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!

Only in Whispers

Only in Whispers

Only in Whispers: Perth’s Supernatural Exhibition

This month I thought that I would go and check out the “Only in Whispers” exhibition at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery.  This display focuses on the Myths and Legends of Perthshire which I am sure you know by now I am very interested in.

This display in the museum is very different from your typical museum experience, where you look at an exhibit enclosed in a glass cabinet.  For as you enter the display, you transported back in time into a life-size mock-up of an impression of the interior of Ballechin House. This building once stood between Logierait and Grandtully.  Ballechin House was the scene of a famous haunting in the late 1800s. There is plenty to do in this mock house, from answering phones and listening to whispered conversations on the line or looking through keyholes into other rooms, trying doors to see what lies at the other side and opening a cabinet and reading letters about the hauntings. There is also a collection of weird and macabre objects and information and models relating to the best-known myths and legends of Perthshire.  The pupils of Fairview School helped by animator Jim Stirk put together a short film to go with the exhibition which is well worth a look.

                       

This is a fantastic display and one that the kids would love, with lots to see and explore.  At £5.00 adults and £3.00 with a group of four costing £15, it is reasonably priced for this day and age, there is plenty of other exciting things to see in the museum for free. On the 11th and 12th of April, there are torchlight tours in the museum to coincide with the exhibition where yours truly will be doing some storytelling in the museum vaults.  This is a unique chance to see some of the artefacts in the basement that are not usually on display. All the information on tickets for the exhibition and torchlight tours can be found here.

The Haunting of Ballechin House

 

The display is focused on the haunting of Ballechin House and here is the story of the strange events that captivated late Victorian Britain.  The origins of the activity reported to originate from Ballechin House was centred on a man called Robert Steuart who had made his fortune while working for the East India Company. Robert moved to the house in 1850, he was a bit strange and seemed to shun the company of his peers preferring his many dogs, some fourteen in all.  He was involved in a scandalous affair with one of his maids, who was later to die in one of the rooms in the house after a short illness. Robert was very interested in the afterlife and particularly on reincarnation, he always stated that when he died, he would return in the spirit of a dog. Robert did die in 1876 and the house passed to his nephew John Steuart, hearing about his uncles’ desire to return from the grave in the form of a dog John had the animals shot.

 

Strange things started to happen in the house with reports of bangs, raps and sightings of a spectral dog were reported.  In 1897 an investigation into the ghostly goings-on was carried out by John Crichton Stuart the Marquess of Bute he was helped by Ada Goodrich Freer from the Society for Psychical Research.  Freer kept a diary during her investigation, she recorded sounds off “knockings, crashes, bangs, groans and thuds. She stated that were heard at all hours of the day and night. Freer declared that others in the house heard voices and footsteps.  One lady was said to have been woken during the night by the feeling that her bed was shaking, and a maid had her clothing pulled by unseen hands.

 

Mrs Freer stated that she saw the ghostly figure of an old woman, this ghost was also seen by a maid, but in the second instance, the old woman had no legs.  Phantom dogs were also observed in and around the house and a ghostly nun called Ishbel was also spotted along with a woman dressed in grey. The Scotsman Newspaper on the 5th of July 1899 reporting on the incidents a few years later stated that during the hauntings the house was blessed by a Bishop and Priest in an attempt to stop this paranormal activity.  

 

When the findings of the alleged hauntings were published, the results were widely ridiculed. The Scotsman Newspaper mentioned above was extremely sceptical as to the authenticity of the ghostly goings-on. Ada Goodrich Freer and her research into Ballechin House was discredited and her peers in the Society for Psychical Research turned on her.

The house was demolished after being uninhabited for many years and after being severely damaged in a fire.

 

So was there ever any ghostly activity at Ballechin House, well it seems that the house did have a reputation of being haunted before the investigation in 1897.  Perhaps Freer did greatly exaggerate the amount of activity in the house. But it seems the house did have a history of ghostly activity long before the alleged hauntings was documented, it remains an intriguing story.

Written by Gary Knight

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.

You can find it 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.

 

 

Stagecoach boosts Perthshire independent businesses by getting on board with Mi Rewards

Stagecoach boosts Perthshire independent businesses by getting on board with Mi Rewards

Bus operator Stagecoach is backing independent businesses in Perth by signing up to the local Mi Rewards loyalty scheme, giving passengers the chance to benefit from shopping local and travelling by bus.

Mi Rewards, the UK’s first card-linked loyalty programme launched in Perth in September 2018 by Miconex – a company founded and based in Perth. It takes an innovative approach to rewards schemes by eliminating the need for a special loyalty card. Registered users link their existing debit or credit cards to the service and receive one ‘Mi Point’ each time they spend £1.

