Willowgate Activity Centre Facebook page.

Book a boat trip on the Tay

You can book a variety of boat trips from now until the end of October, through the Perth City website. See you there!

Find out more about Plants With Purpose & Appletreeman

You can find out more about Plants With Purpose & Appletreeman on their Facebook page, Twitter page or their Instagram page.

Join us at the ActiviTay weekend

There’s even more outdoor fun to be had at the ActiviTay weekend on 8th – 9th July at the North Inch and in Perth City Centre – find out more here.

Follow Perth City on social media

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest events, news and reviews about our wonderful city.

Unmissable Events this Spring & Summer

Unmissable Events this Spring & Summer

Events to Look Out For This Summer

No matter what time of year, you will always find something to keep you entertained in Perthshire. The Winter Festival sees thousands of locals and visitors alike come to the city centre to celebrate the Christmas Light Switch On, the Chocolate & Gin Festival and of course the Riverside Light Nights. While Spring and Summer marks the return of a diverse programme of events catering to a wide range of interest and age groups. 

So to make sure you don’t miss out, here are a few of our favouite events coming to Perth & Kinross over the next couple of months!

Music

With the sunshine returning to Perthshire, there’s few better feelings than to enjoy some great music on a beautiful summers day! And this Spring we are spoilt for choice for amazing music. Here are a few of our favourite music events you don’t want to miss this Summer.

International Youth Band Festival

17th August

 

Perth Salute

18th August

International artists will join local bands in the City of Perth Salute. This breathtaking display of Military choreography will include a 50-minute show featuring a selection of the centrepiece acts.

Rewind Festival

19th – 21st July

Expect a weekend of iconic performances from musical legends, themed venues, pop-up performers and an unrivalled festival atmosphere.

Family Fun

There’s certainly no shortage of family fun in and around Perth City Centre. In fact, there’s so many family-friendly events this summer it was a challenge to shortlist our favourites!

Beach Volleyball Championships

20th – 22nd September

Teams will compete from all over Europe with up to 32 teams taking part in the Main Draw from Scotland and across 17 European Federations.

Kinross Show

10th August

Kinross Show is a great day out for all ages and interests. From the bouncy castle, fun rides and children’s education marquee to the trade stands, flower shows and much more.

Perth’s Medieval Fayre

10th August

The streets of Perth will be alive with Medieval Re-enactments, Medieval crafters, puppets and story tellers and the return of the famous Ye Olde Perth Dunk Tank.
 

Culture

Need some culture in your life? No problem, there are plenty of great events that will give you an insight into Perthshire’s rich history and heritage. Or if you fancy visiting some of our cultural attractions, take a look here! 

The Perth Show

2 August

For the past 112 years, the Perth Show has been held on the South Inch and brought the hugely important agricultural community of Perthshire into the city for two days of showing the year’s finest livestock.

Highland Games

Various Dates

Throughout the summer months, you will find a brilliant range of Highland Games throughout the villages and towns around Perth & Kinross. Whether you fancy a stop at Kenmore, Aberfeldy, Crieff, Perth or Blairgowrie, you will find traditional Scottish games in a beautiful Perthshire backdrop.

Scottish Game Fair

5th – 7th July

Organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), this three-day event is a true celebration of conservation and the countryside, while raising vital funds for wildlife conservation science.

Social Events

Grab your pals and head along to some of the best social events in Scotland! From unmissable sporting events to unforgettable days out – there is something for every friend group in Perthshire.

Women’s Cycle Tour

10th August

The first ever Women’s Tour of Scotland is set to be an outstanding world-class permanent UCI calendar professional race fixture with an anticipated 100,000 spectators!

Summer Carnival

17th August

The biggest crowd of the season will flock to Perth Racecourse for a mixture of first-class jump racing and brilliant summer entertainment. 

Paws at the Palace

30th June

Paws at the Palace will feature doggy fun and games, parades of different breeds, agility classes and some paw-some demonstrations.

