Harburn Village Hall - SWRI

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A Great Glasgow Day

It's surprising, or maybe not, where would-be celebrities lurk hidden in the Rural ranks. Our recent tour of the BBC studios in Glasgow inspired a few ( whose anonymity is preserved to protect their families ) to take to the seat more usually reserved for the likes of Sally Magnusson. Certainly the visit to the News Studio was the highlight of a fascinating morning. Our two guides, Helen and Gillian exuded enthusiasm for their work and environment and consequently we were able to catch a flavour of the excitement of life in the beautiful building which houses BBC Scotland.
From the wonderful view from the top, through the mind boggling maze of electronics, sets, cameras and general teccy stuff we were able to look down upon, to the really interesting talk by a Weather Man, we were kept entertained and informed.

TV visit TV visit 15


Next stop ...the Burrell. First stop there....the cafe. We needed refuelling urgently. Soon refreshed, we quickly realised that we had struck lucky. Always a wonderful experience, The Burrell that day was hosting a festival of early music so strains of plainsong, recorders or early string instruments wafted through the galleries. Somewhat footsore after the morning, we were glad of the seats provided and the opportunity to listen to the music as occasional respite from looking at the amazing collection. I have visited The Burrell many times and look forward to many more as I still feel I have only scratched the surface. A major refurbishment of the building is imminent - as was evident by the odd bucket placed below leaks and the closure of the Mezzanine floor. When this is complete, Glasgow can once more revel in her precious legacy.Finally, high tea. Here a somewhat disappointing meal did nothing to spoil a wonderful day, brilliantly organised by Helen Bissett. We returned home full of memories and I had had another chance to gaze at the Ming Table I really covet! Our sincere thanks to Helen.
TV visit 15

Below photographed - Shelagh S submits her entry for Flower of the Month via unusual channels.
Theatre goers were  treated to a grand  evening of entertainment on Tuesday 25th February at the Church Hill Theatre. The curtain  rose  to the melodious voices of our  recently formed  rural choir (singing group), making their stage  debut..  They  also rendered the finale to a  loudly acclaimed programme.

Anna Pope a member of Dalkeith WRI who is in her 93rd year, and veteran of the Church Hill stage, again entertained us with a selection of 3 poems.

Harburn/Ratho WRI had a variety of acts including a scene from  “The Steamie” and a Magician.
Harburn/Ratho,  Midlothian  2013  winners of  “Variations on a Theme”  later treated us to a  repeat of the performance which had taken them to Peebles to the Scottish finals.  

Three Howgate  ladies  enthralled the audience with  their poetry readings.
while  two  Dalkeith  ladies  provided  a “Lovely Day” of choral renditions. 

However Corstorphine’s “The Story of Cinderella”  almost had the audience rolling in the aisles. Cinders  had perfected the one-line dramatic role to  new heights, hilariously assisted by the rest of the cast..  Corstorphine   certainly have  projected  WRI drama into .a new  dimension. 

Our esteemed Federation Chairman,  Rita Poulter, has certainly hidden her Prada training  under a bushel.  She  coordinated  the scene changes  during her cracker jokes admirably, while encouraging audience participation.. Our profuse thanks to all who were involved  in the evening’s production, and especially to the Drama Committee and its Secretary Isobel McChesney...

Ray Kew.


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GREAT EXPERIENCE OF THE SEVEN DEADLIES Harburn and Ratho  took on Howgate in the first round of Variations on a Theme on Monday August 26th in St Nicholas Church, Sighthill. Isobel, Sandra, Joan and Edingell had worked hard to put together a varied programme of readings around the Seven Deadly Sins and their lively presentation won them through to the Final to be held in Peebles on November 9th.

When I say that their greater experience gave them the edge over the opposition I am of course not referring to the subject matter. This was Howgate's first time in the competition and the adjudicator had a difficult task in comparing two very different approaches to the theme. We look forward to pitting ourselves against them again in the future.

LATEST MEETING. See link above

New Rural Officials At the recent Rural agm retiring Committee members were Joanna Pearce, Secretary, Sue Whittle, Vice President and Helen Bissett, Handcrafts/Housewives.

Newly elected members whose jobs were allocated at the subsequent Committee meeting, were Isobel McChesney, Vice President, Mary Maclaughlan, Secretary and Agnes Cosgrove, Competitions. Kitty Jones took on Helen’s role with Handcrafts and Housewives.


Moira,Helen and Fay had a great day at Pathhead for the outdoor bowling.  There were five teams competing, -they played each one. With a break for lunch (soup, sandwiches,etc) they managed to get to the final, a great effort for a new team!
The winners were Sherwood.




It is some 40 years since I was last at Stirling Castle so I was really looking forward to the outing Shelagh Lee organised for us on Sept 1st. It turned out to exceed my expectations. The newly restored Renaissance rooms were stunning in their fresh vibrant colours and the beautifully displayed Stirling Heads were absolutely wonderful in the richness and artistry of their carving.
The guides were without exception welcoming, helpful and informative especially the young woman in the Tapestry Studio. Here we met our only hiccup as we had expected to hear a talk from the weavers. It turned out that these had actually had to go South to help the other half of the project meet a deadline and that there had been no weaving at Stirling since March. Our disappointment was short lived however as the guide launched into an excellent extemporary explanation of the project, the process and techniques involved and kept us entranced for about 40 minutes. Our thanks and congratulations to her.

There was so much to see at the Castle that we delayed our next port of call, Bridge of Allan, by a couple of hours.
In fact, by the time we had had a brief wander around the gift shops. most of us were suffering a culture overload and were more than happy to put in a peaceful hour with a drink in the bar of the Royal Hotel before going through to the dining room for a very good high tea. Unbelievably no table managed to finish the plate of delicious mini cakes we were given to round off the meal.

Many thanks to Shelagh for organising the day – it was a great way to restart the Rural Year.

Words and photos Juliet