In addition to this, Mi Rewards customers also receive perks, event tickets and random acts of kindness just for being part of the scheme.

The scheme promotes the use of local businesses in Perth and there are now more than 70 shops, cafes, restaurants, salons and venues participating in the scheme in and around the city.

Connecting the community with so many of these local businesses, bus company Stagecoach have now joined the scheme, allowing existing bus users to collect Mi Rewards points for travelling by bus. The development will see the people of Perth and Kinross rewarded for travelling and shopping locally at the huge number of retailers across the city.

Stagecoach have also confirmed a double points reward for the launch, which will last from the official launch date of 13 February until Sunday 24 February 2019. This means that Stagecoach customers buying bus tickets using their credit/debit card linked to the Mi Rewards scheme can receive 2 points per £1 spent, helping to build up their rewards to be spent in Perth.

A Sma Glen Mystery

A Sma Glen Mystery

A Sma Glen Mystery

It was a quiet night at the Foulford Inn on the night of the 9th of October 1926.  Outside it was blowing a gale, two men stood at the bar, grateful to be inside, where it was warm and dry.

Elizabeth Gorrie, the 24-year-old daughter of the owners of the inn, was sitting in the parlour when she thought she heard some shouting outside, She was sure someone was shouting “hey” this happened three times.  Elizabeth went into the bar and told her mother, they ran out to see a horse-drawn delivery van standing directly in front of the inn.  Slumped in front was 63-year-old Alexander Chalmers from 7 West High Street Crieff.

Chalmers worked for D & J McEwen in Crieff and would travel up the Sma’ Glen and along Glenquaich acting as a mobile grocers shop.

Elizabeth and her mother and father John Gorrie – who had also heard three cries of “hey” while he was working in the stables at the rear of the inn helped – the injured man from the van. Blood poured down the delivery-mans face from a deep cut above his right eye Chalmers stated that he had been attacked in the glen, saying “they hit me on the head with something”. He also stated that he had been at a dance the previous night. Alexander Chalmers was carried into the Foulford Inn, where he again told off being attacked this time saying his attackers had hit him with one of his lanterns. He then died from his injuries.   

A Dr William Haig from Crieff and Perth’s Dr Wickenden carried out a post-mortem stated that the cause of death was a loss of blood, together with concussion and shock.  The injuries consisted of a cut above the right eye; two puncture wounds to the back of the head and bruising on top of the head and a cut on the left hand. Whatever had struck Chalmers on the face had been done in a downward motion.  

It was thought that a passing car might have hit Chalmers while he was standing by the road lighting his lamps causing him to spin around and hit his head on the van, or the storm caused a flying tree branch to catch him and that might account for the wounds to the head. 

At the inquiry that was held on the 14th of January 1927 a unanimous verdict of accidental death was reached.  

But was Alexander Chalmers killed by a serious of unfortunate events? Did a passing car clip him causing him to spin around and hit his van or did a flying tree branch smash a lamp into his face as he was lighting the lantern? Elizabeth stated at the inquest investigating the death that Chalmers always lit the lamps while sitting in the van. She said that he took the lamps from their brackets and tucked one under his arm when he lit the other, so he did not get out of the van to light the lamps, both doctors had agreed that the wound to the face could not have occurred while Chalmers was seated.  

Although severely injured and rambling when pulled out of his van at the Foulford Inn on the night of the 9th of October. He Stated he had been to a dance when he had not, he also said two or three times that had been attacked, he was not so incoherent as to not know the name of the owner of the Inn calling him John and asking for his horse to be taken care off. The two lamps were found, one lying at the side of the road, the other 500 yards away on the way to Buchanty, a route the delivery van had not taken.   

Was the death of Alexander Chalmers due to a supernatural occurrence, was he attacked by a “Mist Man”. The Dundee Evening Telegraph dated on the 16th of May 1927, some seven months after the death of Chalmers tells a strange story.  Under the heading “The Mist-Man in the Sma’ Glen” the writer tells of an eerie experience he and his friend witnessed in the Glen. The two men who were cycling when they were caught up in a dense mist, one of them looked around and saw quite clearly a tall man wearing a long overcoat walking over the moor about 50 yards away.  The man leaving his bike ran towards the stranger who had disappeared behind a small hillock. When the cyclist rounded the mound there was no sign of the strange man, there was nowhere he could have hidden no trees or buildings just bleak, desolate moorland.  He could see clearly for 200 yards in every direction. The man in the long coat had just vanished into thin air. It was no trick of the light or figment of the imagination as both the cyclists had seen the stranger. In an atmosphere of increasing menace, both cyclists mounted their bikes and “lost no time in getting away”.  

Whatever happened to Alexander Chalmers be it an accident or something more sinister in the Sma’ Glen one stormy night in 1926 will remain a mystery. 

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