 

4 Things that Students Should Do Before Moving to Perth for University

4 Things that Students Should Do Before Moving to Perth for University

4 Things that Students Should Do Before Moving to Perth for University

Perth is home to Scotland’s 14th largest population, but to students, it’s number one when it comes to having fun. While about 50,000 people in size may not seem like much, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you head to Perth for university. If you’re an international student or Scottish native, keep this advice in mind before you head to “The Fair City.”

Save Up

Even with scholarships and financial aid from your university, you’ll still want to experience what Perth has to offer — but that requires careful considerations regarding your student finances. For example, Perth is littered with numerous historical castles, like the Scone Palace and Kirk of St. John the Baptist. You should study for your classes, but you should also save up to experience what Perth has to offer.

Get a RailCard Card

While you could take your own car in Perth for convenience, it would be much cheaper to get a RailCard for people aged 16-25. You get 33% off rail fares as you travel across Britain. Once you settle into your routine at Perth, you’ll want to explore more on your off days. Discounted travel fare is the best way to do that.

Be Prepared for the Weather

It’s often joked that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Scotland. Don’t think it’s a joke. It’s actually true, which can surprise you if you’re an international student. As a general rule, layers are your friends, but still familiarise yourself with common Scottish words for the weather. You’ll most likely hear your classmates cursing the fickle skies.

Grow Your Palate

Perth has many outlets for food lovers. There’s the famous Max & Ben’s Bistro, which has become one of the top eateries in the Strathearn area. We know university life means eating ramen all day, but you should splurge to find the best food Perth has to offer. Depending on how enthusiastically you frequent their establishment, some might look to hire you for business or serving purposes.

University Life is Unique

And you must take full advantage of it. Your uni years will fly by before you realise it, but these tips will make that experience much more memorable. You don’t want to be broke in the city wishing you could do more, don’t want to be stuck in one place, and don’t want to miss the hidden joys Perth has to offer.

 

Written by Jennifer King

The Story of Robert Balfour and Burleigh Castle

The Story of Robert Balfour and Burleigh Castle

The Story of Robert Balfour and Burleigh Castle

Burleigh Castle sits just outside the village of Milnathort. It is open to the public and you can visit free of charge, the key can be obtained from a nearby cottage if the castle is not already open.  If you do pay a visit to this fantastic castle, spare a thought to the anguish felt by Lord Balfour, fretting over his part in the downfall of his son, the story goes.

Robert Balfour lived with his father Lord Balfour in Burleigh Castle in the early years of the 18th century.  Robert was seeing and had fallen hopelessly in love with the daughter of the local minister, he wanted to make this young girl his wife.  But Robert’s father Lord Balfour was horrified at this suggestion, for he thought this girl far too low born for his son. The Lord wanted his son and heir to marry a young lady from a titled family, a girl whose family’s connections and status would have enhanced the marriage.  Not the lowly daughter of a minister.

Try as he could, the laird could not put an end to his sons’ relationship with this unsuitable girl.  No amount of gentle persuasion or threats seemed to get through to Robert who was smitten and planning his future with his young lover.  At a loss as how to win his son around, and at his wit’s end, Lord Balfour decided to force his son to take the “grand tour,” a journey lots of sons of the aristocracy would take, these young men would travel, soaking up the history and culture of distant lands.  Robert was not very happy at being forced to go on this trip, before he left he angrily stated that he would kill any man who got involved with his woman.

Robert Balfour was abroad travelling for a year or two, his young lover was never far from his thoughts.  When he finally returned to Burleigh Castle he was informed that his girlfriend had married another, she was now the wife of Henry Stenhouse, the schoolmaster in Inverkeithing.  A violent rage seemed to take over the whole of Roberts body, it was an anger that the young man could not shake off, he felt he had been made to look a fool and his head buzzed with thoughts of revenge.

