Down memory lane, March 29, 2019

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The Kintyre Magazine’s latest edition is available from the usual outlets.

It is packed with historical and contemporary stories and some tasters are printed below:

Open water swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, who attempted to swim the North Channel and was the first woman to swim the English Channel features on the front page.

Angus Martin, the magazine’s editor, has reviewed a 288-page book about her exploits.

Swimming was not her only accomplishment and Mercedes was a notable charity worker.

Mr Martin quotes her as saying: ‘I know of no sensation but that of calm pleasure at the prospect of another tussle with those “calling” waves. When one loves one is not afraid.’

A tattered notebook of Gaelic poetry, by Kintyre’s Anna NicFhearghais was deposited with the National Library of Scotland 39 years ago.

It forms the basis for a seven-page essay investigation into the poet’s roots.

The study by Dr Anne Macleod Hill, digging into census records and family history, discusses the era and context in which Ms NicFhearghais set down her poetry; the end of the 18th century.

A 19th-century distiller, John Ross, known for his ‘wit and racy anecdotes’ and hailed as ‘perhaps the greatest’ in the history of Campbeltown, features in an extract from a forthcoming book.

Page 12 features a conversation, which may have been imagined, between interviewer, art historian and journalist, Edward Pinnington and animal artist, Sir George Pirie.

The text tells us Pirie had a Kintyre connection and in a footnote Mr Martin explains he was born in Longrow and that Pinnington’s interview appeared in The Art Journal 1907.

Another investigation of paintings by Archibald MacKinnon, by Mr Martin, follows on page 16 and this leads into an appreciation of ‘Jamie Morrison: Wandering Packman’ a local worthy painted by MacKinnon and displayed in 1885.

A history of the Macharioch Memorial Cross by Murdo MacDonald describes a December 2017 mini-tour of Southend led by ‘an enthusiastic Elizabeth Marrison on her home turf’.

Mr Martin’s regular ‘By Hill and Shore’ starts with a Tarbert nature ramble in the company of his grandson Innes before expanding to cover the thorny subject of rewilding.

He argues that the feral goats, often seen at Machrihanish, should be re-classified from domestic to wild.

Mr Martin is not so keen on Kintyre as the location for the release of Eurasian Lynx and states it is: ‘…a project in which I fail to find any merit, no matter from which angle I look at it.’

Agnes Stewart’s report Botany and Butterflies 2018, reveals her nature notes and the fact that flower counts were down in April, May and June perhaps as a result of the cold snap colloquially named the Beast from the east.

In January the Courier reported that the Benny Lynch Story will be staged in June at Victoria Hall.

Mr Martin recalled that Lynch, ‘Scotland’s first world boxing champion’, fought an 1936 exhibition match in Campbeltown. It was recorded in the Courier of July 25, 1936, and in number 79 of the Kintyre Magazine.

The Kintyre Magazine front cover reproduces a rare photograph of Mercedes Gleitze. NO_c13memorylane01_Kintyre_Magazine_No85