April the 9th 1707 was market day in Inverkeithing and Robert Balfour travelled to the Fife town accompanied by a servant.  Robert may have spent a large part of the day drinking in one of the towns many taverns, sitting alone, he would have looked as if he was surrounded by a dark air of melancholy, his blood boiled with a passion-filled fury.  Robert Balfour finished his drink and walked out into the street. He made his way to the house of the schoolmaster. Banging loudly on the door with his fist Robert stood waiting to confront the man who had stolen his love.  Henry Stenhouse opened the door, unable to hide his displeasure at being interrupted in this way. After an angry exchange, Robert drew out a pair of pistols and shot Henry in the left shoulder twice. As Henry staggered and fell backward into the house, Robert drew his sword and using the weapon to threaten the gathering crowd he made his way to his horse and escaped.

Henry Stenhouse died from his wounds twelve days after the shooting and Robert Balfour was arrested for the murder.  For some unknown reason, there was a long delay in bringing the killer to trial. Eventually, Robert was tried and found guilty, he was sentenced to be beheaded at the Market Cross of Edinburgh on the 6th of January 1710.  The prisoner was held in Edinburgh’s Tolbooth until the sentence of death could be carried out. One day Robert received a visit from his sister, the two of them talked privately in the condemned cell fomenting a plan. Brother and sister quickly changed clothes, Robert dressed as his sister managed to fool the jailers and make his escape, he hid in a tree near Edinburgh Castle, when things had quietened down, he managed to slip out of the city.

Robert Balfour managed to flee overseas but returned to Scotland to take part in the Jacobite uprising in 1715, he fought for the Stuart cause at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.  Again forced to flee after the Jacobite failure Robert Balfour died a poor exile in 1757.

Can’t Get Enough of Gary’s Stories?

If you enjoyed this article, why not take a look at Garys book ‘No Fair City’?

Battles, regicides, executions, conspiracies, murders, floods, fires, crimes, punishments, and mayhem No Fair City by Gary Knight has them all. Delve into the darker side of historical Perth, where witches, smugglers, grave robbers, murderers, and thieves conduct their ghastly business. Learn how the guilty (and innocent) were tried, punished, and executed. Read how, in a world before health and safety, plague, fire, the merciless River Tay, and the Perth s lade, railways and roads, took their daily toll of townsfolk and visitors. Find the book here.

Or if you want to read similar stories from across Scotland, take a look in his new Scottish History Fanzine ‘For the Lion’ available at www.forthelionfanzine.com.

 

 

 

Launch of The Tay Cities Pass

Launch of The Tay Cities Pass

Launch of The Tay Cities Pass

Two top visitor attractions in Tay Country have teamed up to create, ‘The Tay Cities Pass’. With a 20% discount on admission this great value ticket gives visitors access to Discovery Point, Dundee and The Black Watch Castle and Museum, Perth.

Not only can you step aboard RRS Discovery the ship built and designed in Dundee for Captain Scott’s maiden expedition to Antarctica, you can also explore the incredible story of Scotland’s oldest Highland Regiment, The Black Watch.

Anne Kinnes, Chief Executive of The Black Watch Castle and Museum states, “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Dundee Heritage Trust. The Tay Cities Pass not only gives visitors value for money it creates a special opportunity to access two top Tayside attractions that share stories from Scotland’s rich heritage.”

Kim Adamson, Marketing Manager at Dundee Heritage Trust continues, “We are delighted to be working with The Black Watch Museum and Castle on this joint ticket with Discovery Point.  It offers a unique chance to cross-promote our two cities and two 5-star attractions.  It also gives our visitors an enhanced experience and very good value for money.”

Caroline Warburton, Regional Leadership Director, VisitScotland adds, “This exciting partnership between Dundee Heritage Trust and The Black Watch Castle & Museum is a fantastic example of collaborative working and an innovative approach to attracting more visitors. With Perth and Dundee being less than an hour away from each other, it makes absolute sense for attractions in the region’s two cities to work together.”

“If we wish to capitalise on the global interest in the region and also grow local tourism, then we need to consider different ways to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore all parts of the Tay region. I’m delighted that two of the region’s most popular attractions are already doing this. Tourism is a vital part of the Scottish economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities.”

The Tay Cities Pass can be purchased from both venues or at VisitScotland iCentres in Dundee and Perth and also through the attractions respective websites.

About Dundee Heritage Trust
Formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s Heritage, Dundee Heritage Trust is an independent registered charity dedicated to the guardianship, preservation and portrayal of Dundee’s Heritage in ways that educate, inspire and enlighten current and future generations.

As well as the internationally significant Royal Research Ship Discovery, Dundee Heritage Trust has responsibility for Discovery Point Antarctic Museum plus Verdant Works, one of the nation’s most important textile museums.  Both sites are accredited museums with collections of national significance, 5 star rated attractions with VisitScotland and have won numerous awards.

About The Black Watch Castle and Museum
The Black Watch Castle and Museum is a 5 star award winning visitor attraction located in the beautiful city of Perth, Scotland.

The Black Watch Museum is housed within the historic Balhousie Castle, the origins of which are said to date back to the 12th century. A visit to the ancestral Home of The Black Watch brings the history of Scotland’s oldest Highland Regiment vibrantly to life, through artefacts, personal stories and interactive displays.

Visitors can relax and unwind in the welcome ambience of the Castle Café. The seasonal menu offers an appealing selection of meals, snacks, soups, desserts and afternoon tea created with quality ingredients of local provenance.

The popular Castle Gift Shop stocks a range of quality gifts, regimental memorabilia and branded products with an emphasis on providing an enjoyable shopping experience within a Scottish Castle.

The Black Watch Castle and Museum is a unique and compelling heritage location which can also host weddings, offer private dining, exclusive use of the Castle, group and bespoke tours.

For further information contact Leanor Blackhall, Marketing and Commercial Executive leanor@theblackwatch.co.uk | 01738 638152 Ex 212

Scottish Antique & Arts Centre: Specialist Valuation Day For Charity

Scottish Antique & Arts Centre: Specialist Valuation Day For Charity

Scottish Antique & Arts Centre

SPECIALIST VALUATION DAY FOR CHARITY ON THURSDAY, 25TH APRIL 2019

FEATURING JEWELLERY

Our Jewellery Experts will be John Kelly and Robert Torrens

John Kelly who has been in the jewellery business for 40 years, owned his own jeweller’s shop for 30 years while being a Member of the National Association of Goldsmiths and the British Horological Institute.   He is also a fully qualified watchmaker and professes to have a good knowledge of watches and jewellery especially diamonds.

We are pleased that Robert Torrens from Strathearn Jewellers will be joining John Kelly on this popular Valuation Day.  Robert opened his first jewellery outlet in Crieff in 1983 and studied gemmology at North Glasgow College.   He has specialised in antique and estate jewellery for over 25 years.

There will be a charge of £3 per item for a verbal valuation with a limit to four items.   The fee paid will be donated to Maggie’s Centre, Dundee.

The Valuations start at 10.30 am through to 3 pm You register on arrival and you will be given a number which will be processed.    

We do hope you will come to the centre where you can visit our Café Circa for coffee, lunch or tea and cakes. Alternatively, you can visit our wide selection in the home and fashion departments which includes a wide selection of designer goods to suit all tastes.

For further details about this event you can contact SAAC’s Abernyte Centre on 01828 686 401. For restaurant reservations please telephone 01828 686 044. 

Enjoy Perth and feel rewarded!

Enjoy Perth and feel rewarded!

Enjoy Perth and feel rewarded!

How would you like to be rewarded for shopping, eating out, getting a haircut, seeing a film, going for a swim or getting on a bus? Even better, you don’t have to carry a loyalty card or search for a promotional email on your phone!

Mi Rewards, the city-wide loyalty programme that launched last September, does just that. You simply sign up, link one or more payment cards and, every time you visit a participating business, you’ll be rewarded with points. Each time you build up enough points, we’ll send you a £10 Perth Gift Card for even more spending opportunities!

Perth is the first city in the whole of the UK to offer a city-wide programme like this, and so many of our businesses are getting on board. And so are you – over 1,500 of you are now earning rewards every time you shop, grab a coffee, jump on a bus or enjoy a leisure activity.

Where can you earn points?

The number of participating businesses is so huge, we can’t list them all here, so we asked these Perthshire residents to tell us their favourite places to earn points.

Steve Norris, Perth

“I earn Mi Rewards at McCash’s Country Store, Kisa’s and Blend Coffee Lounge.”

Dawn Cotton Fuge, Owner of Precious Sparkle, Perth

“As the owner of a small business I love to support other indie businesses; for example, I earn Mi Rewards buying my bread every other day at Casella & Polegato bakery.”

Gordon Clark, Perth

“I earn Mi Rewards by going out for dinner to my favourite Perth restaurants, including Everest Inn.”

Liz Tunnacliffe, Bridge of Earn

“I shop at McCash’s Country Store in Perth and I spend a lot, as I have over 100 rescued animals including horses, pigs, sheep, a goat, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens. Mi Rewards is a brilliant idea and it should encourage people to shop more locally, so that we do not lose our shops to the internet market.”

Gordon Davidson, Perth

“I mainly earn Mi Rewards at Deans Restaurant where we go fairly regularly for dinner or for special occasions such as anniversaries or birthdays. In addition to this, I earn Mi Rewards at TB Mitchell where I tend to go to purchase birthday or Christmas gifts, and at Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall where we attend the theatre and concerts.”

Alastair Muirhead, Owner of McCash’s Country Store, Perth

“I love earning Mi Rewards at local boutique Precious Sparkle, and at Willows Coffee Shop.”

Leigh Brown, Manager of Perth City Centre, Perth & Kinross Council

“I love Perth’s unique and boutique independents which allow you to purchase items that are different from the usual high street products. Having an independent department store alongside small independents is a great strength. I love earning points in TB Mitchell – not just because it’s run by my family but also because I can get something different for presents, from homeware to bling; healthy food, supplements and beauty products at Highland Health Store (along with great dairy free products for Mr B); and treating the family to the fantastic set lunches at North Port. Fun Junction is a great choice for presents for my nieces and nephews.”

That’s just a tiny taster of the 60-plus businesses where you can earn Mi Rewards, and more are joining every day. In February 2019 Stagecoach Buses signed up, so now you can earn Mi Rewards every time you pay with a linked card on their buses or buy tickets online.

This means that you can earn loads of Mi Rewards throughout your whole day, from the minute you hop on the bus, through coffee and lunch, a bit of shopping, getting your hair done and going out for a meal and a show. One Mi Rewards shopper used her linked payment card to pay for her wedding at one of our registered hotels, earning thousands of points instantly. It’s the loyalty programme that never stops giving! Keep checking our list of Mi Rewards businesses to find out the latest additions.

Perks and prizes

As if that weren’t enough, we also think you deserve some perks and prizes for helping Perth’s businesses to flourish. Every Friday we give you a fantastic perk that’s exclusive to Mi Rewards users, or the chance to win a fantastic prize.

Want some examples of past perks and prizes?

How can you start earning?

It’s really simple to sign up. Here’s how:

  1. Head over to the Mi Rewards sign-up page
  2. Enter your contact details into our secure system
  3. Link one or more payment cards (the details are encrypted and will never be seen by us)
  4. Start spending at one of our participating businesses!

That’s all it takes to be part of this amazing and ground-breaking new programme that rewards you for having fun and staying healthy. So why not do what Gordon, Liz, Alastair and thousands of others have done, and sign up to Mi Rewards for your points, perks and prizes? You could be earning your first Perth Gift Card in no time!

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